“I always thought it would be cool to go to the island of misfit toys.”

My alarm clock, one of the most jarring sounds in the world, woke me up today. I had to be out and about early as I was having my car serviced and wanted a bit of coffee time before I left. I had to be at the dealer a while, and as waiting is not my strong suit, I brought a book so the time went by quickly. On the way home I had to make a couple of stops, but I am now in the comfort of kith and kin.

The drive home gave me time to woolgather. A hula hoop came to mind, but I don’t know why because it wasn’t a favored toy as I was the worst hula hooper in the whole neighborhood. I just couldn’t keep it spinning more than a couple of times. A couple of show-offs could spin two at the same time, one around a waist and the other around an arm. I was impressed but pretended not to be. A Slinky also popped into my head. It was really a silly toy. You can make it jump from hand to hand or have it go down the steps. That was it for Slinky. After couple of times down the stairs, Slinky became boring. Besides, the metal easily bent or got connected one to another and then Slinky could do nothing. It was trash bin time.

Paper dolls were fun but were a lot of work. First I had to cut out the doll and all her paper clothes. That took some finesse as I had to be careful not to cut off the tabs which held the clothes on the paper doll. Kid scissors could never do the trick so I had to use my mother’s scissors. They were big and bulky so following the lines to cut took some effort. I played with the dolls as if they were people. I’d hold a doll in each hand and carry on conversations in different voices: high for girls, lower for boys. They’d have adventures for which I’d have to change their outfits. I remember the girls had mostly frilly dresses and sometimes a bathing suit, one piece of course. Props too were part of the outfits. At the beach we had a pail and shovel and a beach ball, both difficult to cut. My paper dolls always had names, but I don’t remember any of them.

I do remember the first electronic toy under the Christmas Tree. It was Battleship with sounds, and it was a gift to my father. He enjoyed playing it against me or my brother for a while but then it got put away in the toy closet down cellar, and, like the other toys in that closet, it seldom saw the light of day again.

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12 Comments on ““I always thought it would be cool to go to the island of misfit toys.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I can’t understand how I could miss Your post yesterday?! I read it this morning instead on my phone at work 🙂

    I think all kids at least once in their lives had a slinky 🙂 it always broke in some way but it was cheap so one could always buy a new one 🙂

    I never figured out how to make that hula hop stay up for more than a few seconds 🙂 so I preferred to play with my toy cars. But I loved to play with my electric train track. The train just drove around in that big circle but in my head I went all over the world 🙂

    We’ve had a rather nice day here but now clouds cover the sky and we’ll get some rain tomorrow but summer will return again after that. Perfect for when I’ll leave my car at the garage to get it fixed, the dogs and I can walk up the mountain early on Friday morning to get it back again, in the sunshine 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I figured you got busy, but I did wonder if you were okay!

      I love model trains. I always wanted a set but never got one until I was an adult when one o my roommates gave me one. I made all sorts of buildings for it and had the most fun.

      It was a great day today-in the mid-70’s with a nice breeze. The house stayed cool all day.

      My car got an oil change and some warranty issues corrected. I hardy drive anywhere any more so the car ahs only a little mileage.

      Tonight will be in the 60’s-perfect for sleeping.

      Have a wonderful evening.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Hula Hoops and paper dolls were not among my favorite toys. Slinky did not become a favorite until I was in my early 20’s. I found the sound and motion combination to be relaxing. They do break easily though. Especially when your brother’s friend throws one end of it out the back of a convertible while driving 40 MPH. They can stretch a lot. It never recovered from that.
    I used to play the Slinky in work while I was contemplating some odious problem that needed to be addressed. One morning, I started with the Slinky practically as soon as I sat in my cube. Over the panel I heard one of my employees say, “Don’t go in. I hear the Slinky already.” That Slinky is still with me. It’s over on the file cabinet in case of emergency but I haven’t had to use it since I retired. 🙂

    Sunny, breezy day up here but I guess the perfect days will end with storms tomorrow.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      They weren’t among my favorites either. I couldn’t keep the hoop going and had no idea why anyone would play with a Slinky.

      I had a couple of plastic Slinkies on my desk. Kids being “interrogated” by me would hold one and move it back and forth. It calmed them enough so they could talk. It sort of had the same purpose as your Slinky.

      Today was lovely, and I’m hoping the weatherman is wrong about tomorrow, but if he isn’t, I’m okay as we still need the rain.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Birgit Says:

    I loved my slinky -it was science!- and I still have my old wooden hula hoop. Dolls were misfit toys. Toys or other personal stuff, I didn’t have a choice what to keep anyway, I guess the surviving hula hoop was just too big for the trash bin. I could still spin it when I tried some time ago.

    • katry Says:

      I don’t think I’ve even seen a wooden hula hoop. Ours were always plastic, but you did get to pick the color.

      I was not into dolls too long. I found them a bit boring by the time I was 7 or 8.

      I hated not being able to keep it going!

  4. Bob Says:

    I could keep the hula hoop going for a short while but it was not my favorite toy. It was a fad that didn’t last long especially among boys. Even today I enjoy playing with a slinky. It’s an amazingly simple spring that can give hours of enjoyment. It can go up and down stairs, go from one hand to the other and amaze both young and old. Battleship with sound effects seems like fun but it’s hard to compete with today’s video games.

    Today we hit an actual air temperature of 106 degrees. That’s not the heat index but the temperature. The cool front is stalled at the red river waiting to bring us relief in the form of upper 90s temperatures. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      You did better than I with it. I really didn’t know any boys who hula hooped.

      I never got my Slinky to go up stairs, only down. How did you get it to go up? It could hold my interest for only short time. Watching it go from hand to hand had a short span of attention.

      Battleship with sounds had no competition. It was the first one. That’s why it was so popular. Video games had yet to make the scene.

      Beautiful again today. I’ll take the snow over the heat. It is easier to get warm than to get cool.

  5. t gibons Says:


    The Marvelous Toy. Chad Mitchell Trio. Done by other groups. Peter Paul and Mary etc. TMC is the best. Great song.

    • katry Says:

      I have the PP&M version but not the Chad Mitchell. I forgot all about it when I was posting. It would have been a great choice.

  6. Jay Bird Says:

    Slinkys would amuse our Chocolate Lab, a loving but rather dense gal. Our Golden looked over and shrugged. The precision of paper dolls must have prepared females for the odious task of makeup.

    We boys just did toy soldiers indoors, and war games outdoors. When the time came when we could actually go to war, we all said “peace, brother”, and passed on the chance to really kill someone. Pretty neat idea, I think.

    • katry Says:

      Our dog when I was growing up never even noticed the Slinky. Gracie would-she is that sort of a dog and loves to play.

      I never thought about putting make-up on and the steady hand needed.

      Superb idea-play at war and avoid the real thing. If only that happened!!

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