Tag Archives: rose petal place

My Own Toy Story

Now that the weather is turning chilly, I am reminded of the days when Mom would get out the flannel sheets for the winter. It was cozy then, but I imagine I would roast in them now. I think my internal thermostat is busted.

Our sheets are kind of boring these days (solid colors or maybe striped if we’re feeling crazy), but I had patterned sheets as a kid. I can remember Peanuts in particular, which aside from Snoopy on his red doghouse was largely baseball-themed. One of the pictures had Charlie Brown on the pitcher’s mound yelling, “AUGH!” I can honestly say that I learned the word “augh” from bedsheets.

I also had Rainbow Brite sheets. And a puzzle, a coloring book, and a doll. My childhood was full of vaguely fantasy-themed toys, many of which were tied to cartoons I’d never seen (or, in some cases, was even aware of). I couldn’t tell you the plot of Rainbow Brite – I think the bad guys were trying to remove color from the world for some reason? – but I liked her horse and her little sprite friend and her awesome boots.

My mom was (and is) the queen of the garage sale, so I honestly don’t know how many of my toys were bought new. I like to think most of them were secondhand, if only because I had a rather alarming quantity. I had no idea until sometime in college when my interest in Jem led me to assorted other doll lines from the 1980s and I discovered that, for instance, I had owned just about every single She-Ra doll ever made, and a fair number of Strawberry Shortcake dolls as well. I think Mom still has a bucketful of my old Charmkins, and there are definitely some My Little Ponies in a box somewhere.

This “research” led to reminders of dolls I’d forgotten even existed, much less that I owned, like Rose Petal Place (I had two or three of them), Lady Lovely Locks (apparently the one I had was Maiden CurlyCrown, but I very creatively referred to her as “Lady Lovely Locks Doll”), and Herself the Elf (I definitely had three, and may have owned all five). I had the green Fluppy Dog plushie, but we also watched the movie several times and would sometimes pretend to be Fluppy Dogs while riding our bikes. Having not seen the movie in a couple of decades, I could no longer tell you what bike-riding had to do with Fluppy Dogs (which Wikipedia tells me is about time-traveling dog-like aliens). (…yeah.)

With the exception of a single Cabbage Patch Kid (named Kara – why do I remember that?), I wasn’t too interested in baby dolls. My toys had adventures. When they weren’t fairy princesses or similar, they were anthropomorphic animals, like Sylvanian Families or random plushies. Honestly, if the animals didn’t talk, I wasn’t all that interested.

Not all my toys were girly, of course – I played with Star Wars figures and LEGO and Matchbox cars – but man, what I would have given to be a magical little pixie, flitting about the forest and befriending woodland creatures.

What kinds of toys did you play with growing up?

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