“Rediscovering” My Childhood Toys

I was doing some spring cleaning for Chinese New Year two weeks ago, and “rediscovered” a box of toys which I have played during childhood. The box has been hidden in a corner of the storeroom for many years, and I have long forgotten that I once spent many hours playing with these plastic figurines.

my vintage toys 80s

my vintage toys2 80s

Flimsy and covered with flashes and burrs, these cheap plastic toys, most of them made in China, would probably fail the quality tests by today’s standard. Nevertheless, they were still fun to play with, as they stretched a child’s imagination in building a miniature farm or zoo. It also helped in his learning and identifying of different species of animals.

my vintage toys3 80s

Children today may shun these types of “boring” toys; they probably prefer playing their virtual zoos or other games on smart phones and tablets.

my vintage toys4 80s

Hippopotamus and rhinoceros. Two of the long English words I first came across as a kid.

my vintage toys5 80s

The green leopard and red kangaroo do seem a little odd here, but the colours of other animals are quite reasonably accurate.

my vintage toys6 80s

my vintage toys7 80s

They even come in the shapes of different types of dinosaurs!

my vintage toys8 80s

Of cos, a boy’s masak-masak would not be completed without toy soldiers.

my vintage toys9 80s

Influenced by the Western culture, figurines in the forms of cowboys and Red Indians were also common. But I later realised that there were stereotypical depictions: the cowboys were always deemed as cool and heroic, while the Red Indians were backwards and barbaric.

my vintage toys10 80s

McDonald’s figurine collectibles were also popular back then.

my vintage toys11 80s

The good old Lego toys that remain popular today.

Like many other boys of my generation, my favourite toys were the Transformers and M.A.S.K., but I never managed to own any sets. I remember I used to loiter at the toy departments of Yaohan or OG, looking enviously at the different types of Autobots and Decepticons and telling myself I would buy them all when I grow up. I never did.

Do you still keep your childhood toys?

Published: 15 February 2014

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14 Responses to “Rediscovering” My Childhood Toys

  1. Ross says:

    How time kinder leave us too quick too soon… I remember playing with the plastic soldiers and poor red Indian, always loose to cowboys!

  2. Dr K T Chan says:

    Being in my 80s soft plastic was not invented yet, there was only hard brittle plastic called Bakelite
    usually used for electrical plugs as it does not conduct electricity. Toys were usually soft toys and also Dinky toys of cast metal, probably lead and painted with lead paint. These will certainly not pass any safety test now! How things have progressed.

  3. Kevin says:

    Wow! I used to own these very same toys. Now that I’m earning my own money, I’ve been collecting Transformers and GI Joes to satisfy my childhood dreams!

  4. too says:

    Omg i had those exact farm animals!

  5. bonetiger says:

    good to see these old toys, they are great

  6. hello i collect plastic monkeys…and I’m 46!! do you want to sell your plastic monkeys and gorillas?

    regards

    kevin

  7. also check my collection out on my twitter page

  8. mf says:

    i thought i didn’t have any left but what a surprise i got when my mother brought out my old macs toys for my son!!

  9. artifactslover says:

    these old toys are great ,you can find some of these at mint the toy museum

  10. Pingback: There is no education like adversity…. | Thomson Primary School, Class of 1979

  11. I feel so good to see your this post. I have same Army force toys.

  12. Inna says:

    I had the same farm animals and soldier toys!

  13. TamMie says:

    Your blog is awesome! It has definitely jogged some memories for me especially this post. I played with those plastic toys animals. I am glad you still have them. I gave mine out many moons ago. Keep up with the good posts!

  14. Arius Nusantara says:

    I live in Indonesia and I had the complete set of your farm animals when I was a kid. Now I long for my childhood’s farm animals. Can you help me find them again? Please do let me know as I really want to have them again.

    I have some animals already but I want to have the complete set, including the farm house.

    Please let me know if you can help me.

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