Sunday, December 21, 2008

Toy Stories ...

It's not like I dwell on them.

The stories of toy torture are for the amusement of my nephews and niece, who get a kick out of hearing about their dad's mischief and malfeasance, especially since their dad turned out to be a creator of toys. (All of this, in case it doesn't come through, is written in good fun. I love my brothers and hold none of this against them.)

But yesterday I was commiserating with my niece, who, like me, is the youngest child with two older brothers, and I was recounting the suffering my toys endured. And because my brain is a strange, strange place (ask me sometime about my dreams last night involving grub worms and finding a baby in a plastic bag on my lawn and that not qualifying for a 911 response from the police – the baby situation, I mean, not the grub worms), I kept thinking about The Sunshine Family.

I received The Sunshine Family for a Christmas sometime in the mid-'70s, I reckon. The baby of the family (the doll baby, not me) was the greatest victim of my brothers' torture. The baby was wee, but the act was especially heinous because, unlike my Dressy Bessy that had been relegated to the toy bin in the garage, I'd just received The Sunshine Family THAT VERY MORNING.

Blow up my Dressy Bessy if you must. (This image, found through the magic of Google Images, is what Dressy Bessy looked like in happier times.) Sacrifice my Skipper doll if it gives you kicks. But please, some clemency for my Sunshine Family baby? For at least 24 hours? Alas.

So this morning, awake early – again – and wondering where I left my ability to sleep through the night (by the way, it's 6:32 a.m. as I type this sentence and still pitch black outside; I wonder if today is the day the world has been plunged into eternal darkness), I Googled images of The Sunshine Family.

This one gave me pause:

I suppose there must have been generations or iterations of the dolls, because I don't remember my mom doll having such sex-kitten hair. And I don't remember my dad doll looking so much like a possessed Kris Kringle from "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." And I really don't remember my baby doll looking so much like Andy Warhol.

But I also found an image of The Sunshine Family Van, which was what I'd received that Christmas. Though it wasn't a van, it was a pick-up truck and a house/store/craft hut sat in the bed of the truck, presumably so The Sunshine Family could travel around and sell their wares wherever the road led them.

Of course, even then, the dolls had impossibly small waists. But I guess that trend started with Barbie, well before The Sunshine Family brought their crunchy-granola ways to the toy world. You'd think, though, that the creators could have made the eyes a little less creepy.

P.S. It is now 6:55 a.m. Daylight has broken. Phew.


Blogger J. Marquis said...

I think there might be a great Stephen King story in there somewhere...

1:27 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

I have to agree J. Or a great episode of Supernatural....

12:18 PM  

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