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Friday fun: Childhood toys

There are many influences in our childhood that contribute to who we become as we get older.  I think the toys we favour or become attached to when we are little affect us throughout our lives.

I still have my very first cuddly toy, who looks down on me in my study and judges my coding to this day.  I have an obvious trait I associate back to it, in that I've always thought penguins were pretty damn cool.

He's 46, faded, down one eye, and has a lot of tea stains because he used to live on my desk in my old house which was regularly trashed by the cat.  Sadly, I can't find the photo of him and I together in the early 70's

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So, what was your favourite or first memorable toy when you were little?  Do you think it has left a permanent impression on you?

10 comments

There is a toy, that I never owned, but very much wanted after my dad bought it for my older cousin.  We had gone to Disney, and there was a robot there, which would pick things up and dance and all sorts of things, and my dad said that he worked on them, wiring them up, running them through diagnostics and such.  I thought it was *the coolest thing*  That Christmas my Dad bought this for my cousin. 
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I wanted one soooooo bad after seeing that toy.  I never did get one, but I think seeing how much I wanted to play with it too, and how excited I was by it, made my Dad change his mind a bit on what sort of toys a girl might want to play with.  A few years later I got one of these. 

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I do still have it, though it has been a long time since I have last seen if it still works.

Ollie Guan Community Leader Aug 10, 2018

It's not really a toy strictly. It's a computer game.

The most impressive thing for me was the first home computer in the early 90s and the KOEI's Three Kingdoms series game.

Although it seems that the game screen is very rough, the game is highly playable, especially in the context of The Three Kingdoms era.

This game has accompanied me through the three years of junior high school.

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Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 10, 2018

@Ollie Guan I played that game for hours and hours during the summer of '94! Good times...As a wedding gift a friend took me to the local Microcenter and let me pick out everything from the case and power supply to the CRT and speakers I needed to build my first PC. My new bride was not happy.

(For perspective, my first computer game was played on a TRS-80 in 4th and 5th grade. If you think the graphics for Three Kingdoms are rough youve' never played The Oregon Trail!)

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I stumbled across a website that let you play Oregan Trail last year. So many memories!

Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 13, 2018

I must find it!

carolyn french Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

YES I must be the same age as you, @Scott Theus because that's around the age I was playing Oregon Trail at school. Definitely had some impact because mostly people on the Oregon Trail were dropping dead from diseases we have vaccines for nowadays, so I knew how important it was to get shots.

Meg Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

@carolyn french @Scott Theus- go back and play it, seriously, be disappointed in your childhood self. 

I was amazed at how simple it was to get to the west as an adult. Be a banker. Capitalism is the answer. 

Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

@Meg I played it for a few hours last night while watching Star Trek TOS and TNG on the "Heroes and Icons" channel!

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Meg Community Leader Aug 16, 2018

@Scott Theus - hahahahaah I love it. You stoked for the new Star Trek??

I still have my childhood teddy bear, he's almost as old as I am.

Over the years, he lost one eye and some fur while cuddling and fighting against other stuffed animals. His very fashionable sweater was knitted by my mother. 

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Aww.  He's adorable in that sweater. 

Meg Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

Aww, he looks like my husband's childhood bear ;-; When we first started dating, he had the ratty little thing on his bed. I surprised him on our first anniversary by completely repairing it: new wool stuffing, brushed out the fur, washed it, fixed a couple of rips.

When our son was born, he passed it down. I'll have to take a picture, wish I had a before/after shot. 

Your bear's sweater is probably my favorite part. hand-knit is the best. 

Fadoua Community Leader Dec 09, 2018

It is so nice to keep something from your childhood. Unfortunately after I left Morocco, mine were given to kids in the family 😔

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Dec 09, 2018

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This is me with the same bear - a long long time ago

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Fadoua Community Leader Dec 10, 2018

It is still looking good @Thomas Schlegel! You really took a good care of your Teddy Bear over the years.

@Thomas SchlegelI don't have any childhood toys, however over the years I noticed that I am in love with dwarfs.You can call it Adulthood Toys 😄

Dwarfs.jpeg

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Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 10, 2018

I've been trying to think of a toy I treasured as a kid that left a lasting impression, and I just can't nail one down. I think I had a favorite stuffed animal; an image of a "sew it yourself" pillow with a dog printed on it comes to mind, but no real specifics. 

I can say, however, that I read a lot as a kid. I mean A LOT! I would beg my mom to take me to the local library to get new books, and when I was 6-ish she'd just drop me off and go grocery shopping. (This was in the lmid to late 70's, before Adam Walsh first appeared on a milk carton.) I loved "Where the Wild Things Are" and read it until the cover fell off and pages came out. "Call it Courage" introduced me to adventure while "Bridge to Terabithia" taught me how to lose myself in a character. 

