Nostalgia. Lately I’ve been dipping my toe in its waters. Okay bathing in it. Once you start, it’s just hard to stop. I specialize in toy nostalgia, naturally, but my love for toys is more than just immaturity (though that’s a large part of it and I do highly recommend it). Dolls, toys, the things that we play with reflect our environment and the styles, the culture, the values of the people living in it. So you could say that collecting toys is rather like collecting a bit of history.
Note: Not all toy collectors live alone, dateless and friendless, in their parents’ basements. Many people live alone dateless and friendless in their parents’ basements based on the economy alone.
Not all collectors are alike. There are the ones who do it purely for evil monetary gain and will trip a small child to get to a new box of My Little Ponies only to immediately mark up Sparkle Twinkles on Ebay. Not that I’m biased on that type of collector or anything. Don’t get me wrong – having something that is of monetary value is cool. And if you are in dire straights, like say having to live in your parents’ basement (oh nooooo) then at least you have some recourse. Maybe you can sell your toys.
But that’s the problem. The prices of toys (and other collectible items) fluctuate wildly. Some of the oldest toys may go for a lot of money, but not necessarily. Even with a mint, still-in-the-box toy, you have no guarantee of high prices. You have to deal with public tastes. More than anything else, the monetary value of your toy ends up being pure luck. Most items go up in value because no one realized it would go up in value. If you make money in the end, consider it a bonus. But don’t count on building a nest egg with rare toys. There are quite a few homeless people now living in boxes filled with Beanie Babies.
Collect what you love. Remember to still buy groceries. You’ll win out in the end. End of soap box.
Speaking of that old nostalgia, I mentioned earlier my new blog. I wanted you to know that I won’t just be covering pretty plastic dollies. I’ll cover anything. G.I. Joes, Star Wars, Beatles toys, Sparkle Ponies, whatever. Here’s just a sample of items I have lined up at the moment.
Lots of Barbies such as
- A Barbie dog that eats its own poop
- A Barbie with a magnetic stomach that gives birth only to have you shove baby back inside and make her do it all over again.
- Barbie’s sisters (Skipper, Stacie, Kelly or Chelsea (this child is confused), and baby Krissy. Yes, they are all her “sisters”. Also a brother Todd who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
- The Ultimate Boyfriend Ken doll – he says just what you want him to say! The entertainment value in this guy is limitless.
- Remember when Barbie and Ken broke up? Meet the home wrecker, Australian surfer rad dude Blaine.
- Lots of fun Barbie play sets. For example: Barbie and shopliftin’ Kelly!
But wait, there’s more:
- The “Sunshine Family” dolls of the 1970s – and I do mean OMG 1970s.
- Star Trek the Next Generation‘s dreamy Commander Riker doll (er 12 inch ACTION FIGURE)
- High School Musical Dolls. Did you forget about Disney’s overdone High School Musical movies? Too bad, I have dolls! One named after a type of dog.
- Luke Skywalker 12 inch ACTION FIGURE wearing Yoda in a Baby Bjorn.
- One Direction Dolls (Why? They were cheap and we needed boyfriends for Skipper.)
- My Little Pony and all its incarnations. Sparkles!
- A Mystery Doll that sparkles. Oh how he sparkles. You’ll never guess what it is.
- Disney dolls. Of COURSE Disney dolls.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my mind at the moment. If there is anything you’d like me to cover, I’ll do it, even if I’ve never heard of it. I do love research, the less value the better! Just let me know in the comments. Also – what do you like to collect?
Barbie Got Back Part Two
I was going to write a Valentine’s Day post, but I did a post on the
completely made up totally true origins of the holiday already. So it’s back to our post on healthy body image! There is a song by Sir Mix-A-Lot, dedicated totally to this, and it is totes romantic.
You see? Even rapper knights from the 80s know that it’s okay for a woman to have some curves on her! So why not Barbie? That’s the conclusion Mattel came to after only 50 years or so. And lots of complaining. And their company profits sort of going down the toilet due to not putting effort into their projects anymore. So they made some gutsy changes that got Barbie on the cover of Time Magazine. No, I’m serious.
Yes, there is now a “curvy” Barbie with an actual behind, a bit of tummy, and healthy thighs. Also a tall, flatter Barbie, and a short “petite” Barbie, for all those freaky tall and short people out there. Just kidding. It’s actually nice to see a variety of doll shapes since some girls are tall and skinny (like I was, and I like my daughters are) and others are just short and petite which I used to envy until I realized I would always be able to reach items on the top shelf that they couldn’t.
