Sorry for the recent lack of posts! This week has left me feeling a little uninspired, a little down, just generally unmotivated. Is it an early onset of SAD? I just don’t know. In an attempt to brighten my mood a bit, I rented Toy Story 3 last night and was pretty delighted with it. It was funny and smart and fun to watch, and of course good to see the familiar characters again. As many of the reviews have said, this is not a film for children. At the heart of all the entertaining banter and dazzling animation is a story about growing up and leaving your childhood behind, and the last few minutes are pretty poignant.
It got me thinking about what kind of toys I played with growing up. Though I most often had my face buried in a book, I also loved playing with toys, and it occurred to me that many of my favorites foreshadowed my proclivity for fashion.
I had a few dolls, but my favorite was one with red hair that I named Sasha that my grandmother and aunt brought back for me from a trip to Germany. I always wanted an American Girl doll (Molly was my favorite), but looking at them now, I’m glad my parents didn’t give in to the (really over-priced) hype.
Who didn’t love playing with these? I loved the outfits, the drama, the cars. My dad had this old GI Joe jeep that my Barbies would sometimes cruise around in–they were badass chicks. I loved the Ken character in Toy Story 3–his outfits were hilarious–but I had no patience for the Ken dolls when I was a kid. In fact, I used to rip the heads off them…I wonder what that says about me, exactly?
I LOVED paper dolls most of all. i had some really great sets–including Hawaiian Barbie and Skipper, a fancy set of Victorian paper dolls (the same ones in the image, actually), JEM, and my favorite–a doll my mom had when she was a kid. She was made of cardboard (she was sturdy, but her head was still held on by Scotch tape) and had the most amazing 60s outfits (even then I had a penchant for the retro look). When I got bored with my premade sets of paper dolls, I would cut up my sister’s old Seventeen and YM magazines (the prom issues were my favorites) and make my own. I had a large metal canister FILLED with my paper dolls. Do little girls play with these anymore?
And then of course was the Salon Barbie. It was really just a giant head, but she came with different hair accessories and pretend makeup so you could play stylist for her. This was also a good time. I think this belonged to my sister, but I can remember playing with it a few times when I was really young.
These were really tons of fun. They were plastic tiles with etchings of different outfits on them–mostly tops and bottoms that you could mix and match, put in a plastic box, and then trace over with colored pencils or crayons to make your own “fashion design.” Most women I’ve talked to don’t remember these–did you ever play with them? They were so rad.