In Which I Consider Adults Playing With Toys



Breyer models, LEGO sets, My Little Pony knickknacks. I certainly have no trouble admitting to childlike enthusiasms. Some adults have trouble admitting, or get grief when they do. I’ve read about model horse aficionados who don’t tell their co-workers about the live show they attended over the weekend. MLP bronies get a raw deal. Unless I go to a LEGO store, I gotta shop in the kids aisle.


If a humanoid form is made of plastic and costs $10, it is a toy. If a humanoid form is made of china and costs $1000, it is an objet d’art.

Who determines these things? Is there a Board of Toys?

One of the best parts of being adult – aside from being done with school – is the ability to impulse purchase a shiny, pretty, transparent blue horse model in the gift shop of the Kentucky Horse Park. No nagging of adults. No waiting for Christmas. From want to have in the time it takes to run a credit card.

So what? I’m not doing it in the streets and alarming the horses. Why does it matter if spend money on toys or on decorator pillows?

As I kid, my big deal was stuffed animals. I had over a 100. All sizes. All species. Didn’t matter. Now that I am hoarding giving houseroom to live animals, my need for the stuffed variety has declined. As an adult kid, I have a handful of Breyers, more than a handful of LEGO bricks, and a smattering of MLP. While I’m fond of these, they remain side enthusiasms to the aforementioned live animals.

What childhood toys have you discovered, rediscovered, never left behind?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

9 thoughts on “In Which I Consider Adults Playing With Toys

  1. I still have the stuffed animal I got for my 1st birthday, and the one I got for my 2nd. Also a few others I’ve acquired over the years. 3 remnants of a herd of small rubber (before plastic took over) little horses. A few Breyers, including one given to me on my 10th birthday. (And a couple of Peter Stones.) I can’t find my original Gumby and Pokey, but I’ve got tiny versions, and a big stuffed Gumby. I got rid of too much when I moved from my old house to here. I have a smallish teddy bear wearing a Univ. of MD tee-shirt. His name is Barely Able, because I was having a really bad day and felt barely able to cope. I was in grad school at the time and carried the bear around with me all day, his head sticking out of my backpack. Since I already had a reputation for being weird – weird? moi? – nobody seemed to pay much attention to it. I’m sure I’ve got some other stuff hanging around which survived the transition from house to apartment, even after 16 years here….Fair warning, one or more of these items may turn up in future posts….Oops, forgot to mention the jacks and ball (which no longer bounces). I was champion in grade school for a while.
    I can’t afford impulse purchases any more, but if you can, hey, go for it.
    And the Board of Toys is just north of Santa’s Workshop.

  2. I never abandoned my first teddy bear. He sits in an antique child’s chair in the corner of my bedroom. Sometimes he’s covered with an assortment of discarded clothes, but he’s still there. I’m not sure how old I was when I got him … maybe four or five? The pictures of that event have long since vanished. As have all the other toys of yesteryear. Being the second eldest of four kids, I didn’t take much with me when I left home; a radio alarm clock and some clothes. Everything else stayed behind. After my parents passed I somehow became the keeper of what was once a fairly large collection of Madam Alexander dolls. I was never a big doll person, but I think back in the day my parents thought they were not only educational, but a good investment? They were always given with the instructions that they were to be “shared” with my older sister. Oddly, I have no recollection of us ever “playing” with them. They sat on display in our bedroom on display behind a glass case. I’m not sure why they got sent to me five years ago. I think my sister (who had them) didn’t want them, but couldn’t bear to dispatch them some other way? Surprise! Box of dolls! As an adult, I’m not much of a collector. Well, that huge vintage cowboy boot collection aside. But I wear those, so I’m not sure if that counts.

  3. Hmmm.

    Everything mentioned here was bought as an adult. Now that I think on it, I have very few items from my childhood. Right after I moved to my first apartment, my father broke up with his live-in girlfriend. The household dissolved at a time when I had no space for/little interest in my old stuff.

    The surviving items include a few pieces of furniture, a handful of books, my first stuffed animal (a dog), and all the horse show ribbons. This list should not come as a surprise.

  4. I remember a time long, long ago when McDonald’s was giving out LEGOs with Happy Meals, and a certain person made me stop at restaurants on the way home so that someone could collect the LEGOs ….

  5. I don’t remember many toys in my childhood. Books, yes. Still read as my main leisure activity. Knitting, yes. Still knit. Puzzles, yes. Still do puzzles. Card games, yes. Love the iPad solitaire app.

    My main squeeze as a child was a pink corduroy kitten, Snookybun, with blue felt ears which disappeared gradually. It disappeared completely from my parents’ home sometime during my adult years.


    It was replaced when I was 33 by the most loving gift I have ever received: Bunny, a stuffed rabbit, blue and white with lovely floppy ears and black eyes and mouth, both closed. You were 11 years old. I was in bed, recovering from a D & C, feeling rather poorly. You came up to the bed and said that you wanted me to feel better but there was nothing you could do. You.gave me Bunny and said maybe this would help. It did and does.

    I carry Bunny with me on every trip, sitting on the dash. At home Bunny lives on my bedside table. Bunny is a cross between a childhood comfort squeeze and an avatar for you. You and your love are always with me.

    Thank you.

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