I got all three shapes of doll because RESEARCH. Again, apologies for the naked doll pictures, but if you wanna see the shape, you gotta see it without clothes. And we all know Barbie always goes commando underneath her duds, with the exception of those drawn on skin-tone panties that look like she’s got some sort of infection going on. I also pulled back in the Lammily doll, based on an average of normal girl proportions, from my last post for comparison, though she’s a little more annoyed about the nude thing. Barbie is used to it, as she regularly lays around my house with no clothes, just as she did when I was a kid.
The Things, otherwise known as my testers, checked out the dolls and gave their opinions. The short one had a nice dress but scary looking eyes. The tall one was, like, tall. Thing Two strongly favored Miss Curvy. I told them we needed names, so Thing Two decided on presidents. Meet Jenny Clinton, Emma Obama, and Sarah Roosevelt.
Now for the pictures that will probably surface during their campaigns. We brought in highly-flexible yoga Barbie again (her name is Marsha Brady Trump and if you have to ask why, you probably haven’t read my blog much.) Since Curvy Ms. Roosevelt is the most controversial, I concentrated on her for most of the comparison shots.
So Curvy’s legs are noticably thicker, and you can see a bit of thigh. But you need a closer look to really see the junk in the trunk. This post is going to get so many views for all the wrong reasons.
So she has a butt – a real butt. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see very many behinds (not that I spend a lot of time looking but you know what I mean I think I’ll stop talking now) that are so nonexistent as on Flexi Trump. And once again those pencil legs really stand out, even if they can bend behind her body in a scary sort of way that – even scarier – real people are actually able to do in yoga class. Did I mention you can get stress fractures doing yoga? It’s true – a coworker did. And she thought she was getting healthy!
Anyway, I also wanted to compare Curvy Roosevelt’s body to the Lammily more average sized body. Come on, Meg! Come meet someone! No, really, we promise it will be better this time!
Again, we did the strip tease shot. Meg is filing a lawsuit against me, I’m pretty sure. She doesn’t get research.
The two dolls both have some added butt and thigh, though one has a shorter torso, and the other a longer one. I’m not sure really which torso is the most normal. Maybe it’s because women are shaped differently. Nah, it has to be problems with manufacturing! Curvy has skinnier arms and upper body, and her legs get skinnier in the calf down to the feet that are still too small to adequately support a normal person. Plus, while she’s wearing shoes here, I can tell you she still has no toes. Unlike the Lammily doll, who has some very detailed toes there. Evolution in doll making for sure!
My body has always been a bit closer to curvy, which is why I object when people complain – you’re shocked right? – that her body is unrealistic still. It’s called “pear shaped”. There’s also “apple shaped” (if you are bigger around he middle) and “stick shaped” (if you still have to wear undershirts instead of bras and you’ve been desperately searching for your hips.) I’ve had friends of all these body types. Not surprisingly, none of us are happy. Especially when we’re told we’re either too fat or too skinny. Just as this doll, like the Lammily doll, is “fat”, according to people with very thin minds.
Finnick from the Hunger Games doesn’t seem to mind.
Time Magazine complained about a few things. For one, the doll has no clothes to fit her yet, though they are coming out with some in the future. Oh, dear! It’s like someone might have to sew those clothes. And sell them. And they have sewn them and we have come. To Etsy, where I have never gone before. It’s truly amazing the talent out there that “average” people have to sew tiny clothes in perfect detail. Mattel and other companies need to employ these people.
I was asked if kids are really that affected by a doll. No, it’s not the doll – it’s the culture so many embrace, of one nearly impossible body. But as a parent, there are so many ways to combat it. They watch you in whatever you do and say (including how you hate your own looks, which is something I say too often). They also arrive without judgment (most of the time). Like the song in South Pacific, such attitudes toward skin color or body shape “have to be carefully taught”. I liked watching how my kids judged the dolls based on which ones they happened to like best. And they like most dolls with little notice of size, shape, or color. Disney princesses play alongside Ken and Barbie and it’s not totally unknown for My Little Pony or, say, a giant stuffed rabbit to invade from time to time. We like to call it creativity. Or madness. Both have a great spark.
