Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Five-Fingered A Little Person

RE-POST ALERT 
From October 2009


The Allure of the Fisher-Price Little People

Tonight I had a doctor appointment where I regressed to third grade behavior, which some of you may find incredibly disturbing. If you can't handle it, exit now. You have been warned.

Arriving a few minutes early, I sat alone in the small waiting room. I looked around and noticed the same Sweet Pickles Weekly Reader books I saw the previous week were once again sitting on the end table. While staring at the cover image of Goose Goofs Off, the old '80s TV commercial jingle played out in my head just as it did the last time, "Smart moms know how kids minds grow... Sweet Pickles..." Soon images of that stupid bus rolling down the street and a narrator or child exclaiming, "Here comes the Sweet Pickles bus!" followed.

Watch it here:


Next to the books I noticed something I just had to have. A little person. An original 1980s golden haired ponytail-sporting figure with exaggerated eyelashes and large smile. In kindergarten I absolutely loved Little People. Today's Fisher Price Little People aren't the same. I had the house, the barn and I think a school house. Today, they're larger and rounder, probably built to keep three-year-old kids from swallowing them or shoving them up their noses.


I scoped out the scene and made sure I was in the clear and quickly pocketed the little gem. I don't know why I needed to have this. When I was very young, I went through a phase where I would five-finger other kids' stuff. I especially had a thing for Snoopy and Hello Kitty school supplies and stationery items. If one of the girls left a Hello Kitty eraser out on her desk, I would quickly swipe it and bring it home.

It really gave me a strange feeling of euphoria. Like I had scored points in a video game or won something. I loved looking at my little treasures in the privacy of my bedroom with the door closed. There was something about unveiling them from my pockets and spreading them out on my twin bed. I'd sit under the pretty princess-like blue and white gingham canopy and matching bedspread and just admire each little item as if they were nuggets of pure gold. This was my secret and I never told my friends or my family.

Eventually I outgrew this devilish phase even though I never took anything of worth really. I just had this thing for random trinkets. I don't know what it was about these items.

Tonight I left with a little trinket and I keep examining it and I know I will probably return it on my next visit. On the drive home I wondered if the doctor would notice it. What if a child asks, "Where is the little person?" I better remember to return it.

Update: I returned the Little Person the next office visit. I never told anyone, even my husband. I'm only telling you guys, my trusted readers.


33 comments:

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Shoot...all you had to do was ask. I have a whole basket full of Fisher Price little people. For some reason I got rid of the buildings, but kept all my kids' little people. Some of them were from my older kids and they're wooden. The all plastic (like the one you "borrowed") came a little later. I have both. You know you can find them in antique malls, flea markets, etc.

TS Hendrik said...

I never had any little people, but my nephews did, and I didn't outgrow playing with toys till... I'll let you know.

Pat Tillett said...

Is there a black market for these things? I threw so many of those things away through the years....
I wish I had kept them, maybe I could keep you out of jail....lol

Cheeseboy said...

Yep, I remember those. We called them "little people with no arms or legs." So, not only were they little people, but also handicapped.

Ms. Anthropy said...

I still have them, along with the barn, house and bus. Also have Weebles. Remember, Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.

MoonDoggie said...

I never had any little people either but I do recognise them.

I've only stolen something once - a tube of glitter down my pants! (I was maybe 7)I then felt so guilty that I thought my mother knew I had done it so owned up to it before we even made it to the car.

She had stopped to talk to someone and I owned up in front of them. She must have been so embarrassed. I had to take it back to the newsagent and apologise - the shame!

Your posts always manage to get me remembering my stories :)

By the way, your title sounded so very wrong!

Jenn @ South of Sheridan said...

I used to have that entire series of books, I was absolutely in love with them! lmao

Megan's Creative Corner said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am following yours now too. I look forward to getting to know you. :)

- Megan
http://meganscreativecorner.blogspot.com

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Ha very cute!

Jules said...

I LOVED Little People but I don't remember the Pickles thing....

Katie said...

I don't remember the Pickles series, but I LOVED the Fisher Price people! I had the barn and the boat. For some reason though, I always called those guys "Skeeples". Do NOT know how I came up with THAT name, but it was what we always called them. Just seeing that little F.P. Momma brightened my day! Thanks!

Copyboy said...

You're like the robin hood of shoplifters.
Wow, did that photo take me back. And yes, I was one of the special kids that used to shove those wooden treats in my mouth. It's a wonder I'm still alive.
Oh, and thanks for getting that SP jingle trapped in my head. GREAT POST.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I still have a thing for Hello Kitty everything. In fact, I didn't start that fixation until my adult years.
Cheers,
Robyn

Ally said...

Copyboy, I've been singing that damn song all morning. No lie.

