Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Toys of Christmas Past: Lori's Photos Part One: Dolls,Horses,and Games

  Not my past this time. I've shown you most of the old photos, containing toys, from my childhood in various posts. These toys are from my friend Lori's past. In going through her old photos recently I found that there were tons of photos from Christmases,birthdays, and Easters,and that, going by the photos, she got just about every cool toy going at the time. Lori was born in 1961,(making her a few months older than I am, which I always like to point out!),so that should give you some idea of the dolls and toys you're going to see. I know for a fact that she had a lot of toys that don't show up in the photos,like Mrs. Beasley and Little Miss No Name,and Flatsy. Lori seemed to have gotten most of the popular dolls of the day. That continued until her mom figured out that Lori was more into animals than dolls. And before you ask, no,she no longer has ANY of these toys. Lori's mom Norma didn't let dust gather on anything. She kept everything moving with yearly yard sales.
  Lori developed her love of horses early on.That may be why she got Marx's Thunderbolt horse. (Or maybe Thunderbolt started her obsession with horses. Who knows? Which came first,the horse,or You can see her Thunderbolt horse in the photo below. You can watch a commercial for the Johnny West toys,including Jane and Thunderbolt HERE. One question after watching it: Why would Geronimo,an Apache,name his horse Comanche? The Comanches were a rival tribe who attacked the Apaches for years. Just another case of the 'any old Indian name will do' kind of thing that used to be done. Just saying.

Christmas,1968. Lori had all the coolest games too! The Green Ghost game was made by Transogram, and is HIGHLY collectible today,selling for MUCH more than Norma could have gotten at her yard sale. It GLOWED IN THE DARK! Does it get any better than that? It was reisssued in the 1990's by Marx. The Strange Change toy was made by Mattel. A heat chamber 'transformed' rubber cubes into dinosaurs,spiders,etc. and back again. You can see a video about the toy HERE. Looks like a Hockey game there too. On the right is a brown horse truck and trailer. We were talking about this post yesterday and one thing Lori fondly recalled was that!
 Thunderbolt was made by Marx as part of the Johnny West line. You can see some dolls from the line in my posts HERE and HERE.

Right behind Thunderbolt's butt there looks to be a Jane West doll. There's that horse truck and trailer. Now days Lori has the full sized version. I've managed to figure out that this one is by Tonka,and is called a 'horse van',but I can not find any pictures of this exact one online.
The doll is Little Lost Baby,made by Ideal in 1968. She had three changeable faces inside her somewhat solid hood. I managed to find a close up of the box lid online.
'See her sleep!' Isn't that kind of like 'watch paint dry!'?

She used batteries, and cried or laughed at the flip of a switch.

The catalog ad says to 'secretly' flip the switch. Like you can keep it a secret from yourself that it was you who made her laugh or cry. Kids with cloudy minds only,please.
 This doll even had a tag on it explaining that it was a little lost baby. You know,like somebody left it on your doorstep. This doll is waaaaay more me than Lori! I would have loved this. Lori would have left the annoying crying kid on the doorstep. You can see a video of the doll HERE.  
  The Little Red Schoolhouse was made by Remco. It fit their Heidi and friends dolls,although it proudly stated on the box that it was
                                                    'FOR EVERY TINY DOLL MADE'
Well! Ok then. I wonder what 'tiny doll' Lori had. From the looks of things,probably ALL of them.
  Moving on,(Or, rather, back I guess) to Christmas 1967.

Lori, Christmas morning, 1967.

Little Lori, Christmas 1967.

  Hasbro's Don't Spill the Beans was a game that was made for years. Maybe it's even still being made. 
Lori,enjoying her Don't Spill the Beans game.

Cadaco made the Bas-Ket game,described as 'real basketball in miniature'.

The Kenner Big Burger Grill,made in 1967, used a 150 Watt light bulb to actually cook. Provided in the set were powder packets that could be mixed with water to make buns and pancakes. (Sounds pretty gross.) You could actually cook real hamburgers,eggs,etc. You can watch a video of a Big Burger Grill in use HERE. The thing I'd like to point out here is, Lori still doesn't cook. No matter how much Norma tried,Lori,to paraphrase Doctor Zaius, could not be domesticated.
  That thing out front with the big eyes is an Incredible Edibles set. Like the Thingmaker oven it was another of the overheated toys that could take your skin off. The tubes contained candy liquid called 'gobble degoop' which you used in the molds to make candy centipedes, etc. I'm guessing this went over a little better with Lori than the Big Burger Grill. Incredible Edibles was similar to the Thingmaker,the difference being that the Thingmaker used liquid goop, that was probably very toxic, in it's molds and heated in the Thingmaker to make rubber toys. My kids had a similar thing called the Dollymaker Oven. I had to open all the windows when they used it because of the headache inducing smell,so they got pretty mad they weren't allowed to use it in the winter!
   I can't tell which doll that is. Anybody? From the colour of the box,maybe a Horsman doll? The other possibility is Deluxe Reading/Topper's Baby Party doll. That doll would be the right year and came wearing a pale pink outfit with short legs.Plus it would go along with all the other cool toys Lori got. Baby Party ran on batteries, and blew a party horn,blew up balloons,blew bubbles with a bubble pipe, and 'plays with party favours'. (In other words, blew party favours? Just say so!)
   In the lower right corner you'll see the Mattel Bugs Bunny talking hand puppet.

