What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?
How could I resist writing about toys? It’s hard for me to pick just one favourite plaything but two things stand out. Train sets and dolls.
I can’t say for sure whether I was given a train set because I liked trains or I liked trains because I had a train set. I think it may be the former because I have liked trains for as long as I can remember. It was a little unusual for girls to play with trains in the early 1960s I think but my sister and I were lucky that our parents encouraged it. My Triang Hornby train set was a favourite plaything from the time I was given it until we left England. I didn’t play with it so much after that but mainly that was because of lack of a place to set it up permanently. I have posted on this blog about model trains recently and my love of railways large and small endures to this day.
As children we played with our dolls a lot too and we had plenty of them, big dolls, small dolls, dollshouse dolls, paper dolls. I loved all my dolls but my favourites were probably the teenaged fashion dolls like Sindy. We played with those dolls long past the age that girls these days seem to. When I was in my teens I gave many of them away but my interest in them didn’t die. Today I have a doll collection and a doll blog so dolls are still a big part of my life.
Is there a connection between these childhood favourites and my life now? Very much so. A lot of the dolls I collect are from that era of the early 1960s when I was a little girl. I like them best because they remind me of my childhood. When I watched James May’s Toy Stories I understood exactly how he felt about his little Hornby train. My sister has started a collection of toys and we both get a great deal of pleasure from her finds, especially when she finds some old childhood favourite. Nostalgia, certainly but I think we all enjoy being kids again even if only for a short time.
There used to be a big toy fair held in Adelaide every year and we would always go to look for items for our collections. There were families there with children but I think the vast majority were people in their middle years excitedly pointing and saying. “I used to have one of those.”
Here are some dolls and toys that I like. The dolls are mine, the model trains were photographed at the Hobart Model Railway Show and the toys are from my sister’s collection.