What I can't get over is how unappealing and unimaginative I'm finding the kids toys that are out now! Seriously, kids need no imagination or creativity to play with these toys, and that seriously depresses me! What happened to all the cool toys at the back of the Argos catalogue that you'd circle months in advance?
So, instead of my normal Christmas list, I'm going to write my 1992 Christmas list - the things I wanted when I was 7. I'm sure you'll agree, these are waaaaaay cooler than some of the over marketed pants you get today!
1) Always at the top of ANY present wishlist - Sylvanian Families. You have no idea how much I wish I could go back into our loft (my dad put down flooring and made it into a toyroom/den for me) and play for hours with these. If you don't know what Sylvanian Families are (Where were you in the late 80s/early 90s??), they are small woodland creatures, which come in families and have a whole world of their own. I got my first Sylvanian family (The Evergreens) from my Granny and Grandad's friends and it started an obsession. My friend Jacqueline (Hi Jacqueline!) and I would hoard these inch-tall figures, and spend hours creating villages, houses, shops - anything we could think of. We cracked up laughing the day our hedgehog lost his 'hair', and ended up looking like a mole, and even my cat Squeak would come up and watch proceedings from a toy box. The best year was the year Jacqueline and I both got the Sylvanian Families Canal Boat (along with the Otter family, The Vandykes). That boat is still under my bed in my room at my parent's house, and still I get to play with it when my mum's friend's daughter Alix comes to play! (Yay!) Unfortunately even Sylvanian Families have fallen victim to modern times, with non-woodland characters added (penguins?)
2) Goosebumps, Secret Seven, Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High and Guinness World Record Books. No Christmas stocking would have been complete without one of the above. Goosebumps were amazing books that both girls and boys read at my school because they were terrifying! Some of my favs were Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Say Cheese and Die—Again! and The Horror at Camp Jellyjam. I think the best book I ever got for Christmas was a Give Yourself Goosebumps - a standard book where at the bottom of each page you made a decision that decided how the story turned out! AWESOME! And it came with a clip on reading light - BEAT THAT HARRY POTTER!!! *
*Sorry Harry, I love you really
3) A Doll's Head - Sounds creepy, huh? What I mean is a giant dolls head that you could make over! These were ace! You could do their hair ( I think I learned to plait hair on one), 'draw' the weird plasticy make-up on with out getting messy - it was brilliant. In fact, I think my mum bought me one after I raided her make up and got it all over my friend, myself and my bedroom carpet... At least this way, little girls could play with make-up without going to school looking like transvestites or dolled up like Amy Winehouse, aged 10.
4) Playmobil - Clip on hair? Brilliant! This doesn't really count as you can still get Playmobil, but I remember it being a lot more popular when I was small. When I was 6/7 I was in hospital quite a bit with renal reflux (knackered tubes to my bladder and kidneys), and I can vividly remember getting a Playmobil set with a surgeons table, a drip, a theatre light and doctors - it was great! It came with clip on bandages, and I remember thinking hospital didn't look too bad!
5)My Little Pony, Cupcake Dolls (!) and other weird smelling plastic toys - Cupcake dolls are probably the exception to this - they smelt awesome (for the first month anyway). Turn the doll's skirt upwards and she turned into a sweet smelling cake! My Little Pony needs no explanation, although I think they've been modernised too (boo).
6) Popples - Popples were soft, cuddly teddys/marsupials(?) which rolled up into themselves, and formed a ball. Apparently they were made by the same people who designed Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears,and the idea came from rolling up socks. Whatever, they were super cute and could be used as a pillow in the car! I also had a Wuzzle, but my Popple was a favourite.
7) Cabbage Patch Kids - Not sure if these were genuinely popular in the UK, or if Jacqueline and I were just really lucky. These (butt-ugly) dolls came with their own birth certificate, and mine, bought on holiday in Florida was called Dorothy Molly. She was a redhead, and came wearing a bikini and sunglasses and get this - she TANNED! I still don't know how that worked! Dorothy featured in a series of holiday snaps for years! P.S Anyone else find the fact they had a tattoo on their arse weird?)
8) Sindy - I don't care what anyone says, Sindy will always rule over Barbie in my heart. I inherited some of my mum's Sindys (and a Patch doll) as well as some amazing 70s furniture. Over the years I added to my collection - the Dreamhouse (with a poster of Paul), a make-up counter, a Beach Jeep and a remote controlled scooter. Most importantly - I NEVER CUT MY DOLLS' HAIR!!! This was sacrilige in my book!
Also on my list - Teddy Ruxpin (always wanted one), Trolls (I remember having one whose eyes flashed. Very 90s rave), Pogo Balls (pogo sticks, without the stick), He-Man toys and videos of The Gummi Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tailspin, Ducktales and Maid Marian (so good!). Ooh and also, if anyone can get me on Funhouse, Finders Keepers or Art Attack, I'd love you forever.