Hi, my name is Sara, I’m 28 years old, soon to be 29, and …. well… I’m a toyaholic. I love toys. I love stuffed animals. There used to be a time when I lived in my basement, and my basement was so full of toys that you couldn’t move. This time is long gone, due to recent flooding in my area. Now my basement is empty and all of my toys are either crammed in my room, or stored away in boxes in my attic. I’d love for there to be a day when I own my own home in a place that doesn’t flood every time it rains. I would set up an entire room dedicated to toys.
When I was a kid, I would go to stores like Hills or Zayre (sp?) which of course are old K-mart-esque stores that don’t exist any more, and I would go to the bargain bin and buy toys that didn’t quite make it into the main stream. These were my favorites. Four dollar dolls that I could name and create my own stories about. Sure, I had my share of care bears and he man figures, but for the most part, the ones that didnt’ come with a story were the toys that I went for.
This journal entry is about the toys that I played with as a child, and the stories I made up. Recently I cleaned out my basement, giving a lot of things to the Salvation Army. With the flooding problem, pretty much nothing can be safely stored down there anymore. As I was going through my old toys, I found ones that I can’t part with, just for the memories and the stories alone.
When I was about 2 years old, I was very much into those windup toys, I believe they are called pocket pets. I had frogs, turtles, a pelican named mr. hibberman, and one other. He was very unusual. All of the other pocket pets I encountered were based off of real animals … but then there was Gingy, as I had named him back then. He was green, and sort of looked like a turtle. My mom told me a turtle, but I swore he was some sort of duck, because of his webbed feet. My mother would point out that he definitely had to be a turtle, because he had a turtle shell on his back. I still wasn’t sold on this, because he had a weird, yellow bald spot on his head. What was this thing?
Throughout the years I played with this toy, and drew pictures of it. I still had no idea what it was, until my senior year of college. I was doing my senior project on japanese mythology. I searched the web furiously to find any sort of myths that I could use. I came across a picture that not only identified what this toy was, but pretty much changed my life as we know it. I ran into the back of the cellar and dug out the old wind up toy which was tucked away in an old wicker basket with a few other toys. Here is a picture of the windup toy:
Gingy was a Kappa. About a year after this, Atom Kappa was born, and I made my first stop motion animation called “The Atom Kappa Show” using this figure above and my lizard, Lee. Then I discovered Flash and… well, you guys know the rest.
When I was about 4 years old, I became very interested in Atari video games. I was obsessed with Pac Man, Qbert and Kangaroo, but my favorite Atari game of all time had to be Adventure. Nowadays, if a video game comes out, there is DEFINITELY going to be some sort of action figure or ufo catcher for it. In 1984, i would have KILLED for action figures of the Adventure dragons. There was a red one, a green one, and a yellow one, and they sort of looked like ducks when they died. One day I was in Rea and Derrick (which is now CVS), and I came across 3 generic dragons which happened to be red, green, and yellow. I bought them immediately and began to act out my own Adventures. Here’s a pic of the yellow dragon. Unfortunately, the red and green ones have gone missing, and that makes me sad.
Somewhere in my childhood, I got into My Little Pony. I say “into” … but that’s not really the word. I get OBSESSED with things, especially toys. It’s kinda like pokemon, i feel like I “gotta catch em all” or something. It wasn’t like we had ebay or anything when I was a kid, so when I would find a rare my little pony, i’d buy it and be very excited because of the rareness of it. I remember on one occasion I walked into Woolworth’s on the square in Wilkes Barre, and there was a pony named Pinwheel sitting there that they hadn’t made for like 4 years, and I was so excited I couldn’t even stand it.
Anyway, one day I was sitting in the basement, staring at my baby my little ponies, and I picked two of them up and said “You are going to be my two favorites” There was no rhyme or reason to it. I ended up picking up a white unicorn named Baby Gusty, and a hot pink pony named Baby Shady, which my cat is actually named after. I used to do voices for them, too, when I would play with them, and Gusty talked like Atom Kappa does in my animations, and Shady talked like Kitsune!
They pretty much went everywhere with me until one day they, along with Baby Moondancer and my favorite Bushwoolie, Wishful, vanished. Every year I would tear apart my house looking for them, wondering where they could have possibly disappeared to. I actually used to have dreams about me looking for them and almost finding them, and then in the end not being able to.
One day I was talking to someone about the she-ra and he-man castles and I realized what happened to them. I was playing with the ponies in the castles and i closed the castles without taking the ponies out… My dad asked if he could get rid of the castles, and without looking inside I said, “sure”…
That year for Christmas, my roommate Janean got me both Gusty and Shady! I was so happy to have them back, and now I display them in my room, so I won’t do something stupid again and lose them!
My friend Lisa got me into care bears when I was in 3rd grade, but we didn’t play with care bears like most young girls did. Nope. See… our care bears, for some reason, were in gangs and they fought each other. My gang was the Lion Clan, and Lisa’s gang was the Wolf Pack. They also weren’t named “Wish Bear” or “Birthday Bear” … They were named Star and Matthew. Also they were dating. Friend Bear was dating Bedtime bear, Funshine was dating Good Luck Bear, and Tenderhear and Love A Lot were dating. … wow. i was a really weird kid.
