Russ Brown

Children's Author

upright pops

The perfectly preserved plaything.

By russbrownauthor, Sep 14 2011 05:25PM

Yet again I cannot thank you enough for reading my wandering blogs, I am so glad that the last one had around 1000 views but please leave a comment and let me know what you think, that way I wont feel like I'm talking to myself! :)

As one of my children’s birthdays approaches the talk has turned to gifts and in particular toys.

My children quite rightly, are toy obsessed and I for one advocate that. My children may require a good 60 minutes of Disney channel a day but that does not stop the rest of their time being filled with games of hospitals, babysitting, or the current favourite, arranging and re-arranging the almost palatial dolls house. I ask you, how many pieces of furniture and clothes does one doll need?

They love toys so much in fact, that the youngest one has asked, as her birthday treat, that we pay a visit to one of her” happiest places on earth” Toys R Us.

As children, growing up, my brother and I were always told to look after everything we were given, particularly when it came to toys. Our Dad was always eager to tell us that one of his biggest regrets in life was when his Mum had given away a selection of toys he had lovingly kept as a child, to a close family relative, who systematically destroyed every one of them.

I think this must have had a rather detrimental effect on my father who virtually obsessively, insisted that every new toy we had, we would have to retain the box and place it back in after playing with it.

At the time, I saw no point in this at all. But now as a Dad myself I can see his point. It made me realise that every box in my cupboard contained a new delight and every time I played with my toys it was like a birthday or Christmas all over again. It made all of my toys magical and in some way I think more special.

I think toys are a rite of passage for children; I had a very happy childhood filled with Action man, Subbuteo, Scalextric and my own personal favourite Star Wars toys. One of my lifelong favourite memories will be a Christmas in which my parents had bought us a child’s entire collection of Action Man figures and equipment (Notice I don’t call them dolls, because dolls were for girls!) second-hand, out of the local newspaper.

I could not care less that they had belonged to someone else before me because to me and my brother it provided us with a collection that our frugal pocket money would ever had afforded in our lifetime. Plus we had no boxes to put any of it in to, so a huge plastic basket was bought and the collection dumped in at the end of every glorious day. However as time went on, piece by piece of that collection was lost in the garden or eaten by the dog. Now we have very little to show that it even existed.

All that aside, something has clearly been learnt from my Dad as my attic is now full to bursting with empty store fresh boxes of Slyvanian Families and Barbie toys.

There is good reason for this, my Dad was not obsessive or even a little retentive, he was a genius. If it was not for him, my brother and I would not have a loft full of pristine boxed vintage Star Wars toys which at some point in the distant future we will sell them online and hopefully retire a few months earlier on the profits.

The person who buys them can do whatever they like with the boxes.

Thank you for joining me yet again, I truely value you reading my ramblings. Take care and be safe.


Sep 14 2011 07:52PM by Gill Jepson

Ive always had a dilemma about collecting and saving boxes etc...if you cant use them its all a bit pointless. Being a child of the late 50s- I had a "Bride Doll" still boxed and in the attic-taken out on a few special occasions so it stayed pristine and beautiful. However-not loved or cherished just admired from afar. We now have a cabinet with 6 china faced mock Victorian dolls given to my daughter at different times-again pointless but pretty-a bit like an X Factor celebrity-what to do with them? Dust collectors, functionless...but too lovely to get rid of...strange really!

Sep 14 2011 08:31PM by russ

my point exactly Gill what is the point if its not used in the way it was intended. But still in-built into me to save the books. I fear in old age I may become one of them hoarders like you see on T.V.

Oct 2 2011 12:50PM by Sandy Wolters

I love this story. Whew. I'm so glad I'm not the only person that grew up to be just like my parents.

Oct 2 2011 03:15PM by russ

Sandy, my point exactly just looking in the mirror is bad enough as my Dad is standing there but I am now actually acting and sounding like him. :)

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