Just Toying With You


When you were 8 years ole, what did'ja want Santa to put under yore tree?



Big Shamu said...

I LUSTED after those Marx Best of the West horses. Never had a one. NOT ONE. Geez, it wasn't like I was asking for the real thing.

Aunty Belle said...


Yeah, really, them BOTW horses din't even need hay!

Uncle thinks that his neuroses stem from the grief at Christmas of his 7th year when he did not git the train set the Department Store Santa said he wuz shure to git.

An' what of that Tommy Burst Gun?? Whoa--ya' could never show a commercial like that again.

moi said...

S.B. had the entire Johnny West set, complete with the cowgirls and Indians and everything. Jealous.

Me? I wanted yet ANOTHER Barbie, an Easy Bake Oven, and Kenner's Spirograph kit.

I was not yet into guns . . .

Big Shamu said...

The ENTIRE SET???? Even the girl dolls? (snort) Did GI Joe ever visit the Old West. I had the Spirograph kit and loved it but I also wanted the spinning paint thingamagig and the rock tumbler. My mom wants back the Mary Poppins doll she gave me oh so long ago, not for sentimental reasons for more for financial reasons since I'm sure it's somewhere in pristine condition and ready for Ebay. Lord knows I never played with it.

Anonymous said...

Never believed in Santa. Papa Troll gave all of us one set of lawn darts one year. I think I was 4 not 8 though.

We played a version of "King of the Hill" with them. They were the prize at the top.

moi said...

Sham, yes. The entire set, if you can believe it. He collected them for years. His mother gave them all away. As did my mother, all 10 of my Barbies. Talk about eBay regret . . .

My brother had a G.I. Joe. He was always trying to make Joe and Barbie get married, which annoyed Barbie to no end.

Milk River Madman said...

Kids playing with guns, Johnny West and break dancing elves, what a way to start the day.

Brother Bill and I had Johnny West and Geronimo. When we moved up to GI Joe's, Johnnny West and "The ferocious Geronimo" became the bad guys. Many, many hours in the basement playing with them. Ralph and Darrell would bring their GI Joe's over and we'd play until midnight.

And Moi, I share your pain. Mom gave all of ours away despite me giving her specific instructions to the contrarty.

sparringK9 said...

wow! so many beloved toys. holy smoke look at #1. could you have that now? your next door neighbor would turn you into the feds. my brother got those rock em sock em robots and i got light bright once. loved it. i loved the toy that made the gel bugs you could eat: incredible edibles.

spirograph was hands now the best arty toy of all time. we always got etch a sketches too.

hell i feel sorry for todays kids.

Jenny said...

Love the commercials. I remember nearly all of them. For me, it was an Easy Bake Oven. Depsite the fact I was actually allowed to fully use the kitchen at the young age of 8, I loved those little pans and making tiny cakes... and I guess I still do considering I made tiny pies/cakes with my Nephew a few months ago.

Aunty... what did you want under the tree when you were young?

Jenny said...

p.s. we had the creepy crawler machine K9 is referring to. Love it.

Pam said...

Great commercials! We had Chatty Cathy for sure. Spirograph was my absolute total best gift EVER. I loved that thing and played with it for years. And like K9, Etch-a-sketch was always a favorite.

But best gift back in the day? A Polaroid Swinger camera ... I need to find some of the pics and do a post ... hmmmm.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Aunty Belle,

I don't really remember 8 years old. But I do remember when I was 6. I got a Flexible Flyer sled, at the time we lived in the Mojave Desert. If you want to see something really pathetic. It's a 6 year old trying to sled down a sand dune.

I had a version of the Mattel Thompson, it was a little later and had a scope and a large flash suppressor, it fired just like that one. The real thing as a lot more fun to shoot.

So what was your toy?

Sharon Rudd said...

Aw, Spirograph! I had forgotten all about that.

I don’t recall with specificity what I wanted at age 8, but when I was 5 going on 6, I desperately wanted two things: an easel and a zither. My dad was going to grad school and we were b-r-o-k-e. My parents kept insisting I had to choose one or the other, which made for an angst-ridden lead-up to Christmas as I tried to sort out my priorities and arrive at a decision. After considerable 5-year-old soul searching, I opted for the easel. Then was disappointed on Xmas morning to unwrap the zither. Ding-dang adults! Why’d they put me through such torment if they weren’t going to listen to my decision? It seemed like the most disheartening Christmas ever. Until . . . after all the gifts were opened . . . . by everyone in the family . . . my parents suggested I look behind the door to the living room. And there was my easel! I loved it, but I still say, ding-dang adults, to have put me through all that, for naught.

Aunty Belle said...

"His block is knocked off!"

Ya' know they woan let nobody make a commercial like that no more.


SB ruled! An' "Ebay regret" ?? Thas' priceless ( on 2 level). The Spirograph had to a been one of the most successful toys ever.


huh? ya mean thar' ain't no Santa Troll? Poor little Trolls. King of the hill wif' darts--very Troll worthy.

