You know you’re old when…

… there’s a “Vintage Reproduction” of your first Barbie doll. Cripes.


Isn’t she….. vile?

Mum had resisted buying me one for as long as she could, but pester power won in the end. At the age of five or six, I didn’t really grasp the concept of feminism; I just knew my friends had them. Once I had my Barbie she only came out when my girlfriends were around. The rest of the time I played with Lego, or did cut-and-stick with old cereal packets and chocolate wrappers, or made paper planes, or flew kites, or banged nails into wood offcuts (I think I had a child-sized hammer for this purpose).

Yet as soon as I saw this Barbie doll on Stitchywitch’s blog, I remembered her vividly. She obviously had some impact on my childhood. Though I definitely didn’t want to *be* Barbie. I think I wanted to be a Greenpeace activist (until Mum persuaded me I could save the whales by becoming a marine biologist).

The toys of my youth seem to be making a huge comeback at the moment. Children are playing with Care Bears, My Little Ponies, Sylvanian Families (I always wanted these, but they were really expensive), Polly Pockets and Transformers. I think even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming back (these were a little after my time, but I remember one Christmas when every gift my brother received was Turtle-themed! That was going a little too far). Is it because my generation are having children now, and they want the same toys for their children? I currently only give children unbranded toys, made (sometimes homemade) from natural materials. If I ever have a kid, I hope she/he doesn’t ever ask for a Barbie doll!

I’m out of words now. Discuss.

10 thoughts on “You know you’re old when…

  1. I have a 12-year-old niece and 6-year-old nephew. I can testify from my own experience that they are just as happy when they get an unbranded toy as they are when they get one of the Pokemon/Turtle/Ben-ten/Whatever – themed ones. I know my nephew’s favorite gift I got him was an unbranded stuffed baby wolf – he still sleeps with him two years later! My niece, on the other hand, was overjoyed when I got her an annual subscription to National Geographic Kids. This was when she was 9. Ever since, when I ask her what she wants for her birthday, she just asks me to extend the subscription.

    My point being, while kids are crazy about branded things and ‘need to have’ everything they friends have, they love the other stuff too. It makes me angry that the rest of the family is too lazy to give the gifts more thought – they ALL just go for tons and tons of whatever brand is the hype that year.

    p.s. Ooops, I ranted. Sorry 🙂

  2. I bought brand name stuff for my 9 year old kinda sorta step-nephew for Christmas. Mum said he was into drawing so I got him Staedtler felt pens, coloured pencils, a couple of soft lead pencils, and a pad of decent quality plain white drafting paper. Kids should have the experience of what good craft materials are like – and I always did like shopping for stationery.

  3. oh my god, it’s Peaches N’ Cream Barbie!!! I had the exact same one. I don’t know if it was my first, but it was probably my favourite- because I love her dress. Yikes. Apparently as a 7 year old, I had no taste.

  4. I had this doll, too. I called her Peachy…how original, huh? I was more into Rainbow Brite or Shera (so I could play with my brother when he played HeMan). Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  5. Holy cow, I had the same barbie! I also only asked for Barbies because all the other girls had them; I remember my mum telling me that I didn’t play with them except when the others were around. Thankfully I managed to avoid any real brand-obsession as a child, but obviously felt a need to fit in!

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