Tourmaline .

Emotive Toy Photographer
My and my Barbies in between the couch and the side table circa 1996 ish

The Toys I Loved

My and my Barbies in between the couch and the side table circa 1996 ish

My and my Barbies in between the couch and the side table circa 1996 ish

Today we’re not going to talk about the Polly Pockets, Fashion Pollys, Barbies, Bratz and Beanie Babies. Although all those things hold a very important place in my childhood and in my heart. We’re going to instead talk about the toys that got away, the ones that still pull at my heartstrings and the ones I want back.

First and foremost, help me find this one

There was a book sold at the Scholastic book fair somewhere between 2000 and 2004 maybe. It was called Make your Own Cool Girls Room or something similarly not creative. A hot pick cover, and pop out hot pink, yellow, aqua and purple cardstock furniture pieces to glue together. There was a little clear zipper pouch to hold the extra ribbon, beads and glue (all included).

I loved it, it was love at first sight. I want it again, but can’t find record of it anywhere. I contacted Scholastic, but they don’t keep record of old stock. It’s probably not as cool as I remember it being, but if I ever get my hands on it, I’d make all the furniture again and find cool ways to photograph it nevertheless.

okay, now that that’s out of the way – cabbage patch

1998 Mattel Cabbage Patch Kids Mini Sweet Treats

1998 Mattel Cabbage Patch Kids Mini Sweet Treats

I had a view binder when I was 7 or 8. It held printouts and floppy disks of my favorite drawings I made on Crayola Make a Masterpiece. The view panels on the outside held a wishlist of sorts, but largely pictures of what I believed were the cutest dolls I had ever seen – 1998 Mattel Cabbage Patch minis clipped from a toy catalog. Please let my mom and Santa know that I never got these and I still want them.

1995 Cabbage Patch Kids Love N Go Playest Doctors Office

1995 Cabbage Patch Kids Love N Go Playest Doctors Office

I did however have some Cabbage Patch Kids Love N Go playsets. The nursury, kitchen, doctor’s office and school (My sister insists we only had 2 sets- she got nostalgic about our cabbage patch recently too. I clearly remember all 4, so agree to disagree I suppose). Looking at pictures of these I could still smell the sweet smell of the dolls’ scented plastic.

kids meal toys

Me with a Cabbage Patch Kids McDonald's Toy (and wearing a Lion King shirt) on a Glass Bottom boat in Silver Springs

Me with a Cabbage Patch Kids McDonald’s Toy (and wearing a Lion King shirt) on a Glass Bottom boat in Silver Springs circa 1995

Burger King Disney's Pocahontas 1995 Kids Meal Toys

Burger King Disney’s Pocahontas 1995 Kids Meal Toys

Mostly I just wanted that photo as a segue to talk about the first crush I ever remember having – John Smith. Not the real guy, not the character in Disney’s Pocahontas, but the plastic one from Burger King. He lived in a modest abode that my few knock off pink legos could muster and often had a broken leg with a make shift toilet paper cast so that I could tend to him. I was also just obsessed with broken legs and casts. What you don’t see in the picture below is my socked leg wrapped in rubber bands as an attempt to see what a cast would feel like, I didn’t want my mom to know I was doing this, hence not getting out from under the blanket and having flushed cheeks. I never did achieve my dream of having a broken leg.

Me, my sister and my cousins

Me, my sister and my cousins

bratz and barbie

I know I said this post wasn’t for them, but just a couple notes…

1993 Mattel Barbie Happy Meal Todd

1993 Mattel Barbie Happy Meal Todd

Speaking of toy crushes, I thought this guy was the absolute cutest. My neighbors mom had decided she was told old for Barbies and let me and my sister go through the trashbags. The neighbor went through the trashbags with us and kept her favorite barbies at our house after that point. I saw this McDonald’s Barbie’s sister Stacey’s sized guy and fell in love – 1993 Happy Meal Todd. I didn’t keep him, because I didn’t want to be lame for liking a boy Barbie. Still don’t know what that was about because my favorites of my 18″ dolls were boys too.

And then there’s Bratz. They were all the rage. I was almost grown out of Barbies and similar dolls, or at least I felt like I should be, but I had to get some Bratz. Yasmin was my favorite and playing MASH on the Bratz website was awesome. I even joined the Bratz fan club. To my memory it was a lifetime membership. I got a carrying case, and later a pencil case with pencil and sharpener and then never heard from the fan club again. I really want to know what happened there, I would still gladly accept free Bratz branded stuff in the mail :P

tea bunnies

Figure looks into refridgerator filled with sweets, cat sits nearby, toy photography by Tourmaline .

While none of the bunnies and tea cups have made it into my adult life, all of the mini pastries have. See for example this nicely stocked fridge thanks to Barbie and the Tea Bunnies. And here are all 3 tea bunny babies cupcakes. I seem to have only prioritized keeping track of the tiniest of foods.

