questionswhat was your favorite childhood toy that is…

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I have a stuffed dog from when I was 3. I used to sleep with it all the time.

It did have some minor repairs (restitching some parts), but for the most part it is still alive today, minus some tears. It is about 21 years old.

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It's Slinky, It’s Slinky
for fun it's the best of the toys
It's Slinky, It’s Slinky
the favorite of girls and boys.

Everyone knows it's Slinky!

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I have a checkerboard fabric stuffed dog that my mom bought to put under my head in the shopping cart when I was just a few weeks old. That was over 50 years ago. The foam stuffing has solidified, so if you don't handle it carefully it crumbles. From time to time I still see that exact same toy in stores. But the "toy" that was most beloved to us as kids was an old saddle that my parents bought at a garage sale and mounted to the crossbeam of the swingset. We rode to many an adventure on that saddle.

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As far as recommendations, if you are looking for something nice rather than something cheap, check out your local craft market or fair. Most have hand crafted wooden toys and handmade stuffed animals that will last a long time and are made with individual attention and care. With the holiday weekend coming up, the odds are good there will be a craft fair someplace near you.

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@pute: I prefer Log. It's big. It's heavy. It's wood. And it's better than bad--it's good.

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Play-Doh. Loved it then, love it now. I'll never forget one night of Chanukah spent constructing "cakes" with my then 5-year-old niece's new Play-Doh cake set. With all the electronic doodads and princessy stuff she's into, it was nice to share something with her that I have always enjoyed. (She has never seen Star Wars and called Darth Vader stupid. How are we related?)

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Also, I would check out oompa.com (for younger kids) and Fat Brain Toys's classic section (http://www.fatbraintoys.com/toys/toy_categories/classic_retro_toys/index.cfm) for inspiration. And if they're really little, I love the Etsy seller Little Sapling Toys. . . they make wooden teethers and really nice blocks. http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlesaplingtoys

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Legos. Lots and lots of Legos.
Also Pound Puppies made a come back a while ago. Not certain if they're still available. But I still have Harvey, my pound puppy and his not-exactly-leather bomber jacket.

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I'm gonna go with Legos. You can never go wrong with Lego.

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@inkycatz: Until you step on one (س‎ ಥoಥ)س‎

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I was a fan of any and all action figures: Transformers, He-Man, GI Joe, TMNT, etc. Most are still around in a new incarnation (based off the terrible film re-makes), but nothing beats the originals!

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@lotsofgoats: Present me is much better than past me about picking up the Legos and putting them away. ;)

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I liked books and board/card games.

Yeah, I was a fun kid...

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Frisbee--and my dog votes for this, too.

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Blocks. Wooden blocks, of the classic 1x2x4 dimensions, and their variants (1x1x4, 1x2x2, and the arches, triangles and so forth). Sure, legos are fine, legos are cool, but the current trend toward fancy kits and (ugh!) GIRLY sets detracts from their appeal. But good old wooden blocks are still as versatile and open-ended as they ever were.

When I and my brothers were kids, my dad got some high-quality 2x4s, took them to the machine shop and precision-cut us a set. They're still around, after being passed through three families and back to my folks for visiting grandkids. You can't get lumber of high enough quality to do that any more, at least not without paying way too much, but Melissa and Doug make a nice set (search for Standard Unit Blocks) that my 3yo son uses mostly for making bridges over his train tracks. My 18-mo daughter likes knocking down towers that I build, so there's also that.

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Definitely a Slinky!!! No question. That is until your older sisters made you play jump rope with it and it got all tangled up. Then it would be GI Joe to plan an assault on the Barbie dream house and take Barbie captive.

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broken glass and rusty swingsets.

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My Trike!. Seriously though, what is cuter than a little kid in overalls (preferably vintage ones that say "Built Like a Mack Truck" on the pocket) riding circles in the driveway?

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Mrs. Beasley doll. Ok technically I was terrified of it when I was a child but now I think it's hilarious. The little demon is available on Amazon but she ain't cheap.

