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Mathor
07-27-2009, 02:23 PM
Unless you were raised under some sort of metaphysical 'rock', it is fair to assume that everyone here has played with some sort of toy in their childhood and adolescence. The question i'm trying to get as is:

How do toys define our personalities, growing up and into adolescence?

Do girls who play with Barbies become obsessed with their self-image, or is it simply disconnected with the psyche.

If someone is given a toy instrument, might they become a musician upon growing up?

Do these things have any effect on who we are as individuals?


Let me know what you think.

(Can include anything you believe to be toy, even videogames or internet)

Helga
08-01-2009, 09:12 AM
my favourite toys were stuffed animals and Lego. I love animals today but I don't build anything, but I do think it influenced me though. I used to make stories around what I was building and what kind of people my Lego men were.

I had a Barbie too and I can tell you I am not obsessed about the way I look, my mom always said that she was so happy to have one girl to go shopping with and that could help her choose what to wear and would want to inherit her jewelry. it is fair to say she was a bit disappointed in me and she knows I won't be using her pretty jewelry.

now my son plays mainly with cars and some musical instruments and is very musical but he is obsessed with my moms fancy clothes and always wants lipstick when he meets her.

I think toys play an important role but don't define what you will become

Drkshadow03
08-01-2009, 10:28 AM
Ninja Turtles, baby! I was the Ninja Turtle king. I owned every single one until I stopped collecting. I made my dad go from shopping center to shopping center, toy store to toy store in order to get rare action figures like Chrome Dome.

I also really liked X-men figurines. I would make-up my own elaborate story lines when I was a kid using the action figures or I would re-"write" stories like the X-men Phoenix saga to make it better by remaking them with my action figures in my own vision.

I wrote an essay once that I sold to a minor fantasy 'zine where I stated that I believe my original story creation with my toys led me to become an aspiring genre fiction writer.

Pensive
08-01-2009, 10:48 AM
When it comes to toys, when little, it were only cars and dolls that I was obsessed with upto a certain extent. Now my most favourite computer games are Sims and Grand Theft Auto, but, that's the only connection I can make right now.

JBI
08-01-2009, 11:27 AM
Oh, definitely - though I think the toy is prebuilt in with the image - the chicken proceeds the egg - for instance, we have a gender conception, and we fill it by making different genders play with different toys - G I Joe, is, in a sense, the ultimately American toy, as it features the traditionally quintessential American male ideal - that, for one reason or another, seems to be ebbing slightly today - though is still prevalent.

The Barby on the other hand, features a sort of idealized woman, in many cases - except, I don't think it is treated seriously at all anymore.

Now, I'm not a toy person, but it would be interesting to compare trends with Japanese toys, and Korean Toys, verses lets say New Zealand's toys, and Canada's toys - I think, for instance, culturally Japan and Korea are far more gendered, yet are perhaps as consumerist - but, alas, I didn't have many toys growing up; I had a few tiny cars, and a plastic mat, and used to simulate car crashes, and some legos (the bricks, none of the fancy sets) and some board games - and then by 96 or so I got a home computer, and, luckily, was family friends with the owner of the large company that designs educational computer games, so I got all those for free - and yeah, so I don't really know too much about toys.

I did see the other day though, an 6-8 year old listening to music on one IPod while playing video games on another one - I found that a bit of a shocker, as those things are like 300$ a piece, but perhaps that is the new trend - when I was that age though, they just came out with that giant fat gameboy had just been taken over by the new pocket gameboy (still without any color) and the Nintendo 64 thing had just come out (none of which I owned) - so I guess technology changes quickly.

Helga
08-01-2009, 01:21 PM
I did see the other day though, an 6-8 year old listening to music on one IPod while playing video games on another one - I found that a bit of a shocker, as those things are like 300$ a piece, but perhaps that is the new trend - when I was that age though, they just came out with that giant fat gameboy had just been taken over by the new pocket gameboy (still without any color) and the Nintendo 64 thing had just come out (none of which I owned) - so I guess technology changes quickly.

I can't believe some of the stuff kids have today you see six year olds with a phone and i-pods and computers. expensive stuff they don't need

FanofdeBeauvoir
08-06-2009, 02:15 PM
I think toys can influence kids a lot, but it depends on so many factors, each kid is different and will respond differently to the influence of the toy.

About the Barbie thing for instance, it is not obligatory that the girl will grow up concerned with her looks, but chances are high of this happening, specially if the girl is still a toddler, researches say that until a certain age (which now I forgot) our brains haven't yet stablished our "mental image" i.e how we see our bodies based on what we think they should be.

Therefore if the girl plays with a Barbie, more thin than a human should ever be, her brain might get the toy's proportions as the "ideal" ones, leading to eating problems because the girl's brain believes she does not fit in the ideal proportions and is trying to achieve that. There's much more detail to it, but I think this sums it up.

