Saturday, 14 January 2012

Retro Toy Addiction? I Think So!

A while back, in my 20's, I collected up a few random Barbies.  I believe this little habit was born out of my parents buying me the 1997 Nagano Winter Olympic Ice Skating Barbie (I was, and still am in actual fact, a big Ice Skating fan - you can imagine my excitement at Dancing on Ice starting this week!) as a joke table gift one Christmas. the biggest Barbie lover you could be as a child, it evoked many happy memories to have my new 'mint condition boxed Barbie' as a reminder of my happy childhood.  Then the few times I went to New York I tried to pick one up that kind of reflected what I liked, I picked up Florida Barbie, NBA (Orlando Magic) Barbie, Times Square Barbie etc.

After various moves they got packed up and put in my parents loft for safe keeping and I just didn't have the space for such frivolous items in the household, I had enough to find space for the childrens toys, let alone ones for me.

 Image: Getty Images

Every now and then my parents would remind me that I had boxes clogging up their loft space but instead of taking the hint and going to collect them to sell the toys or give them to charity, I would instead wistfully daydream about the house of the future in which I would have the space to have them on display.  Doesn't everyone secretly wish that they could have a 'toy room'?

 Image :
Finally that day came has come, maybe not to the extent that the lucky person in the photo above has (I think my parents were also hopeful that I might return for the dolls house that is partially furnished and also residing in their loft and I am working on that, and think it's a sign that about 3 doors up is a dolls house shop, I haven't ventured in there yet for fear of needing a small mortgage to pay the bill I would run up...) but we have enough room to get a unit to display 'the Babs collection' in. 

And what a wonderful collection The Hubby and I have been gathering up.  It has been lovely to browse the (rather addictive) eBay, specialist websites and Antique / Collectors Fairs looking for my beloved Barbies.  I have noticed though that my penchant for 'antiques' definitely falls in toys.  It's amazing that however much I might think I have had enough of looking around at Antique places, either through tiredness or the fact that the kids are not behaving if we hit a toy stall I perk up like a cheerleader getting to the top of the triangle.  I am yet to find an elusive Barbie out and about yet, but the prospect of it is exciting.

What I find myself desperately looking for, or most excitable over when found is toys and books that I had when I was a child.  I was telling the Hubby that I had a set of 12 hardback Noddy stories when I was younger, that my mum gave to the Charity shop while I was at school one day on a 'clear out' of my toys.  No sooner had I told him, than I came across the very same books, not all of them and in nowhere near the good condition that mine were in (my excited jubilation depleted when I found out they were priced at no less than £23 per book, for the fact that I couldn't pay that to replace them and I would have been up nearly £300 had I still had my set!)

I have spent weeks looking for a Crystal Barbie and a Day to Night Barbie because they were my two star dolls that I remember being on my absolutely best behaviour for weeks to be treated too.  They are very rare now though and I think that again I would have to be on best behaviour for weeks, if not months to be treated to / justify buying those again.   Image :

Still this is a long distance race and not a sprint and I can foresee this little hobby staying now, so I am satisfied with our current fabulous purchases and look forward to many more hours of hunting in the hope for that high of finding what you want at a bargain price, and you never know, the kids might find their own little niche of toys that they want to collect to make it a real family hobby.


  1. Loved reading this. I think we're kindred spirits you and I. I love looking round antiques fairs and car boots. Children's books are a weakness for me too. Unfortunately for me, husband is not so keen - but at least that helps to manage my habit! x

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