Vintage Toys

If you have ever inherited the task of dismantling your childhood home, you can relate to this. You can also relate if you were a child in the 1960s.

Tinker Toys: the Legos of the 1960s.

That’s because if you were a child in the 60s, it’s likely that your parents were born in the 1930s and were kids during the depression and WWII. Which means that they were probably raised to be very thrifty. They didn’t waste anything, but they also didn’t throw anything away. You never knew when something could come handy. (For more details see “Thy Father’s Commandment”.)

From Altoids tins to plastic bags, everything had the potential for re-use.

But not everything was saved for the sake of thriftiness. Much of what was saved in our parents’ house was of purely sentimental value. While going through box after box of things I’d forgotten we even had, I experienced a variety of emotions, which gave rise to reactions from “Aww, I remember this!” to “Mama and Daddy, why???”

Two little girls on Christmas (I’m the one on the right) with their crochet owls from Grandma Anderson, and two pajama bags each. Leopard was my absolute favorite toy of all time. Although he was a pajama bag, I slept with him like a teddy bear for years. If you think Panda and the Velveteen Rabbit are “real”, just keep reading.

Here he is in my sewing room, where he’s been for quite a few years now.

His counterpart, who looks about as “real” as Leopard and Panda, didn’t fare so well. He had spent all these years in a box in the garage. I had no idea my mom had even saved him. Now it was up to me to decide if I should toss him or keep him. My final decision may require too much “truth in blogging” to go into at this point in time.

Who can forget jacks? We used to take them to school in a little bag and played them at recess. I saw a meme that said if you think stepping on a Lego is painful, you’ve never stepped on a jack! I have, actually, as a kid, and it really does hurt. Like an extra wide puncture wound. I’ve also stepped on an awl (don’t ask me how that happened!) which ended in my having to get a tetanus shot, also as a kid. I guess there might be something to be said for wearing shoes after all.

Let’s face it, some vintage toys were just plain creepy! Enough said.

You’ve seen these before if you’ve read “That’s Just Creepy!”. We loved Creepy Crawlers. Enough to save them in a coffee can for over 50 years? Umm…why do you ask?

When we were little, we used to love the Daniel Boone show starring Fess Parker. It came on Thursday nights. I remember distinctly, because I was in first or second grade I sat in the “Thursday row”, which meant that every Thursday my row got dismissed first. That, along with the fact that Daniel Boone came on the same night, made Thursday my favorite day.

Is it just me, or does this doll actually look like Fess Parker?

I was just starting to wonder whether this “vintage” Daniel Boone doll could be worth money on eBay when I moved one of his arms and it fell off! (Yes, this is where if I were texting, I would insert the “scream” emoji.)

Apparently “Dan’l” was attacked at one point, if not by a bear then by the family dog. Notice the hand crocheted sarape in the box, along with his plastic accessories. Unfortunately, Daniel has now gone the way of all broken childhood toys.

I still have my “Lambchop” puppet. He now has a tiny safety pin holding his chin together. Like Leopard, I had already taken Lambchop home with me years before. But I didn’t realize that our mom had kept “Peter Rabbit” (far right) in a box in the garage. “Big Dolly” (next to me) was also packed away in a box. I don’t remember the other toys in this photo, and I never found them, so who knows what their fate was. (Fun Fact: You can also see the un-cropped version of this picture in “Hide-And-Seek”, when Foster and Panda accidentally travel to the past while playing their favorite game.)

The thing about Peter Rabbit is that he was in a plastic bag inside a box in the garage. A plastic bag that was actually too small for him to fit in, which had necessitated his being folded somewhat in half. He had been patched in several places, and the plastic part of his face had chipped off, leaving a patch of fabric where his teeth should have been. He looked like something from a scary movie, which is why I’m not including that picture here. This is, after all, a family friendly blog.

Big Dolly’s debut. Since Grandma Anderson is in the picture, I’m guessing that’s who we got her from. The best I can figure is that this was Christmas of 1960.

Granted, this wasn’t a toy, but it looks pretty “vintage” to me.

I’ve already done a post on troll dolls, entitled “Under the Bridge”, but at that time I didn’t realize there was even such thing as a Batman troll!

Paper dolls were another all-time favorite. You can read more about these in “Second Childhood, Part 2”.

Some random dolls from another box. I think that’s Barbie’s little sister, Skipper, second from the right. To the left of her I believe is Glamour Misty, whose hair you could color with the washable markers provided. Ken, at the far left, was a hand me down from our cousin. (Notice that someone had lengthened his sideburns with a felt pen.) We didn’t have our own Barbies, as our mom felt that she was an unrealistic “role model” for kids. She didn’t want us to grow up thinking we had to look like Barbie in order to be attractive. I have to say I’ve always appreciated her decision. She was proactive like that before it was “cool”.

So how do you tie all this together bring our little trip down memory lane “in for a landing”, so to speak? Let’s take a look at something else from the past that may soon have a blog post all to itself.

It isn’t necessarily a toy, and it wasn’t ours, but it is pretty vintage. It was our dad’s paper route bike from the 1940s. It was in the garage. And yes, I have the receipt!

24 thoughts on “Vintage Toys

      1. Lyra Bengtson

        I think your mom and my mom thought alike, as I didn’t have a Barbie either, only Skipper and Tammy, who I believe is the doll in the middle of the doll photo.

      2. Wow! When I was looking for pictures of Glamour Misty online I did see Tammy, but I wasn’t sure if we ever had her. I’ll have to check that photo again. 😀

  1. Anonymous

    Wow! It was cool reading your musings & seeing actual photos. Tinker Toys were still popular as a kid growing up in the 80s, though soon to be replaced by legos.
    It’s pretty awesome that you found some vintage Barbies and your dad’s bike.

  2. Wonderful 💓 Helas, during the many moves, even from continent to continent, most things of my childhood have been lost or broken. Some books en Vonnie, my dearest doll, are in my care.

  3. Eileen Johnson

    Debbie, our 3 Grandkids love tinker toys, which are no longer wood. They are now plastic.
    Traveling down memory lane can often take a very long time! Are Gail and Trish helping you, or are you “flying” solo?
    Do you use a scanner to post your “old” photos?

    1. Wow! Who knew Tinker Toys were plastic now? It’s pretty much been me, but then I’m the only one who’s retired so I’m the one with the most free time. 👍🏻 Some of the old photos are scanned, and others are photos of photos. 😀

  4. Lulu: “Wow, look at all those old toys! Our Dada remembers playing with some things like that, especially the Tinker Toys!”
    Java Bean: “Ayyyy, I am going to have nightmares about that chupacabra monkey thing!!!”

  5. Enjoyable nostalgia though I was a boy. No dolls for me but plenty of green army men! The best toy I ever got was Christmas 1953–a Lionel electric train set. I still have it complete and it runs though I will confess the locomotive has a new motor as it traveled a lot of miles in it’s life!

  6. Jacks were definitely hard on the feet. First the ball would get lost and then the jacks disappear somewhere. Don’t know if they are sold anymore–a choking hazard? We weren’t dumb enough to eat them back then. How did we live so long?

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