I also find it very weird that Birthday Bear was my second favorite care bear. That actually happened because I felt sorry for him because no one ever played with him, so I did. Now he really HAS become my second favorite care bear, and he’s sitting next to my plush wish bear and loyal heart dog!
This is a dude guy, which my friend Lisa named. I didn’t like the name, but she wouldn’t stop calling them dude guys, so it stuck. I compromised by naming this one “Blinky” the dudeguy. I have a propensity to name anything that is red either “Blinky” or “Siren”. I have this guy on my pen at work. Originally, I won 100 of these at a kiddie casino in Atlantic City. I played all of these games that gave me tickets, and then I got to the counter and these were the only things I wanted. So I got 100 of them. For those of you who played the demo to our stct game that we are still going to finish, these were some of the bad guys in the woods.
These were Toys R Us bargain bin toys. I didn’t pay more than 4 dollars for any set from the Wish World Kid collection, but I played with them more than I played with any toy that was full price. I think I’m possibly the only person in the world that actually bought wish world kids, but they were pretty much these dolls that came with chairs that turned into cars, or stoves that turned into pizza parlors… they were so much fun to play with. I made up this story that the girl with the blue hair’s name was Jessie Finn, and she was sort of like huck finn, because she lived alone in the woods, but for some reason she was also a mermaid (get it, finn? mermaid… ugh) … So I named the girl in the pink shirt Sara, after myself, and the other girl was Tracey. I don’t really know what happened to any of the playsets, but those keys around their necks were supposed to “unlock” the stove so it turned into a pizza parlor. If I remember correctly, these guys also fought monsters and stuff.
Back in like 4th or 5th grade, I came up with this game called “The Animal Game”… I know, it’s a dumb name… I was a kid, gimme a break, okay? …. anyway, the main character was a lion named Little Lion, (I have since changed his name to Orion in a recent comic I’ve been working on), then there was his girlfriend Katie (the cat in the dress… lol. cats in dresses!) Chris, the leopard, who was his best friend, Scope, the evil skeleton, who is really just a skull perched on top of the turret gun from the he man castle, and Ganon ( I was playing a lot of zelda at the time, so that’s why his name is ganon. I remember that I used to have two Gi-Joe guys who merged to become that dragon, but I lost them) ….
Then there were the lego guys. King Jeremy (The peasant), the Princess, Boomer the Ghost, Sara (seated, and is definitely a boy character, but for some reason I wanted this to be my character. She was a tomboy and was supposed to be princess, but she just wanted to fight people), Karl, Sir Robbie, and Sir Terry. In the back are the Dark Knight Helvetica and Patton. I got these guys later on for a stop motion animation that i did in college, so that’s why Dark Knight Helvetica is named after a font! (I have a strange obsession with fonts…) I used to have a bunch of the castles and the story was that Jeremy was this evil tyrant, and then my characters fought him and he became a
Finally, there were the Germs. I don’t think I know one other person who bought these toys besides me. They were these “germs” that came in little test tubes, and they were supposed to be germs for things like belly button lint, and burping and tickling. I didn’t really pay attention to that, and I just treated them like they were monsters. I gave them my own names and I divided them into good guys and bad guys.
The Good Guys:
From left to right, Bubble was the main character. I liked him cause he looked like some sort of fox or something, but he was definitely the germ for burping. Blinky, the coily one, was his girlfriend, and she was the germ for something gross like belly button lint. Then there was Button, Bubble’s best friend. I totally forget what he was the germ for. Globulous was their elder, and he was the germ for eye gunk. Neon was the older and wiser female on their force, and she could make herself glow in the dark. I have no idea what she was the germ for either. Finally there is Tickle, the blue one. I also don’t remember what her germ was supposed to be, but she was the other girl who liked Bubble. She was the most impossible germ to find of all of them, and I had to go to some 99 cents store in Eynon to get her.
The Bad Guys:
Achey was the man bad-guy (er… girl) and she was the germ for sneezing. Her right hand man, who I lost somehow, was named Hackey (the germ for coughing)… I think he might be stored in my garage, but I’m not digging through the stuff out there to find him. Next is the two headed germ for hiccups named Hic and Up (original, eh?!) The blue one is Prickle. I have no idea what she was the germ for. The one with the silly feet is named Muggywumpus. He was a really stupid germ who wasn’t really a good guy or bad guy. He just sort of followed the bad guys around. Finally was Yog. Just looking at him will probably tell you what germ he was supposed to be. I don’t really remember too much about him.
I really miss being a kid and being able to play with toys. I swear if it were socially acceptable for someone in their late 20’s to play with toys, I would totally do it. Unfortunately, we grow up, and they no longer are toys, they are “collectables”. As I look around my room, I see this:
I don’t really care if I’m 29, or 49 or whatever. I love toys! I’m going to keep collecting toys! Anyway, I hope everyone doesn’t think i’m too weird right now. Toys are great and they really make me feel like a part of me hasn’t grown up, and I like that. i think it’s important to keep at least a piece of youth with you, or you forget that life is fun!
Anyway, until next time!