Thursday, December 8, 2011

Toys from Christmases Past (1959 and 1985)

As Christmas approaches, my mind is flooded with memories... of my own childhood, and also the many Christmases with our children, who are now 29, 30 and 34. My favorite Christmas toy as a child would probably not be allowed on the market today because of how dangerous it was. My brother, Mike, and I got it when we were about 8 and 10, back around 1959 or so. It was a "ride" you sat in, tucked your legs up under the seat, and held onto the handles and started rocking until you would spin around and around, completely upside down, over and over.

It might have been safe enough, except that after we got bored with it, we became more creative. Mike created a contest where we would run from 10 feet away and jump into the seat without stopping to start our spin, thinking we could go faster that way. After he missed once and chipped his front tooth on the driveway, that put an end to the game. Later we took the circular part off its stand and tried to ride it down the street... and eventually down a hill. It's amazing that Mike and I lived through our childhood.

When our children were 3, 4 and 7, we discovered Omagles. Back in 1985 a full set only cost about $100. I don't remember our three kids playing with anything as long as they did with Omagles. Over the years they built everything from lemonade stands to go-carts out of the PVC pipe set with wheels. Ah... the days before computer games!

What was your favorite childhood toy?


mary ann rodman said...

Susan--Your profile picture caught my eye on FB so I thought I'd check out your blog. Love the "dangerous" circular contraption, but what caught my eye was the doll. Was this a Patty Playpall? If so, you got the present I always wanted (and am still hunting for online...they were expensive in my mother told me...and they are STILL expensive!) Love the blog!
Mary Ann (

Susan Cushman said...

Hi, Mary Ann,

I can't remember, but it might be Chatty Cathy? Patty Playlpal doesn't sound familiar. Might not be either of them. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Carol Henderson said...

I had a doll who looked just like yours. She was a "walker." I could hold her hand and she would take steps with me.
My own daughters played with her decades later but not until after my niece had hacked at her hair, painted her nails badly with polish that didn't come off, and broken off a few of her fingers. Her chest was also slightly collapsed.
Her staring blue eyes scared my daughters and eventually we gave her away. I had named her Laura and adored her when I was a little girl in the 1960s. Don't know what kind she was.

Susan Cushman said...

Carol... maybe the doll did walk. You know I just can't remember. I was more into the spinning wheel ride thingy:-) I was really a tomboy, except when I went to my grandmother's house in Meridian (MS) and she taught me how to make doll clothes for two dolls that had been my mother's. That was kind of special.

Allegra2006 said...

Hi, Susan: The 'Susan' in a recent blog of mine is you, my dear, and I thank you.
The 'olden' days were truly good days.

We had a little xylophone. Red Wagons were so good to play with, taking each other for a ride in them. I made a lot of mud pies. Crayons and coloring books!
Dolls were so nice to have, and we did play with them. One of mine was a new one when my younger brother decided to pound a nail in its forehead. He must have been four or five when he was learning to be a carpenter in his play. The nail was at least 3 1/2 inches long, making a large hole.