With the Christmas shopping season in full swing, you can’t have have failed to notice the many children’s toy adverts filling the commercial breaks between festive films and favourite shows.
As a cynical and wise old grown up I can see these toys on TV for what they are…plastic, made in China and never as good as they look on TV, whether it’s Polly Pocket’s little face rubbing off within a week, or Cherry Merry Muffin’s sickly smell wearing off.
As a child I was completely spellbound by adverts for Baby All Gone, the Barbie Styling head (never got that one!), Littlest Pet Shop, Puppy in My Pocket… you name it, I wanted it. I remember ardently longing for the subject of each advert, thinking my little life would just be complete if I could just have it! My Little Ponies, Bubble Fairy Barbie and oh my goodness that toy kitchen with all the plastic food – how I lusted after that. I literally hate you if you had that as a child.
It’s frightening to think of the scary subliminal power these adverts had over me as a naive child, turning me into a pester-powered little brat, desperate for plastic shiny things in my stocking.
Here’s some of the toys that I would have loved to find under my Christmas tree once upon a time:
I’ve never been one for playing at being a mummy, even as a little girl, but Tiny Tears did melt my heart a little with those blinking, long-lashed eyes. Who could not love a doll who cried real tears… and peed, well, pure water. Sure you had to squeeze her stomach so hard that it would probably kill a real baby to make her pee, but still a much-loved classic none the less.
Not sure why these were really so great, collect them was literally all you could do. But you just had to get more families and furniture, to be nicely re-arranged on a daily basis. I suppose it was kind of nice to think of a family of wild boars, living in the next room to a family of rabbits. Totally un-realistic though… as if a family of rabbits would only have two kids.
My Little Pony
Again a lot of collecting and neatly arranging involved and not much actual playing, but weren’t they just the epitome of perfect, pretty girly-ness? With their bright 80s colourings and super cute names: Applejack, Bubbles, Cotton Candy. Is there a girl born of the 80s who didn’t lust after these precious plastic ponies?
(Not to be confused with Trollz). This one I can’t really explain, but as a child I absolutely adored my trolls, carefully storing them, giving them all names and NEVER EVER cutting their beautiful hair (I looked down upon anyone who did that). I bought Troll magazine, saved my pocket money for more Trolls and spent my troll-free time drawing my Trolls…I guess there was just something about their endearingly ugly little faces.
Some say she was anti-feminist (I beg to differ), but it was hard not to be indoctrinated into Barbie love as a child, adverts for her were everywhere and I couldn’t help but desire the latest doll (side note – Miss Penn had like ALL the Barbies ever – jealous!). My favourites were Sports Barbie, Tie Dye Barbie, Bedtime Barbie and Pet Doctor Barbie. Everyone’s has a favourite Barbie, and quite frankly if you say you didn’t like Barbie as a little girl – I don’t believe you!