As to my personnal experience, I think educational toys, when well done, are great to the development. My school had this CDs that taught math and grammar, and man did they help me!!! :D

I remember the grammatical terms were painted in all sorts of colors, and we had to sort then out while they went through processes in a machine.

The math one had this bank scenario in which we had to do operations with numbers, representing 1, 5 and 10 there were these coins that would totally follow the operation and do that "clinking clanking" sound.

Sorry for talking so much. :redface:

The Comedian
08-08-2009, 10:17 PM
I had more Star Wars toys (from the original trilogy) than I can remember. I still have some in my basement. I loved them. I played with them so much my dad glued their weapons to their hands so I wouldn't lose them.

Hell, I even have a replica of the Millenium Falcon (miniature) on my desk right now as I type this post.

pjjrfan1
08-09-2009, 12:16 AM
Bottle caps. I collected them from a local bar my uncles would go to, and eventually the owner would save them for me and my uncles would bring them home to me. With these I played soldiers, I made armies, played out WWII battles and indian fights and even did the 300 spartans after I saw the movie back in the 50's or 60's sometime. I must've been having a good time because eventually my neighbors began coming around with thier toy soldiers and indian and cowboys toys, but I always stuck to my bottle caps and they still joined in. Mostly I liked playing alone because I could call all the shots.

Jozanny
08-09-2009, 03:50 AM
I always liked my little brother's rubber monsters, which I think points toward my early consumption of science fiction--which, in an aside, I'd love to post more about with Drk, but the last novel I purchased was The Last Dancer, and that was the last in a franchise, none which I had read previously, and as science fiction goes it was maybe a C plus, and I cannot remember the book club titles of my teenage years well enough to discuss in detail.

With dolls I liked Dawn over Barbie, but chick image just wasn't my thing; perhaps due to the cerebral palsy, but as a kid I did not understand enough yet to realize my minority oppression, so who knows.

I never really knew what to do with the rubber monsters, but I always preferred them, along with Legos and Tonka construction sets, and later Monopoly and certain puzzle games. How it shaped me, well, I always aced literature...

These days, they have crip toys. I am not sure how it might have helped if I had such things in the 60's.

Maximilianus
08-10-2009, 07:16 PM
When I was a kid I used to play mainly with war-related toys, like soldiers, cowboys, Indians, etc. I always wanted to be the good guy leading the other good guys in pursuit of the bad guys, at a time when I thought I had a very clear idea of who was who (mainly influenced by those movies that tell you who the good and bad ones are), until there came a time when I wasn't sure anymore as to who deserved to live and who deserved to die. At this very moment, not to keep killing the wrong Indians/cowboys, I packed them all together in the same box and put them away. I used to have a small knife I inherited from my father and I used to practice knife throwing against one of the Indian figures, influenced you know by what. Now I regret. Of course it was just a toy, but considering what influences do to people, mayhap if I had lived as an adult in the far west I would have done the same against a real person... or maybe not... who may know what biased concepts of good and evil will do to us, before they do it?

After that there came the times of creation, when I still wanted to use the knife but not anymore to kill toy figures, but to carve them. So I began shaping pieces of wood and leaves of paper while I was discovering tools like files, hammers and the like. What I mostly did still being a child was paper craft; something I still do when I have time.

As for knife throwing I still do it against abstract targets, and not anymore against putative representations of good and evil, because now I find it harder to tell one from the other. As I said before, I put the cowboys and Indians that survived my slaughters all together in the same box, and that's where they rest as equals in the same place. Now I can't judge who deserves this or that as I used to when I was immature.

So to conclude, my biased slaughtering games as a kid helped me grow a somewhat better man (I hope) when I combined them with a bit of mind work. I believe our toys, to some extent, influence our growth but only when combined with education and thinking, and in this sense this toy-business can help us be better parents if we share our experiences with our offspring.

Homers_child
08-10-2009, 08:02 PM
Well, my main toys of choice were Barbie dolls but in no way did they make me care about my looks. I actually hate shopping for clothes and spend about 5 seconds doing makeup everyday. ;)

But, while playing with my dolls, I would make up elaborate stories which in my view may have shaped me into loving books and writing myself, which is a big part of who I am and what I do.

Gilliatt Gurgle
08-10-2009, 08:02 PM
In my younger days I would most likely be found in the yard playing with scrap pieces of wood constructing houses or fortified military bunkers. The wood came from trimmings either from a nearby home being constructed or from a project my father was working on. My projects would include sun dried mud roads along with metal Tonka trucks and cars or in the case of the bunkers; they would be surrounded by the classic plastic green army men and tanks.

My father was a WWII fighter pilot who influenced my desire to collect and play with fighter planes. Eventually this led to small scale static model kits and eventually to larger flying RC models.

