Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little People, young and old

Fisher Price has a line of toys called Little People. It's a large line--small plastic people and animals that fit in everything from a Little People school bus to the Little People Noah's Ark. Here's one example of the merchandise (Little People Lil' Mover SUV):



But I was thrilled when my mom got out the Little People that my siblings and I used to play with, so that Chickie and Zoodle could play with them. I get a warm, happy childhood feeling when I see the old-style Little People and their accessories.



As I examined the old toys, I realized they tell a story, a story about how toymaking has changed. Some of the Little People (presumably the oldest) are made mostly of wood, with just a bit of plastic (such as hair.)



Others have wooden bodies, but plastic heads. (You can see the wooden body on the dog which, appropriately, was chewed up by one of our dogs years ago.)



And some are entirely made of plastic, such as this handsome cowboy, and the Sesame Street characters.





Today's Little People appear to be plastic and/or rubber, depending on the character. They are cute and made with lots of detail...but seeing our old toys, I miss their simplicity. I suppose that's just nostalgia...and I suppose Fisher Price is counting on lots of nostalgic parents who grew up in the 70s and 80s, because they've come out with some old-style Little People that they're currently selling. (The Little People are bigger these days, even the old-style ones...probably to prevent choking.)



How long do you think I'll hold out before I buy the old-style schoolhouse? We'll see.

21 comments:

Kara said...

My parents kept all of my old "Little People" too - I vastly prefer them to the new style! I suppose they were/are a wicked choking hazard, though...

Call Me Cate said...

Not having kids, I was oblivious to the changes that had been made. I think sometimes ignorance IS bliss! I don't remember the wooden LP and never had fancy characters like Sesame Street but so many of those designs are so familiar. I'd already have an order in for the school house if I had munchkins.

LEstes65 said...

Ah! Old school. And I'm even OLDER school. So they didn't have the fancy Sesame Street or other character figures. Nope, I just rode my brontosaurus out to the rock pile and grabbed a few rocks that vaguely resembled objects in life and brought them back to the cave to play with. (nyuk nyuk)

SciFi Mama said...

If Paige still played with her Little People I would probably hold out about 5 seconds.

Special K said...

Thanks for posting those! I always loved the Sesame Street characters Little People and their house. I loved the older little people like the blonde-girl you posted and some houses we had and even a McDonalds!

ElleBee said...

My boys love playing with the LP toys my mom kept. Some are wooden heads and some are plastic heads, but those Sesame Street characters are new to me. My mom still has the hospital, the village, ferris wheel, farm, carousel and garage. We used to make a whole city. :)

The Clines said...

My old little people are still at my parents' house too. They used to be my favorites, especially the little dog.
Teresa

nopinkhere said...

I think it's funny that you mentioned Little People stuff we have--modern school bus and Noah's Ark. We've also got a fire truck. We also have an old-style house I bought on craigslist because the modern ones are so girlie.

TesoriTrovati said...

I LOVE THE LITTLE PEOPLE~!!!
Those were my very favorite toys...that little girl in blue with the yellow plastic hair made me wish I had blond hair! I think we may have had the schoolhouse too because I remember the little merry-go-round. Too funny! And the farm...but my favorite story involves the house. The doorbell was a little lever that when pushed rang a little jangly bell inside. I used to ring it repeatedly and say "ba-ding, ba-ding, ba-ding"...so much so that a family friend used to call me "Ba-dinger"! Thanks for bringing back that nostalgia...I am all for that sort of thing. Enjoy the day! Erin

C. Beth said...

Wow, this really struck a chord! I am smiling from reading all the memories others have of Little People. There's something a little magical about them....

Janell said...

I love that your mom saved the people. Every once in a while I look up vintage little people toys on Ebay and toy with the idea of getting some. The new "old style" ones look so cute... however I did read a few of the reviews and it sounds like the "schoolhouse" is just a tin lunch box that opens up on top. (Look at the cute pictures of this old one!)

Seansmoma said...

I loved the older Little People. Never had the Sesame street ones though.

I had no idea they were coming out with the classics again. I'm going birthday shopping for my Kiddo tomorrow. If I find these I think I'm getting them.

Thanks for sharing!

Chase said...

Awww, I love seeing all those old ones! It totally brings back memories I didn't even know I had! :) - Claire

Nick said...

We still have some of the old ones. I used to love those. My favorite were the mansion type thing we used to have, and the airplane.

Scriptor Senex said...

I do so wish we had kept Junior's little people. Yours brought back lots of memories.

addhumorandfaith said...

Obviously, your mom wasn't into having garage sales like I was -- at which I sold toys my children had outgrown for a couple bucks! Boy, am I sorry I wasn't as wise as her and didn't hold on to these, as well as the GI Joe's, both of which would not only probably be worth quite a bit now, but would also be so much fun for their children to enjoy.

Short-sighted. :(

C. Beth said...

Sandra--Well, my mom did get rid of most of our toys! She is definitely not one to hold on to much stuff. But she saved a few toys for grandkids. I'm glad this was something she saved!

It makes me realize I should be saving some of my kids' toys....

beckiwithani said...

I'm so glad Mom saved those! You definitely struck a chord with this post. I remember so many of those specific toys. I can't wait to let Molly play with the Little People at Mom and Dad's house at Christmas!

caryn said...

I love those old Little People! I loved the school house but it was originally my older sisters and she would alway take it away if I bugged her. I was so excited when one Christmas I got the Sesame Street Set and McDonalds, I'm not sure if it was the toys I was excited about or that they were all mine and Carla couldn't take them away! They were so much fun, thanks for reminding me about them!

Strange Mamma said...

OMGosh!! and the merry-go-round! I love it. Must find for my Little Man.

Kristi said...

SO cool that your mom has your old Little People!! Wow!

I.must.have.that.old-style.schoolhouse. :)