But...it was John Norman's "Gor" series that really made me a true bookworm. After reading those books I could always be found with a sci-fi or fantasy novel either in my hand or in my bookbag, all the way through college. It's strange to look back at who I was and the man I am remember the books and stories that sucked me in, the good and bad experiences of being a bookworm (being able to curse in elvish didn't really help) and see the influences on my character from the really really good stories. Gor.jpeg

The childhood teddybear I have belonged to my great-Uncle before me. I look at the small worn patches now and remember when my hand was small enough to fit in those patches.

If I was to continue the tradition of handing it down, this bear belongs to the potential future child of my 7-year-old nephew. I guess it will remain mine for a couple of decades more at least.

Meg Community Leader Aug 14, 2018

I'm in the same boat as @Scott Theus - I was a massive reader growing up, and if I wasn't in a classroom, my nose was pressed between two pages. 

I remember my very favorite book when I was a kid was The Emperor's New Clothes because I thought it was just the funniest thing that he was walking around naked, even if I didn't understand the complexities of pride and vanity.  

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Another childhood favorite was The Eleventh Hour, which is a book with an awesome story and a mystery to solve. There was a little sealed envelope at the end of the story that would give you the answers to the puzzles, but I never dared to open it. About a year ago, I found this and a few other Graeme Base books to give to my kids, which made me really happy. 

 

I think the books that had the most impact on me though were fantasy. TOR was on the binding of probably 97% of everything I read as a preteen- young adult. While I've shifted to more contemporary fiction, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the worlds of Terry Brooks et al. 

Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 14, 2018

@Meg Now I really wish I was going to Summit so we could compare notes...and I need someone to talk to about Oathbringer :)

I don't have all the books I've read there, but hmu if you are on GoodReads:

 

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Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Aug 14, 2018

In my childhood, I read books of „Die drei Fragezeichen“ - stories of three schoolboys solving mysteries and crimes. The stories take place in „Rocky Beach“ a fictional city in California.

And you know what? These books and the radio plays are still produced. The same speakers record the plays as 40 years ago. They are cult in Germany. There are live audio plays in big concert halls, sold out in shortest time. Yesterday’s children are today‘s fans, and their children will be the new fans. Up to now, there are 194 radio plays and I still love them.

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Meg Community Leader Aug 14, 2018

@Scott Theus I started a good reads account forever ago and decided that I couldn't handle more social media. Mom life sucked up a lot of my reading time. Maybe when my kids aren't clamoring for me all day, I'll get in some much-needed reading time. 

I'm not going to Summit either this year, but put me on the calendar for Vegas '19 :D 

 

 

@Thomas Schlegel - Every time you talk about things in Germany that have been around for years and years, I get super jealous. There's very few places of cultural institutions in the US (especially the west coast) that have been around for as long. I mean... In N Out burger >_> 

It's really great that there is so much history. 

carolyn french Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

I didn't have too many toys growing up, but I did have a pretty savage collection of trolls, mostly with gemstones in their belly. It was hilarious and fun to see the recent movie Trolls, brought back lots of memories. 

Other than that, I read a ton of books, like many of the other posters. During summer I also would hold summer school for my younger siblings (I can't believe they voluntarily attended), but only taught my favorite subjects- science and geography. I still have a love of teaching, even though it is not my chosen profession; ask me to give a workshop or do a training, and I'm happy to do so!

Meg Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

@carolyn french - how about my little ponies? 

I love that you held summer school, a little girl standing at an old green chalkboard with a big ruler instantly flashed into mind. :D

carolyn french Community Leader Aug 22, 2018

Not really my little ponies so much. You? Btw- I love your prompts, they are a fun break.

Meg Community Leader Aug 15, 2018

@Nic Brough {Adaptavist} - I love your penguin. The missing eye and tea stains just prove he's been through some sh*t and made it through. 

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Not a toy, but I read all of these when I was a kid.   I must have gone through the whole series 5 or 6 times.  I remember buying some early ones at a yard sale and actually one of the titles was a totally different story in later years from the 1930's yard sale original I had.

(Sorry for just a link, I can't get a picture to upload)

Hardy Boys

Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 23, 2018

@Daniel Holmes I loved the Hardy Boys! I had my father's set, before they started revising the stories in the 1950's to remove racial stereotypes. I've heard they've changes even more to use more modern science for they detective work. 

I can't imagine how it would be if they had cell phones.

I had miles of Hot Wheels track that we would run around the house, sometimes out one window and in another, etc.

My mother would flip out when she would come out of the kitchen and the house would look like this :-D:

Image result for how wheels track

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