Having kids seems to make you think back to your own childhood usually through rose-tinted glasses of course. There are so many things that have changed over the years especially when it comes to toys…
Can you remember the things that you enjoyed playing with as a child? I certainly can especially given that a few of my favourites were stored away and have been handed down to my own children. It’s great to see my children getting enjoyment from some of the things that I once played with thirty-something years ago.
Here are twenty toys from ‘yesteryear’ which I have fond memories of playing with at home. Did you have any of these?
The Alacart Kitchen
A kitchen on one side and a utility room on the other, what more could you want? This push-along, plastic beauty eventually fell apart but whilst it was in its heyday it was very much played with.
Who didn’t have a Gloworm back in the 80s? They were all the rage and whilst my own gloworm stopped glowing (as I used its insides as a microphone no doubt whilst sky-high on Soda Stream syrups) I fondly remember this little fella at the foot of my bed.
I had a bit of a thing for this little lady, Polly Pocket was a pocket-sized dolls house or Vets in my case ideal for taking out and about. I still have my Polly Pocket sets and have now passed these down to our little lady along with a set of her own which I snagged on Ebay.
BlueBird’s Magical Theatre
I have always been a bit of a Drama Queen, I clearly remember watching one of my friends play with this set and instantly adding it to my birthday wish list.
I was lucky enough to receive my very own Magical Theatre set which came with two plays which I began performing to anyone that could bare watching me bent behind the coffee table in full swing with my mini, magnetic theatre.
I still have this and it is in perfect condition neatly stored in my sons wardrobe. We occasionally get it out and the children have a bash with their magic wands making Cinderella spin off the stage and such like.
Smoby Toy Shop
I used to love my toy shop, it came with a set of weighing scales that I somehow managed to wedge a marble into and a till which also broke.
I kept hold of this toy shop for some years and even used it in my teaching practice to help teach addition. These days I think it’s hiding somewhere at my parents house as I clearly remember J playing with it a few years back. We have replaced some of the fruit but otherwise it’s remained in fairly good nick!
Oh how I loved my purple and pink Koosh ball, I even remember first feeling this ball as I shoved my hand deep into my Christmas stocking expecting to find fruit or a squashed mince-pie. I was rather taken aback to get a hand full of tickly rubber, I soon realised what it was and loved it to bits. God knows where it went to, it probably ended up in the bin.
I clearly remember owning this ‘Sweet Secret’ doll design for hiding your treasures within. I was obsessed with how she folded into herself and could be hung from a necklace. I remember hiding Polos and tic-tac mints inside my Sweet Keeper only to find them soft and crumbled months later…
Hands up who had one of these? The Keypers dolls provided every little girl with their very own treasure box with lock, key, comb and of course a mini figure to keep within. I loved mine so dearly that I hung onto it well into my teenage years (cringe).
I had this very set! I soon discovered that the range was pretty impressive as my friend Gemma would take a Walkie Talkie to her house (opposite to where I lived with my folks) and we arranged a walkie-talkie schedule.
It was all fun and games until we found out that due to the frequency these babies used we were interrupting the neighbours electronic garage gates which were opening and shutting randomly each time Gemma and I were on the waves.
At the age of seven-years old I lost one of my close friends to leukemia. Sarah and I would play together each weekend whilst our parents enjoyed drinks together. I found losing such a good friend a huge blow, how can any seven-year old comprehend somebody their own age passing?
Sarahs Mum gave me one of her toys to remember her by, A Popple. I have kept it safe ever since and will one day hand it down to my own children and tell them all about Sarah.
Dolly Dolly (Ice Cream Dolls)
As a baby I became rather attached to a doll that I referred to as ‘Dolly Dolly’. Such an original name right? As it turns out Dolly Dolly was in fact a vintage Ice Cream Doll which over time lost its hair, it’s clothing and became my bed time buddy for many years.
Edd The Duck Puppet
Are you of the era that remembers ‘The BBC Broom Cupboard’? I bloody am and I don’t mind admitting that I was Gorden The Gopher mad for some time. Then along came Edd The Duck…
I was lucky enough to be given my very own Edd The Duck Puppet which my Mum made random jumpers for so that I could change Edd’s costumes, anything to distract me from the endless squeaking!
Cheeky Mouse Red Carry House
I’m not sure how or why I got one of these but I remember playing with this carry set in the car. I would place the cat or the mouse in the window sills or the door and marvel at how they could peep out.
Octopus Nintendo Game
Being an electrician, my Grandad was a bit of geek when it came to games. He was the first one to introduce me to an electronic game and as basic as it might have been it was bloody good fun! I have fond memories of sitting in the back of my Nana’s bright orange Mini Cooper desperately trying to save my sailors from the Octopus as they dove into the sea.
Bloody hell writing that down makes me realise how much I miss my Grandparents, if only they could have met our children and had such fun.
My Little Pony Show Stable
My Little Pony has changed somewhat over the years, the sets back then were a damn site sturdier than the ones manufactured these days. I held onto this set right up until last year when it eventually began falling to pieces whilst being played with by our own little Princess.
The Ponies have also changed, they seem to have gained attitude, shrunk in size and grown in cost!
No it’s not a Furby Connect, Furby Boom or anything else, this is the original Furby! How many of you had one of these?
I remember being fourteen-years old, babysitting for an American family who seemed to collect random toys which were yet to be released in the UK. One night after settling the kids to bed and switching off their lights I heard this rather creepy voice complain about the dark. As it turned out the children that I was babysitting for had a Furby. I hadn’t the foggiest what a Furby was and felt rather unsettled by the mystery voice!
I’m not sure why I bought one of these but being fourteen and a bit of a gadget guru I had to add it to my collection.
These days Furbys are far more advanced, our kids have the Furby Connect and quite frankly I wish it would just shut-the…. up!
I think most little girls had a few Sylvanian figures back in the 80s. I had a wooden dolls house which was built by my Great Uncle Wilf which housed my Sylvanian furniture and figures. My Mum very wisely held onto these and they are now played with by my own children at their Nana and Grandads house.
Bugger Barbie with her fake body shape, it was all about Sindy for me as a child. I remember waking up one Christmas morning to find this house standing in the living room. Following eating dinner with my family I found it had been magically filled with furniture and dolls, obviously I fell for the ‘Santa forget story’ as I was only little back then!
Atari ST & BombJack!
As I’ve said I was a geek from the get go and at seven-years old was given my first ever computer, an Atari 520 ST. Included with the multi-game starter pack was ‘Bomb Jack’ a game which my Mother and I would spend hours trying to conquer.
Basically you were given three lives and countless levels to achieve which were of course impossible thanks to the limitations of lives and back then there wasn’t the option to save your game!
Hungry Hippos was a classic family board game, it was lethal to play as you would somehow find yourself becoming unintentionally aggressive in a desperate attempt to win. My Mother held onto this board game and our children still play it now although with fewer balls as most of them got lost over the years.
So there we have it, twenty toys from yesteryear which I fondly remember and some of which I still play with my own children! I’d love to hear from you regarding which toys you played with whilst growing up, have you held onto any for your own kids? You can leave me a comment below, send me a message via the many social media platforms I reside upon or drop me an email.