Vintage Toy of the Month!

The Vintage Toy of the Month is long overdue for the month of August. This is partly because I was not sure exactly which lovely toy from yesteryear to feature but the other reason was that I felt compelled to do something different. I wanted to actually talk about vintage toys. Why do I collect them? What is it about vintage toys that speak to certain people, yet baffle so many others? Most adults can fondly recall a toy they played with as a kid, but there is a special something for certain adults that seek out that old toy and must find a way to own it again; to have it on their shelf. Hell, there are some of us that have never let go of their vintage toys after all these years. So what is it all about? Let’s try to find out.

I am not the leading authority on vintage toy collecting. There are other nerds out there that have far more extensive collections than I. However, I have been collecting toys since I was little. Save for a year or two when I was a teen. Once upon a time I was a hellish teen and the pitfalls of peer pressure gave in and I tried to cut back on my need for articulated plastic. It didn’t work. Collecting is something in my blood.

This collecting sensibility is a source of stress for my family. It might have been a tiny part of why my ex-husband became my ex-husband. (Though to be fair, that wasn’t the major problem) It has been difficult to find those who understand why I have a love for vintage toys. After my marriage failed and I moved back home, I brought with me a large amount of baggage. Seriously. Bags and bags filled with toys came pouring in. My parents didn’t know what to do. My family has had their fingers on speed dial for Hoarders since I came back. I’ve also had my mental stability questioned. I say this not to have anyone feel sorry for me, but to share what has come with the territory of being a 32 year old woman that collects toys. It is an interesting existence. One I can only try to laugh about. The whole scenario has shades of a Shakespearean play, I just haven’t figured out if it is a comedy or tragedy. As long as the asps are at bay, I’m good.

I still collect though; for many reasons. To be honest, vintage toys are just cool. However we live in a society where we are constantly being challenged to go deeper; to explain and understand the intricacies of our daily lives. (Sometimes it is really as simple as saying, ‘it’s just really cool.’) There’s only so much a person can explain though. You’ll either get it or you won’t.

I guess part of my love for vintage toys is that so many of my memories are tied to those items. I’ll never forget the day I opened up a belated birthday gift and laid eyes on She-Ra and her special friend Bow. The packaging was so pretty and the action dolls themselves were magical. I had never seen anything like it. The mixture of beauty and sword wielding action was exciting. I felt like I too could lift mountains and save the world from the oppressive Horde. Those She-Ra toys were physical representations of hope and endless possibility for what I could accomplish in life. Forget the American dream; I had She-Ra in my hand. That was the only dream I needed.

033 Vintage Toy of the Month!

Those She-Ra toys were a part of me; so much so that the idea of giving them away or leaving them to rot in the heat of an attic just seemed cruel. Why would I want to do that? Of course it wasn’t just She-Ra. There were so many other toys that filled my childhood with such happiness. It was those childhood toys that helped become the building blocks for new friendships and bonding with my baby brother as well as other family members. They were a source of imagination and creativity that allowed me to explore endless worlds. I also learned about myself and how I viewed the world around me.

Sadly people come and go. Some of those friends went out on their own paths. Some friends are no longer on this planet. Family members grow up and create their own families. But those little plastic artifacts are reminders of a time and a connection I had with another person. Sort of like a photograph, but more potent.

Collecting vintage toys also means I can go back and right the wrongs of my childhood. I have a chance for the perfect do-over! That one item I could never find or get because I was young and didn’t have a job or my own money, well, it’s a different ball game now folks! Going back to collect certain things that have long been elusive is a fun adventure. It’s like hunting I’d imagine, except nothing has to die.

I am often asked by others, “What do you do with all of those toys? Do you just stare at them?” Or one of my favorites, “The dusting you must have to do!” My collection serves more of a purpose than just something for me to look at. (Although just looking at a collection is perfectly cool too) I play with my toys. It is not unlike me to be found washing doll hair on a Friday night; or creating elaborate scenes with vehicles and other play sets. I even find ways to tell new stories with my old items. It’s like live action toy fan-fiction. I adore it. I’m in my element when I do this. I feel free and it shows. I’m 32 and I have the face of a 25 year old. Ok, maybe 26 or 27, but for sure not 28. There’s a lot to be said about collecting vintage toys and celebrating items that are relics from a moment in our cultural collective conscious. Of course, the best thing of all is when you find people that get it right with you; those other collectors that collect the same thing for whatever reason. They share in that joy and understanding that sometimes the only thing one needs to know is that the vintage toy is just cool.

That’s about it for this month’s Vintage Toy of the Month. I hope you enjoyed this article and be sure to check out some pictures of some of my favorite vintage items. Take care everybody.

009 Vintage Toy of the Month!

042 Vintage Toy of the Month!

001 Vintage Toy of the Month!

Gr13 Vintage Toy of the Month!

top10retro9 Vintage Toy of the Month!

top10retro5 Vintage Toy of the Month!

top10retro3 Vintage Toy of the Month!

072 Vintage Toy of the Month!

070 Vintage Toy of the Month!

pixel Vintage Toy of the Month!

More fun articles: