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The Toy I Always Wanted

My cousin posted a picture on Facebook of the Millennium Falcon that her husband bought her on eBay when she mentioned to him that her mother would never get her the toy when she was a child.  This prompted a few people to chime in with the toys they coveted as a child.  I really had to rack my brain to come up with one.  Which probably tells me that the desire for mine didn’t run particularly deep. (Note to Josh: Please do not buy me mine.  It actually creeps me out quite a bit when I look at it now.)

I remember all my old favourite toys from childhood: my Andy Gibb doll, the rubbery Kentucky Fried Chicken man (he was a doctor who performed horrific experiments in our games), my Playmobil sets (especially the knight one that had a pure white horse with a matte finish), and the Missing Link.  But it took me a lot of thought to come up with one toy that I wanted that my parents wouldn’t get me.

And that is the disembodied Barbie head.

styling_head

Image: Mike Mozart via Flickr
Forgive the fact that Mike Mozart is in the photo above.  It was the only image being offered under a CC license.

It was a plastic head, about life-size if Barbie was the size of a ten-year-old child, and you could style her hair and smear “makeup” on her face.  I assume I was not given this toy because (1) it made a mess, (2) it was poorly made and the makeup left behind a dingy tinge to the plastic skin after one use, and (3) it taught girls bad lessons about their appearance blah blah blah.

My friend had this disembodied Barbie head, and I liked playing with it at her house, even though she wouldn’t allow me to run with great ideas such as shading in all of Barbie’s skin with the green eyeshadow (you know, to give her a peaky look pre-vomit) or giving her black lips with a Magic Marker.

It’s really a bizarre, out-of-character toy for me to want considering that I still, to this day, do not wear makeup.  I don’t mean that I don’t put on foundation, etc.  I mean that I don’t even wear lipstick.  Or eyeliner.  Nothing goes on my face.  Pretty much ever.  I don’t really style my hair insomuch as I run some gel through it and let it air-dry.  Or I slick it back in a bun if I can’t deal with having hair touch my face.  So why the hell did I want a toy where I could practice a skill I would never employ in my adult life?  Isn’t that the point of child’s play?  To work out how we think we’ll navigate the adult world?  Beyond a phase in high school where I wore blue or black lipstick, I’ve never had any desire to wear makeup.

Oh well.  Next life, when I’m reincarnated, I’m totally going to covet something better.  Like that Millennium Falcon.

What toy did you want as a child?  And would you still want it if you got it as an adult?

23 comments

1 Persnickety { 04.07.14 at 8:14 am }

Oh, well I always wanted the real versions of things- like the Barbie dream house- my parents made me one instead… But I got off easier than my neighbors- their mom made them cabbage patch dolls, instead if the real thing

But honestly what I always wanted was the American girls dolls and ALL of their Stuff ( and the early ones had such awesome detailed stuff). I finally got Samantha in my early teens, but none of her stuff ( she currently graces my Mum’s tv room, and is in almost the same condition as new.) And now that they are owned by Mattel, the detailed stuff is gone. Yeah, I still want it, more for the fun of looking at the tiny details, but it’s not really available.
I will admit that I had a relatively tv free childhood, and what little I watched was primarily PBS and Disney, so commercial free. I coveted fairly few toys as a result. ( and learned to read at age 3- out of sheer boredom- not a recommended technique)

2 loribeth { 04.07.14 at 8:41 am }

That’s easy: an Easy-Bake oven. I’ve talked to a lot of women my age & it’s hilarious how many of us lusted after (but never got) Easy Bake ovens — I don’t think any of my friends actually had one. When I was at university, toaster ovens first came into use, and a lot of people had them in their dorm rooms. I remembered thinking at the time that it was sort of like the Easy Bake of my dreams. I think I even baked muffins in mine once.