Barbie Got Back: Part One
There has been a lot of talk about the issue of body image, especially with women. There’s also been a lot of Barbie trashing, an easy target what with the doll’s obvious impossible proportions which are totally unlike the impossible proportions of many of our models and actresses, and never, ever shown as ideal in the media. But Barbie is a doll meant for children, so parents especially have been griping about this since Barbies were first created. (The idea of the doll came from an “adult toy” for bachelor parties. I can’t understand their complaints at all.) So anyway, one would think they’d be happy when finally, toy companies started making dolls that approach a more natural likeness to a real human body.
You’d be wrong of course! One of the first dolls to get media attention back in 2014 was the Lammily doll, created by Nickolay Lamm, a guy so conceited he named the doll after a combination of his name and family! Totally unlike what Barbie’s creator did, what with naming Barbie and Ken after her children. It had to be tough being her kids. Especially when your mom romantically linked you. But never mind that, back to the unfortunately named Lammily, which sounds like an ointment for sheep. In spite of her name, this is an groundbreaking doll. You see, Lamm decided it’d be interesting to see what Barbie would look like if you made her proportions more like an average of the proportions of a real 19-year-old woman. Note I said an “average” of the statistical measurements of a woman of this age. Meaning some are bigger, some are smaller, yadda yadda. But then he confused it a little by saying “Average is beautiful” as part of the campaign. And you know what Americans think about average.
No one is average! We should all strive for perfection that we can never attain, not settle for realistic dreams! How dare we suggest a girl be content with being “average”. Not even a mathematical average of human body types. But there were enough people who wanted a doll that didn’t make them or their kids feel like fatties wearing size, omg, 12 (The beginning size for plus-size models. I wish I was kidding here.) So in one day, his kickstarter campaign far surpassed what was needed to start the project. When Lammily arrived, the doll the media hyped to no end, calling her the alternative to Barbie, or even better, “fat” Barbie, there were a lot of mixed reactions. Some people were happy. But most were annoyed – on either side of the political spectrum.
Some were disappointed that this doll, started by one guy and a handful of dollars and helpers, did not come up with a huge range of body types and ethnicities with his pilot project. Because yeah, that’s what all small companies are capable of doing. He also made her, omg, white, but at least he made her brunette, and not wearing pink! Also no make-up! A plus, right? Nope. Now the ones who wanted a “family friendly modest doll” said she was “plain” and her clothes were boring and what kid (or parent) would want to play with that? Also, not every girl looked exactly like the Lammily doll. Which would mean – not every girl is average? Just like not every girl has crazy proportions? (There are some women who are naturally long legged, tall, skinny and perfect looking. It’s called the genetic lottery.) And then were the people, many of them women, who said this doll was “fat”. A doll statistically made by mathematical averages of a real female.
Even worse, he came up with a package of stickers with everything from cellulite to acne to various wounds (broken leg, scars, bruises – is Lammily in a bad relationship?) to help kids identify with the crap that puberty throws their way by sticking them on their dolls. Personally, I think I would have loved this as a kid. In fact, I might have to still order these stickers, if only to enjoy slapping them on Barbie and the Disney Princesses myself. Because it just makes the world feel a little more fair, that’s why.
So basically, Barbie is bad because she has too much makeup and no pimples, is too sexualized, and has a body that is not natural. And Lammily is bad because she has no makeup and has pimples, is not sexualized, and has a body that at least approaches natural. And then there were the people who, inexplicably, said Barbie is great and they were never, ever influenced to think they had to have a body like her. These are some of the same people who said Lammily was fat. Are you sensing a bit of disconnect here? Cause I sure am. Sorry, Lamm, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
What’s most ironic is that when you hear or see actual stories of how kids play with these dolls (not the ones in advertising, but actual stories) the kids really don’t care that much. UNLESS the parent makes it a big deal. For instance, one youtube video, labeled “Kids react to ‘Fat’ Barbie”, shows a woman purposely sticking Lammily marks on the doll before showing it to her small child along with a Barbie in a fancy dress. Guess which one the kid picked? Yeah, she chose the fancy one, and I’m sure she was not at all influenced by mom’s body language or purposeful attempts to make the Lammily doll more unattractive. I think this is one insecure lady. God forbid she gain weight herself one day.
