Monday, March 15, 2010

Vintage Toys Tell a Story

I am going to come right out and say it. I am a bit of a toy snob.
I like good toys. Toys that are pretty, toys that are good quality, toys that won;t give my kids lead poisoning. I like toys that are interesting and unique. I like toys that aren't advertised on tv. I like toys that go the distance and will be played with for years. I like toys that will last.
I like wooden toys. Like these.
There are a lot of plastic toys that I don't like. The kind that only last a season because they are for a certain age and can't go beyond that. The kind that break after a being played with a few times. I know you know the kind I mean.
There are a few exceptions. Legos. Playmobil.
And vintage.

I love vintage toys.
One of my favorite things about vintage toys is that they tell a story.
They have a history.
The very best thing is when you know the story.

This box was Aaron's. He was one of those kids that took really good care of his toys. Sounds like it was a little on the obsessive side, but I digress.
The boys have a lot of his toys: Legos, Playmobil, Lincoln logs.
But these are some of my favorites.

Even the box gives you a glimpse of his little boy mind; the things he loved:
GI Joe, Star Wars, Ronald McDonald and Kermit the Frog.

But inside the box....

A little zoo. With pens for the animals (cause it's vintage, not Diego the animal rescuer!) and ugly plastic trees, houses and a few domestic animals, like that collie, thrown in for good measure.
And even better, some of these animals were Aaron's dad's, when he was a little boy in England.

Aaron loves to see the kids playing with the very same toys he played with as a kid.
I try to remember that when I buy birthday and Christmas presents. I try to buy things that will be played with for years, both because they last and because they remain interesting. I like to buy vintage toys because they have already stood the test of time. I may buy 1 nice toy instead of 5 junky toys.
But eventually that toy will be packed away and given to grandchildren in 25 years.

Yes, I buy toys for my kids with the intent of saving them for their kids.
Have you figured out yet that I like to plan?
It might be a sickness, but I think there are worse things to be stricken with.

Do you have any favorite vintage toys? Or favorite toys from childhood?
Please share.
Happy Monday,


Jackie Cook said...

My son loved those little plastic army men. Good hardy study plastic that I saved because he created such imaginative scenarios with his army guys. He would play for hours, setting up forts, road blocks, positioning the men covered over with a crisp white a giant tent. We found them in a box the the garage and Jake, his son, also delights in playing with them. They are still around along with his little steel car collection (can't remember what they were called) tiny little battered things but still working like new. Ahhhh.....memories. I know mothers now don't like the "army thing" but it didn't seem to hurt him! He's a gentle soul.

Greta said...

My boys like army men too. I am ok with it not being pc anymore. In fact, I think it is good for them to pretend to be protecting us. i tell them all the time that soldiers are our heros because they are keeping us safe.
That is pretty sweet that Jake plays with Dave's toys now. Glad to bring up some fond memories.