28 June 2010

Toy Stories

We caught "Toy Story 3" last Friday, and while I enjoyed it, I have to say that I still like the previous two movies better. I think it's the months of hype that pushed my expectations so high. I should sit down and watch it again when it all dies down--that's always how I best enjoyed the previous two movies, anyway: on the living room floor with my brothers, surrounded by their toys.

The movie did get me thinking about my own toys, though; the ones that are still stashed somewhere in my room at home and waiting for me to have kids so they can come out again. This is a list of the ones that stand out in my memory. (I wish I had pictures, but I'm not home right now to take them.)

Faded pink teddy bear. I stubbornly held on to this one, not because I actually had any strong attachment to it--I didn't even play with it that much--but because something in the back of my mind told me, "You have to have something that you've had since nursery school. All the life stories you've heard have someone holding onto something they've had since nursery school."

Sparkly purple teddy bear. Kind of itchy and not even that soft. I remember this because it was one of the first toys my parents got me when we'd first moved to the States. We were still living in the San Joaquin Hotel and our stuff hadn't arrived yet, so my brother and I picked out a few toys from the Salvation Army.

Big box of Lego. My brother Mikko and I shared this toy, also since our San Joaquin days. The space in front of the TV where we watched Nick Jr. (I still know the words to that "Red, red, red ball" song) was littered with these pieces. He liked to build his own stuff while I liked to copy the models on the box's cover. It became kind of a tradition between the two of us to play with these Legos on Christmas mornings while waiting for our parents to wake up. Over the years, though, the bricks were assimilated into the rest of my brothers' Lego collection.

Polly Pocket. I collected a lot of these, getting some of them as gifts and buying the rest with my weekly $1 allowance. My favorites were a small purple horse trailer with a saddled chocolate-colored horse that Polly could ride, the babysitting playset, the school, the mansion, and the ice cream parlor. A recurring storyline involved the floppy brown-haired one turning evil, taking over the town, stealing Polly's boyfriend--the only male figurine in my entire collection--and making everyone wear cement clothes.

Barbie. No girl's toy list is complete without this chick. I had several of the older model, before they adjusted her vital statistics to make her body more realistic. I also had the flat-chested, Skipper who didn't smile. To be honest, I didn't care how small her waistline or how big her boobs were; I just liked giving Barbie things to do in the wooden dollhouse my parents gave me. She had mostly G-rated adventures, until an older playmate took things to soap opera proportions one afternoon by introducing a teen pregnancy storyline for Babysitter Skipper. I feel somewhat traumatized on my dolls' behalf because of this.

Not really a toy: four ballerina figurines. Because they looked alike, they were sisters in my stories. The protagonist was a sitting ballerina (explained by a crippling injury), the least maarte-looking of the four. She was in love with a yellow yarn marionette I'd made. I later made a red one to play the part of lecherous antagonist.

Paradisa Lego sets (the girl-oriented Lego). I'd steal some of my brothers' bricks and male minifigs to stage pirate raids on the Paradisa resort. I had a heroine on a jetski. I was always annoyed with my youngest brother for messing up my playspace, so when I got older, I let him have the Paradisa pieces. I kind of regret this whenever I go home, go to his room, and see them gathering dust on his bookshelf.

Brown stuffed rabbit. My favorite stuffed toy to hug. Mom got him from the thrift store and was supposed to donate him along with a bunch of other toys, but I "borrowed" him from the pile and never gave him back. When I left for college, he and many other toys were hidden in the cupboard above my closet so my mom wouldn't give him away.

a Bratz Jade doll. Jade was the last doll I ever got. I was already in high school, so this cool-looking teen doll with a gang of equally cool friends appealed to me. With her sneakers and casual outfit, I made Jade out to be the athletic girl-next-door and got one of the male Bratz, Dylan, to play her fun boyfriend. But I lost all interest when the Bratz makers put out all those outrageous themed outfits and ditzy movies where Jade was a fashionista, her friends were all screeching caricatures, and Dylan was a useless goofball.

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing this Polly Pocket ad on TV when we were younger, and I've always wondered: what's the fun in this? And then it hit me—the wonders of make-believe.