I am one of those eternal, materialistic children that still loves getting an Easter basket. My mother used to put together the most amazing, fun little Easter baskets that it was like having a second Christmas. There was nothing big or stupendous or expensive, but she has always had a keen sense of fun and would put the most nifty items in the ones I received all my life.
So, I made a little Target and Five Below trip and assembled a few things I love, and only one thing was over four dollars(the basket). Let’s take a look! (click on the pics for descriptions)
My little Easter basket! The basket itself is a mermaid tail!
A smiling plush turtle peeks out. Hanging on the side is an octopus figure by Terra.
This turtle is just so sweet and fits right in the palm of your hand.
What? Don’t you get an octopus for Easter?
I think this must have invisible ink in it.
Better shot of the mermaid tail basket. Isn’t it cool?
I decided to try out something Hatchimals-related and got a blind-packed egg.
Well, actually everything Hatchimals is blind-packed. Let’s see what i got!
Looks like a little birdie thingy.
A sort of pink penguiny thing! I think I’ll pass out bubble gum cigars!
Kinder Joy eggs. These are GREAT all around and are only a dollar.
When you snap a Kinder Joy egg in half, you have the candy side(gold foil) and the toy side.
Here is the candy, and I quote: “it is a delicious treat made of two soft cream layers – one sweet milk-cream flavored and one cocoa flavored. Nestled into the creamy layers are two round, chocolate-covered wafer bites that are filled with sweet cocoa cream, to be eaten with the included spoon.”
Here is da spoon.
On the toy side you get a small, usually very intricately made toy that you have to put together.
Both of mine are robots!
The instructions are always with pictures only so that they can be understood by any language. They are also adorable.
Toylanta was this weekend—it’s a big annual toy convention held in Atlanta over a weekend. It started as a hub for GI Joe collectors but expanded to include vintage toys across the board. I have friends that attend, friends who are vendors, and friends who attend with me, so it was an all-around fab time Saturday! Here are some highlights:
Piles of Joes!
Otherwise nekkid Joe in spiffy Christmas sweater.
I saw three yeti-like monsters which I would have loved to have benn able to buy and have together as a little rock group. Here is the Wampa, and Mugato.
Plus a GI Joe yeti!!
A large grouping of Star Wars and other dolls that looks like a terrific class photo setup.
Took this pic for my brother, as we played with his Smash-Up Derby set when we were kids.
This is something I want dearly–vintage Jurassic Park CARNOTAURUS! My friend Melanie and her husband Dutch have a booth with Jurassic Park figures. Alas, this is, as always, out of my price range.
The guy whose wife was selling these terrific mini kaijus was a horrible salesman; he couldn’t tell me the price of ANYTHING after his wife left to go get lunch or something.
I love the face sculpt on this Godzilla.
My pal Fooksie went with me, and he got a version of his favorite childhood Halloween costume– a Collegeville Casper!
Over the years, I have developed little traditions of things that are usually toys to find myself or ask to receive at Christmas. I am a toy fanatic all year round, but that fanaticism really gets ramped up at Christmas. There’s other things I like, too, as you’ll see….:)
1) A Pony for Christmas.
Yep,I was one of those horse-crazy girls as a pre-teen,but, after learning how much space and expense a horse would take up, I thankfully was able to channel that desire elsewhere: Breyer Horses. I have many happy memories of checking off particular models in the Breyer foldout guides that came in each model’s box, planning my “stable” and thinking up names for the new arrivals.
I still have many of my Breyers and I have found older ones from my collecting era on eBay that I always liked but never got around to getting. A true discount buyer, I gladly take the dinged, scratched models that are offered for cheap. And at Christmas, I have found a bit of joy in looking specifically for Breyer ponies– usually older models– and either asking for them or getting them with Christmas money.
On occasion, though, the Christmas Pony takes a different form and I find it as a plush toy. In 2017, for instance, when I visited Tractor Supply Company to get a gift card for my stepdad, I looked at their Breyer selection, but they were all new models, were horribly expensive, and did not pique my interest at all. I am just not into the new sculpts(not that they are not exquisitely done) done by the artists who took over after Breyer’s original sculptor, Chris Hess, retired.
However, on the way out, I stopped by the stocking stuffer bins and…
….there he was. My Christmas Pony. A huggable,flopsy “dolly” sort of pony,bay with white socks and a face full of mischief. On sale for half off the original price, the pony was ripe for the taking and I left the store with a gift card and a happy little roly-poly bag-of-beans pony cuddled under my arm.
2)Rescued Teddy Bears.
I usually “rescue” several teddies each year from Goodwill and thrift stores and take them home and give them a good hot wash in the machine. Some I keep, and others I donate. Where I donate them is a closely guarded secret.
My favorites of these are JC Penney’s teddy bears, made in the 90s and sold in their stores at Christmas. They are large, terrifically burly,and cuddly. They also represent some of the last great teddy bears before they all began to be made with much more cheap-feeling plush, became spindly and “beany”, and their eyes all became too close together.
Oh, my stars. Here is me, in the very early 80s, with messy unwashed weekend hair and my old bifocal glasses, playing with my giant horde of cheap plastic toy horses.
My dad made us kids a sort of hobby table in the basement—my brother and his friends used it to race slot cars for a while, then once they grew out of that, I came in and added a fake “grass” mat to it and it became my “ranch”. The table was technically in my brother’s section of the basement, and I just sort of took it over. In these pics you can not only see me and my toy horses, but a great batch of old 1970s toys in their boxes stacked along the wall.
I collected and displayed these horses in a way that you can see I obviously didn’t know the structure of horse families, haha. You can see I have a lot of little family groups, many of which match.
I’ll get to those toys back there in a sec. First, for the horsey folks, a closer look:
Christmas is gone, and in years past, a crushing depression would befall me this time of year. Taking the tree down is almost too much for me to bear; I am a Christmas junkie, through and through, and I don’t like it one bit when my fix is over.
Luckily, I belong to a couple of Facebook groups who are composed of Christmas kitsch collectors, and they have assured me that it is totally okay to want Christmas all year round in some way. They’re a fun bunch.
This year I am doing something new, and I wish I could grab a time machine and go back and tell my 20-year-old self to do it, too. I assembled a “Christmas Fun Box”.
See,I LOVE looking at old Wish Book catalogs,seeing what styles of decor were the thing, and seeing what toys were hot. What were the popular foods for the main Christmas dinner or snacks? And best of all, what sort of fun novelties and toys were the stores carrying that people bought for stocking-stuffing and party favors and last-minute gifts? This is what I wanted to curate; I’m already doing it with Halloween, and I got ready for my Christmas collecting by getting a small, Christmas-decorated box…..