Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fisher Price Toy Kits


When you’re one of the big names in kid and infant toys, it’s pretty much up to you to make whatever products you please. A parking garage? A hospital? Sure! Why not? Kids will love it. What kind of kid didn’t grow up wanting to be a parking attendant or graveyard shift night nurse? It’s up to you as the idea people to make these dreams a playtime reality.

Fisher Price is the name behind countless well-known products such as Power Wheels and ViewMaster, but perhaps none as generically memorable as their innumerable well-populated toy sets. Whether through simulating annual medical checkups or churning out make-believe grocery store transactions on our semi-functional cash registers, Fisher Price made the mundane possible. While before we’d have to make do pretending our dollhouses were full service airports, with the endless options from Fisher Price we had the power to make that dream a highly detailed reality.

The company offered endless variations of playsets; to create a comprehensive list of 80s and 90s kits would take pages and pages. To spare you the computer screen eye strain, I’ve narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorites. If you don’t see your favorites, the comment section is yours for the reminiscing. Go nuts.


Little People

You’d think the real little people of the world would band together and protest this sad, round mockery of their existence, but apparently the comparison must not bother them much. Little People were introduced in the 30s in wood form and gradually adapted into the obese little roly polys we know today. They may not be the best healthy body type role models for children, but they’re certainly fun to race-roll down a hill.


Hospital


When I think of settings that would make attractive children’s playsets, hospitals tend not to rank especially high on the list. Stretchers and wheelchairs are fun, sure, but it’s not always the most uplifting play environment. Some versions of the set even came with a dentist chair. Really, what kind of kid doesn’t love the dentist? It’s a failsafe feature.


Cash Register

Ah, provdingapplicable career skills. It’s always good to have a toy that doubles as on-the-job training for a low-paying career path. We may not have all aspired to be doctors and lawyers as children, but darn it, we could make accurate change.


Parking Garage


This is truly one of the most puzzling. What was the Fisher Price corporate creative room meeting like for this one? I’d like to imagine their staff was just driving around, writing down everything they passed, and turning them into mass-produced toys. “Parking meter! City park! Fire station! Cash store! The possibilities are endless!”


School Desk

Why should you have all of your fun at school when you can continue sitting quietly at your simulated school desk at home? Really, the excitement never ends. Whether it’s writing with chalk or arranging word builders, Fisher Price really knew how to strike a budding nerd’s fancy.


Airport

We all know how children love to direct air traffic and send the bomb sniffing dogs on suspicious flyers. With the Fisher Price airport, we as kids had our very own opportunity to simulate the tedious day-to-day action of air travel. The taking off and landing part could certainly be exciting, but all of that paging people with red courtesy phones could get a bit boring.


Medical Kit


Finally, the Fisher Price toy set for the ambitious child. From the stethoscope to the fake shot injector, the FP Medical Kit captured all of the things we as children hated about the doctor’s office and allowed us to impose these experiences on our unsuspecting friends. Most of them got the picture after the fortieth knee-jerk reflex test with that little plastic gavel, but it didn’t diminish our sense of fun at forcing them to sit still and wait patiently for their blood pressure reading.

22 comments:

LAK said...

I think in my house we had everything but the airport. I do have to say, when my sister was little and she got the checkout that MOVED and had more buttons, that was the best!
http://s7v1.scene7.com/is/image/JohnLewis/230443907?$product$

(kinda like that one)

Anonymous said...

My mom and I used to play cash register all of the time. She tells me it was my favorite. Now I'm a cashier. Fail. A couple of Sundays ago the kids in my sister's Sunday School class were playing with the medical kit, and it really took me back. The band-aid/chunky bracelet was the best.

Jen said...

I had the cash register and the medical kit.

I think it's just fun when you're little, to pretend that you're mom and dad. Like going to the hospital seems kind of fun and exciting! Until, you actually have to go.

I used to play some serious "Drive Thru Window" with my sisters, even though that sounds like an awful profession.

nikki said...

Holy Shiz. We had every last one of those toys you mentioned. Five kids in a family...you're bound to have lots of FP toys hanging around. In addition to the LP hospital and parking garage, we also had the school, the farm, the castle, and the playground.

Heather said...

Ahh Little People! I dont know why, but growing up I used to call them Jennys. I had a whole town of Little People things. I had the hospital, the airport, a red city street, a yellow city street (only because I cant remember what they were), two houses, and an abundance of people and cars.

Oh Little People were so great

tvgirl48 said...

I had the Airport and Parking Garage ones. I have to say, I loved my parking garage. In retrospect, that seems like a really odd toy, but I had a blast with that thing. It had a working elevator for cars! And a gas pump! You know, just like a real parking garage. :-)

Steve G. said...

Oh man, I loved the Fisher Price cash register thingy when I was a kid! And the same thing with the supermarket checkout set. I always had a fascination with money.

Laura said...

I seriously loved the FP Farm! With the door that mooed upon opening it. Last year, Hallmark had the barn ornaments that even mooed and it just made my Christmas.

I used to love the cash register, too. It was so satisfying when the coins rolled out that little slide.

Melanie's Randomness said...

I had the lil doctor one in the last picture & I think my cousin had the parking garage!! I used to think they were soo cool & fun!!! No computerized stuff needed! hehe. =)

baseballchica03 said...

Oh, man, I had every single one of these except for the hospital when I was a kid. Most of them, my grandfather picked up at garage sales. There's a pretty small window where these toys are fun and not lame!

Devo said...

I had the school desk and looooooooved it. Apparently I was destined for nerd-dom from a very young age. Between all my friends, we had all these sets, plus I had the Sesame Street set, which my toddler nephew now plays with when he's at his Nana's house. Awesome!

Deathycat said...

All I had were the medical kid and a handful of little people. I feel jypped. ^_^

Janna said...

I had that exact medical kit! Although I don't remember a couple of those instruments... maybe they got lost early on.

Alison said...

I remember using the cash register as a bank. I'd keep all my quarters and dollar bills in like it was a safe.

And the medical kit! Totally planning on being a physician assistant or a DO. Fisher Price, I blame YOU for my future graduate school bills!

Julie said...

I was such a Fisher Price kid.

Absolute favorite hands down? Little People (the skinny kind, NOT the awful later fat kind).

The cash register, school desk, and of course classic medical kit were pretty awesome, too. :)

Shop Girl* said...

I get SO EXCITED when I see these at garage sales! I see them more and more now... my sister and I have been hunting down ones in good condition to save for my niece when she's older. :)

Lil' Woman said...

Awww I loved these....and i totally had the parking garage.

Tahleen said...

I completely forgot I had the medical kit and the parking garage (yes, I had that one) until I just read about them. The cool thing about the parking garage was that it had an ELEVATOR. That actually WORKED. (Sort of. I seem to remember it breaking a lot.)

sammy said...

I totally had that medical kit.

Bunny said...

I had loads of the Fisherprice toys, because they were such good stable toys, my brother had the airport and the garage and I had lots of the people, it was cool making up families

Broly said...

I literally had all of those 0_0

Gina said...

Well for sure I had the medicial kit and the little people. I don't know about the airplane, I just remember playing with it, lol.

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