My Own Personal Toy Story

      27 Comments on My Own Personal Toy Story

As a child, I was not a ‘Barbie girl’.

Clothes and high heels? Eeesh.

And baby dolls?

Ack. Gag. What the hell was I supposed to do with one of those? Blech.

Interestingly enough, I currently don’t own a dress and don’t have kids. Hmmm.

I mainly played with stuffed animals, plastic creatures (I loved rubber snakes and dinosaurs) and male action figures (anyone remember ‘Big Jim’ and ‘Big Josh’?).

Yeah. I was a real little princess, I was.

Now, any self-respecting animation artist knows that if you don’t have some kind of toy collection, you are not that serious about animation.

It’s some kind of unwritten law or something.

So I thought it might be fun to share a few of mine. Some are actually from my childhood. But a lot of my collection accumulated while in animation school and beyond. Most of which you can see above.

Let’s take a look shall we? (My apologies for the crappy photos.)


This one is from my childhood. I loved Happy Days and had a crush on Henry Winkler. I had the Fonzie Happy Days album for goodness sakes (and really wish I still did).

This toy is friggin’ pristine (except for the dust). It looks like it came right out of the box. I didn’t play with it so much as just admired it. The thumbs are pose-able and there’s a lever in the back to make his hands go up and down.

I challenge you to do this and not say, “Ayyyyyyyyy!”

I love him. And he lives on the top of my toy shelf.

Because he’s cool.

This Dog and Cat

Don’t ask me what they’re from. I only know there was a family they belonged to and I didn’t give a damn about getting them. I just wanted the dog and cat.

They had this cute double decker house they lived in (and my hamster used to sleep in). And little food dishes and everything. I played with them for hours.

They’re just the kind of thing that brings back fuzzy memories and I still love them.

C3P0 and R2D2

These are the real deal, my friends! From my child hood. From 1977 (yes, I’ve already told you I’m old).

The first edition of Star Wars toys.

They’re also in pretty damn good shape. What can I say? I was anal and organized as a kid too.

My only regret is that these are the only Star Wars toys I ever bought. I loved the movies, but I wasn’t all geeked-out over them (like some friends I know).


I have two of these guys. There was a whole collection of these Peanuts figures, but again, I only wanted the ‘animal’. He came with a little Woodstock too.

You could buy lots of different outfits for him (hence the shoes). My Dad made me this great wooden dog house with a platform on top so he could sleep up there like in the comic strip.

Many hours of childhood fun is living inside my beloved Snoopy dogs.

Simba Figure

Okay, he’s not really a toy. Or maybe he is.

Just a really expensive one!

I love, love, love this thing.

He sits proudly on top of a bookshelf that has pictures and of my deceased kitties. And their urns.

Yes. Their urns.

But we won’t talk about that.

And that is an X-files figure in the background, but I was too lazy to take it down from the bookshelf to take a picture.

I have a Scully and a Mulder still in their packages.

Because I am an X-Files geek.

Crabby Cartman

Even though he was bought by an ex-boyfriend, I still love this guy.

But the thing is, I always forget he’s crabby.

Because he lives on the television with a straw hat.

See? Not so crabby.

But at night, it sometimes feels like someone is watching me in the shadows.

My television just would look totally weird without my stuffed Cartman staring back at me.

What about you?

What’s your toy story?

Do you still have any from your childhood? Any really cools ones you love now?

Gosh, I really hope so.


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27 thoughts on “My Own Personal Toy Story

  1. Tzaddi

    Wow, lovely collection! (Can you say “lovely” about such toys? Does that make me sound old before my time?)

    I grew up on a sailboat so I don’t have much from childhood. Mom had a way of purging stuff when we weren’t looking just to maintain some semblance of sanity! I do have my smurf house and smurfs though, Rollerskating Smurfette and all 😛

  2. roger

    Nice collection. That’s so true about animators and collecting toys! But I’ve never seen Snoopy with shoes before.

  3. Friar

    Just for curiosity’s sake, I’d check on Ebay to see what some of your toys are worth. Bet you the mint-condition Fonzie or the Star Wars figures are quite collectible.

    I myself have a bunch of old beat up Matchbox cars and Dinky Toys from pre-hotwheel days. (I’m old too.). I can remember when you could say “Let’s play Dinkies” and it was acceptable.

    Each car has a story. I remember when I got it. Who gave it to me.
    I cherished those toys and played with them for years and years.The paint’s chipped, the plastic windows are cracked, some wheels are missing. But I’ll never part with them.

    I might write a similar myself, one of these days.

  4. Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome

    Other than a few stuffed animals and 3 piggy banks I have nothing from my childhood and actually have no interest in it. My parents still have most of my FisherPrice toys (The Adventure People and the traditional Little People) series, but since I was about 14 they held no thrill for me.

    Can you tell I’m all about purging? 😉

  5. Lorin Wood

    Wow (read with great sarcasm).

