Random Thought: Easy-Bake Oven & Cabbage Patch Kids
After watching Toy Story 3 this weekend, I have two toy-related childhood stories to share with all of you. The first story popped-into my head while I was pondering my penchant for foods cooked in the oven (whether it's baking or roasting). The second story came to mind as I was writing the first story. Here goes...
Story 1: As a little girl, the one toy that I really Really REALLY wanted (aside from a Cabbage Patch Kid) was an Easy Bake Oven. Since my dad was a toy manufacturer for Hasbro back-in-the-day, there really wasn't a good explanation as to why I couldn't get one, right? Wrong! Unfortunately for me, my father manufactured dolls. Easy Bake Oven was under the domain of a completely different division of Hasbro than the one he worked with. Yes, there were lots of free My Little Ponies and Barbies but really, they couldn't hold a candle to one Easy Bake Oven for me.
Why not just ask for one when I was in a toy store, you ask? I don't think I ever bought a single toy in a toy store. In fact, I was rarely taken to a toy store as a child. I believe my parents' reasoning (sound for adults but shaky for a kid) was this: why do I need to take my child to the toy store when we can take her to the Hasbro sample toy room? So I never had the opportunity to come face-to-face with an Easy Bake Oven at a toy store, and do the point-and-pout routine.
Every now and then, I think about getting an Easy Bake Oven...just to try it once!! I love using the oven in my kitchen to bake and roast. Perhaps it's because I was deprived as a child of an Easy Bake Oven? Did you own one? Or were you like me and just dreamed about one? Hmm...maybe I should get one. How often do you get to fulfill a childhood dream so easily? (Because I'm sure not buying myself a pony.)
Story 2: If you're around my age, then you remember how Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage. Everyone had to have at least one Cabbage Patch Kid. Let's just say that I was very adamant and vocal about getting one. I never really asked for toys (I knew I had a lot), but this was one toy that I could not not have. And yes, they were practically impossible to find in the stores...sold out everywhere.
So what did my dad do? He had a friend in the toy business give him a fake (hmm..."fake" is not the right word. Imitation? Yes, let's use "imitation."), imitation Cabbage Patch Kid. I was soooo excited when he showed up with it. But let's be real. Kids are not dumb. Kids are really Really REALLY smart when it comes to things they want. It's really hard to hoodwink a kid with an imitation anything. What's the first thing I did? What any kid would have done: I pulled off the pants of the imitation doll to make sure that it had a signature on its ass. And then, yes, I threw a huge tantrum when I realized that he tried to give me an imitation Cabbage Patch Kid.
Apparently, my father didn't know about the signature on the ass (for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, the company that created Cabbage Patch Kids cleverly stressed the importance of authenticity; every child knew to check the ass of their Cabbage Patch Kid for an authenticity signature). It was a very clever marketing scheme of the company and it worked: no signature on the ass = not a real Cabbage Patch Kid. My dad was somewhat bewildered when his daughter started ranting and raving about how the doll wasn't real because it didn't have a signtuare on its ass!
In the end, he came out like a champ. About a month after the whole hoodwinking incident, I received my very own real Cabbage Patch Kid. Actually, I received two. One was a newborn and the other was a red-haired girl with bangs and pigtails. Life was good.
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