early-to-mid childhood toys

My toy nostalgia page was getting kind of lengthy, so I decided to move early childhood stuff off that page and onto its own page. This would be stuff that I and/or my sister played with when we were very little, in the late 1970s and into the early-to-mid 80s. So this page is actually for anything from early to mid childhood, and some of these things we may have still played with a bit in later childhood. Doubtless I've forgotten lots of things, because my long-term memory had barely started working. (Though we probably had some of this junk lying around somewhere even when we were a bit older.) Some of these things we may have owned, and some of them we may have only played with elsewhere (school, friends' houses, relatives' houses, whatever).

Also I should say, just thinking of old commercials for things neither I nor my sister ever owned, would fill me with at least a bit of nostalgia, now. Maybe sometime I'll list some such things.

In the 80s; Wikipedia

I don't remember for sure that we had any of these toys, but I feel like we probably did. They were based on children's books that I don't remember at all, but I do at least vaguely remember Lowly Worm. I think. Of course, this is from before I really started remembering the names of specific toy series, so I probably would have lumped this in with Little People.

Care Bears
Care Bears Forever; Ghost of the Doll; In the 80s; Super Toy Archive; Wikipedia

These would be more from mid-to-late childhood. I used to have a bunch of little plastic figures, which I'm pretty sure I sold all of to Rob many years ago. I also had some plushes, which I still have. Definitely Tenderheart Bear and Brightheart Raccoon, maybe others. I'll have to look. Oh, and I remember at one point I had this sort of T-shaped stick from which I think I carved off all the bark so it was really smooth, and Tenderheart used it as a crutch for awhile, after he broke his leg. I have no recollection of how he broke his leg, all I know is I had a weird imagination. (Heh, "had." Right.)


See toy nostalgia. Also jigsaw puzzles.

Little People
BuzzFeed; Fisher-Price; In the 80s; Wikipedia

We certainly had a barnyard playset and an airport playset, not sure about anything else.

My Little Pony
Ghost of the Doll; Hasbro; In the 80s; Toy Worth; Wikipedia

In our mid-childhood, I'm sure my sister and I both had some of these things. The plastic toys as well as plushes... or maybe the plush ponies were something else, I don't know. Anyway, I was never interested in any of the pony cartoons, until much much later, when My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic happened. Ironically, I now have an interest in the cartoon, but not the toys....

In the 80s; official site; Wikipedia

I actually don't specifically remember if we had any Playmobil toys, but it's kind of hard to imagine that we didn't.

Plush Toys

This kind of thing could be from any part of my childhood, and even into adulthood. As noted elsewhere, I have some Care Bear plushes, and pony plushes. I also have some Pound Puppies. One of them I called Jack, I think, and he was supposedly a World War II fighter pilot. Yes, that's the story I gave him. And he had like a little nephew named Alec. Oh, and I remember a brown rabbit that I think might have sort of been both mine and my sister's. Once when we were kids I remember Dad was going to throw it in the burning barrel, but we stopped him. I probably haven't seen that thing in many years, though. And I vaguely recall something that wasn't really a plush, maybe more like a pillow shaped like a gingerbread man or something. I think it was called "Gina." But it could have been made by a family friend rather than something store bought, I'm not sure. (I also don't remember if it belonged to me, my sister, both of us, our mother, or what.)

And... whenever I find my box of old plushes, I'll mention more things. (Although things I got as an adult would be listed on a separate plushes page.)

Incidentally, when I was a kid, a lot of my toys (at least the plushes) were aware that they were inanimate objects, and that any thinking or talking or moving around they did was actually done by me. Yeah, they "knew" that.

Sticker albums
In the 80s; Wikipedia

I must have had some such things from Panini (which before and after the 80s is/was mostly about sports, but in the 80s there were cartoon ones; maybe there still are, I dunno). But mainly I remember my sister and I both had sticker albums (as did most kids in the 80s, as far as I know) for just any kind of stickers at all. Fuzzy stickers, puffy stickers, scratch-n-sniff stickers, any number of awesome gimmicks. Um... I think we had a bunch of My Little Pony stickers, but there must have been other intellectual properties represented. And just totally random stuff. I dunno.

Toy Cars/vehicles (random)

Hot Wheels and Matchbox are what I mainly remember. I'm sure I had any number of little toy cars from either or both of these brands. I don't think I ever would have paid attention to which brand was which, it was all the same. Anyway, I don't specifically remember any of these cars, I don't think I have any of them anymore, and I don't really care... although I think one was probably a Mazda, which I probably liked at the time just because the word "Mazda" sounds cool. Um... also I probably had some Penny Racers. And the internet has reminded me of Burnin' Key Cars, of which I'm sure I had at least one or two. I had an Evel Knievel toy motorcycle thing that you put in this sort of... ramp thing... that you could wind up and it made the motorcycle go. That was neat. I also had a toy... um... van, I think? It was red. And there were all sorts of hidden weapons that would pop out from pretty much every inch of the thing. I have absolutely no recollection of what line of toys it might have been a part of, but I tend to doubt I had any other toys in the line. Assuming it was a line. But I really wish I still had it. I had some kind of toy tank, which I think I used with little green army men.

And I probably had some manner of radio controlled car, and/or cars with remote controls attached by wire. I don't really remember. Probably had some Tonka trucks. There's a toy John Deere tractor around here that Mom says is mine, though I barely remember it. Um... I think there used to be a toy tugboat or something that belonged to both my sister and me, but that's gone. And probably I used to have other toy vehicles of various sorts, I dunno.

