What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #4 – “What was your favorite toy as a child?”

First off, I was an unusual child.  I was reading at 3.  I was a girl.  I had no interest in baby dolls in the least. 

My favorite toy was something my mom supposedly got from an “educational” toy company but I’ve never seen its like since.  It was a set of colored pieces of transparent plastic, all connected at a point so you could move the pieces around, combining colors.  I’d give a lot to get that toy again.  I loved that I could see pure colors if I held it up to the light.   It gave me such unadulterated joy. And of course, everyone thought I was very weird to be so entranced by it.

I took it *repeatedly* to show and tell.  I’m not sure if folks outside the US know about this odd thing in at least some US elementary schools back in the 1970s.  A child had to bring something in to “show” and “tell” about in front of the class.  It was nothing more than pure misery for me, being introverted and just damn scared of everything.  It’s my experience with this toy, and with “show and tell”, that makes me suspect that, if I were a child now, I’d be diagnosed as highly functioning autistic. 

12 thoughts on “What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary #4 – “What was your favorite toy as a child?”

  1. There were so many cool things to play with when I was a kid! Not many of them were actually toys, though. My father was an art teacher, and he had a huge block of sculpture wax that was one of my favorites. At room temperature it was hard like paraffin, but if you warmed it in your hands and worked it, it would become pliable. It would take incredibly fine detail, could be pressed into very thin sheets, and if you weren’t happy with what you had made you could squish it up and start over. And if you made something good, once it cooled it was pretty hard and durable. It only came in brown, but so what. Maybe that’s why I’ve been enjoying polymer clay so much recently, it has all those features plus color!

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  2. It wasn’t for show-and-tell, but: when I was eight, my father got me an Erector set for Christmas. I loved it. I’d spend hours trying to duplicate the pictures in the manual. Later that year, I built a robot–with wheels and a ‘rifle’–and had it guard my room as I slept. The following year my father got me a bigger set with an electric motor and some other goodies, and I built a conveyor belt (never had enough parts to make a Ferris wheel). Even when I built everything I could think of from those two sets, I went back and made them again.
    This was around 1960; the manufacturer, A. C. Gilbert Co., went under a decade later. A great loss.

    LEGOs are okay, I guess, but nothing equals the thrill of real metal, a screwdriver and wrench making a dramatic–and educational–toy. And the satisfaction lasts a lot longer than the high score in the latest videogame. But there’s hope–I understand they’re still being made in the UK under the name Meccano.

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  3. The one toy I remember really enjoying was the Strange Change Machine by Mattel. I had The Lost World version with dinosaurs. It featured these little plastic squares, that when heated up in the heat chamber for a while, would slowly take shape as a dinosaur. At some point later you could reheat the critter, and squish it back into a little square with the built in vise. You could repeat the process many many times. After some internet searching, I think I was six at the time. Do NOT do the math, it might scare you 😉

    I doubt a toy like that would pass todays standards as “safe for children.” I do recall burning my fingers on more than one occaision. But I still loved that stupid thing. It was that certain toy at a certain age that just got me.

    Besides that, things that I typically enjoyed were baseball bats/gloves, bicycles, kites, balsa airplanes, frisbees, and such.

    As an adult, I’m in to guitars, tube amps, telescopes, and a bit of bourbon here and there.

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      1. Well, Im not real sure what to make of that lol. I was 6 dammit 😉

        I like my Makers Mark, for an occaisional snort, and sometimes as the best cough medicine in the world.

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  4. My two favourite toys were a Secret Sam Spy Kit (even though the 127 film camera didn’t take as good pictures as the camera I already had) and a chemistry set, both received for Christmas when I was eight years old.

    Somehow I managed to combine the two — a Secret Agent can always find uses for charcoal-based fingerprint powder, and sparkly incendiary devices made with powdered iron, and of course invisible ink. The periscope from the kit eventually became community property, a useful add-on to treehouses and homemade wheeled contraptions that terrorized the streets of our quiet little neighbourhood. 😀

    Dolls, though? Hard ‘nope.’

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