December 24, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things - The Way Back Machine Edition

As I sit here this Christmas Eve, I was remembering past Christmases, and the toys that were among my favorites. Here are the ones that I still remember fondly:

Chatty Cathy

Chatty Cathy was a doll that said several phrases when you pulled a string in the middle of her back. After a while, Cathy's voice would become a scratchy mess...but until then, she was one of my favorites.

Magic Baby Bottle

I had one baby doll who was my favorite (wish I had a picture of her, she had glorious curly hair). Even baby dolls got thirsty. When I was little, I only had those skimpy white, opaque baby bottles. But when the Magic Baby Bottle (a really inexpensive toy) hit the scene, I'm sure my baby doll was the best fed baby in the toy box!

Creepy Crawlers

Mattel offered me a chance to honor my inner Mad Scientist with Creepy Crawlers. The set included a Thingmaker, which was a metal box which was plugged in to heat up. Then you used a set of metal molds of various insects and filled the molds with stuff called Plastigoop. When the goop was hot enough (and you cooked your insect into completion), you had rubbery spiders, flies or centipedes to scare unwary children and adults.

I'm sure that this toy would NEVER make it toda
y. It was HOT, it was dangerous. And I'm sure the goop was probably all kinds of toxic. Boy, was that fun stuff.

Easy Bake Oven

I had one of the original Easy Bake ovens. Oh, how I loved making teeny tiny cakes and brownies (and burning myself on the hot light bulb and the HOT metal pans. After the mixes that came with the original toy were gone, I'd get my mom to buy Jiffy cake mixes, so I could continue to foster my June Freaking Cleaver inner child.


I absolutely loved getting a microscope for Christmas. I would watch the creepy crawly things that swam in a drop of water, check out what hair looked like magnified, and examine ordinary household goods, as well as stuff I'd find outside. I'd have to say the microscope was probably my number one favorite gift as a child. What this says about my coolness factor speaks volumes - it seems that I've been a bit nerdy for decades.

Mystery Date game

As a 10 or 11 year old girl, this game was a hit among my friends. The goal of the game was to open a door on the game board - and by twisting the knob, you could select from several yummy-looking guys, and one loser named Poindexter.

If I were designing the game for girls today, I'd focus far less on the physical attributes of the date, and pay more attention to other character traits that can indicate that the young man is someone truly worth the time.

And I know, even today, I'd never sell a single game. Girls are still oh so focused on how "hot" guys are.

Some things never change.

What were some of YOUR favorite Christmas toys?


  1. One year, my sister was in home ec. She sewed me a dress with a matching head kerchief AND a matching dress for my doll. I was in heaven.

    I got a popeye puppet one year that talked when I pulled the string.

    I got a flashlight one year so I could read under the covers like Harriet the Spy.

    I probably got about 1/10th of what my son gets every year but I was always thrilled.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. You nailed it for me, my fondest toy was my chatty cathy. I even use the term to describe people today and I loved the baby bottles. My other favorite gift was a record player. It was actually the size of a juke box. It looked like a juke box, big speaker on the bottom, then the record player. And where the music selection would be was a radio and an eight track player. Merry Christmas and thanks for the great memories.

  3. How fun was this?! I had an easy bake and a creepy crawler maker-- we even had one that was similar but you ate the things-- nothing like what they made 10 years ago-- that one was rubbish. I'm sure I'm filled with all sorts of toxins.
    I loved my Chrissy and Velvet growing hair dolls. Would love to get my hands on one of those in good condition.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  4. I remember those Magic Baby bottles! And I had an Easy Bake Oven, too! I can't remember my favorite toy. I'm not sure I had one, although I loved Pig Pong (yes, I said "pig" like the thing that oinks) and my bike. And my Cabbage Patch doll. And my Barbie furniture. Anyway, I found you through another site and knew I had to follow you as soon as I saw your blog name "June Freaking Cleaver." Love it. I look forward to reading more!!

  5. Slime, knit magic, Velvet doll, Madame Alexander (look-at dolls), Atari, moon boots, rainbow sweaters, star jeans, my first curling iron, toe socks (rainbow preferred), Betsy Wetsy, ping pong table...


  6. I never had Mystery Date myself but I remember playing it over at a friend's and just loving it. There was just something about opening that door!!!

    And don't you love how toys seem very dangerous by today's standards???? They may be safer but I'm sure they are less fun!!!

  7. Definitely Chatty Cathy and the microscope. I think I was the only girl on my block to NOT get an Easy Bake Oven. Was it the Tiny Tears doll that you fed and it peed? I kept pulling off its arms and dad would make big metal clips to put them back on. I know I was angry and devastated when they finally threw her away. I don't think I've ever forgiven them for that LOL!

    And what was the doll who had the hole in her head where you could pull out hair? I always wish I had that...the long hair not the hole in my head. :)

    One year I got a life size doll that could walk with me...sort of. I kept her until she came down with a terminal case of chicken pocks which presented with spots made with permanent marker. ::sigh::

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane!


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!