I went through an era in my life that I loved and thought every stuffed toy was the biz! Except for Chucky! He was the bane of some of my most frightening childhood nightmares! A toy that could talk, wields a knife and has scary eyes – I could not look at any toy for months in fear that they would come to life!
Strangely, not unlike the new star of the Teddy Bear world, “TED”, though instead of a knife, this “cute” looking teddy bear has a foul mouth and spouts sexual innuendoes at everything he sees.
For some reason I was never a fan of the plastic dolls (Barbies & Cindys). Even at a young age I thought those types of toys were a little too girly for me, but a lot of my girlfriends would go out of their way to play with their Barbies and Kens and make happy families for them.
My interest started at Cabbage Patch Dolls. When they first came out on to the market they were cute (real definition – UGLY but INTERESTING). It was like looking at a really ugly baby – I can almost hear the shocked gasp of a million Mom’s saying “There is no such thing as an ugly baby”! These little darlings had huge round heads, round stunned eyes, snubby noses and cheeks so rounded it looked like a bag of Marshmallows was stuffed in there.
My next phase with stuffed toys came later in life. I started to make up for it by winning stuffed toys from fairs and those arcade point-and-grab machines. I spent a lot of money on those machines because I wanted “THAT ONE”. I displayed all of my winnings in the back window of my crappy car. I am visualising a number of readers nodding your heads and reminiscing that embarrassing phase in your life chanting “been-there-and-done-that” or you would know someone who did! Or maybe I really was that sad person!
As the years have gone by, I believe I am now older and hopefully much wiser! This does not however correlate to what I like to buy my friends; for some reason, I still think no matter your age, a teddy bear for whatever the occasion (be it Birthday, Anniversary etc.), is just suitable! It’s something about the ribbon around the neck, the colour of the bear or even the factor that you can’t help but to hug the bear to your face when you receive a stuffed toy! No matter your age – a cuddly bear brings you straight back to childhood.
It’s almost become a compulsion that whenever a friend has a newborn (be it girl or boy), a group of friends would get together and buy the LARGEST teddy bear in the store just to show we care! You know the type I am talking about – Teddy Bears that are so big that the parents would think of any excuse under the sun NOT to take it with them when they move apartments/house! We just can’t help it – It’s an impulse buy; it’s what we would have wanted when we were wee babies; it’s what our parents would have thought was the most inappropriate gift EVER – no one ever said gifts had to be well thought out!
My husband often comes home with tiny cuddly toys he bought as charity donations off Hard-of Hearing Charity representatives – and as the sentimentalist in me, I always thought these were such heart felt gifts (albeit, Chocolates or Flowers would have also had me melting into a puddle at the loving gesture) whilst he was also doing something for charity. The thought behind each one of those toys, kept them safe from the fatality of the rubbish dump.
Most recently a colleague was doing his humanitarian aid volunteering; All of a sudden, I found a destination that all my cuddly toys that I’d accumulated over the years could go to – a great cause and hopefully cheering up a lot of Children in the process. Who says those “sentimental” toys couldn’t go to a better home?