    Actually, I can’t be condescending, I’ve got a crazy collection of Transformers and GI Joe toys in storage. I’ll have to dig them out and play with them again before I bequeath them to my kids (they’re going to have quality toys with moving parts and spring-loaded metal things that can shoot them in the eye; I WILL relive my adolescence through them, damnit!)

  6. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Tzaddi – That’s pretty cool that you grew up on a sailboat. But I can imagine the need for purging! It’s amazing you had any toys at all.

    Ahh yes. The smurfs. I think I had a couple of stuffed ones. But they didn’t ‘make the cut’ for keeping into adulthood. 😉

    @ Roger – Yes, a quick walk through and animation school or studio and you will see the addiction on almost every desk.

    @ Friar – Actually I don’t think they’re worth much. If they’re not in the (pristine) box, collectors aren’t really paying. Not that I’d ever sell them anyway.

    I would be kind of silly just to collect stuff to make money from it. I collect what I love and want to keep (social media ‘collecting’ is NOT included in that…ha).

    My brother had tons of hotwheels too that got all beat up. And all those hockey cards! All gone. They probably would have been worth something if they weren’t all beat up too. No one put them in plastic sleeves back then….they were bound with an elastic band! 🙂

    @ Alex – I’m all about purging clutter too. I’m quite a minimalist when it comes to ‘stuff’. But I love my toys and they make me happy. So it’s ‘good stuff’. I’m sure you still have some other cherished ‘stuff’ that you keep just cause you love it, right? 😉

    @ Lorin – Making fun of me are you? Well, I certainly don’t think it’s a ‘wow-inducing’ collection, that’s for sure. Just a ‘I love this sh*t’ one.

    And yeah, think of the toys that could have injured us as kids! Those were the days. Ask Friar…it’s amazing we all survived. 😉

    Yes, relive your youth through your kids. Isn’t that what they’re there for??


  7. Hiro Boga

    Karen, I love your toy collection, and the stories that go with them! 🙂

    I didn’t really play with toys when I was a kid. My thing was the outdoors–climbing, hiking, playing in the dirt. Also, drawing and painting, and books, of which I had a huge collection.

    Because I grew up in India and left when I was 21, and have lived in North America ever since, I don’t own anything from my childhood. However, one of my two sons has saved a whole collection of toys from his childhood–everything from Ninja Turtles to a stuffed-toy version of Curious George. He says he’s keeping them for his kids, when he has some!

  8. Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome

    Other than those few things I mentioned I actually have little attachment to my things from the past. There is however a bunch of family furniture I have no interest in letting go off even if it’s not here with me in Spain.

  9. Liz

    I realized this afternoon that my youngest two daughters had never seen Toy Story or Toy Story 2 — I know, what kind of unfit mother would allow something like that! — so we had a bit of a marathon this afternoon. I’m in my own little moment of reverie thinking about my own dearly loved toys… and feeling so sad about their various fates (thankfully, Mrs. Beasley survived). I must also admit to being so amazingly jealous that you have Fonzie. I now realize he was my one true love….

  10. Bridget

    I HAD THAT DOG AND CAT! They were from some sort of hippie family alternative to barbie. These people lived in a tree, if I remember right. I always liked the dog and cat too!

  11. Sparky Firepants

    The first time I walked into an animation studio to report for work, I knew I was among friends.

    Every cube in the animation and storyboard departments were stacked with the same kind of toys I had at home.

    I knew I could let me geek flag fly.

    So Gilligan, The Fonz (yep, me too), and assorted plastic characters that no one could ever identify were promptly lined up along my cubicle walls.

    It was like a big open dorm.

    Fun to see your toys. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Hiro – Thank you! Nice to see you here. That’s pretty cool your son is saving all his toys. He won’t regret it.

    He *says* it’s for his future kids but I bet he takes them out once in a while! : )

    @ Alex – Well, one woman’s toys are another man’s furniture. 😉

    @ Liz – Well thank GOODNESS you finally got on that! Everybody should see those movies.

    You might be able to find a Fonzie on eBay actually. I do love him so.

    @ Bridget – GET. OUT. Funny, when I wrote it I thought “wouldn’t it be funny if someone else recognized them?” I never thought it would *happen*. Too cool!

    I have to find out what that family was called now. There must be some Toykipedia out there or something… 🙂

    @ Sparky – I knew YOU would understand all this ‘grown-ups with toys’ stuff. You had a Fonz too? Yay! What was his fate? Still got him?

    Fly that geek flag, baby!


  13. Friar


    I remember my brother and I taking our extra hockey cards, with a magnifying glass, and burning HOLES in their eyes and mouth. If we did it right, we could set the entire hockey card on fire!

    Heh heh. That was actually a lot of fun.

    God knows what kind of priceless rookie cards or old collectables we ended up destroying.

  14. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    You guys were like Sid in Toy Story! Ha.

