Posted in Geeking Out

“Toying” With My Childhood

When I was a kid, my mom was super anal about making sure I took care of my toys.  She even went so far as to not let me brush the hair of my Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  Honestly, who does that?

Well, now that I’m older and have a daughter of my own, I’m kind of glad she did.  Because now my daughter can experience the same joy I felt while playing with such toys as My Little Pony, Care Bears, and, of course, Strawberry Shortcake because not only did I keep them all, but I took care of them.

All of these brands have made comebacks in the recent years, changing their look slightly to keep up with the times, but still remaining popular with the little girls (and boys, of course.  I’m talking to you, Bronies).  And I love the new versions (especially My Little Pony, but we all know that).  But how many four-year-olds can say that they have the same toys that were released thirty years apart?

To your left is the Strawberry Shortcake character Lemon Meringue, one circa 1985, the other circa 2011.  You would never know they were the same thing, right?  The almost 30-year-old one is cute with her curly hair  and freckles, and the new one is, well, kinda sexy.

And yes, it felt really weird to write those words when referring to a Strawberry Shortcake doll.

But you have to admit, the newer dress is way better than whatever the hell Old School Lemon is wearing.  Is that some kind of smock?  And I’m sorry, but green and white striped tights went out of style around 1987.  Apparently an update was needed.

But thanks to my mom, those curls on Old School’s head look exactly the same as they did in 1985.  I bet the ones on eBay look like crap.

I also still have some of Strawberry’s old accessories, like the Big Berry Trolley on which Almond Tea and Raspberry Tart are taking a ride.  It’s still fully intact except for the missing mailbox, which isn’t exactly missing – it’s just at the bottom of one of our toy bins.

You can currently purchase the Big Berry Trolley on eBay right now for as low as $34.00…or as high as $250.oo – sealed in its box!

Yeah, I wouldn’t pay that amount, either.  But it’s nice to know that it seems somewhat in demand and that mine still looks fairly new.

And hey, the girls look nice, am I right?  Too bad Almond Tea got kicked out of Strawberry’s gang.  Do they have something against…tea?

I was slightly guilty of maybe brushing Raspberry’s hair back in the day, thus making it look like a bit of a ‘fro now, but luckily she has that big hat to cover it all up.  And speaking of that hat, what exactly is it supposed to be?  Doesn’t really look like a raspberry…

For a certain part of my childhood, my favorite thing in the world was Care Bears.  I loved them.  Seriously.  I used to cry when The Care Bears Movie ended because I wanted it to go on and on forever.  Like one long Care Bear Stare.

Luckily I had these little guys, among others, to tie me over.  This was the official Care Bears Car of Care-A-Lot, and while I think Tenderheart Bear was supposed to be its driver, I have Cheer Bear up front and Bedtime Bear in the back.  You know, where he can sleep.

I have a very random yet distinct memory of this car and being over at my friend Angie’s house.  We were simultaneously playing Care Bears and eating Razzles (it’s a candy, then a gum!) and we (well, in my head I blamed her) got orange Razzle all over the car.  I don’t remember ever washing it off; it just wore off with time.  Which is kind of gross.  Because I’m sure at one point it was actually gum sticking to the car.

What do Razzles turn into after they’ve already morphed into gum?

In addition to the car, the Care Bears needed a place in which to live and play.  What better than a big heart-shaped house in the clouds with a weird spinning teeter that doesn’t totter, a slide, and a swing (which you can’t see in this picture as it’s on the outside of the house.  Which is kind of lame, if you think about it, because the Care Bear who wants to swing always gets stuck outside by themselves).

I admittedly didn’t play with this thing that much.  The bears always fell off the damn slide, the spinning thing didn’t spin all that much without the bears flying off, and the swing always fell down.  So what did I do to make it fun?

I pretended there were destructive tornadoes in Care-A-Lot and the only way to keep the Care Bears safe was to hide out in the cloud house until the tornado passed.

I was also a weather-obsessed child, but that’s something for another day.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  The show is awesome, and the toys are even awesomer.  And yes, awesomer is a word, but only when you’re referring to My Little Pony.

My daughter (and I) have a handful of the new smaller-sized ponies, which are perfect for the tiny little purses my daughter likes to carry around.  Back in the day, if you wanted a smaller pony, you had to get a baby pony (I happen to have three old school baby ponies, two which are twins).  Otherwise you were stuck with the regular-sized pony which, when I look at them now, aren’t nearly as adorable as the new Friendship is Magic generation.

I have a whole suitcase full of these guys, all who look completely out of style.  Their manes and tails are still decent, but their cutie marks are wearing off and a few of them just look plain dirty, even though I’ve tried washing them.

Of course that doesn’t mean they’re not worth anything.  You find some old school ponies on eBay for, well…okay, not a whole lot.  I found a few that I have that are only selling for two dollars.  But still.  I’m guessing not a whole lot of people still have their original My Little Pony collection.  Except the ones selling their collections eBay.

Which I will never do, by the way.

The next couple of photos are strictly randoms, dolls that for some reason I’ve never gotten rid of.  These two ladies in their Glamour Shots pose are Lady Lovelylocks on the left, and Rose Petal next to her.

I had no accessories for Lady Lovelylocks – she was on her own and had to try fit in with all the other girls from other lands.  She usually hung out with Rose Petal, who also had no other friends, but she had digs.

Unfortunately those digs are still at my parents house.  She basically lived in a giant purple watering can with an awesome red door and a rooftop patio where I would have her conduct orchestral concerts.

I also liked to pretend that a tornado was going to hit the purple watering can, and even though Rose Petal was safe inside behind the awesome red door, her rooftop patio got destroyed every single time.

And just for fun, I have one last “toy” to share with you.  It isn’t exactly mine – I have no idea what happened to the one I grew up with (technically my brother’s, but as a ten-year-old I totally ignored that rule).

This is my husband’s old NES, and I’m so glad we have it.  I loved the old school Nintendo when I was a kid.  None of the games were flashy like they are today, but they were addicting, and they were fun.  I remember playing hours and hours of Super Mario (1,2,3) and some of my random faves like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman.

I don’t have access to those particular games anymore, but I still have some of the greats:  all three Marios and Tetris.  We have a small bin of old NES games, including Kid Icarus which I keep meaning to take out, but it always

comes back to these four games.  To be honest, I can’t even get into the newer games these days (though I did go through a small Super Nintendo phase where all I played was Donkey Kong Country, but, again, that was a long time ago) because I always – ALWAYS – compare them to the original Nintendo.  It probably has something to do with nostalgia and how nothing will ever be like it was.  Stuff like that starts to happen with age.

But that’s okay.  Keeping all my old toys was probably one of the best things I could do for my daughter.  Yeah, her friends might look at her strangely as she plays with her weird-looking, oddly dirty My Little Ponies from 1982, but she will be so much more well-rounded than the rest of the crowd.  She’ll be all, “Hey, I liked My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake before they were cool again!”

Oh my God, I’m turning my daughter into a hipster.




I have way too much information floating around in my head, which is why I write things down. I find that books, movies, music, and television are much more interesting than my local news.

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