My very favorite toys when I was little were made by Fisher Price. Here are some of the earliest:
The pig has lost has pull-string, and wow – they sure look old, huh? The Ferris Wheel was one of my first exposures to my very favorite toy of all time: the “little people.” I remember we named the Wheel operator “Butch.”
My sister and I LOVED Fisher Price little people. We played with them by the hour. We had probably close to 100, and they were all in families and known by name (which was no mean feat, seeing as some of them were basically identical).
Ah, the farm. You had to love the door that “mooed” when opened, or the cool details Fisher Price included: the chickens that fit on the fence posts, the art details like a circus poster on the back of the barn. My kids now have the newer versions of the farm and house, and while they’re still cute, they just don’t have the charm of the originals, in my opinion. The “little” people are much fatter now – I’m assuming the originals would be choking hazards? Sigh …
One year my grandparents gave my sister and me the village. What a thrill! It had an apartment, a fire station (complete with a nifty little annex with a bed for the fireman to spend the night!), a movie theater, a phone booth (how vintage!), and even a jail.
The houseboat was one of my favorites. I spent hours with it, and here I’ve photographed it by the sink because we used to do that: fill up the sink with water and have the people “swim” there. They did float, you know – well, they were supposed to. On a trip to Florida, I took my boat into the hotel pool and the dog (Toto) drowned! I was devastated, and despite employees draining the pool, Toto was a goner. My mom wrote to Fisher Price describing this incident, and lo and behold, a few weeks later a new Toto arrived in the mail. Now, this seems like standard customer service, but at the time it really seemed like a miracle.
One summer my parents offered my sister and me a choice: we could go on a vacation, or choose a Fisher Price set. We chose the hospital. We loved it (working elevator! “working” X-ray!”), and I think our parents got a good deal, huh?
I’ll never forget the Christmas I got the castle. I have always loved royalty and castles, and this was just the ultimate. There is a cave around the side where a dragon lives, a coach, a trap door leading to a dungeon … don’t you just get goosebumps just thinking about it? Oh, that’s just me? Never mind.
My sister and I didn’t just play with the ready-made sets. We would make houses out of cardboard boxes, complete with furniture from jello boxes and corrugated cardboard (see above). Give us a few markers, glue, and an old wallpaper sample book and we were happy for the day.
I can’t neglect to mention that the girl above is sitting in a communion cup – they were perfect for seats! We built a huge church out of blocks and the pews were – you guessed it – communion cups!