Battered, Beloved, Old Toys

img_1701My mother has a collection of toys some of which are more than fifty years old, not collector edition type toys, just old junky stuff like cheap plastic fire trucks, broken race cars, a metal tractor, a few green plastic army men, and a few leftover circus animals from a forty-year-old Fisher-Price Circus. The prize item is an articulated Tonto who is missing his right hand. He is forty-two-years old, and thankfully not anatomically correct since his pants are long-gone. Eight of the ordinal dozen ever-popular monkeys from a Barrel of Monkeys still survive along with partial can of battered pick up sticks. Except for the Barrel of Monkeys that belonged to my younger sisters, most were scavenged from my kid’s toys that were being tossed. Every grandchild and great-grandchild who has visited in the last forty-four years goes straight for this rag-tag collection and scatters them over Mother’s living room floor, no matter that most are in some stage of dilapidation. My nephew, age eleven, is pictured here playing earlier this week. Clearly, neither Mother, nor any of her descendants suffers from the sin of false pride.

38 thoughts on “Battered, Beloved, Old Toys

  1. So true, you never know what toys will end up the most beloved! Price doesn’t make a family heirloom, all it takes is time and a lot of love 🙂 I grew up playing with a few chosen non-breakable thimbles from my grandma’s extensive collection, & those will always have a special place in my heart as some of my favorite toys – no matter that they weren’t even built to be toys in the first place!


  2. My children do the exact same thing at their Grandma’s with a lot of the same toys you have described!
    She also has the exact same pale blue rug… caught my eye right away!
    Thanks for sharing it brings warm feelings!


  3. So neat. I used to have one of those boxes. My grand-kids are grown and in states far away and never get to come out, so no point. When you have more than one child it costs an arm and leg to travel not to mention the inconvenience in driving and who gets that much time off anymore?
    BTW, some of those broken toys still have value. You’d be surprised. We made a living on eBay for so many years and sold a toy or two. The on problem is the market gets become saturated so I could already be out of date with my info.


  4. When my first grandchild was born over fourteen years ago I started to purchase child’s musical instruments. Drum, guitar, slide whistle, piano key board, trumpet, and several other instruments. I put them in a clear plastic container with a white snap on cover and wrote Music on it with some musical notes. Every single grandchild since he was born loves the music box. My youngest grandchild is just over two and is playing with the same instruments and microphone that they all have used. When they are all together they put on quite a show for us including the older children. True some of the instruments are a bit battered but it doesn’t matter. They are all amazed that their music box is still there waiting for them to entertain us.


    • That’s a great idea. My kids had rainy day boxes full of things they didn’t get any time else but rainy days and sick days. They had sticker books, puzzles, action figures, special books, modeling clay. They loved those boxes.


  5. Yes, yes, yes! I loved this sweet homage to the oldies but goodies in grandma’s closet. My grammie had a ragtag collection as well, including a pair of really weird stuffed pandas (one red and what used to be white but was actually gray and one that was black and [gray]). Never knew where those flat-nosed bears came from, but they always smelled like carpet dirt and quite possibly drool, so I knew where they had travelled in their years of use. We loved them, as you may imagine. They became extra people in our games of “playing house”, and also did double duty as pillows during impromptu sleepovers. And naps. I hated naps…
    Great post, Linda! You do have a magical way with words!


  6. Linda,
    You have a loving family which is held together by a lot of ties other than blood relationship and love. The children somehow love old toys and even sometimes old flannels and blankets to cover up with. Perhaps they can feel or perceive the people who played with them or wrapped up in them ever so long ago.
    I loved the angel statutes in the background. Your mum keeps her room beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My mother has toys from when my brother and I were young so some are over 40 years old. I love seeing my kids and others playing with them! Innocent fun!!!


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