Other toys of my youth included “Matchbox” and “Hotwheels” cars.

Perhaps there is something to the concept of toys defining our adulthood. Upon graduating from high school my top two career interests included aeronautical engineering and architecture.
As it turns out my brain capacity was not quite lofty enough for aeronautical engineering, so I resorted to the seed planted by the scrap wood buildings of my youth and ended up in architecture. I have been in the architectural field over twenty years.
____________________

“The stone letters of Orpheus gave way to the lead letters of Guttenberg. The book will kill the edifice!”

kasie
08-11-2009, 05:42 AM
[QUOTE=Gilliatt Gurgle;760953].....Perhaps there is something to the concept of toys defining our adulthood..... [QUOTE]

I always wanted boys' toys - so what does this say about me???? Actually what I wanted was a big brother so that I could play with his toys - my friend had a big brother and I could see all sorts of advantages to having one in the family, bikes, building kits, trains, noisy games involving running round the garden shouting... and what did I have? Dolls. Dolls' houses. Teddies. Toy saucepans. Did I grow up to be a Mother Earth with a big country kitchen and a horde of children? No - I did spend a good many years as a teacher - I liked putting the dolls in rows and reading to them - but then I married an engineer and got to play with the toys in his factory. Maybe if I'd been allowed that Meccano set, I'd have got it out of my system that much earlier. :D

Gilliatt Gurgle
08-11-2009, 06:22 PM
Kasie,

Your reference to Mecanno sets caught my eye. I looked it up and Wikipedia and realized that the Mecanno sets are essentially the same as the American; A.C Gilbert Erector Sets, although it appears that the Mecanno sets came first.
Thanks for helping my recollection.

I had forgotten entirely about my Erector set. My older brother had a set that dates back to the 1940’s and I had my own set from the early 1970’s.

Take a look at the photo I attached here. This is the photo of my brother’s set that he gave to my son.

Note the “Hello boys!” caption in the upper left corner. Talk about your “gender conception” as mentioned by JBI above.

Gilliatt

Emil Miller
08-12-2009, 09:17 AM
This thread poses an interesting question and I think the answer is that it depends on the child. There are certainly instances where some children have been given a musical instrument to play with and have later chosen music as a profession. Others may abandon the plaything for something else that has no bearing on what they later become. Children often go through fads that interest them greatly one moment and which are replaced by equally arresting things the next. I too had a Mecanno set that absorbed me for months, then I became interested in model aircraft that I constructed from Balsa wood kits. This hobby that kept me busy for a couple of years included scale models of a Spitfire, Hurricane, ME109, Mustang and, my favourite, a replica of Baron von Richthofen's famous red Fokker tri-plane; yet despite the fascination these had for me, I suddenly abandoned them for something else. I would say that reading from a very young age defined my youth rather than toys.

qimissung
08-13-2009, 07:10 PM
I mostly played with dolls, or we played "pretend." That was a favorite; we had some bushes in our yard and we played in the space between them and our house. We climbed trees, waded in the creek, played in the rain, played tag and hide and seek. When I played with actual toys, though, it was usually with dolls. My sister and I went through a period where we made paper dolls, and we also made yarn dolls. Making up names and personalities for them was fun. We also played board games, such as Monopoly or and old one, but a favorite, Go to the Head of the Class.

I think I was drawn to things that interested me. I think that is a more viable explanation than the idea that these things shaped me.

Lynne50
08-13-2009, 07:25 PM
I loved to play with paperdolls, too. I inherited some homemade ones from a neighbor and we played with them for hours. I also remember spending my summers outdoors for most of the day. One summer, I guess I was about 8 or 9, we stayed outside all day playing beauty shop with our dolls. We washed them, washed their clothes, washed and combed hair, and painted their fingernails. Plus we dressed up a neighborhood dog. We invited all the neighborhood kids and we each took a "station". It was one of the best summer days I ever had.

qimissung
08-14-2009, 12:34 AM
That sounds like fun.

We were never that organized, but I loved giving them a bath and washing their hair. My mother despaired of their habit, for some reason. It did ruin their hair, by which I mean it never looked as it did when I first took it out of the package, but I couldn't resist.

Oh, and we rode bicycles a lot, and jumped rope and played jacks. I was very good at all of them. :D

Nick Capozzoli
08-14-2009, 01:33 AM
Toys were simpler when I was growing up, and there were very few. We didn't have I-Pods or video games...and there were no electronic calculators or or computers. Heck, I even remember one day when I was walking to school with a neigbor friend in the Bronx and he was telling me about this wonderful "Color TV" his parents just got. I asked him what color their TV set was, because we had a set, too, which was in a dark brown wood cabinet...
We also had a plastic screen we put over the picture tube. It was bluish on top and graded to brownish on the bottom, and when you watched B&W Westerns through it, it looked realistically colorful...

