Thursday, November 02, 2006

Red Ryder BB Gun, Anyone?

Just taking a brief break from politics here.

I saw that the Toy Testing Council has just released its latest report for the most sought-after toys for 2007.

It took me back to the days when I would rush out to the library to check the report and then hunt down those toys for our kids before the shelves were empty. We knew Christmas would be a disaster if Santa didn't deliver the right toys under the tree, and the Toy Report was usually a good indicator of what they'd be asking for. I always thought it best to think ahead of the pack at Christmas.

Anyway, the Toy Report release brought back a lot of memories, and I thought it might be fun to throw out a question regarding what was your favourite Christmas gift, or what was the one that one of your children seemed to enjoy the most.

In our house the Cabbage Patch Kids were huge. It was a cloak and dagger mission to find them when they first came out. I remember hearing about parents scuffling over them as they were placed on the shelves. We managed to snag a couple for our kids, but it was brutal work.

Any other fond memories out there? I'll make the eggnog.

22 comments:

Steph said...

Well, I was on the receiving end of Cabbage Patch Kids. I actually had no idea it was so much work to source them! I bet that's the case with a lot of kids. They expect that their seemingly omnipotent parents (or Santa as the case may be) should be able to easily procure any item advertised on TV. And I guess the parents don't want to let their kids down, so they stop at nothing to track down the object of their kid's pining.

The Cabbage Patch Kids were definitely a fond memory but not at the top of the list. Certain Barbies were even better. Oh and then there were those Pound Puppies. I bet those were hard to find too. I wonder how the difficulty of finding those items compares to the Tickle-Me-Elmo Christmas craze of a few years ago.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! I forgot about the Pound Puppies! And then there was My Child.

Ah, the good old days...

Sara said...

I miss the G-Force lol and Dukes of Hazzard! My fav...

cabbage patch dolls were for rich kids, and Atari

Now I loved my used Lite Brite which I think I only used 3 times lol.

My mom managed when I was 11 to get me a computer and I was able to code in how to draw a moving robot. It took me 2 hours to type in the code though lol. Thank god we evolved from that one.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I was able to code in how to draw a moving robot. It took me 2 hours to type in the code though lol. Thank god we evolved from that one.

Wow! You must have been a pretty advanced 11 year old.

Lite Bright. Yeah, for some reason that reminded me of Easy-Bake ovens, which were great til you ran out of mix.

Sara said...

no the code was written in the book, it just took me 2 hours to COPY it lmao

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ha-ha! That reminds me of a similar thing I did for my son before video games were so available. I copied code from computer magazines from the library so he could play simple little games in Basic. One mistake and the stupid thing wouldn't work.

Yes, we have come a long way!

counter-coulter said...

When I was a wee lad I received my heart's desire in the form of an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle (1973). Most memorable present I ever got. I found out much later that my requested toy sent my parents on quite the pilgrimage. A very close second was a Mattel Electronic Football (1977) game.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I found out much later that my requested toy sent my parents on quite the pilgrimage.

Yeah, kids have no idea the hoops parents jump through to try to make Christmas morning everything the child is wishing for. Sometimes it doesn't happen due to financial problems or just lack of being able to find the item the child wants.

Most parents hate to disappoint their kids, but it's important to learn that you can't have everything in life that you want.

Red Tory said...

Lego, of course. Couldn’t get enough of that. Many years ago, there was a company called Kenner I believe that made a construction set that allowed you to build skyscrapers with plastic girders that fit together and window panels that could then be clipped into place. I loved that toy. Oh, and one year I got a “Renaissance” chess set that was pretty darned cool.

counter-coulter said...

Red Tory said...
Many years ago, there was a company called Kenner I believe that made a construction set that allowed you to build skyscrapers with plastic girders that fit together and window panels that could then be clipped into place.


I vaguely remember those. Maybe a little before my time. ;-)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Lego. Yeah, that was and still is a classic.

Notice that the favourite toys are the ones that require imagination. Sadly that seems to be lacking today.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CC- My son was into that kind of thing about 10 or so years ago, but it was called something else. He loved it, but the thing was fragile.

3-D puzzles were big in our house for a while too.

Red Tory said...

CC -- Yep, that was it! Brilliant.

Joanne -- Kids today don't have any less imagination than they ever did.

JS said...

I distinctly remember being 6 years old when I came down to the Christmas tree that joyful morning and saw two big sleds standing against the wall. My sister immediately coming over to me and showing me the detail. Santa had taken the time to wood carve our names into the sleds. We went to the window to see if it had snowed overnight and sure enough it had. A fresh covering of the white stuff lay on the tree tops and over the yard.

