10 Things We Miss From Childhood Karen Belz

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of pure nostalgia. While certain emotional feelings might be tied to products and concepts that no longer exist, they’ll never disappear from my heart. Sure, being an adult has its perks (no homework, and I can go to sleep whenever!) Plus, it was the ultimate goal one could achieve while being a kid. But when I was a kid, I didn’t know how good I had it. Or, how creative I truly was. I mean, every doll I owned had its own personality.

Here are ten things from childhood that I really miss.

1. Puppy Surprise

How many puppies are there inside? There could be three, four or five! But there were probably three, since everyone I knew had three. In fact, I think I remember one friend had a defunct puppy with only one. I’m guessing that was a real story, and not just some type of “Puppy Surprise Urban Legend” that was passed around the playground.

As kids, we really got a kick out of toys with a “surprise” element, despite the fact that the “surprise” fun only lasted a few seconds. Remember Magic Nursery Babies? It was a “surprise” if it was a boy or girl. After you ran the packet which announced the gender through some magical sink water, what you were left with was an ordinary doll. I had two. Why? Because the anticipation was just worth it.

2. Polly Pocket – When She Was Actually Pocket Sized.

vintage-polly-pocket

Polly’s last name was “Pocket” because both Polly and her case could fit in your pocket. Note that her last name isn’t “Satchel”. Seriously. Make note of that, Mattel.

Polly originated from an idea created by Chris Wiggs in 1983, for his daughter Kate. By using a makeup compact and a small doll, he realized he was simply a genius. Bluebird Toys of England licensed the idea, and Polly was officially “born” in 1989. Mattel held a distribution arrangement with Bluebird Toys, and later bought them out. It was in 1998 when Polly morphed into a new form. In 2010, they even made her feet bigger. At this rate, Polly is bound to be Barbie-sized by 2025.

3. American Girl Doll Catalogs

We all loved the original American Girls, but know what was even better? The catalogs. These catalogs were a world of wonder for the girl who didn’t know the value of a dollar, and could entertain for ages.

molly-american-girl-catalog-1991

I had Samantha, and always imagined how wonderful it’d be to have that tiny music box that came with the Samantha collection. In fact, I knew life would be better with that tiny little box. And the mohair teddy bear. Also, her school desk. And the winter muff. What’s a girl to do with a doll without a freaking muff?

4. Skip-It

skip-it-girl-90s

Skip-It was smart, in combining both exercise and fun. In fact, it was a pretty simple toy. It was a counter with a loop on it. But you didn’t think about simplicity – or even exercise. You focused on the fact that your counter would have a way higher number than the girls’ up the street. One of the biggest threats you faced on a daily basis was whether or not some jerk would come over and accidentally reset your counter. Just imagine – all of that work, with nothing to show for it.

Here’s a fun fact: That counter was actually created during the second generation of Skip-Its, manufactured in the 90′s. The first version was released in the 80′s, and obviously served no real purpose at all.

5. Getting Lollipops From The Doctor

Also: the bank. When you were a kid, people were handing out lollipops left and right, to reward you for not freaking out in public. Of course you’re willing to accompany your parents on their mundane tasks if a lollipop was involved. These weren’t even Tootsie Roll pops – they were the standard, flat pops with the clear plastic wrapper.

Imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if there was a chance of a lollipop at the end of each and every chore? (Obviously you can go out and buy your own, but it’s just not the same.)

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  1. Everyone thinks I made up puppy surprise and only remember it when I show them the proof.

  2. I was never able to order a doll but I was always so ecstatic over getting the American Girl collection. I dreamed of having all the dolls and furniture that you could buy for them. And I’m happy I’m not the only disappointed by the giant size Polly “Pockets” they brought out.

  3. Childhood from memories

  4. A.) I still have a Caboodle.
    B.) I desperately wanted that muff. (TWSS?)
    C.) The line “a public butt” made me actual-LOL.

    Well done on this list, truly.

  5. Lisa Frank was my favorite thing ever. I used to write letters in the mail to my best friend just to show off my amazing rainbow dolphin swag even though we saw each other every day.

  6. In third grade, I remember doing a “how to” demonstration with Skip It, where we had to include every single step to doing whatever skill we were teaching.

    Also, BEANIE BABIES! I definitely had a TON of those!

  7. I remember all these. I got the Kitty and Bunny Surprises, hoping to find enough rabbits and kittens to be Peter Rabbit and his siblings and Tom Kitten and his two sisters :-P good times.
    I also had a Polly Pocket set that, I think, was Cinderella-esque, with the castle and the horse-drawn carriage. I never had Skip-It, but I remember the ads. And I was a tomboy so I never got the American Girl bug. Looking back on it now, though, it woulda been something I had gotten into it. But it would have been funner with friends, which I was severely lacking of until middle school

  8. I miss those tiny Polly Pockets! It was like treasure if you lost Polly because she was so tiny. All those Mattel commercials back in the day made me realize at an early age that there was a clique in school, but we girls were all bound by our love for Barbie. Hahaha. Even the girls who think they’re the coolest hung out with us book-bound girls. ;)

  9. I only recall Skip-It. That was a fun only child game. You can compete with trying to beat your past high score. They even made it for adults now, it’s called any exercise machine with a Digital Calorie Counter.

  10. haha I still have all my Polly Pockets!!

  11. I must be older than your average subscriber. I remember Captain Kangaroo, Pillsbury Space Food Sticks (astronaut food!), and Super Skates. And I still have my talking Casper the friendly ghost.

  12. I never got an American Girl doll or a power wheels car. My heart still hurts. I don’t remember the name of them but there was a series of books that came with a charm necklace- I always got them for my fiends on their birthdays.

  13. I’d forgot about Oatmeal Swirlers!

  14. Popples, Pound Puppies, Pogo Balls, Teddy Ruxpin, Rainbow Brite!