Saturday, May 21, 2005
Toys are us
Holmes wrecker corgi breakdown truck
N was watching a tv show where they were asking people what their favourite toys were as children. N would probably say something to do with Star Wars or Lego but it got me thinking about the toys I had as a child - here is my top five:
1. Corgi Holmes Wrecker Breakdown truck (pictured above) - this was my absolute fave, the cab lifted up to reveal a detailed engine and it had metal legs that came out at the sides to steady it when it was first lifting. Never did understand why it had those 2 goofy men with it - they are out of proportion to the truck.
2. Toy farm - lots of plastic animals, a big plastic barn and wooden houses and trees - great!
3. Better builder - like an early version of lego that didn't stick together so well, came in a round plastic tub.
4. Mako magnorama - a big magnetic board with two big pictures (landscape and townscape) that you attached to it and lots of disney figures that you could attach to it to make a scene.
5. Etch a sketch - the old ones were made of glass, amazingly enough I didn't break mine - think I was careful because I loved it so much. It was very hard to choose a top five of toys and I feel slightly guilty for not including any of my cuddly animals (especially Easter Bunny), other faves worth a mention are a service station, all the toy cars ( and I had loads), daisy doll and a Simon Snorkel fire engine that actually shot water.
I loved toy cars as a child and always remember the feeling of excitement and trepidation when I finally got into the toyshop with some money. The Matchbox cars were in a big glass case and it was always really hard to choose just one. Then the shop assistant would go to the back and slide the box out of the unit. There was something very special about the fact that those cars came in little cardboard boxes. I looked at toy cars in several of the toy stores in Norwich and they just aren't the same these days.
I don't think they are a big seller like they were in the 1970s they have been eclipsed and overtaken by themed toys from movies and lego and playmobil. But I do wonder if they would be a bigger seller if they went back to the old way of displaying them, a few bubble packed cars hanging up high on a shelf is much less likely to grab the attention of a 6-year-old than a big glass case at childs eye level full of shiny metal cars. The other thing with bubble packs is that unless you carry scissors around with you you often can't open them until you get home. N had lots of tears over unopenable packaging when he was younger. Kids like the immediacy of easily openable packaging, they want to be able to touch, hold and sniff their purchase as soon as they buy it. Bring back matchbox cars in cardboard boxes - it could be the next craze!