That for me is certainly a Christmas morning that I will never forget. I believe my parents still have the sled more than 20 years later.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

JS, thanks for that story! I got goosebumps reading it.

liberal supporter said...

Tinkertoys, Meccano, Minibrix, some sort of log cabin construction set. All were hand me downs, so no instructions. Many hybrid constructions ensued.

One year it was the new car racing set with the figure 8 and an overpass. We missed the older one's figure 8, no overpass, guaranteed crashes. Maybe that's why we got the new one.

The newer one had a smaller transformer and it wasn't too long before we're wiring it directly to the cars and running "off track" as far as the extension cord would go. Even Dad "Mr. Safety" approved as long as we don't fool with the house power side of the transformer.

That's probably why the next year I got the TrikTrak, battery built into the car with track pieces you have to line up to make it turn. Even though I specifically wanted the Motorific cars, mainly because they had a loop the loop track in the commercial.

At age 6 I wanted the Mighty Mo cannon because of the commercial, but got some other cannon with a team of plastic horses pulling it. It just wasn't the same! I did get the Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army) at age 7 or 8 which had 7 things you could do. The little white machine gun bullets got lost pretty fast, though the launchable grenades lasted longer, and it still made the machine gun sound.

Some "old lady" (she was probably at least 30) up the street yelled at three of us for carrying guns and gave us the peace on earth, too much violence in the world, can't children at least be at peace lecture. We were only calling on her kid, and even after listening to this malarkey, her kid couldn't come out anyway. We slowly rode our bicyles away, weapons down/sheathed/holstered, until we got around the corner, then laughed, wondering how a grownup could be so retarded she doesn't know our guns are toys!

There were the heavily advertised things that were fun for about the same length of time as the commercial. You waste an hour playing some card game building a Rube Goldberg type contraption (I had Crazy Clock, my cousin had Mouse Trap), and the winner gets to set it off. Wasn't too long before we'd skip the game and just set the thing off repeatedly. But it got boring fast, because any rearrangement of the parts made it not work. Bop the Beetle at least required some aim, kind of like gigantic tiddlywinks.

Models were the age 8-10 rage, I had all kinds of airplanes hanging on strings from my ceiling. I wasn't too artistic and never bothered to paint them, so I had a white jumbo jet hanging from the ceiling light. I didn't put the decals on too many of them either, I wanted to save them. Except my older brother would steal some and stick them on his school books. Only the German Iron crosses from the Messerschmitt ME262 for some reason, though. Dad gave place of honour on the ceiling to the RL-201 (Avro Arrow).

Dad's main concern was keeping the window open while glueing these things, and he'd show me stuff in the paper about some kid dying from sniffing glue. It never occurred to me to do that, besides those kids used what was called "airplane glue", while the Lepages tube said "polystyrene cement". Completely different, even though I was building planes with it.

I forget who gave me the model guillotine, complete with victim and detachable head, but it was even sitting on the small table in the living room for a while. I heard about other kids painting them with blood and gore running off, I never bothered. Grandma was visiting for a couple of weeks, and parents hoped she wouldn't think I was weird for having this thing. She was cool, didn't faze her a bit, except she requested no executions on Sunday! So I went along with that. Monday morning before school though, the reign of terror resumed.

The year of the new tricycle, and later the year of the bicycle were the best ones for me, I think. Couldn't use them much right away, but they were complete surprises and I was very happy to see them.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Well, Liberal Supporter, thanks for that! I think we all now know every toy you ever had as a child. The toy gun and the old lady story was hilarious!

I'm afraid that I remember minibrix and tinker toys too, now that you mention it. Well, I didn't have the tinkertoys, but my friend did and I was extremely envious. She did let me play with them on occasion.

kelly said...

Reading all these stories reminds me of the Christmas that my younger sister and I got Barbie wigs. Unfortunately, the wigs did not fit over Barbie's big hair. Being the industrious soul that I am, I figured if the Barbie got a hair cut, it would fit. I didn't want to cut my barbie's hair though, so had to come up with another plan. I decided that my sister's barbie would do just fine. I cut her hair a bit and tried on the wig. Still wouldn't fit. I ended up cutting that poor barbie's hair until she was bald! It was the only way the wigs would fit! Needless to say, my sister was hysterical when she saw her bald barbie even though I tried to tell her that now she could wear all these cool wigs. I don't think she ever got over it. In fact, I think I still have the doll somewhere in the box of toys my kids played with. I

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kelly - And you say I was the mean one? lol!

kelly (momma!) said...

LOL! I wouldn't say mean, but I do remember some "psychological experiments" that you conducted on us!

kelly said...

opps, hit the name I use for Jenn's blog!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Kelly, I thought you were doing a psychological experiment on me with the 'Momma' thing!!!