Monday, November 16, 2009

A treasure box of plastic dreams

Treasure chest from Toy Connection
Do you remember the little treasure boxes that dentists keep for children to paw through after an appointment? They were always my favorite part of each trip to the dental clinic (that, and getting out of there!). My dentist's treasure box was in a room full of file cabinets in the back. There was a mixture of things in there, ranging from bouncing balls to little tubes of toothpaste. What I loved best, however, were the cheap little plastic toys -- miniature comb and brush sets all molded out of the same pink plastic, little rings with candy-colored "gems," and tiny animals with a little hole in top to use as a pendant (though I never strung them onto anything).

Recently, I went searching on Etsy for toys that reminded me of my treats from the treasure box. A lot of these were made in the 1960s or 1970s, but they are close to the things I found in the late 1980s and early 1990s (after that, I was too old for toys... at least according to the dentist!). Click on each seller's name to go to their Etsy store.

Vintage gumball machine charms from vintagecharmsupplier

Puzzles and bird whistles from HeyYoYo

Plastic Scotties and yellow toys by Blood of Bee (coolest shop name ever!)

Vintage plastic charms from McCharmpants

Vintage skeleton hands by ManyHappyReturns

Plastic animals from Jlovesupreme

Camera-shaped water gun, combs, slot machines and ring from CovetableCuriosities

Sailboats, plastic pen knives and ice cream carton pendants from bolla74


  1. I adore those little gumball charms. I like to add them to charm bracelets I make using vintage and new pieces! What a fun, colorful post!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  2. Oh I used to love these kinds of toys too!! These are all amazing. I adore those little chicks.

    I love that we're the same age and I can totally relate to all your cultural references.

  3. These are adorable!
    But we didn't have anything like this at my dentist.
    But she did make us little butterflies out of floss and cotton balls if we were good!

  4. these are utterly delightful! you've just sent me down memory lane. :)