So in response to the very, very horrific examples of human-kind seen in the comment sections of many articles and reviews on these dolls, I bought a Lammily. Because that’s the kind of research I will do for my fans, and not because I like buying dolls anyway. I bought her an extra set of clothes to experiment with as well, since she doesn’t fit in any of Barbie’s “no ribs” fashions. Thing Two announced that Lammily (Who has been renamed “Meg” by the Things. But not, as Thing Two vehemently insists, “Megyn.”) looks like me. I think that’s a compliment. I’ll take it as one, because Lammily has some nice muscular legs (which mine are not any longer) and a young, pretty face.
I have to admit, when I first saw this doll I thought she looked strange. She was thicker, without much of a waist (the hips probably could have been a little more hippy – girls do actually have hips) an actual butt, and (gasp) thighs. And then I realized with startling clarity that I had looked at myself for years, even back when I was a young, very thin woman, as someone with enormous thighs. So much so that I did not, and still do not, wear shorter dresses or skirts. To realize that this was normal was amazing, and somehow this doll showed it better than anything else I had experienced, possibly because I could physically hold this thing in my hand and compare it with other dolls. The Things were amazed as well. Forgive the nudie pics but it is the best way to see the comparison between body types. For actual doll porn, please see the rest of the Internet.
“Good grief, her legs are like pencils, Mom!” Thing One said, looking at Meg and then Barbie. And this is a kid who is thin, but with legs that can actually support her. Thing One immediately made Meg one of her super flexible yoga Barbie’s younger sister. Because why not? Both can live together, as they do in the real world. They are still toys, and not just political agendas. It might be nice to let the kids decide what they want and don’t want. And even it is only the parents who really like Lammily, and not kids, that’s okay – cause guess who has the money to buy the dolls? The parents. But parents can do best by their kids by just letting the dolls go, and seeing what happens – without preconceived notions. It’s an opportunity to talk with your kids about what they think, and why. And it’s a chance to play again. Which more adults should do – in my humble opinion.
P.S. No I haven’t been blind to Mattel hopping on the body image bandwagon with a brand new line of fashionista Barbies – a tall, a petite, and – oh oh – a curvy. More on them in part two.
The Princesses of Disneyland County: Disney Kids Gone Wild
Disclaimer: No dolls were bought during the making this post
Last time on the Princesses of Disneyland County, the Disney princes were left to babysit the children at Kristoff and Anna Kristoferson’s house. Unfortunately, the game was on, so like how were they supposed to pay attention? Football, people, priorities. Also, these are princes. They aren’t used to actual work. (Click to enlarge photos)
The ladies came home to a bunch of crying kids and a big mess. But neither princes nor princesses wanted to deal with that fallout, so the kids were left again by the couples, this time with a babysitter, Skipper Charming. But Skipper was happier babysitting her boyfriend, Troy Beast, so the kids got a little rowdy yet again, jumping in the baby’s crib, digging in the trash, climbing in the oven, you know, the usual.
So what happened? Well, the Kristofersons want responsible kids, so they told the kids and their friends to clean up and left a babysitter, Skipper again because no one else volunteered, in charge. Skipper had broken up with boyfriend Troy, so surely stuff wouldn’t go quite so badly this time.
If you’ll notice in the picture, we’ve got Sven Kristoferson spraying his brother with the Windex as Izzy Beast cheers him on, and his sister digs Mommy’s cell phone out of her purse. Mulan’s daughter practices her headstand, Windy White vacuums up everything, including Kelly Charming who takes a nap in the dust pan, while Rosie Prince plays in the trash and the puppy pees on the floor. Oh, and no one watches the baby, though at least she’s in her crib observing the chaos this time.
Also, is that Cinderella’s shoe in the sink? She can’t keep up with that thing, can she?
Anyway, it’s almost like you have to WATCH your children to get them to do anything right. But hey, someone was supposed to be watching them. Skipper Charming! Where did that girl go? Why not check downstairs?
Kristoff gives him a proper goodbye while Anna scolds Skipper. They should be about as effective as her parents are.
So all’s well that ends well . . . no wait, that ended terribly, forget it. In case you wondered, yes we have made almost all of the dolls have children and named them all (if we can remember what we named them) as well as gave the parents last names and professions. Because we are totally creative and above the Wii, nevermind we’re currently not sure how to plug the Wii in.
