“If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?”

The day is beautiful and warm. I sat outside on the deck for a while soaking up the sun and watching the birds.

When I was little, I always wanted a train set, but in those days there were girl toys and boy toys, and trains were not on the list of girl toys. Dolls were and every Christmas until I was around nine or ten I’d get a new doll. As I got older, the dolls got smaller. The last Christmas doll was a Ginny doll. She came with clothes and pink furniture. I played with her for a while, but then I lost interest and she went on the shelf. Games were for anybody and so were bikes and sleds. Boys’ bikes had a bar across, girls’ bikes didn’t. It never occurred to me to wonder why. It was just one of those things. Later, I figured out it had to do with skirts. The only guns I ever wanted were Dale Evans’ cap guns, but I didn’t get those either. I guess a gun belt wasn’t really a girl thing. My ice skates were white figure skates; my brother’s were hockey skates. He never played hockey, but he was a boy and those were boy skates. I actually don’t even remember him skating all that much, but I grew out of a few pairs of ice skates, still have a pair in the cellar.

I had a doll carriage; he had a pedal car. I remember walking the carriage around the block with my doll bundled inside. My brother sped down the hill in his car with the pedals whirring as he flew. His car was far more fun than my doll carriage.

Since I grew up, the lines have blurred between girl toys and boys toys. Kids can play with whatever they want. I even have a train set.

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8 Comments on ““If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I loved my train set and even bought one of those miniature train sets when I got older. I have no idea where they are today though.

    I did get a pedal tractor once and I can still remember how happy I was, I can´t have been older that four years old then. But we didn´t have any road on a hill thankfully 🙂 🙂

    I don´t think it exists any line between boys and girls toys here any more. Now days boys even dress up as Saint Lucia on December 13 over here. Well if they want to so why not. I´m happy as long as they are!

    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      See, all you boys got to love your train sets! My brother had a pedal fire engine, and I once gave my nephew one for Christmas. I even put it together myself, pedal assembly and everything!

      I think it’s a good thing that the line is being blurred even more.

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    Trains were the most fun, I wished I had kept all the ones I had over the years. At some point in time it clicks that toys are for kids and I ended up giving my trains to worthy little brats who probably sold them for a fortune and retired. Anyway, skates are a hot memory for me from this post. I remember that Christmas we all got ice skates and none of us knew how to skate. I mean we wore out the ice in downtown Alexandria. I had bruises from top to bottom but didn’t care . . . I knew how the SKATE! We even learned street hockey that year and almost gave it up when Ricky got hit in the mouth with a stick; lost his front teeth; had surgery; then plastic surgery; then still looked like Frankenstein. We weren’t going to stop playing rough but many of us chose the ice rink in the Village which was for practicing form only. I did.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I remember how hard the ice felt. It didn’t matter how many times I skated because eventually I fell down.

      I could even skate backwards but very slowly. It was my crowning achievement.

      Poor Ricky! I can’t imagine how much that hurt and bled. You all must have been just a bit scared.


  3. I mean we wore out the ice in downtown Alexandria. I had bruises from top to bottom but didn’t care .

  4. Caryn Says:

    I grew up in a neighborhood where all the kids my age were boys so I played with boys toys. I always had boys bikes because they were second-hand from older cousins and had to be handed down to my brothers later on. The bar on boy’s bikes is stupid. Just ask anyone who has been pedaling while standing up and had the chain skip. Serious ouch.
    My father had a huge Lionel train table set up in the cellar. It had the Plainview station, trees, people, working crossing guards. The whole deal. We would play with it now and then but mostly we watched him play with it. That was cool, too.

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      I know that serious ouch.

      A train collector’s club used to have a whole room dedicated to the set up with several towns, businesses and factories. It had bridges, mountains, switches and all sorts of stuff which moved. I loved watching that train.


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