Robyn, our entire bathroom is Hello Kitty as is my hair dryer, my BlackBerry theme, etc. When I lived alone, it was much worse. I even had a Hello Kitty toaster :)

bbcd mama said...

Those are classic. And, yes, they are SO much different today. I would have loved to be a nurse noticing you grabbing it or posing it to shoot a photo with your phone. :)

Ally said...

BBCD Mama - Er, I didn't want to mention it was my shrink's office. Fitting, right? Ha ha!

Vicky said...

What a poignant post. I still have my Fisher Price dollhouse, and Sesame Street. We had the airport, the castle and the village for awhile. My mom would swap with others in the neighborhood from time to time and we'd get the farm or the big airplane. Oh how I love them! No surprise to me that the urge to borrow one was too strong to fight off! Glad she is safely back with her family and you can keep your pleasant memories of playing with them :)

mama-face said...

haha. I am so glad you re-posted this...it brings back so many fond memories...in the '70's I played "fisher-price" for HOURS!!! When I had young children I bought the new versions like a mad woman and I know they never enjoyed them like I had.

haha. love it. :)

Joann Mannix said...

I love the little people so much! And guess what? They don't look anything like that anymore. All plastic and bendable limbs and it's just not the same.

I am a Nostalgia queen. I've actually combed the Internet looking for these Flintstone dolls I used to have. I have no idea what I would do with them, but I loved them so much. Same thing with my Suntan Skipper. It gives me the warm fuzzies just thinking about her.

Dan Alexander said...

That Sweet Pickles commercial was on all the time (well, I also probably watched way too much TV as a kid, too). My Mom got me a brush featuring the zebra character from Avon (I really wonder just how much money she spent on Avon stuff over the years).

My Mom still has our childhood Little People Sesame Street set at her house, and my niece and nephew ask to play with it all the time, even though they are 10 and 7. I think the Roosevelt Franklin Sesame Street figure is a big ticket item now (we did not have him).

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I never had the original Little people when I was little which is why I probably went nuts playing with them when Emily was little. I love them so very much!

I used to set them up in little scenarios after she fell asleep so when she woke up she thought they had moved on their own during the night!

Way to go 322 followers!!!!!!!!!

@llison said...

Oh my god, I LOVED original Little People! NONE of my friends now remember them. I love how they were hardly "people" - no bodies to speak of, no discerning characteristics other than different hair, and sometimes facial expressions. So delightful. I had the barn with the silo, and got the castle for Christmas one year - best year of my life.

Christiejolu said...

My Dad has all those little people toys from when my sisters and I were little. They are all still in perfect condition and my kids and my nieces play with them now.

previsionary said...

That Hello Kitty/Little Twin Stars stuff was like gold. That's why I never left my school supply sh*t around kids like you. If I stole Hello Kitty sh*t as often as I'd coveted it, I'd have my own shop by now. I didn't trek l all the way into Flushing to get it just to get it lifted off of my desk in school.

By the way, I think I had this toy. I think I had my own mini city.

Double Wide Mom said...

haha! We'll never tell a soul! Do you or anyone remember Weebles?

Double Wide Mom said...

By the way? Do you remember that the little People actually lived in a two-story Double Wide. You know how you could pull apart the two pieces? I'll blog on that soon. Check it out!

Double Wide Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marlene said...

I never had any little people when I was growing up. I feel so deprived. No wonder I sit and color all day long now.

nikki said...

Oh yeah, my mom tried to give my old Little People to my son. No way, they're EXACTLY the size of a two year old's esophagus. They're more charming than the new ones, true.

multiculturegirl said...

I had both of those, lol. I might have took it too and I am not a thief but I love those! I had the whole city even a couple black ones. To Ally all toast at my house is Hello Kitty toast thanks to my 15y/o the only toaster we have is a Hello Kitty toaster!

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I will never tell! lol

I had all sorts of little people growing up.... Now my son has the newfangled little people that look like actual humans.... Toys were so simple in our day.... lol

By the way dude.... How do you ignore the Sharon, Lois and Bram's Elephant Show bit at the beginning of that commercial?

natalie said...

OMG! i completely forgot about that commercial! i wanted that bus so much!!

criticalcrass said...

oh wow! thanks for this! every now and then i would ask my mother about these books, because i couldn't remember their titles or who made them. all i could remember is that they had the maps on the insides of the covers of the little town or whatever.

and i HATE the new little people. when i learned my brother and his wife were expecting, i started going on a quest to find all the things we used to have when we were kids because my mother didn't think it would be good to keep them for later usage, which is okay, because i'm kind of having fun with the quest, but anyway. i saw the new ones and was all, hell no. but then i was in toys r us last year and fisher price put out some kind of anniversary edition of little people at school. i grabbed that with both hands, that and my bubble pop lawn mower, and hurried to the registers with my loot.

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