Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heirloom Toys

My intent for my work, besides making a beautiful item for play or display, is to create an object that will last and be cherished and passed on - a Heirloom.  I been thinking of what kind of children's products have been saved in the past.  My mother and her brother each had toys that had been played with a lot and they love to this day.

image via
Mom had a large Shirley Temple doll that she loved and saved.  As a child I was so fascinated by her mostly because she had an open mouth in which there were teeth and what looked like a felt tongue.  Mom had clearly played with her and loved her.  She was missing a couple of fingers and had some scratches and dings.  She did have her original wig and clothes.  Unlike the pictured example she had a short pink taffeta dress with pleats coming out of a high waist.  I believe the dress was original, too.  Though Mom played with her she didn't let me or my sisters play with her.  We could see her sometimes.  I believe she now resides with my youngest sister who became quite a doll enthusiast and she's part of sis's collection.

 My Uncle Wayne's favorite toys resided in my grandmother's dinning room buffet.  When we visited her sometimes Uncle Wayne (who lived near by with my cousins) would get the train out and run it.  We heathens weren't allowed to play with it by ourselves.  I have no idea what model it was but it looked similar to the one above. Like Mom's doll this was played with by a child and not a collectors piece.  I hope it resides with one of my cousins in whatever shape it's in.

Rubber Disney 7 Dwarfs
The other toy that could sometimes be found in Grandma's buffet was a set of hard rubber Disney Seven Dwarfs that officially belonged to Uncle Wayne but Mom remembers playing with.  This pictured set is available on Etsy shop My Favorite Things for $270.  I was delighted to see one available.  The set I remember at Grandma's had been loved so much it lost all it's paint but all the details and features were molded in so they still had their personalities.  My mother told us that during WWII, school children had drives where they collected rubber and metals and sent them to be recycled for the war effort.  Apparently there had been a family conference as Mom and Uncle Wayne agonized over if they should send the dwarfs to be recycled to help win the war.  They decided they couldn't part with them, even if it would defeat Hitler, and the dwarfs were saved.  I believe they still live.

What heirloom toys do you have?

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