Tea Bunny Babies Mini Cupcakes

Tea Bunny Babies Mini Cupcakes

Tea Bunny Baby Daffodil Dumpling and the Coconut Cupcake and Blanker

Tea Bunny Baby Daffodil Dumpling and the Coconut Cupcake and Blanker

The best ones were Tea Bunny Babies. So tiny and cute, and again, scented plastic! They came with little cupcake beds where there ears could stick out of the plastic molded icing. I didn’t know this til now, but I think I want my tea bunnies back too. I want to say I owned almost all of the sets in the Tea Bunnies line. Just went to look at the ones listed for sale, and the boxed ones are over $100, so maybe I won’t re-get my hands on any.

update

I meant to publish this post last week, but then I found a Cabbage Patch mini doll and ordered her. Then I thought about a photo I wanted to make with her. Then I ordered a Kelly (Barbie) doll desk for her. And then I digitally designed a classroom for her. And then I patiently waited for her arrival. So well, now I need to take her picture, but I thought I’d go ahead and publish this post and get you a follow up soon.

in closing

If you need a nostalgic blast from your past, find Christmas catalogs from your formative years here.

What were your favorite toys growing up? Which ones did you keep? Which do you want back?

10 Responses to “The Toys I Loved”

  1. Taswegian1957

    I am going to enjoy browsing through the catalogues later, especially those from the early sixties. I spent those years in England with different toys on offer but I remember in the mid sixties in Australia making numerous wish lists from the Barbie booklets. I’m sure most of those things you could not even buy here.
    I’m lucky to have some of my childhood dolls and my sister rescued a lot of our old toys. Mum was not one of those parents who made you throw things out because you were “too old”. I absolutely hate it when I hear parents saying that their six-year-olds are too old for Barbie or that they need to get rid of their toys because “they don’t play with them”.

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  2. eLPy

    Ahhh I love this even though these weren’t my go-tos. I’m aging myself, but I think I’m a little bit older than you. ;) I have bonded with you over polly-pocket posts in the past, ugh my heart. Either my sister or I still have a couple of those.

    I always feel like I should keep more old stuff and then when I am mad at myself for not being able to purge “old stuff” I wonder just what I’m going to do with it all. Lol. Breyer Horses, My Little Pony, Playmobile, Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, Lady Lovely Locks, and a whole bunch I cannot remember their names. I think it was Lady Lovely Locks but I had this bird (maybe two) that had long long hair for a tail and out of the top of its head. Its feet could open and close so you could “hold” it on your finger. I STILL have one!!!! Its hair however is impossibly matted, like for real impossible to brush. Maybe one day I’ll take some old toy photos just to share with you. ;) Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Btw, I did not Cabbage Patch but they weren’t my all time favorite. :)

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    • Tourmaline .

      Omg yes! To almost all of these. I didn’t have lady lovely locks. And it sounds like her hair isn’t so lovely anymore. My sister and I were talking to my mom about cabbage patch kids. She told us we gave her the go ahead to get rid of them. I told her she should have realized that we would have wanted them again in our 30s 😝

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      • eLPy

        No it’s not so lovely. Once upon a time it was silky beautiful…

        Oh my gosh knowing what to save and what to pitch is the bane of my existence. I think sell it, pitch it! Then I think BUUUTTTTT it might be fun to get out and look at when I’m way older. Lol. My parents have done the same thing.

        I forgot to add Pound Puppies! Yeah! What is that little kitten in your picture of the tea bunnies? It looks familiar to me, like something I used to have. I didn’t have Tea Bunnies, don’t know what they are honestly but that little baby … maybe I do know! Hm…

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        • Tourmaline .

          Ooh yes! Pound puppies. I believe that kitty is from that line as well.

          When we move I want to get rid of absolutely everything. I know at this point I’ll regret it so I try not to make those decisions in the heat of the moment but that doesn’t always work out.

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  3. eob2

    I really liked this post (it shows when your love for miniatures began). The pics of you are adorable. I had two girls however they were into transformers, ninja turtles (collections)😁 oh they did get a few Barbies more for collection. An their grandmother did get them cabbage patch dolls. When they got their own places I gave them all their toys, which I was holding on to for years. They tossed them over time, which they now regret as they are collectibles.

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    • Tourmaline .

      So many toys we got rid of having out grown them or whatever else that now would be worth money or just nostalgic to have. But it is what it is I suppose. We had our dads hot wheels but largely I don’t think I realized “boy” toys were an option. Mostly went toy shopping with my grandma and only ever went down the doll aisles. But even with toy catalogs I suppose I gravitated toward the dolls. I now get my fill of action figures in adulthood lol.

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