We’ll introduce some of the other characters soon, like Belle who teaches little
devils elementary students. It seemed appropriate that she be a teacher. Ariel has a job at Sea World, naturally, and, well we’ll reveal the others as make them up.
Hope you’re enjoying our little soap opera as much as we are. If not, too bad, because we’ve got gobs of pictures left! Bwahaha!
Buy it All, Buy it All!
I have developed a slight spending problem, which is really interesting since only a month ago I could hardly spend at all. I wouldn’t let myself buy anything, especially not anything possibly considered “frivolous”. There were times I’d leave entire carts of (non-perishable) items because I couldn’t bear to spend money on them, no matter what it was, and was too depressed to go return the items where they belonged. (Sorry Mecca employees.)
Now I get my best exercise going to big chain stores like Mecca, grabbing items on clearance (they often mark things down but don’t reflect it on the sticker) and running them over to the price checker. Total thrill when it comes up cheaper. If not, or I still don’t want to buy it, I return it right where it belongs, then grab something else. Rinse, repeat. When the price checkers aren’t working, I really don’t know what to do. I don’t like having an employee scan it, because they tend to not want to stay by a pole until you return with three more items. Did I mention the Abilify med I’m on makes me restless but also extremely active? To a somewhat psychotic point?
It beats being down, though, and I love it. But there is another issue. Seems my extreme self-control has been loosened, which is not that bad, except that I really have to watch it now when I add up the amount I spent on NEEDED merchandise for my online doll series that is watched by at least three people. Or my Disney / Barbie collection in general. I used to collect expensive dolls, so spending 100 and then nothing else for a long time was no big deal. But when you do it in increments of 10, 20, 30, etc, it’s like just eating one slice of cake. Then going back for another slice. And just one more.
On the plus side, not everything I want is in the stores, or at least, not at the right price. Unfortunately, there is INTERNETZ. And it’s even easier to just use your card and go CLICK and buy more stuff. Then you get packages in the mail and it’s totally like Christmas except after a while you sort of have to run home and hide the stuff so the others in your family don’t realize quite how much Christmas you are giving yourself in October and November.
But most of it I was saving for Christmas presents for my children. No, seriously, except that after a while there wasn’t much more storage space, and I had to admit that they hadn’t actually asked for a lot of it, though they’d of course like playing with it. So I’ve just started opening some of them so we could play with them now. That way Christmas is not so overwhelming. And what are toys for, but to play with? (Don’t keep them in the box! They suffocate! Have you not seen Toy Story???)
But even though I’ve never gotten us in the red, still I needed to curb the spending every day and I figured, what better way than a sticker chart? I got some stickers (Guess which kind? You will never guess.) and made it three whole days before I cracked this morning and bought this thing that had been out of stock for weeks but now it was in and if I didn’t buy it’d be gone in no time because everyone knows Mickey and Amazon have no soul.
My ten-year-old accountability partner will be so ashamed. I bet she gets her sticker for not having her bad habit today. Oh, well. I’m not sure why I feel worse about buying collectibles (even that sounds better than “toys”). I mean, aren’t most electronics technically toys, only with higher price tags? And who doesn’t have a smart phone or a tablet or an Xbox or something of that nature by now? Huh?
Do you guys have spending issues? If so, what is your weak spot?
I’ll get back on the spending sobriety wagon tomorrow I guess. I came up with a little ditty appropriately to the tune of “Let it Go”.
Let it go, Let it go
Don’t hold onto it anymore
Go ahead, spend your dough
You know you want to, oh!
Why do you care
What they’re going to say
The bank won’t foreclose
At least not until you miss some more payments . . .
I know I have medical bills
But those things are so dull
And the collectors they can’t do too much
If my wallet is now not full
It’s time for me to slow it down
To stop the spend merry-go-round
It’s okay to buy but not so much
Only guilt, only guilt!
You spent too much you git
Oh but hey, it’s okay
Perfection’s never possible anyway . . .
Barbie in the Real World
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love dolls. I loved them as a kid, and I love them now. My favorite thing to do was to play with Barbie and her house and her furniture and her clothes and her car (shoes suffice if you cannot afford the Corvette) and her red-headed friend Midge who had to get married cause Barbie’s weddings are all dream ones, great ornamental boyfriends with dead zombie eyes, and all those sisters, Skipper (who recently acquired tiny boobs), and Stacie and Kelly who became Chelsea cause I have no idea. There’s even a baby, except the baby is totally not hers, it’s another little sister. Even though Barbie’s like at least 25. Suuuure, Barbie, we totally believe you. By the way, have you contacted Duke from G.I. Joe for support payments? Just wondering.