Would I want one now? No — seems sort of pointless when I have an actual oven in my kitchen that I can bake in if I want to (& I don’t actually bake very much these days). But I still get those lustful feelings whenever I see one. ; )

3 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 04.07.14 at 8:41 am }

I can’t think of much that I wanted but didn’t get. Persnickety did remind me that my parents did make the idiotic mistake of spending money on a crappy Cabbage Patch-esque doll that a neighbor had made that they gave me for my birthday. I know there was a supply and demand issue there for a while, but seriously. If your kid asks you for a Jake and the Neverland Pirates boat, you don’t bring them the cute, handmade pirate ship the person down the street made. As an adult, handmade gifts are wonderful and thoughtful, but to a kid who wants the same piece of plastic their friend has (or for our generation of TV-raised kiddos, the thing the *commercial* has told us we have to have…), the handmade gesture is totally lost.

As for what I really wanted, my friends all seemed to have these cool craft kit things– a crayon-maker, a knitting kit, a cosmetic-making kit (basically, a chemistry set aimed at girls), etc. I seem to remember having several of these (I had a kid’s sewing machine, a weaving loom thing), but I always wanted more, and I wanted the super messy ones with lots of tiny bottles to spill everywhere. I would’ve loved a Barbie head, too.

4 Kimberly { 04.07.14 at 8:53 am }

Mine was an easy bake oven. My parents would never get it for me. I’d still use it today if I got one as a gift. Considering how much I bake now, it’s really no surprise that I wanted one. My cousin had one and I used it a couple of times but my parents still wouldn’t get it for me.

Now my husband, on the other hand, talked about two different things that he’s wanted since before we started dating. He wanted a stuffed Luck Care Bear (the green one with the clover on his tummy) and Settlers of Catan. I got him both and to see his reaction to opening these gifts, made all the work of tracking them down worthwhile. He was so shocked when I tracked down the game, he literally forgot that we were opening gifts and he still had to give me my gift.

5 Catwoman73 { 04.07.14 at 9:04 am }

I was a spoiled only child, and got pretty much everything I ever wanted. But I do remember seeing a picture of a lemonade stand that my friend’s dad built for her, and I wanted one soooo badly! I never did get it though. I can understand why- the thing was huge, and probably took up a lot of storage space.

The only toys I would love to have as an adult are toys I had when I was young, but lost- one was my stuffed lamb. I carried that thing everywhere, but he got lost when we moved to a new house. My daughter has several stuffed sheep, but none are like my lamby was (yes, I called him lamby- not very original at all). The other is a Dressy Bessy. Did anyone else have one? I found a couple on eBay, and I’m thinking of buying one for my daughter (and me!). 🙂

6 nicoleandmaggie { 04.07.14 at 9:58 am }

My children have gotten the things I wanted– a train set (with magnets!). Real wood building blocks. Tons of legos. A toy castle (I did get a Castle Greyskull one year that I loved, but my in-laws got DC1 an amazing wooden castle complete with Royal family, peasants, and castle guard). It’s hard to say who has had the most fun with them. I had expensive tastes as a child.

I do remember wanting a Barbie so much so very much, and then I finally got one and it was so boring. I was so disappointed.

7 deathstar { 04.07.14 at 11:03 am }

You mean you don’t even wear makeup when you go to the White House? Not even a little tinted lip balm? Not that I wear makeup during my mom days but even if I’m going to Swiss Chalet for dinner, I gotta wear foundation, eyeliner and mascara. As for my toy that I wanted, I guess I wanted a Barbie. I got Skipper instead, cause she was cheaper. I did get a Julia doll (from the Diahann Carroll TV series). That was amazing! But I still wanted a Barbie.

8 deathstar { 04.07.14 at 11:05 am }

Oh yes and the Easy Bake Oven! I love to bake even now. And I would not want a doll today, never mind a Barbie.

9 loribeth { 04.07.14 at 11:06 am }

@Deathstar: I had a Julia doll too! She wore this fabulous gold & white & silver pantsuit in the box. Sadly, her leg broke off at some point. I suppose any value she might have had as a collectible was gone after that.

10 Holly E { 04.07.14 at 11:07 am }

I guess I was spoiled as the only thing I can think of that I REALLY wanted, but never got was the Super Nintendo. We went straight from a NES to Playstation!! That’s a heck of a gap.