Toy Guns (random)

I had various water guns when I was a kid, but I don't think I have any of the old ones, anymore. I do still have something called a Robo Blaster, which has a tank of water you clip to your belt, and a tube runs from that to a glove thing that lets you should water from your fingertip. Must have gotten that sometime in the early 90s, I think. Around the same time as Super Soakers (see toy nostalgia), but that's in the teen years.

However, I do have a box with some non-water toy guns. There's a Ghostbusters thing that projects different ghosts for you to shoot (by which I mean, make the projection fuzzy). There's a Gobots robot that turns into a cap gun. There's a dart gun and a few different cap guns. But the gun I'm most nostalgic about, I'm fairly sure I don't have anymore. It was this thing that was supposed to be a ray gun that had a flashing light at the end of the barrel... although I think it originally had a longer clear plastic piece, kind of like a bulb, that extended past the barrel, but that must have broken off pretty early on. Anyway, it also made different sounds, like each time you fired it would be a different sound, I don't remember how many there were. Anyway, I miss that thing. Also I had a cool gun I must have ordered from an ad in a magazine, that fired these little red pellets. I'm sure I still have the pellets, but not the gun. Sigh.

Toy Robots (random)

When I was little I had this sort of... thing... that was kind of like a calculator, but I think it might've had a vaguely robotic appearance. And I believe it wasn't for calculating, but for playing some kind of math games. Or something. (Looking online, I found something called Dataman, which is very likely what I'm thinking of.) Anyway, I haven't seen that in many, many years. And many years ago, long after I'd lost track of it, I think I occasionally had dreams about finding it again.

I also vaguely recall at some point having a robot that I think my dad had given me, which you pour some kind of oil into so it can make steam, but I haven't seen or thought of that in many years. (Maybe it was Magic Mike, or maybe not.)

I still have a little toy robot, somewhere, which I think my friend Chris gave me, though I don't remember for sure. And I can't think if it's part of any toy line or if it was just random. But like, it could fire its fists and stuff, I think. I feel like it might have been a version of Voltron or maybe a Voltron knockoff, but I don't remember if it transforms, or anything. And I've sure had some other robots and robot-like things, over the years, which aren't coming to mind at the moment.

BuzzFeed; In the 80s

I never would have thought of this if the internet hadn't reminded me. In fact, I can't say with absolute certainty that we had this thing, but now that I've seen it online, it does seem sort of familiar.

Other stuff

Some other things we used to play with included cat's cradle, Etch A Sketch, Frisbees, Hula hoops, ice cream shooter, invisible dog leash, kites, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Lite-Brite, magic slates, Nerf, paddle balls, Pick-up sticks, Play-Doh, Popoids, Ringa-majigs, Rubber ducks, Sea-Wees (and/or Shimmers), See 'n Say, Silly Putty, Sit 'n Spin, Slinkys, Slip 'n Slide, sparking spinners, teddy bears, Tinkertoys, tops, toy blocks, Wacky Wallwalkers, water snakes, yo-yos, etc. And we had some kind of dart board with velcro balls instead of darts. And I vaguely recall something like Legos for very little kids, but much bigger and made out of syrofoam I think, probably pastel-colored, but I have no idea what they were called. We had some kind of wagon, probably a Radio Flyer, which in fact my parents still have, now occasionally used for hauling things around for yard work.

I remember having a hobby horse when I was little (made by a family friend, I guess). I had probably given it a name, but now I don't remember. I know that for many years after I was too old for it, I saw it standing behind some other junk in my parents' bedroom, but I think it eventually died. Oh, and many years ago I had some weird marionette thing, I think it was some kind of crazy bird. (I believe it had two or maybe three heads, so I always think of it now when I see a Doduo or Dodrio in Pokemon, though of course I lost- or maybe broke- my marionette long before those games existed.) I used to have a bucket of those little green army men. And I think at least one of them had a parachute (though that may have been something different). Also I still have a bunch of marbles. In grade school, there was a pothole in the pavement behind the school, which kids used for playing marbles at recess. That... was the first gambling in which I ever engaged. And it was awesome. I think maybe there was a similar hole in the floor of our church basement which we might have used for marbles, too. (It's a finished basement, with a kitchen and a separate room for little kids to have Sunday School, and a couple of bathrooms, but the main room is often used for community gatherings like potluck dinners, wedding receptions, etc.) I still have a View-Master. And a "Constellation Finder." I think this is something my dad gave me once, probably. It... has these discs you put over a big light, and the discs have holes so the light projects stars onto your ceiling in the dark. I still have it, but I haven't used it in many years. And I recall having a little plastic cop figure, which I don't know to have been associated with any particular line. I think I might have had at least one Madball. And I think at some point I must have had Construx or something similar. At some point I had some kind of microphone that I think had a wire you were just supposed to dangle near a radio in order to use the radio as a speaker. (It was kinda lame.) And we used to go to our grandparents' house for dinner every Sunday after church, and I'd spend a lot of time upstairs, alone. There were a bunch of little plastic dinosaurs I often played with, there (probably in the mid-to-late 80s, maybe even the early 90s, I forget).

While I'm not always sure whether some things on this page belonged to just me, just my sister, or both of us, there are some toys that definitely just belonged to my sister. But they may be kind of nostalgic to me anyway. I'm fairly sure she had things like Barbie dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids, Holly Hobbie, Keypers, Raggedy Ann, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, etc. (While I don't think I ever played with any of these toys, I remember when we were little if we ever went over to Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Almon's house for family gatherings, we'd both play with some old Barbie dolls- or something like that- which belonged to one or more of their daughters, when they were younger.) No doubt she had lots of other things I don't remember.

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