Toys – they aren’t just for kids anymore. There’s an awful lot of adults that collect a variety of toys, some old, some not so old. Many folks now in their late 30s and early 40s began collecting with the advent of such great movies as the original Star Wars releases, and have continued throughout the years collecting iconic toys of the era. These types of toys are extremely popular with collectors of the genre, providing the toys are in good shape, and better yet, still in their original packaging.
I’m not from that era really. By the time those movies came out I was married with kids. I’m afraid the popular girls toys of my era were dolls (like Barbie and her friends) and board games. I don’t remember having a lot of other toys – particularly not figural toys that are available today. Dolls ranged from the baby doll type (I remember owning one doll as a child called Chatty Cathy) to the popular “Wendy Walker” (a doll the size of a toddler). Dolls were dolls, and not just figures to collect and admire. To be honest, I have no idea what boys played with back then – a few cousins had toy tool sets (not plastic like most of todays), some built and collected packaged model kits like airplanes and cars, and others had things like “dinky toys” (the “Hot Wheels” of my day) or erector sets.
Back when I was a kid (yeah, I know … a really, really long time ago) books weren’t considered toys. Back then, they didn’t require batteries; didn’t make noises; didn’t talk, didn’t light up, didn’t blink … they were paper and print and you had to read them. I suppose today’s offerings with their battery power and talking pages might engage a modern child a little more than the books I had, but for some parents, they seem to be used more as a way to keep a kid entertained without the parent having to take part, like actually taking time to read to a child. And that’s not such a good thing. Good parents would still be good parents, regardless of whether the book has batteries or doesn’t, and I know there are still a lot of great parents out there whose kids had/have battery powered books, so they really aren’t a “bad thing” … it all depends on how you use the resources.
When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, the thing to collect was teddy bears. I had more than I care to admit. All kinds – old ones, new ones, funny ones, wind up ones, expensive ones … and if I were to be totally honest, there is something about a teddy bear that just makes you want to cuddle it, even if you’re an adult. Maybe it’s some buried childhood memory, I don’t know. Over the years I gave up a lot of that. Not that I didn’t still love the bears, but I was past wanting to display them in my home, and it was sort of pointless to keep them stuffed in boxes and bags in storage. I sold a few of the really expensive ones, and gave away some of the older ones to other collectors, gave away some to visiting kids … and kept a bare (that’s “bare”, not “bear”) few for myself. Mostly smaller ones with memories attached, and most of them were gifts from my husband, one from my kids (a tin music box with a popup jester/teddy).
I think there is something about many types of older toys that still brings out the kid in us, no matter what age we are. I don’t know about anyone else, but some toys still just bring a smile to my face!