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My Own Toy Story

Jul 16, 2010

Okay, I couldn’t resist watching Toy Story 3 after hearing my friends say that they cried right after watching the movie. Yes I was no different from my friends, I also cried my heart out when I saw the ending. And it did make me look back at the toys I used to own as a kid. It’s been a long, long time.

But before I tell you the fate of my toys, let me give you a little background. My earliest memories were from the year before I went to school. I was 4 years old then and my brother was just 2 years old. We lived next to our “tita” (actually she was the sister of my grandmother) and next to the landlord who had a teenage kid and a pet dog. We also had an old lady as a neighbor, but once in a while her relatives (and their kids) would come to live with her for a few months or so. There was also a stray cat that my mom adopted. When I was six years old, my younger brother was born. My mom’s adopted cat also gave birth, so I had my own pet that I took care of since she was born. So for most of my childhood, I played with my two brothers, the neighbor’s dog, and my pet cat.

Now for my version of the Toy Story.

Like any normal girl, I used to own a doll. Actually there were 2, one is just your regular doll who can close her eyes when you let her lie down, and the other was a Barbie doll. But since I played with my brothers, my cat and the neighbor’s dog, that didn’t really go well. I was easily irritated with the tangles in her hair, so there was one point in time when I gave my dolls a really short haircut. (I also gave my bangs a trim at that time, my mom was horrified with the results.) I also got impatient when I couldn’t put their clothes back on, they always get ruined from my rough handling. The time came when the clothes were so mutilated that I just had to dispose of it, and they were left naked for the rest of their toy lives. (Could this be the reason why I couldn’t style my hair properly and I have poor sense of fashion? Hmmm…) We used to light mosquito coils when I was a kid, and I learned early on what happens when you heat plastic doll parts.

I also remembered having this mechanical toy slide, with penguins going up the stairs and down through the slide as long as the battery lasts. Something like this, but with more paths:

This toy needed two size D batteries to run. But since batteries are expensive, I figured out a way to make them run manually. I was amazed that the little penguins could just go on and on and not fly off course. But this also didn’t last long because I accidentally broke the slides (either by stepping on them or they got broken while I was disassembling it). I kept the staircase part even though it was already broken, for the battery compartment can be used as a house for one of the penguins. And since the penguins don’t have a slide to roll on to, they just have to be satisfied with rolling on the floor.

I guess the toy that could count as my “Woody” was my stuffed red dog. (Technically he belonged to my brother, but he was too young to play with it when it was given to him.) We named him “Taba-taba” because he was so fat, and he was as tall as me when I was 5 or 6. We used to take turns riding behind his back and explore the entire house: inside, outside, up and down the stairs, you name it. And since he’s been to every corner of the house, my mom has to undo some stitches and remove the stuffing before washing it. I remember sitting by my mom’s side, patiently waiting for her to sew Taba-taba back together, and running off to another adventure with him as soon as she finished sewing.

As the years went on, he lost his eyes, his nose and his two ears. But I didn’t care, he still looked like a dog to me. It was the only toy that I passed along to my two brothers when I grew tired of playing with it. He also got thinner as the years went on, to the point that my mom didn’t sew him back together again and just used the stuffing to fill our pillows. (I can’t remember what happened to the skin, it was probably converted as a “counting” bag.)

I might have had other toys after them, but I can no longer remember them. I graduated to jigsaw puzzles and books, and passed the rest of my toys to my brothers. They used to own balls, toy soldiers, toy cars, magnetic fishing set, and a Lego set. However he wasn’t too keen on storing them, so most of them ended up in the trash whenever my mom would sweep the floor. I also remembered owning a jungle set and a farm set, but I used some of the plastic animals for a diorama when I was in grade school. They might still be alive somewhere in one of the science laboratories of STC.

When my sisters were born, our parents were not too keen on buying them expensive toys, seeing how my brothers and I treated our toys when we were young. They just had those toys that came with the McDo Happy Meals and Jollibee Kiddie Meals (we almost completed the Tarzan set back then) and small stuffed toys given to them by their classmates. My mom also bought them building blocks (not the Lego ones, but a cheaper brand). My youngest sister once asked for a Zoid. It was expensive, but we contributed just to keep her happy. (All right, I admit I had ulterior motives because I always wanted to try building one of those…) We even helped her build it, and it was annoyingly complicated even if we were following the blueprints. But it didn’t last a week, the tail would always fall off whenever we attempted to make it move on its own. So my sister played with it manually, and it eventually suffered the same fate as my brother’s Lego set.

Eventually we moved out of the house when I was in second year college, and we just left all the broken toys behind. Since then, the only toys we bought were the stuffed ones (after all, they might get squished but not broken). My mom kept them in a plastic bag though, so that they won’t gather dust. I think they are still stored in a box somewhere up to this day.

Fast forward to the present. I am amazed that Andy’s toys in Toy Story 3 are still in good condition even if he’s already going to college. I now wish I could say sorry to all of the toys I mutilated when I was a kid. I wish I had the chance to say goodbye. *sniff*

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