Lost Childhoods

  • Date:
  • Posted by kindle

The toys you lost, the toys mom gave away, the toys that broke, that went missing. Our lost youth.

The feeling of nostalgia that hits you like a truck out of nowhere when you come across a toy you had in your youth. Whatever it was, it takes you back instantly, even if you had forgotten that you ever owned one, it snaps your mind and is almost like time travel.
What ever the toy was. G.I. Joe, a Marx Fort Apache play set, Pick Up Sticks, Klackers, Etch A Sketch, Lite Brite, Easy Bake Oven, Lionel Trains, Wind-up toys, Tin toys, Matchbox cars, Hot Wheels, Spirograph, gyroscope or kaleidoscope, we all have toys that we yearn for.

As the owner of an antique business, I came across many toys from my youth as well as toys that I owned that were handed down from my aunt and uncle. I lost track of so many. My mother gave many away to my cousins, I sold my Matchbox cars to a family friend and collector, and still others to this day I don’t know where they went. I have no recollection where the thousands of comic books I had collected went.

I am as guilty as others who see something from our childhood and instantly whip out the credit card and buy it. Whether it’s online or in an antique store, flea market or yard sale, for some reason we have to have it again. It’s like we are trying to buy back those lost years.

I know it doesn’t work. You really can’t get the time back, but for a while you can hold that favorite toy again and let it take you back and you can reminisce about your youth. Many toys were given at Christmas and birthdays, but some were given during hard times such as childhood traumas like surgeries. The item can be tied emotionally to such an event. Maybe it was something that was given to you by a family member who is no longer with us and finding it again lets us remember them in a happy way.

I am a collector. Basically that is a euphemism for an organized hoarder. It drives my wife crazy, but she puts up with it, mostly because she understands and has some affinity for me. Some people are not sentimental or attached to things. I find that I however am, one of those people who are. They say that “the things you own, end up owning you”. I would agree with this in some cases as I experience difficulty with ridding myself of or parting with certain items. It’s like a piece of my past that is being discarded.

Sometimes I am okay with it. I think that I have owned it for a while, and now it’s time to pass it along, but that doesn’t happen as often as it should. Sometimes where it is going can make all the difference. If I happen to like the person who wants it, or I get a good vibe form them, it’s okay. When I had the retail antique store and items I liked would come in, I would say “To me it’s just stuff – I can’t pay for sentimental value” but then once it was mine, I wanted to keep it.

That is one reason I am happy that I photographed so many items that traveled through the store for our website and social media. One, it helps me to remember just how many things I once owned and two, it reminds me of the sheer variety and quantity of items I have bought and sold.

There was no way I could have kept everything, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a successful business, but I kept quite a few. Someday I will have to pass them along I know that, but that knowledge isn’t going to make it any easier when the time is here.

So here is a gallery of some of the toys that traveled though my store and my collections so we can all wax nostalgic and remember our days in childhood when we didn’t have to worry about the world and all its woes. When our toys and imaginations ran wild.

Enjoy this trip though our “lost childhoods”.


PS. I have the Ideal Robert the Robot in the photo, but I just can’t bring myself to spring for the 1950’s Banner Plastics Space Helmet with Radar Goggles that’s on eBay now.