Childhood Memories Friday: Toys

Childhood Memories FridayAh, vintage toys. I saw this ad in a magazine recently, and it reminded me of my childhood Fisher Price toys:

Fisher Price toys 1968Either my sisters or I had many of the above-pictured toys – ah, the fond memories. Fisher Price “Little People” were probably my favorite toy of all time, as I have written about earlier. My dad built us an awesome playhouse in the backyard, complete with windows and a front porch, and we set up Little People world in there – we had the castle, the hospital, the school, etc – we made more houses from large boxes, and built a church from blocks. Our record player (yes, that’s how we used to listen to music) was the skating rink:  we would turn on the turntable with the little people set on top of it, and they would “skate!”

My mom found a library book awhile back about popular toys from the ’60s, and I had fun browsing through it. I made note of some of the toys I either had or remembered – maybe some will sound familiar to you as well:

Chatty Cathy was mentioned, and while I think she was a bit before my time, she reminded me of a doll I remember:  Crissy. I never had one, but remember being fascinated by them at friends’ houses. You pulled her hair, and it would grow! Then, with the push of a button, it would be short again!

Etch-A-Sketch:  I remember having one of these, although I can’t claim I ever created the wildly intricate pictures with it that some kids could make.

Wooly Willy – or whatever name yours had:  those toys where you moved metal filings around with a handy magnetic wand (we always needed Mom’s help to get the wand out of its plastic keeper). I think our Wooly Willy is under the front seat of the van as I speak.

Yes, these are the kinds of things we used to do on car trips before the advent of DVD players in vehicles. That, and play car bingo or the game where you would try to find each alphabet letter on road signs, one at a time. “Q” was always a challenge!

Colorforms: Those thin vinyl pieces which could be stuck to a plastic scene, and then removed and used again. I had a set of Lucy ones, which I remember playing with often. It was always a challenge to put each piece back on the black background properly after playing (I specifically remember the set had probably a million little snowflakes and raindrop pieces!).

More toys to come next time, but maybe this has sparked some memories. Did you have any of these vintage toys, or others you remember?

5 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Toys

  1. Wow! Almost the same as my favorites. My cousin had Crissy–I had Mia. I loved colorforms, still love the etch-a-sketch! My next door friend had the Little People [they came out a few years too late for me] and even though I was 11 and she was 8 we played with them for HOURS! Nice post!

  2. I just bought some Fisher Price Little People yesterday at a church rummage sale. However the ones I got are larger, but they are still cute! I love how Fisher Price makes most of their toys to LAST! Once I wrote them a long letter about how their toys embelished my girls’ lives.

    You used the record player for a skating rink? No wonder it doesn’t work right. . .

  3. My daughter Julie (age 47) had most of the same toys that you mentioned. Chatty Cathy, Barbie dolls, and Strawberry girls were among her favorites as I remember. The Stawberry girls had red hair, of course, and they lived in see-through plastic bottles that were similar to a tiny version of the Coke bottle.
    Thanks for those memories!

    I had a bride doll that I treasured around 2nd grade. Board games were popular in my day and also still around for my daughter…Uncle Wiggly, Candyland, etc. Life and Risk were games that the whole family played on Sunday nights (family night at our house) when my two children were growing up.

  4. I’ve gotta tell you – it makes me CRAZY that so many kids can’t seem to ride to the store without having something to entertain them!

    We always played the alphabet game in the car – I learned early to watch for “antique” shops for a “Q” – but the letter “J” was always a bugger for us!

    And, of course, most of my earliest history lessons came from listening to Johnny Horton on the old 8-track! (Wait, you mean they didn’t ACTUALLY fill the alligator’s head with cannon balls and powder his behind?)

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