Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Saturday, 26 February 2011


With 7 nieces & nephews, and an 8th on the way, I should be well-versed in the greatest, newest gadgets. But I'm a bad auntie. I like old things, and try to instill the same reverence for old things in my nieces & nephews...I buy books, or make presents. This Christmas I designed & published my own little book called Tinzarella Travels The World, which follows the travels of Tinzarella on a boat, who visits each niece & nephew in their far corners of the globe.

Well, I recently stumbled upon Times' All Time 100 Greatest Toys which is pretty cool.
Pretty neat (& dangerous?) is this 1920s Chemistry set:

I also like this yo-yo  from the 1920s (Miss Clark would especially like it):

Great toys from the 1930s include the sock monkey (always a favourite with me, as my Dad had a real pet monkey growing up in India, and this was the closest subsitute--my Mum recently made these for my nephews this Christmas). Perhaps reflective of a decade obsessed with war, the BB gun & Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol, topped the 1930s list.
{from Times' list}
{my nephew with my mum's homemade sock monkey}
From the 1940s, top toys include the invention of LEGO, Little Golden books, Bubble Solution, and the slinky.

The 1950s included some great toys, many of which reflect an obsession with weird substances, including Pez dispensers, silly putty, Play-Doh, the Hula Hoop & Barbie (never a favourite with me as a child)...oh & who could leave out fake vomit?! ha!
Toys from the 1960s included some famed items such as Barbie's companion, Ken, Easy-Bake Oven, Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe, Playmobile, and my personal favourite, Lite Brite. The 1970s ushered in another personal favourite, Paddington Bear (I ended up living 2 minutes away from Paddington Station in London), ShrinkyDinks, and Speak&Spell (another favourite/joke in my family--eho!).
The 1980s, the decade of my childhood, also was a decade full of pretty famous toys: Cabbage Patch kids ( a favourite with the Clark girls), Slap bracelets, Glo Worm, Transformers, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (was I influenced by these turtles' names to study Italian Renaissance?--I think not, but still, the names of Vasari's favourites, became household names), & Snoopy Sno Cone, among many others.

The 1990s included the irritating Tickle me Elmo & Beanie Babies and the 2000s, the awful & not-so-great Bratz.
There are plenty of great toy antiques here for sale in Allegany county, many of which would top any of the more recent inventions.
My favourite toy of all time? My Raggedy Ann that my Mum made by hand for me (also her gift to my nieces this Christmas). My Raggedy Ann has a real heart with the words "I LOVE YOU" sewn on her heart. Doesn't that warm your heart? It warms mine every time I think of it--& I hate to think that she is in storage at the moment and not receiving the love she deserves. What was your favourite toy?


  1. Great post, Tinz! Howling over the chem set!!!

    My favourite toy was either Gina doll (which Mum made to look 'like' me with dark hair & eyes) or the doll house that Dad made. Both wonderful, handcrafted things that didn't cost a fortune but were made with oodles of love.

  2. I love gina doll!!! I remember Dad making me a 'radio' out of cardboard & bolts & nails from his workshop b/c I wanted one like Rach's. so funny, but the amount of entertainment I got out of it was unparalleled to any 'real' toy.