And therein lies the fun of playing house when you’re older. You can sneak in all that real-life stuff that goes on behind the dream house. In other words, you can make Barbie’s life just as dysfunctional as your own. At least that’s what the girls and I like to do. I am so glad I had girls so that I can say I’m totally buying this crap for them. Though, really, why be ashamed? ES has ponies! And lots of people collect stuff. It keeps us young. And immature. And for a little while, you forget about your real laundry or real toilet or real job.
Cause Barbie does it all. I love that they recently gave that chick a washer and a dryer. She had to have Cinderella come over to show her how to use it. On the plus side, she loves pink, so not knowing how to sort works out well for her. And if the clothes are totally wrecked, she just buys more on the credit card she took out in Ken’s name that he doesn’t know about yet.
She’s had roughly 300 careers or so, probably cause she is constantly fired once they realize her resume is full of fake stuff like “Totally went to the moon once” and “good with children and zoo animals.” Still, she manages to keep up appearances by owing about half the national debt and otherwise hitting up various boyfriends for nice presents. Like Paris Hilton, only Barbie’s not quite so plastic.
One of Barbie’s most recent careers is “Entrepreneur” – she comes with an Ipad, a cellphone, and of course a purse. My brother snorted and said she couldn’t even spell entrepreneur much less be one, but she also ran for president a while back, and that doesn’t require spelling or even knowledge of geography, so I figure she’ll be just fine. Maybe she’ll open an account on Etsy and fill it with clothes she ripped off from her friends. Midge is a married crone now, so she will never miss all the nice stuff she used to wear.
Barbie’s friends come and go, probably because she’s a selfish twit. On the other hand, she might be sneakier than we know, and have them buried under her dream house. Now that would be an interesting new career: serial killer. More realistic than cop (though this would be the best cover-up) or pilot (I would not get on her plane).
Anyway, since she can’t keep Barbie friends, she hangs with the Disney princesses, cause all those gals are catty. Sure they look nice in the movies, but you didn’t see when Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) went out with Prince Charming (I saw someone say his name was Adam but I really think it was Charming cause his father was a moron)- there was a nasty fight there. But as it turned out, it was all a simple mistake. Aurora was drowsy and those princes are so hard to tell apart anyway. So all was forgiven. After Cinderella let her mice out in Aurora’s castle.
Anyway, we’ve had some fun playing Life after the Fairy Tale with Barbie and her Princess Posse. Not that surprising – remember we glittered the crap out of a pony. Anyway, if you’re feeling down, grab a Barbie and relive your childhood. Giving her a mohawk is a good first step.
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.
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’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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
She seems strangely familiar though. I mean, where have I seen someone like her before?
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!
My 200th post
I just realized that my last post was my 199th post and that my next scheduled post was 50 Shade related. Somehow I didn’t want that to be my historic 200th post. Even though I completely missed whatever my 100th post was, I wanted this one to be special. How often do you have 200th anniversaries? You know, while still alive? Not like those they’re always talking about on Google, where it’s some famous person’s 548th birthday. That seems pretty silly to me. Are we going to drag out the corpse and put a birthday hat on it? Cause that would be super creepy yet also a pretty cool reality T.V. show.
Anyway, I would say “wow, I can’t believe I have written that much” but wow, I’m not actually that surprised because I am a pretty big blabbermouth both in voice and print. But at the moment, I don’t have bunches to say. So I’ll let others do it for me.
Thanks for reading,
My Barbie Dream House
When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, I had tons of Barbie dolls. My mother wasn’t too concerned about that body image crap and neither was I. I just wanted her life, man. She was a teacher (with a really short skirt and a piece of chalk as big as her torso), a ballerina, an astronaut, a rock star (“Barbie and the Rockers” which was not a takeoff of “Jem”, who was truly, truly, truly amazing), a doctor, and even a “office woman” for those kids who didn’t get to see mom because she was working to pay for their toys. Day to Night Barbie had a suit that you could reverse to form a snazzy dress for late night partying! I don’t know where the heck Barbie worked, but if she had energy for partying, it couldn’t have been a very hard job. Then again, she admitted Math was hard (which it is) so I’m guessing she was a Presidential intern or something challenging like that.
