There are some things I hope never to grow out of: A love of Sour Patch Kids candy. An appreciation of the sophisticated humor in “The Muppet Show.” And the joy of ripping into a package newly arrived in the mail. Even better if it has a toy inside.
We got to experience that joy many, many times this summer and fall, as candidates for our annual gift guide poured in. Im not going to say anyone here got jaded, exactly, but let’s say that those last few packages were opened without much fanfare at all. Until the Cabbage Patch Kid arrived. Everyone in the office remembered their Kid’s name — or the poignant pain of never having received one. The doll is still going strong and celebrating its 25th anniversary, with only minor updates in style. Looking through the growing stack of dolls, toys, and games, we found Legos, Colorforms, hula hoops, reissued board games like Clue and Operation, and the 124-pack boxes of Crayons.
Soon we were Googling for photos of our favorite childhood toys (Remember Baby Alive? Or that preschooler-sized doll who walked with you when you held her hand?) and slapping hands away from the Legos and Colorforms. Man, those are cool toys.
It’s no surprise that so many of the classics made the final cut — although, I am surprised that so many fell below our $30 upper price limit. (Didn’t Cabbage Patch Kids cost a fortune, back in the day?) Not only are they still great toys, they also allow us to share a little bit of our childhoods with our children. Maybe we’ll actually get down on the floor and play with them. And that’s something we should never grow out of.
Like the toys you see? About half of them will be featured in giveaways on our free weekly e-newsletter, Minnesota Parent This Week (sign up at MNParent.com!). The rest — specifically those that are especially hard to mail — will go to local kids’ programs.
While we’re talking retro childhood fun: Your kid could win a role in Annie! Go find the promotion on page 28 and tell the kids to get crackin’.