Parents who hope to expose their children to different kinds of play, like science sets for girls and dolls for boys, for example, can find themselves stymied by a toy industry that can seem stuck in the past when it comes to gender roles.
It's still technically summer, but for some it's not too soon to think about what the kiddies will want for the holidays.
When I was asked to share a few favorite family memories from Christmas celebrations of the past, it was tough to narrow down which stories to share.
Terri Crane repairs and sells vintage Mattel "talker" dolls from the 1960s. She is particularly fond of "Mrs. Beasley" dolls -- she had one, growing up in South Holland -- made famous by TV's "Family Affair" series. A gently used, restored original can fetch $150 while an all-original Mrs. B…
Some Mattel pull-string "talkers" from Terri Crane's collection bound for the Antique-Collectible Toy & Doll Show on Sunday in St. Charles, Ill. (Clockwise, from top) Captain Kangaroo; Bugs Bunny; Mrs. Beasley; Bozo the Clown; Patootie; Crackers the Parrot; and a pig-tailed Chatty Cathy (center).
Terri Crane shows the internal workings of a talking doll's voicebox. When the doll's string is pulled, vibrations drop the orange record player arm (with a tiny needle) onto the spinning white disk. The miniature LP then plays pre-recorded tracks.
Scratch a female boomer, find a girl loyal to her favorite doll, her childhood playmate and confidante. And DeMotte doll collector-restorer Terri Crane is happy to coordinate reunions between buyers and long-lost dolls.
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