She also had a lot of great stuff. A swimming pool (I just used a dishpan), cars (sneakers), and so many clothes! My grandmother was this great seamstress, so I had awesome personalized Barbie designs, you poor loser children. Of course my friends and I were too lazy to dress our Barbies, so we’d just pop their heads off and switch them. Barbie also had billions of spike-heeled shoes that were immediately lost in the carpet as soon as you opened the box. That had to suck for her, since she couldn’t ever put her feet flat, so she had to tip toe around everywhere she went.
I had the three-foot cardboard condo with the little white elevator you pulled with a string. It was cool, because she could stand up in this house. In most houses Barbie couldn’t stand up so she had to walk around hunched over. On tip toe. I felt sorry for Ken, living in the pink house, but looking back he probably liked it just fine. I think Barbie and he were just pals, personally, and Barbie had a thing for G.I. Joe – the doll one, not the action figure. That would have just been weird.
I had an aunt who liked buying me Barbie stuff. I got this way awesome refrigerator one Christmas with a bunch of teeny tiny groceries. My older brother helpfully glued every single thing inside the fridge so I wouldn’t lose it. I was not appreciative of this. How the heck was Barbie supposed to eat now? Then again, looking at her waist, this probably wasn’t that much of a problem for her. I also got this couch that made out into a double bed for when she had sleepovers. She and Ken liked hanging out on the couch bed and watching ballet, since that was the only thing the tiny plastic TV showed on its screen, a ballerina.
One thing my Barbies didn’t have, and that I totally salivated over, was the big, freakin’ Barbie Dream House. This thing was huge! Unlike the townhouse, it was made of sturdy pastel plastic. It came with tons of cool furniture and a wide elevator that her token wheelchair bound pal could ride on, or Barbie since there weren’t any stairs, and really, Barbie’s lazy. There was even this balcony for Barbie to bungee-jump from – if you were inclined to have her do this (and I was). I think my friends and I would have given our least favorite Cabbage Patch Kids as well as our siblings for one of these. But they cost like 150 bucks or something, and our parents didn’t love us enough to pay that much. So we did without. Life was cruel back then.
But one day the most exciting thing ever happened! I got the Barbie Dream House – as an adult. Um, for my daughters. It was only 7 bucks at a garage sale which was an unbelievable bargain. It even had all the freaking furniture. So I lugged this thing home, even though the kids technically already had Fisher-Price dollhouses (hey,
I they liked dollhouses, okay?). But this was no ordinary dollhouse. This was the DREAM HOUSE, people.
My children were not nearly as impressed as they should have been. Thing One was bummed that it was all in pastel colors, because she was so over pink, you know. Thing Two was happy with it, but she just didn’t get the grandness of it all. That’s because they have grandparents, ie my parents who did not buy me the Barbie Dreamhouse, who will buy them almost anything. Life is unfair.
Barbies in my children’s generation have changed too. When I was a kid Barbie still had her giant bosoms. I don’t know why they had to change this. I mean, some women just have big boobs, that’s part of life, kids. But I guess it was hard on her back, especially considering she had to also walk hunched over on tip toes, so she got a reduction. The problem is that now, if your kid happens to be playing with an older Barbie, she can’t fit into her clothes. My daughter has a Barbie (somewhere) that is a Mommy. Barbie’s red headed friend Midge sold out and settled down with some bozo and had kids. She even came with a pregnant tummy that held the new baby. You can pop the baby out and pop it back in again. I find this fascinating but a bit disturbing. I never want my babies popped back in again. Midge Mommy Doll can’t fit into Barbie’s clothes either. I think it’s because she’s a Mommy and no Mommy can fit into her old clothes.
Anyway, the Dream House is still there, and it still gets used, although my kids generally aren’t into playing families so much. Thing One loves fashion, so her Barbies are usually dressed in the latest tissue paper looks. Thing Two likes integrating her stuffed animals into the fun, which has to freak Barbie out a lot to see a penguin bigger than her house. Sometimes the Barbies hang by the neck from the top bunkbed, naked and upside down, tied up in my honor cords from graduation. I don’t ask why. My kids bicker sometimes, but mostly they do have fun playing together, while I play with the Dream House.