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Plain lego blocks, like where you buy a giant bucket of assorted colors and mix them all together. The sets are cool too, and useful for hinges, windows, etc, but looking back, the parts that I spent the most time with were the regular blocks.

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Had lots of Transformers, GI Joes, Star Wars, and He-Man. Can't really get the He-Man any more but I did buy 2 20 episode discs at Target for my kids to watch. Glad they love it because I can hardly stand it now. Amazing what you like when you're a kid.

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@codex: I second things made by Melissa & Doug. You can find them all over the internets. (I assume stores as well, but we don't do a whole lot of shopping for children.) They can be a bit pricey if you don't find a sale or coupon code, but they tend to be of high quality. And they're not the 14,000 moving parts with 97 tiny batteries, etc. They're great kids toys that mostly stand the test of time, both in the way they're built and the way that kids from really varying demographics like them.

EDIT: Here's an unsorted Amazon list of Melissa & Doug stuff to give you an idea of what they have.

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Oh, I love this question. Makes me smile. My first response is a SLINKY. They make them in such cool colors now. Then I think of the smell of play doh (I love raw dough...ok, I'm one of those they make cookie dough ice cream for!). I had a doll collection, but gave them away as I got older. But there was always that teddy bear that a favorite Aunt gave me that I slept with until it literally fell apart and could no longer be put back together.

And books, real books. Nancy Drew. I forgot, you only asked for 1 favorite. :-)

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@palady: More than one favorite works just fine! I'm glad the question made you smile. Many of the answers have done the same for me!

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I hate to say this, because I kind of object to the concept, but I had a Hess truck that I loved when I was like 5 or 6. Hess oil revived that promotion again a few years ago, and they've been selling helicopters and other cool (and inefficient) means of transporting fossil fuels.

Later (maybe 9-12yo?) I would spend hours with skinny markers and graph paper making elaborate designs.

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@swaan: Hess actually never stopped the promotion, its been a tradition for my grandparents to buy me a Hess truck every year for Xmas(which is when the new ones come out) since I was born, I am turning 29 this year so I have at least 3-4 large boxes of them. A cousin of mine has the same deal from our grandparents, he said the older ones sell pretty well on ebay. Heh

Personally I kept all of mine and I am looking forward to giving them to my children some day.

Also, Lego.

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Legos. I love that plastic clink when you dig through a barrel of bricks.

And Richard Scarry books. I had one that was chock full of Where's Waldo style drawings. Every time you looked at, there was always something new to spot. And Gold Bug. The Richard Scarry books I find these days seem to be lighter on the illustrations.

Oh, and I forgot, my talking View Master with the Scooby Doo discs. I had the one with the yeti in the saw mill.

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Lol, first of all.. I failed. I wrote something really long and I hit the cancel button instead of the submit.

So to sum it up, I was a game console person and that would be the Playstation and Nintendo generations. Which I still mess around with today.

I was also into trading cards such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh back in middle school.

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@smasumur: View Master! Oh, my I forgot all about that! I found my original one when I cleaned out the house after my mother died - still had a lot of the "wheels" (can't remember what we called them!) with stories on them. Mine were mostly disney stuff for girls.

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I'll go with Lincoln Logs, Lite Brite, and card/board games (the originals like Sorry, Life, etc...)

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@zxzgrifterzxz and @swaan, I too have a vast collection of Hess trucks, over 30 years worth. I've kept every one, I just take the batteries out of them before putting them in my closet. It's been a tradition that my Dad started since I was little that I get one for Christmas, and even though I'm older, my Mom still makes sure she gets one for me.

As for the question,I always liked my Playskool people and my weebles. I had a school and a boat or camper or both, I can't remember!

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What age(s) are the kids?

I realize that these aren't necessarily toys,...but they were definitely fun and part of my youth:
- Sit and Spin
- Bounce Balls (the one you sit on with handles)
- Hula Hoop

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@eepeep: Six and seven years old, so a good age for the toys you mention. I am looking to have a general compilation of toys for different ages, though, not just for current gifts. This thread has a much bigger variety than I was thinking up on my own!