Toys of Christmas Past

I was reading Merbear’s post about how her parents lied about Santa and ruined her entire worldview for life, as is a parent’s way.  And she mentioned wanting pound puppies, and I was like, hey, I had those!  I had lots of stupid, crappy toys.  Some of them are no longer made.  Some of them rose again, like zombies from the Island of Misfit Toys.  Here were some of my favorites – see if you remember them too.

Pound Puppies

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

I had several of these little mutts.  I remembered the little cardboard dog houses they came in, but I had forgotten they inspired an awful cartoon, and even worse, a full-length feature film.  Thank you, Wikipedia.  If you want to see something really scary, go check out their entry – somebody somewhere went to the trouble of listing every single dog character in the TV show.  I’m scared.

Anyway, the REAL pound puppies had little hearts on their butts with the “PP” logo – that’s pound puppies, not pee pee, though it’s a dog, so I guess either would work.  Ever notice they make baby dolls that go pee, but not toy dogs?  I think they should make peeing toy dogs.  That would certainly make kids think twice about asking for a puppy.

Wait – where was I?  Oh, yes, there were also Pound Purries for those who wanted cats.  But they had to have the logo, or they were generic pups, and no one wants a generic dog.  Kids see right through that.  I had some fake ones anyway.  They probably got their butts kicked by the real ones.

Cabbage Patch Kids

I had one of these doll play pens, yes.  You don't want to let those things out.

I had one of these doll play pens, yes. You don’t want to let those things out.

I’ve written about this before, but I had dozens of these freakish things – eventually.  At first it was almost impossible to find one.  And every kid wanted one.  Other kids checked you out as soon as you go to school.  “Got a Kid?  No, Flower Kids don’t count.  We gotta see the signature – PULL OFF THE DIAPER!”  Yes, every authentic CPK had a signature of the creator on his bum.  This was important – all other dolls were clearly counterfeit.

When you think about it, they’re pretty ugly.  But I loved mine.  We even had a play with the Cabbage Patch Kids – every kid got to bring their doll with them.  I remember there being an evil rabbit and a doll named “Sybil Sabie.” or something like that.  These were messed up times, the 80s.  But if you think that’s weird, I just found out that there is STILL a Babyland Hospital where you can see cabbages give birth (I am not making this up) and get your own original doll.  WTF.  Surprisingly, the revival of these creatures did not hit it big with anyone but the parents of today’s children.

My Little Pony

They weren't so bedazzled in the 80s.

An 80s style bedazzled by yours truly – and her Things

Ah, My Little Pony.  These guys, er girls – I don’t think there were any boy ponies, which makes one wonder how there were ponies at all, but no matter – were awesome toys.  They were relatively cheap, so you could have lots of them.  Like any other popular toy, there were knock offs, but the real ones had marks on their butts with rainbows and stars and crap like that.  Also their hair and bodies were all colors of the rainbow – like ponies who had been through some freakish technicolor wonderland.

How you doin'?

How you doin’?

At least they resembled ponies at that time.  Now they’ve changed . . . a lot.  They’re – I’m not sure how to say this since we’re talking about an animal here – sexier.  Like there’s this “come hither” look on these things.  Still, you can’t deny that unlike either pound puppies or Cabbage Patches, the ponies really have made a huge comeback.  They have a new animated cartoon, very different from the original one in the 80s.  The original had bad guys and stuff.  In the new one, problems usually revolve around stupid stuff like whether Minty can get a new candy cane for the top of the freaking Christmas tree.  Edge of my seat, here.

Barbie

Like the rest of us, Barbie in the 1980s had terrible taste.

Like the rest of us, Barbie in the 1980s had terrible taste.

Barbie has been around since 1959.  By the time I started getting Barbies, though, they had morphed from a Betty Davis style witch face to the familiar blank stare of today.

That charming "Bite me" look of the '60s.

That charming “Bite me” look of the ’60s.

Bubblehead expression of today

“Say what?” look of the 80s

They also wore pink – a lot of it.  And they drove pink cars, and lived in pink houses and condos, and had pink dogs.  Some people felt sorry for Ken, having to put up with all that pink furniture, but I think he secretly kind of liked it. I mean, just look at the guy.

Check out my flash pants!

Check out my flash pants!

I had a lot of Barbies.  And their stuff.  I mean, Barbie had everything.  She had cars, and houses, and furniture, and billions of tiny shoes you lost immediately in the carpet, and even a baby sister.  Or at least they said it was her baby sister.  Also, there was the middle sister, Skipper, who in the 1980s was flat chested, but grew tiny boobs in the 2000’s.  Ironically, Barbie herself had breast reduction surgery, so if you have an old 1980s Barbie, you’ll find she can’t fit in the 2000 Barbie clothes.  Sort of like how 2000’s me can’t fit into 1990s clothes, only it’s not the boobs.

Barbie is still just as popular as she was for the last few generations. She’s never going away.  In fact, she’s even running for political office.  Check it out.

Nobody tell her the 2012 election is already over.

Nobody tell her the 2012 election is already over.

She seems strangely familiar though.  I mean, where have I seen someone like her before?

There we go!

There we go!

So there’s my list of toys of Christmas past.  Are they better or worse than those of today?  It’s a toss up.  I mean, we have Furbies now, so I dunno.  Let me know in the comments below!

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57 responses

  1. My sister got one of those when she was 6 or 7. That was back in 1988. She still has that silly brown Pound Puppy. That same year, I got a Care Bear. I still have that Care Bear.

