by Steve Berry - £12.99 The Friday Project Limited (2007)
hardback ISBN 13: 9781905548279 | ISBN 10: 1905548273
Do you remember tearing down the stairs at five in the morning, in wide-eyed anticipation of the mountain of wrapped boxes under the Woolies' fireproof silver tinsel tree? Do you remember the sense of disappointment when what you'd asked for wasn't among them? Or worse, when you'd been bought a cheap, knock-off version of a toy you really wanted?
As the marketing divisions of the world's toy companies go into overdrive for the latest must-have plaything, we inevitably start to ponder... was it all like this in our day?
This book celebrates the toys that turned up in the stockings of yesteryear, from the tiniest 50p rubber novelty to the many bulky Bakelite candidates for hallowed "main present" status. Quite often the little things, mainly through having lower expectations to live up to, went down better than the battery-hungry robo-gun-battleship thing mouldering in its box in the airing cupboard by Boxing Day.
From Big Trak to Buckaroo, Mastermind to Merlin, Sorry to Strawberry Shortcake, each desirable toy from the '60s through to the '90s is examined and catalogued (in the Grattan's, rather than the scientific, sense), with contributions from the people who made and sold them.
Plus we read stories of those who relived their childhood birthdays through online auctions and hunted down their favourite toys once more. Let the blizzard of Mr. Men wrapping paper commence...
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)