My aunt once told me a story about when she was a child her family was moving two houses up the street. Her father didn’t want to move all their toys those two houses, so one day she came home from school and on the side of the house caught her father burning all their toys. While this didn’t bother her older brother and sister as much, it left a devastating impression on her. Her father did give them each money to buy new toys, but we all know there are just some toys that can’t be replaced by either a new, different toy, or a replaced version of the very same one. She said she has no toys remaining from her childhood to this day.
This story got me thinking about my own father. He only broke two toys on me in my life, one was by accident. He and my brother were moving a piece of furniture, and in his way was a Star Wars Micro Collection toy from the Bespin Cloud City line. It was the one where Luke back flips out the window while fighting Darth Vader. My father accidentally stepped on it crushing it. He said sorry, then said you didn’t really want that, did you? Close to tears, I said no. But really, I should have moved the toy. It was my fault and I don’t blame him at all.
The other toy was a pair of plastic lightsabers my sister and I once had. One was a red blade and the other was green, when you swung it, it whistled making a so called lightsaber noise. The handle was rather large compared to the blade itself, and one day my sister and I got into a massive fight outside using the lightsabers, it was a pretty vicious battle, we nearly beat the hell out of each other, bending the plastic blades as they collided, and leaving crease marks in the plastic. But hey, at least we weren’t punching each other. (Not sure if she remembers that story or not, actually, but I remember it happening.) But that isn’t involving my father. For some reason we kept these in our front hall closet. As we were taking them out to play one day, I handed her one lightsaber, then the other, but the second one she wasn’t ready for and poked her in the eye. Thankfully she was OK, but she cried from the pain. My father came in to see what happened and started to yell from fear (I think all parents feel a sudden urge of fear and anger when their kids get hurt) and took the lightsaber and threw it across the room telling us to get rid of them, as he examined her eye.
But this blog isn’t about my dad bashing my toys. In fact, when my aunt told me that story, it made me wonder about my dad and what toys he had played with as a child. I grew up in the very same house that my father did. His grandfather built it and to this day my dad still lives in it with my mother. Now, growing up there, my brother, sister and I have been through every closet, alcove, crawlspace, end of the attic and basement that there was, and never did we find any evidence of anything that belonged to my father as a child. Heck, we didn’t even find any cool pirate maps like in the Goonies. But this never crossed my mind until my aunt told me her story. It got me thinking to what my father did play with as a child and I knew one day I would have to ask him.
So, the weekend of Memorial Day, that Saturday, my parents came over. My dad was going to help me install my window air conditioners, which I had already did, so after packing some foam so that no bugs could get in any holes, he went with me to drop of my lawnmower which had broken a few weeks ago while cutting the grass. I knew as we drove to the place this was the perfect time to ask, so, nervous as I was, I asked.
First I asked how come there were no toys of his from when he was a kid. His reply was that most probably got broken or thrown away. Not surprising, that has happened to all of us at one time in our lives or another. Then I asked what kind of toys did he have. This one took some time to answer and he could only remember three of them.
The first was a toy Winchester rifle. He said you would put a fake bullet in the chamber, then some caps. When you fired the gun the cap would go off and then cocking back the handle the bullet would pop out of the chamber. It actually sounds like a pretty cool toy to play “Cowboys and Indians” with. As a kid we had our share of cap guns, but nothing as exciting as my dad told me about.
Another toy he told me about was a plane cockpit. I believe you would aim it at the wall, and a red light of sorts would hit the wall as a line and a plane would fly by. You would then shoot a suction cup dart at the plane and try to hit it. This sounds like a pretty cool toy and one I wish I could see a picture off. Also, it sounds pretty ahead of it’s time too.
Those two mentioned above were the most interesting. He also mentioned about a red metal fire truck and some trains. I wish he could’ve remembered more, but it was just cool to hear about these. Of course it would be even cooler if he still had these toys to show me. I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking on Ebay just to try and see what they looked like.
I was kind of scared at first to ask my dad this question, but I’m glad I did. I think it was a nice moment we shared where I got to know a bit more about him. If I could time travel, I’d love to go back in time to when my dad was that age, and myself be that age as well, and play with those toys with my dad. I know him from my childhood growing up, but knowing him from his childhood days would be a pretty cool thing.
As Father’s Day approaches, why not do the same. For those of you who collects toys with your father, why not go out and search for some toys, discussing what made him into the collector he is today, and what his favorite toys were as a child if he doesn’t still have them. For those of you whose father doesn’t collect toys, why not ask him about his childhood days of playing with toys. You might just learn a thing or two about your dad you never knew, and I can promise you that your dad would absolutely love it if you started talking to him about him.
Until next time,