    1. Care Bears! I forgot them. I don’t think I had a Care Bear, though I remember them being popular. I also dragged my mom to a movie, and she fell asleep, and I got mad. Now I soooo understand.

  2. I wish we could have played Barbies together, that would have rocked. I am so pleased I was your muse today! I want an evil witch face Barbie.

    1. She’s great, isn’t she? I like to call her Possible UTI Barbie, cause that’s the kind of expression I think I’d make in that situation.

  3. I fortunately had just one of this cabbage thingies. My mom thought it is “cute” but I disliked it. I reminds me a little of Chucky :o) I don’t know why I never got a Ken, just Barbies, maybe my mother wasn’t a fan of equality? But after all I think we had the better toys, because we could share it with friends and we could play together with friends.

    1. It is a bit Chucky-ish – only Chucky didn’t have his own adoption papers and get borne of a cabbage! My cousin once said “Do you have a Ken? You only need one.” Apparently her Barbies shared the one guy.

  4. Ahh so many memories! The toys of yester year (the 90’s) were way better than the ones today. I loved toys so much when I was a kid. Some of the things I see in Toys R Us and Target are really weird and freaky. Have you seen those Monster High dolls? Yikes..

    1. Yeah . . . my kids have them – of course.

  5. There is so much wrong about your assessment of the current My Little Pony incarnation, that I am having trouble containing myself.

    1. What is wrong with it? You don’t find the ponies alluring?

      1. No.

        The pony you have pictured is Princess Celestia, who is a special princess pony, and therefore a bit more “flamboyant” than the normal ponies. Judging the ponies based on her would be like judging all women based on Lady Gaga.

        And Minty was in the previous incarnation, not the popular one that is currently in circulation.

        1. My mistake! You clearly, um, know more about the ponies than I.

          1. It’s okay. You can consult me next time.

        2. Dude, seriously? You’re getting a bit too bent out of shape about a child’s toy, don’t you think?

          1. No, you’re not getting bent out of shape enough!!! I guess you missed it when I outed myself as a Brony?

          2. Evidently so. Still…chill, Beavis.

          3. Are you threatening me????

          4. I could do like I did to my sisters’ ponies back in the 80’s: yank out their tails and give them buzz cuts.

          5. I think you just gave Cutter a heart attack.

  6. I had Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformer, Voltron, and WWF action figures. Those are definitely better than Furbies and Barbies.

    1. Pfft. Barbies are far superior.

      1. Pfft. Star Wars trumps all.

          1. It’s written in the good book, you know. Stop blaspheming.

          2. Boobies are in the great book. See Song o’ Solomon.

          3. Boobies also trump Barbies.

          4. But – Barbies have boobies?

          5. With no nipples. I think those are fake.

          6. You mean they’re plastic???

          7. Idk for sure, I was too scared to touch “boobs” with no nipples. It’s just not natural, man.

          8. Yeah, stay away from the Barbies man. Any girl’s room is littered with nakey Barbies – it’s a war zone.

          9. So much senseless nudity.

          10. Not to mention the headless ones.

          11. Usually I just switched their heads instead of changing outfits . . . there were some missing legs. Not nearly as many as the Things have on their dolls. I have no idea what they do to them.

          12. Barbie! Ken! C3PO smells like motor oil!

          13. He was starting to seize up and used motor oil was all we had on hand.

          14. Well, it had to be done then.

        1. Until your little sisters chew their faces off.

          1. That is punishable by death.

      2. Barbies can take out GI Joe and Transformers with the power of Boobies.

  7. I think I still have my Cabbage Patch Kids somewhere, though I really have no idea why. I guess I like the idea of freaky baby looking things being kept in a plastic box under the stairs.

    1. You want freaky, read the article I highlighted about Cabbage Patch Babyland Hospital. Although I warn you that you’ll never unread it.

  8. I had Action Man, Lego, Star Wars figures and the like.
    Plus a little parachuter guy I could chuck out the window and watch float gently to the ground. Or plummet through the greenhouse following an unfortunate “chute malfunction”.
    Ah, those were the days…

    1. And Strawberry Shortcake dolls.

      1. I didn’t have She-Ra, that was your mom’s answer to Barbies, which I couldn’t figure out since she wore a steel bikini, but whatevs. I did have a lot of those weird Strawberry Shortcake dolls – and the giant strawberry house. Far out.

  9. Congratulations, friend! You have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the Blogger World Award because I think you are pretty stinkin’ awesome, and also because you have been a huge support and encouragement to me as I have joined on the adventure of blogging. Be sure to save the image too, so that you can proudly post it on your blog! http://livelovelaughdancepray.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/

  10. My four-year-old is currently “borrowing” my cabbage patch kid. She also loves all things My Little Pony, Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake; and watches old episodes of the Care Bears very happily at the grandparents – so I think good toys have a way of sticking around. The one I loved that I think is long gone is Popples. I have a huge Popple collection – little stuffed animals that turned themselves into balls 🙂

    1. Zomg, I remember Popples! Now they call them “Pillow Pets” but I’m not fooled. They are totally ripping off the Popples.

      1. Hmmm, haven’t pondered that similarity yet…. Do pillow pets turn themselves inside out? If so, I think Puffball and Party should go all fight club on the Pillow Pets. Just sayin’.

        1. I like this idea. Ninja Popples.

  11. Furby have been around a while now, like since the mid-90’s, so they’re not exactly current. They’ve just never really gone away…

    1. They rise again, like zombies of the toy world.

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