Shamy an' Moi,

the G I Joes made quite an appearance in our clan. The legend is that in some attic somewhar' in the tribe, a huge box, hermetically sealed, awaits a boy-man who collected the figures and the accessories an the comic books--
But wait, have yore credit card ready, thar's a corollary: the same attic hides the first edition Star Wars figures/ Millennium Falcon, the At-At, X-Wing Fighters AN'--wonder of wonders--the blue prints of the Death Star. I reckon that branch of the clan thinks if the recession drags on much more they can cash in a figure a week fer groceries.

Aunty Belle said...


uh oh, another short-sighted Mama. Sigh. Does ya think today's 8 year olds have as much fun wif' endless DVDs an computer games?


Can ya imagine the hysteria in the blue states if we advertised that Tommy Burst? Heh...think we should write a spoof whar' our wee boys is usin' the Tommy guns to patrol the border.-
ho! of course that Spirograph was under yore tree!


We had an Easy Bake too! of course my Grand Mere sniffed at such silliness, since she thought girls should not "play" at bakin' but git in the kitchen an learn the real thang. Like ya done.


The Polaroid! Gosh I done forgot how much fun it wuz--I had one too!! My kid brother loved the etch a sketch.


that IS pitiful image--poor chile on his sled in the sand. Well...we had neon colors of big plastic saucer thangs to go down snow hills on.

We left the Deep South for a couple of years when I wuz 9 years old. Liked to have kilt us all. The snow novelty last about a week, after sliding down every hill in the saucers, we jes' wanted to go home an' roller skate.

That later version of the Tommy, wif' scope an' all--wow.


I know that pain, vicariously--Uncle swears the train trauma ruint him forever. But I notice how he still is a fool fer kids at Christmas--loves to play Secret Santa to some kids that doan expect much.

But Ya has a good point--grown-ups need to take Christmas hopes seriously--an it is tough when hard choices have to be made.

I had a Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit, wif double holsters an boots, an' I thought I wuz the SHERIFF of the PLANET. Nothin' much has changed, 'cept I doan wear fringe on mah skirt no more.

Never had a Barbie. Din't care fer dolls>>> but I wanted a real wooden two story doll house, that never showed up on Christmas mornin', cause the adults figgered if ya din't like dolls thar weren't no need fer a doll house. Eventually one of little girls got the house an that made it OK.

Mah all time favorite childhood enchantment at Christmas was a porcelain music box wif' a silver lid on which a ballerina pirouetted to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.

moi said...

I had a Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit, wif double holsters an boots, an' I thought I wuz the SHERIFF of the PLANET. Nothin' much has changed, 'cept I doan wear fringe on mah skirt no more.

Priceless image, Aunty.

On another note, adults can grumble all we want about the commercial ruin of the season, but it's terrible to let that cynicism crush the hopes of little kids. They'll figure it out soon enough; in the meantime, I tend to spoil the little kids in my life. Thankfully, there aren't many of them, so the shoe fund remains solidly intact.

Aunty Belle said...


Heh...well I did point my Annies at Granny Cracker in the kitchem onc't an demanded,"no spinach tonight." She wordlessly returned the stuff to the larder.

Indulge the little hearts wherever it is possible an' not excessive. Every wee chile' should have at least one magical Christmas.

R.Powers said...

At 8, it might have been the Stingray Buzz Bike from the Western Auto store down on St.George Street when downtown St. Aug was more than tourist crap.
GI Joe, Johnny West, and every toy gun imagineable ... I think that may have been the year I got a toy 105 mm howitzer too.
There was a line of secret agent toy guns that folded up into other everyday things ... I was pretty in to that also.

The Whammo Air Blaster was a super cool toy that isn't made anymore and for the life of me I can't see any danger to it, so maybe it just wasn't profitable enough, but it was a blast to shoot a puff of air across the room at unsuspecting adults, pets, etc.

LaDivaCucina said...

Chatty Kathy was a bit before my time but Barbie, Lite Brite, Battleship, Operation (the board game) pick up stix, etchasketch, you name it, we had it! I loved Candyland too. My fave game still is Sorry cuz I win all the time and it just infuriates my husband! haha!

My fave Christmas present one year wasn't a game but a pair of ice skates and dad created a pond in the backyard just for us. Thanks for the blast from the past, Aunty!

Merry Christmas to you and yours this festive season and all the best for a prosperous New Year! xo

Kymical Reactions said...

You can see for yourself what Santa put under my tree when I was 8 years old! My wonderful, caring mother posted a picture on her blog of just such an occasion.

SophieMae said...

Honestly, Idano what I was wantin' all them decades ago. But I want one of those Tommy Burst sets now! Why are those things taboo, yet 'Home Alone' is OK? *scritch*

Iff'n ya gits a minit, check out my short rant about yet another idiotic 'study'. Seriously, stop the world; I wanna get off!

SophieMae said...

OK, I kinda lied. EVERY year, I wanted the same thing. A real, live horse. And every year, I was told I'd get one. And every year, it was plastic or stuffed. *sigh* Forget how mean kids can be. Grownups is meaner.