I did buy myself one for my 18th birthday because “I’m an adult, I’ll buy what I want”

Hubs and I still play it about once a month or so 🙂

I had the Easy Bake Oven and the boys version.. the Creepy Crawlers over 🙂 I played with the one that made bugs more often.

11 nicoleandmaggie { 04.07.14 at 11:17 am }

@Holly E
My parents were anti-video game. My first game console was the Playstation that my husband brought to our marriage. I used to go to friends houses to play Atari. (I did finally get a computer in high school.)

12 KeAnne { 04.07.14 at 11:42 am }

I was a spoiled only as well, but the one thing I really wanted was the Ewok Village. My younger boy cousin had one and I lusted after it. I’m not sure why. I liked the ewoks but I wasn’t a huge Star Wars fan. However, my very first “Ken” doll was a Luke Skywalker doll I “borrowed” from an older cousin. Jimmy had the Ewok village, and it is sitting in our garage.

13 charlotte { 04.07.14 at 11:45 am }

So nice to hear of someone else who does not ever wear makeup. : )

14 Geochick { 04.07.14 at 12:23 pm }

I think mine is Barbie related. Probably the dream house and more than the two dolls I was allowed! Hilarious description of the Barbie head. 🙂

15 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 04.07.14 at 12:39 pm }

A whole set of matchbox cars.

I now have a matchbox vespa, so I guess that counts.

16 Queenie { 04.07.14 at 8:57 pm }

The easy bake oven. Have you ever eaten anything it makes, though? Totally gross!!!

17 Knottedfingers { 04.07.14 at 9:07 pm }

I wanted a real wooden doll house. With little beautiful wooden furniture and stuff.

Never got one! To this day when I come into some money? I’m going to buy and decorate my own little house

18 Mali { 04.07.14 at 9:11 pm }

You know, I can’t honestly remember really wanting a specific toy. Though I was upset when my little sister gave my Barbie a haircut!

I/we grew up with very little – especially in today’s terms – but when I reflect on my childhood, I never really felt as if I was missing out. Thank you for reminding me of that.

19 Aislinn { 04.08.14 at 11:18 am }

I can’t remember a toy that I really wanted that I never got, but I totally had one of those Barbie heads. I cut off all of her hair, so the fun was short lived!

20 Battynurse { 04.08.14 at 11:48 am }

I wanted one of those bounce ball things you sat on and bounced around. I can’t remember what it was called but it was a great big ball with a handle and you sat on it and bounced around on it. No I wouldn’t want it as an adult though.

21 a { 04.08.14 at 12:56 pm }

@Catwoman73 – I had a Dressy Bessy and my sister had Dapper Dan (or vice versa. Or I had them both. I don’t remember)! Those guys were great – you should get one now!

I don’t remember anything that I really wanted and didn’t get. It’s not that I got everything I wanted, because I didn’t. I guess it just didn’t matter as much as the stuff that I really wanted and DID get. Or I have few memories of childhood. Either one.

22 Tiara { 04.08.14 at 1:48 pm }

I wanted the Tippy-Toes Doll…it was the cutest doll that came with a stroller you could connect her hands behind & when you pushed the stroller, she walked along with it. It was through my desire for this doll that I outgrew my belief in Santa Claus. That Christmas, I only wrote my desire for the doll in my letter to Santa, which I sealed & mail off. I had my doubts about Santa & this was my way to source out the truth. Needless to say, without telling any of my family that I wanted Tippy, I didn’t get her. I remember hiding in my aunt’s basement that Christmas afternoon, bawling my eyes out, both at the disappointment of not getting the doll as well as the realization about Santa.

23 Justine { 04.22.14 at 10:03 pm }

I actually HAD that Barbie head! Only I’m not sure it was Barbie. It was definitely a disembodied head.

Like Kimberly, I coveted an EasyBake oven, which my husband got me for my 30th birthday, on the theory that it’s better late than never. My kids and I have gotten much enjoyment from it. 🙂

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