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Posts Tagged ‘toys’

012518-dolls-from-my-childhood

Dolls that used to attend my “school.” I’m sorry to say that the book We Grow Up was pilfered from my second grade classroom.

On the third floor landing in the house where I spent most of my childhood, there was an alcove with a window and a couch. On nice days, the sun streamed in and revealed the perfect spot to set up a space of my own. I called it “The Little House” and hung signs around to indicate it was off-limits to everyone else.

In my space, which eventually evolved into “The Little School,” I set out all the toys related to keeping house or teaching school. The two pupils above I had received earlier. Susie, on the right, is still my favorite. She came into my life when I was 5. The cape is the original, but I don’t know what happened to the blue- and white-striped dress Susie arrived with, or her black shoes and white knee socks.

On the left is Toni, who when I was 7 brought along her hair curlers and styling lotion, courtesy of the Toni hair-perm company. I was an easy grader as a teacher but firm about hard work.

I suppose that whatever children most like to play with reflects their interests and is a way of practicing something grown-ups do that looks like it might be fun. I myself moved on from teaching dolls to using teaching as a camp counselor, a parent, an editor — and an actual teacher.

Nowadays, girls don’t seem to spend as much time with dolls, but nurturing remains a life skill worthy of being practiced by any child. When today’s small daughters enter the workforce (let’s say daughters for the sake of argument), will those engineering and truck driving jobs be the ones that are available? Young adults will probably invent new kinds of jobs, and who knows? Maybe nurturing will be useful in those fields, too. Certainly, there will always be a need for nurturing parents, caregivers, and teachers.

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Do you ever check the website This Is Colossal? They have the best stuff.

Here is a cute bit about giant, playful robots in Argentina.

In a “clip from Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films,” says the website, “we watch as tin windup toys overtake the streets of Buenos Aires, living amongst its inhabitants as if it was an everyday occurrence. Livschitz is known for his short films that blend live action footage with aspects of absurdity, most notably his New York and Buenos Aires theme parks. Music by the very fine Canned Heat circa 1972.” More.

We hear so much these days about robots in advanced manufacturing and medicine, but I like the idea of robots as toys. You could really warm up to some of these guys, as Frank Langella did with his robot in the futuristic movie Robot & Frank.

Photo: Fernando Livschitz at This Is Colossal

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I moved from Rochester, New York, more than 30 years ago, so it was only when I went back for a visit that I got to see the storied collections of Margaret Woodbury Strong in a museum built to house them.

When one recovers from the enormity of her obsession, one feels deeply grateful for all the toys and dolls of one’s childhood so beautifully preserved.

The offerings and outreach of the museum have grown like topsy in 30 years. And today another new partnership was announced.

“The great minds of the toy industry will be honored alongside their famous creations when the Toy Industry Hall of Fame combines with the National Toy Hall of Fame under a partnership announced Tuesday.

“The 5,000-square-foot National Toy Hall of Fame gallery at the Strong museum in Rochester will undergo $4 million in renovations, with the goal of opening the combined hall in the fall of 2015.

“The Toy Industry Hall of Fame, whose inductees have included Milton Bradley, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Walt Disney and George Lucas, has been without a physical presence for about eight years following the closure of the International Toy Center in New York City.

“Leaders of both halls have been talking for some time about combining the two as a way to raise their visibility and exposure and to promote their educational missions. …

” ‘The Strong is an ideal home for this homage to both the toys that have influenced generations of children and the innovative minds that brought them to life,’ Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association, said at a news conference at the Strong museum, where items like alphabet blocks, roller skates, the Frisbee, Lincoln Logs and the stick occupy places of honor.”

Read more at Yahoo, here. Click “like” if you believe in toys.

Photo: The Strong Museum
“The Strong’s founder, Margaret Woodbury Strong, had a particular interest in dolls and amassed one of the largest collections in the world. The National Museum of Play® at The Strong continues to refine and develop her collection, making it increasingly comprehensive and inclusive. It now includes more than 12,000 dolls and 2,800 paper dolls.”

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