My two favorite toys in those days were the Slinky and a really neat contraption called Labyrinth, which you can took up on Google if you want to. When I got into High School I discovered model rocketry and Ham Radio. I still "play" with Ham Radio to this day.:)

Nick

Janine
08-14-2009, 01:50 AM
Did anyone here play 'dress-up'? I was nuts about playing that with my childhood friends. Her mother had a finished basement and she kept tons of old clothes, shoes (high heels) and hats for use to parade around in using our own imagination. She had yards of old velvet we wore as capes and we pretended to be queens, princesses and kings. It was great fun. We also played cowboys and Indians with our cousins. We even made our own bows and arrows. We also fished but with pins on the end of string on a stick...real sophisticated we were. It's a wonder if we ever caught any and then we didn't know what to do with them.

Other than that, I did like you Lynne, played with dolls and did all the necessary things one does for pretend baby, excluding the nail polish. We all loved paperdolls too. I loved drawing and coloring. I would endlessly do that to occupy myself.

kasie
08-14-2009, 06:03 AM
Ah, Janine, I'd completely forgotten the dressing up box! The most used items were some lengths of curtaining: the nets turned you into a bride and the velvet one made you The Queen - I was much impressed by the Coronation of 1953 - but funnily enough, I didn't have a white wedding and my claim to the throne has never been recognised so all the time I spent practising was to no avail.

Gilliatt Gurgle
08-15-2009, 07:50 AM
...then I became interested in model aircraft that I constructed from Balsa wood kits. This hobby that kept me busy for a couple of years included scale models of a Spitfire, Hurricane, ME109, Mustang and, my favourite, a replica of Baron von Richthofen's famous red Fokker tri-plane
Brian,
I too had built a few of the balsa wood kits such as the WW I Spad, WW II Focke Wulf.
The planes you listed were seminal and formidable in their time. I had also assembled the still popular plastic model kits, my favorite being the P-38 Lightning which my father had flown in the Pacific theater.


I mostly played with dolls, or we played "pretend."
qimissung,
Another popular toy that we had were the plastic Troll dolls. They were small, 8 to 10 cm high, made of a flesh colored, malleable plastic, each with a unique features. The most popular feature was the coarse, shapable, brightly colored hair.


Did anyone here play 'dress-up'?
Janine,
When I was around five to ten years old, a friend's mother would periodically have the neighborhood kids come to her house and she would dole out dress up clothes and accessories. She would have us pose out on the patio and take photos. There is one phot of me in a fine looking sky blue fedora, slacks and two tone leather shoes.

Gilliatt

Annamariah
08-15-2009, 10:08 AM
Me and my big brother used to play together all the time when we were young. So on the other hand we would dress up and play with barbies and baby dolls, and on the other hand we would play with Legos and toy cars and build guns from Duplos and play war :D I don't know how that should have shaped who we became, we are still quite different people :)

crystalmoonshin
08-17-2009, 08:26 AM
I never liked playing with Barbie dolls. Every time I receive one for Christmas, I would get disappointed. I was so into Lego which I got to play only when I'm at my cousins' house. After telling my mom I wanted Lego, I did get a set of building blocks which are pretty much like Lego but not as sophisticated. But it sure occupied much of my childhood time.

And what became of my Barbie dolls? I unintentionally beheaded them after a few days' play. I guess my disinterest in Barbie made me shun fashion and I am not at all conscious with my looks.

Annamariah
08-17-2009, 04:43 PM
I never liked playing with Barbie dolls. Every time I receive one for Christmas, I would get disappointed. I was so into Lego which I got to play only when I'm at my cousins' house. After telling my mom I wanted Lego, I did get a set of building blocks which are pretty much like Lego but not as sophisticated. But it sure occupied much of my childhood time.

And what became of my Barbie dolls? I unintentionally beheaded them after a few days' play. I guess my disinterest in Barbie made me shun fashion and I am not at all conscious with my looks.

We had plenty of Legos, which I enjoyed very much, but I would have wanted to have more Barbie dolls too. I only had two Barbies and one Ken, and my brother had one Barbie and one Ken. I used to be jealous of my friends who had so many Barbie dolls they couldn't even remember all of them :D

crystalmoonshin
08-18-2009, 09:09 AM
We had plenty of Legos, which I enjoyed very much, but I would have wanted to have more Barbie dolls too. I only had two Barbies and one Ken, and my brother had one Barbie and one Ken. I used to be jealous of my friends who had so many Barbie dolls they couldn't even remember all of them :D

My girl friends all grew up with Barbie dolls, too. Anyway, dressing and undressing Barbie dolls wassn't my cup of tea. I'd rather play Lego (or other building blocks) or go out and enjoy a game of soccer or basketball.