 Of course. Everybody knows that Lori is Bugs Bunny and I'm Daffy Duck. Right Lori? They didn't make a Daffy puppet, but I did always kind of want the Porky Pig one.

  Holy rarities Batman! Lori really did have everything! Including the rare Remco Elly and Andy Baby Mouse Twins 3 Story Treehouse! That's it on the left.

There's the Incredible Edibles again,lower right.
  Awwwww! I like baby mice! I think if I had known Lori when we were this little,(we met in middle school.),I would have wanted to go to her house and covet all her toys...and she wouldn't have let me come.
  That's the Schaper Voodoo Doll Game 'for boys and girls'. Um,well. That explains a lot,doesn't it Lori? Today Lori loves horror movies,and going on ghost hunts. I'm starting to see where that stuff comes from.

 My mom would NEVER have bought me this game...although I might have liked it actually.
   Tricky Tommy Turtle was a battery operated toy that rolled along,or stopped, if you blew a whistle. You can see a commercial for him HERE.
  That's the Ideal Motorific Action Highway 77.  It's a slot car set. Slot cars are toy cars with pins on the bottom that run on a track with a slot in the road where the pin fits. Slot car racing is still popular amongst some toy enthusiasts.You can see the Motorific Action Highway in use  HERE.
  One thing I notice here, and have to applaud Lori's parents, Bruce and Norma, for: Like my parents, they bought not only 'girly' toys for their girl,but also stuff that would have been considered 'boy toys' in those days. The horse van, the Action Highway 77 toy,the Hockey and Bas-Ket game,and more stuff we'll see in upcoming posts,would have been stuff mainly bought for boys when we were kids. That's very unfair. Even now I've been in the toy aisle and heard parents say to their kids, "That's the boy/girl stuff. Your aisle is over here!" Whatever! Let the kid play with whatever they like.

Lori with her mom,Norma. If only Norma had known what those toys were going to be worth...Nah. She still would have sold them. Norma wasn't one to have stuff hanging around if it wasn't in use. Even Bruce had to keep moving! (Just kidding.)
  Of course, maybe it's just that Bruce and Norma bought toys they would have liked...

Lori and her dad,Bruce. Lori's parents were like second parents to me. I miss them both.
  We'll see more of Lori's Christmas photos and her toys and dolls  in our next post.


  1. This was very integrering. Thank you.

  2. Great vintage toys although we certainly didn't think they would be vintage when we were playing with them. I loved the TV in the photos. I remember watching Perry Mason and the Mickey Mouse Club.

    I agree with what you said about parents steering their children toward "gender appropriate" toys and then rewarding them for playing with those toys. I am sure there are just as many girls who would love to play with trucks as their are boys who would love to play with dolls or stuffed animals.

    By the way, have you heard about the Virtual Doll Convention coming up in January? It's on Facebook. I don't have Facebook so I can't "attend."

    1. I certainly had my cars and trucks. My girls played with a lot of Legos and cars, and my son loved his dolls.
      I haven't heard about the virtual doll show.Please tell me more! There aren't any real ones around here anymore and I miss them.

  3. My goodness your friend certainly did have a lot of presents at Christmas, and some very interesting stuff too!
    And yes, I like her parents attitude to the toys, giving her things that would normally be considered 'boys toys'. A friend of mine is having a bit of a problem in this area because her son wants a doll for Christmas, a particular girl doll, but if she gets it, her husband will go berserk :( So sad.

    1. Aw.Poor little guy.You can't make a kid like something he doesn't,and you can't stop them from loving what they love. I had cowboy guns and trucks and my trench coat and fedora,and even a tiny baseball bat. My husband Ken played with Action Man,(as you know,England's G.I. Joe.),but Action Man didn't fight wars--he cooked! Something Ken still loves to do. Our son had every Tommy that came out after he got his first one.I had coloured the hair orange so it could be his doll of himself,after he asked for one since I had made Emma's Emma the Doll. He turned his Fisher Price garage into Fuzzy's house. He got a Barbie and sisters farm set and kept the animals and the Barbie so Fuzzy the Doll could have a mom,and sold the sisters to Emma.When we cleared out the stuff the previous owners of the house left in the garage he found an old plastic baby doll and would not be separated from it. He even had a red haired boy rag doll named Hap. Dolls are nature's training to become parents,and boys become parents too. I wish people would stop being so paranoid. They need to realize that their kids are going to be what they're going to be. Playing with dolls won't make a boy gay and not playing with dolls won't prevent a boy who is going to be gay from being gay. And they also need to realize that if their kid is gay,he's still their kid,and just a person like everybody else. Sorry to get heavy but I'm steamed!


Thanks in advance for your comments.