Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas in Chorlton, circa 1989 and a quest for a special toy

Raphael
Anyone with children born in the 1980s will remember the desperate hunt to collect the four Ninja Turtle figures.

I can’t remember which Christmas it was but the quest to find all four pretty much occupied the run up to the day.

The four and you had to try and collect all four were Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael and shops just couldn’t keep pace with the demand.

It was I suppose not unlike the stories my mum told about food rationing in the last war.

The rumour would circulate that one of the four was available from a certain toy shop and the race was on.

I remember there was an informal agreement that if you were out and you struck gold you bought as many as you could so that they could be shared out.

I am sure Quarmby's did their best but it was the big stores who offered the best chance of success.

Our eldest managed to get all four and in the way these things work all have now been lost.  But we do have a replica which came into the house a few Christmases ago for another of the lads.

It is Raphael who apparently was the bad boy of the team, being aggressive and sarcastic.

On a more pleasant note we still have mountains of Lego which once formed ships, castles, space rockets and pirate islands, now sadly reduced to their parts, kept in bin bags and waiting for something to happen.

But these were the toys of the 1980s and 90s when the boys were growing up.

Mud in 1974
Go back another decade and I could have picked space hoppers, scalextric, my little pony along with groups like the Bay City Rollers and Mud but I won’t.

Between them Mud and the Bay City Rollers divided the girls I taught and for a few years the school Christmas parties were dominated by alternating hit singles played out on an old record player  linked by a series of tired looking cables to the sound system which was already twenty years old and feeling its age.

These were the years when I had just become a responsible adult, had got married and was buying a house in Ashton Under-Lyne.

It would be a full ten years before I began pondering on wish lists and children’s toys.

That said I never quite lost my fascination for toys and in particular train sets, but that is for another time.

So given that I wandered into to that decade when my  sons were growing up I shall leave you with yet another image of Raphael and call a halt on all these Christmas postings.

Pictures; model of Raphael, Ninja Mutant Turtle from the collection of Josh Simpson, picture of Mud in 1974 from Wikipedia Commons, Beeld En Geluid Wiki - Gallerie: Toppop 1974, Author, AVRO

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