    Card collectors the world over are mourning what kids of our generation did to playing cards. I think my brother had Bobby Orr and Ken Dryden and a whole bunch of others.

    All gone. I think my mother eventually tossed them all. So sad. But at least they were *enjoyed*, right? 🙂

  15. Eddie

    OH what! Get the heck outta here… the C3PO and R2 are off the hook! See I knew you was cool. 🙂 Late on the post but very cool collection none the less. I as well have some sort of crazy collection going on at my little hole in the world;

    I do alot more WoW and McFarlane stuff though. Entee-way great collection and thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work too. peace

  16. Brett

    I love the Pixar stuff, but the 12″ Storm Trooper nails it for me. Thanks for sharing. 😉

    I was a G.I. Joe/Evel Knievel/Planet of the Apes/Bionic Man kinda guy. Hello, my name is Brett and I played with dolls… (Remember when G.I. Joe figures were actual soldiers?) The only thing I have left is a big X-wing fighter. I didn’t torture mine – though I did build model kits just to brutalize them in creative ways.

  17. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Eddie – Yes, I love my SW guys and am SO glad I kept them all these years.

    Thanks for trying to share yours, but the link isn’t working (at least not right now). Darnit. 🙁

    @ Brett – A friend of mine gave me that storm trooper when he saw me drool over it a while back. It’s pretty cool too.

    I had some Planet of Apes figures too. But I have no idea what happened to them. I suspect the garbage can.

    (And there’s nothing wrong with playing with dolls. Really.) 🙂


  18. Holly

    Hey there, Karen!

    Thanks for your advice via email recently.
    I’ve decided I want to be an animator, in whatever form of whatever direction I happen to go in!

    Ironically, I realised that was what I should be doing when I glanced around my room, and noticed the Disney sketch prints from the Lion King and of Tinkerbell, and the random soft toys of cartoon characters dotted about the place. And oddly this is just what you’ve written about here 😉

    I’m not sure whether I’ll go on a year-long course once I’ve graduated from Graphic Design yet. I’ll see what my circumstances are when the time comes to decide and I’ll try to get in as much animation practice as possible over the next year.

    Many Thanks! Hope all is well for you,

  19. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey Holly!

    That sounds great. I’m really happy for you.

    Just remember that stuff I said about getting into debt and all. Follow your dreams but still be smart about it. 🙂

    And remember there’s lots you can learn from books and online in the meantime too. Keep me updated and keep practicing!

  20. Rufin Lutao

    I had Raphael Ninja Turtles toy when I was eight, played with it and then drawing it crossed my mind. And so I found a new hobbie 😛

  21. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey Rufin,

    I bet lots of animators and artists started that way too. Just like how lots of people started by copying their favorite comic books.

    It’s a great way to start learning it all as a kid. See? They’re a necessary teaching tool! Yeah, that’s it. 🙂

  22. Collin Davies

    I was part of the rush on the stores in Disneyland in 1995 (I think it was) and was one of the few who managed to get original Buzz and Woody toys. I love them so! A stuffed Tigger hangs from the mirror in my car, snoopy hangs out with garfield in my piano, the ninja turtles watch over my computer and a host of other characters live in my house. Some are victims of my semi destructive games as a kid but I haven’t got rid of any of them. Being a guy, G.I-Joes have key roles defending my borders. My young cousins and I frequently lock in mortal combat whenever I catch a glimpse of one of my cartoon friends being “kidnapped” and whisked away to my aunt’s houses 🙂

  23. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Ooo! Original Buzz and Woody…very cool! They didn’t make nearly enough of those toys the first time around, so they are awesome to own.

    Sounds like you have a pretty great collection there. Nice.

    And when are the kids going to learn? Toys are for adults! 😉


  24. Sarcastically I'm in charge

    I too remember that Fonzi Action Figure (note the capitalized letters) and Richie, Potsy, and Ralph Malph… I thought they were stretching it with those. I think those were made by Mego and the real strength of their Action Figures was superhero figs… and absolutely had my share: Superman, Batman with removable cowl (that my brother teethed on), Spiderman, The Green Goblin, Thor, Conan, the list is quite extensive… the larger Big Jim figures? Remember the armband that would snap when he “flexed” his muscles? GI Joe? with Kung Fu grip? Alittle trivia for you; the plastic in the kung fu grip splits… and the “lifelike” hair? spiffy but it does fall out. I still have a talking GI Joe with kung fu grip (or what’s left of his fingers) with a bald spot but he still has “a tough assignment for you-you-you-you).
    There were only a few things I have from my childhood……. a Mego Hulk figure…. and most of the original Star Wars action figures including some guns except I’m pretty sure Luke Skywalkers lightsaber is gone to the sands of time.
    One piece of trivia: not only did they make the Happy Days figs but they also made a few of the Knights of the Round Table… Launcelot, i think, has white armor to show his purity.

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