52 weeks of personal history & genealogy: Week 7: toys. A tale of rabbits, dolls and guns

The challenge issued by Amy Coffin and Geneabloggers for Week 7 of 52 weeks of Personal History and Genealogy is:

What was your favourite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

The prophetic asset in my toy collection was a rubber rabbit which was apparently mass produced at the time. Given my age when I received it, I have no recollection of it at all. Why was it prophetic? Well the photo on the left is me, living in Queensland with my rabbit, while two states and about 1500kms away was a little boy who had the same rabbit. That little boy would later become my husband. So was kismet at work here? I’m sure this toy is not being made anymore.

Rabbit synchronicity

I guess my serious answer to this question would be generic. My favourite toy overall was probably a doll, accompanied by the various appurtenances of girly behaviour: the pram, doll’s cot and a lovely little sewing machine that actually sewed (I had that for years).

The first doll I remember being particularly attached to was a large, perhaps 18 inches high, bride doll which I called Mary. I assume my mother made the doll’s clothes as she did for my daughters’ bride dolls over twenty years later. As for Mary, I was a bad mother, and heaven knows what happened to her –she remained at the bottom of my old wardrobe when I left home and perhaps is hiding there yet, waiting to be rediscovered. Although I can’t find a photo of me with that doll I’ve included one a little earlier to set the scene.

Is this toy being made in some form today? Yes, I’d imagine that it is available in some form but it’s all Dora and Princesses for my grand-daughter so far, though I suppose there’s a fair bit in common between the glamour of a bride doll and that of Princesses (especially when royal weddings are involved).

Postscript December 2011: This year Mary made the journey from my old wardrobe in Brisbane to live in Darwin. She is now being mothered by my grand-daughter who thought Mary was gorgeous in her new purple dress made by my aunt.

Despite my general attachment to my dolls I was also a tomboy and included a toy gun in my arsenal so I could play “westerns”. Yo-yos were also a “new” thing in Australia when I was growing up, together with marbles and stonkers. I also had a toy wooden train which isn’t surprising given the fact my family has railway lines in their blood stream. When I pulled it out this week my grandson had a great time playing with it, proving that some toys can be timeless. A children's sewing machine like the one I had.

2 thoughts on “52 weeks of personal history & genealogy: Week 7: toys. A tale of rabbits, dolls and guns

  1. Loved your post. I too had a sewing machine that looked much like the one in your pictures. BTW, thanks for stopping by Roots’n’Leaves and the very nice words. Thanks.


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