Thursday, December 18, 2008

Toys of Christmas' (and maybe one or two birthdays) Past: Part 2

Read Part 1 first if you haven't already whydontcha!?

After two weeks of delays we once again return to my nostalgic look back at favourite playthings from my 1970s past, culled mostly from Christmas morning and birthday afternoon photos otherwise shrouded in the foggy veils of time. But as the world outside my window is now covered in a blanket of new fallen white stuff (there was an explosion at the nearby flour factory again), I'm even more in the mood to talk about.... Toys!

We start this installment with a POLACOLOR© moment from December 25th, 1975 showcasing my dad and seven year old me (okay, just my dad) assembling the Evel Knievel Stunt and Crash Car. Since he had built more than a couple actual, full-size racing cars by hand, and my resume in this area consisted only of automobiles of the Lego variety, I guess I differed to his experience on this matter. I'm not sure if I got the more ubiquitous Stunt Cycle at the same time, or at a later date. But it lasted longer (more than 32 years and counting) than the Stunt car did.

That purple and orange object in the middle left is a dough (not Play, but of the home-made variety) bracelet I made for my mom. She kept it until it was too damaged by water in a bad house fire a few years ago.

Case Study #2: my 8th birthday party, September 1976. Although I was happy to get a big stack of Golden Exploring Earth books (with great covers by Rod Ruth) I think it's safe to say that the Six Million Dollar Man action figure I got that years was at or near the top of my wish list. From that point on I didn't look quite as goofy making all those bionic sound effects on my own.

Well... at least to me.

Exhibit "C": Christmas morning 1973. As my OshKosh B'Goshed sister looks on from the background my dad schools two cousins and I on the finer points of Mark Three gamesmanship. I think my dad secretly wanted me to win this combination of Tic Tac Toe and bowling because we were wearing matching colour shirts.

I don't know whether this next item was a birthday or Christmas present, or even it you could consider it a toy, but it's a gosh-darn cute photo that I promised months ago I'd post and so, dagnabbit, I'm going to! My dad visited the local auction house in our old home town when I was growing up and, consequently, would occasionally bring us home good condition used toys. That's how my sister and I, although born in in '68 and '72, were exposed to toys from a slightly older generation such as Mike Hazard - Double Agent, Major Matt Mason's Cat-Trac, and I'm sure we had this Zeroid.

Included amongst these older toys was one of my most beloved childhood playthings, this 1956 Garton Hot-Rod pedal car. Customized by my mom and dad circa 1970 with padded foam cushion and my name on the side - I drove this thing until the wheels fell off. No, really. The wheels fell off.
As the years went on I asked my dad what had happened to the car but the answers became more and more vague until I finally gave up, thinking that he had trashed it or given it away, broken axle and all.

Then for Christmas (notice theme) about four years ago he showed up with it! He had stored the car away in a garage, finally dug the thing out, welded the axle back on and voila!

Never was I happier to have been re-gifted with my own present! And as an added bonus, here's a close up and background ( can it really be both of those conflicting things? I say YES!) on the spiffy racing helmet I am wearing in this shot.

And so we end this amazingly self-indulgent (but what are blogs for, anyways?) look back at my toys of Christmas' (and maybe one or two birthdays) past with this grainy black and white photograph from 1971 capturing a quiet moment as, wrapped in a warm blanket, my spring horse ("Horsie") and I take a nap. Although on closer inspection it appears my eyes may be open and this was merely a posed shot, I choose to believe this was how I slept every night. Which might explain a few things about me.
But then again I also choose to believe that Francis Ford Coppola stole this idea from me for the famous scene in his 1972 film, The Godfather.

So what do I know.

Happy Holidays everyone!


Todd Franklin said...

Great photos, Glen!

Scott said...

I wanted that Six Million Dollar Man figure more than anything, especially for that bionic eye. Then when I got it I was let down that it made things appear farther away.

Glen Mullaly said...

Todd: Thanks!

Scott: That's true. I hadn't really thought about it before.

K0dama said...

My brother had the Six Million Dollar Man and I had the Bionic Woman. My grandmother was nice enough to crochet them matching ski outfits.

Glen Mullaly said...

K0dama: That was sweet of her! I'm sure they looked quite fetching at Barbie & Ken's apr├Ęs-ski party in the village.