Ode to a Classic Toy

RIP Cash Register, originally uploaded by blondemom.

Dear Fisher-Price Vintage Cash Register:

The hubby played with you as a boy and despite all those years of resting up in the attic you were no match for a 2 1/2 year old nimble fingered girl who crammed your every nook and cranny with pastel foam art pieces, poker chips, and even, somehow, a small pencil. Like Humpty Dumpty, the hubby and I both tried to put you back together again after I took you apart and shook out all the foreign offending objects, but you were beyond repair. I knew you were a goner when you no longer made that little tinny “ding” sound and your drawer was permanently stuck.

You were a good toy and both girls enjoyed playing with you. Rest in peace and gain solace in the knowledge that your coin pieces live on and will get a ton of mileage every time the girls drag out one of their purses. It makes me sad to realize that all the new-fangled toy cash registers have scanners and I bet none of them make your homey little tinny “ding” sound. I’ve thought about asking Santa to bring a new cash register, but I’m not sure I want to encourage their love of shopping as the I Love to Shop Gene is already a dominant one around here, land of estrogen.

p.s. Does anyone remember the Fisher-Price farm from the early 1970s? I had the set in the upper right hand corner (photo courtesy of Plaid Stallions.)

farm1.jpg

My mother-in-law still has a very cool Sesame Street play set Fisher-Price from that time period. I don’t think Miss A needs to be left alone with that toy, should she decide to destruct it, too.

Speaking of toys from the past, Sears is releasing a Wish Book this year for the first time in 15 years, which I think is a very cool thing.

21 comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I LOVED both of those toys! The farm (doesn’t the door MOO or something like that, I can’t quite remember), and the cash register! Sooo much fun! Trevor and I purchased the penguin race game so that Maddie can have something fun to play with that we remember playing with.

  2. Amy says:

    We had that farm too! And thanks for the tip on the Wish Book. My sister and I LOVED getting the Wish Book. We spent months pouring over it and marking things. I’ll have to pick one up for Shark Boy!

  3. Ellen says:

    I had that cash register. I’m impressed that you’ve retained the plastic coins after all these years.

    We had to recover a beloved ’70’s toy from Ebay. Not trying to start anything, but I’m thinking you could find that very cash register on there.

  4. Amy says:

    We had the barn growing up. The boys have the slightly updated version. My mother-in-law had the garage under the barn at her house and ALL of the kids have played with it over the years. Last year she sent me in search of a replacement, but I haven’t found one. I guess I could try ebay…

  5. Jade says:

    Oh yes I remember all those awesome toys! I loved the old see and says, the Little people farm Village and there was a house too with those little wooden people and I played for endless hours with them!

  6. Blonde Mom says:

    All this makes me wonder if today’s toys will be considered “classic” some day. Miss C loves her entire line up of My Little Ponies. Hmmmm. Not sure if I will hang on to them for future generations. 😉

  7. Bridgett says:

    the barn door does moo. I also found that on ebay; the tudor house and the sesame street house came from grandma’s attic. The hospital in the picture above is another “house” for our little people–it doesn’t have any of its stuff left from my mom’s house, just the building.

    I decided to go this route when my niece’s new barn set did too much playing for her. Her mom sold it in a garage sale long ago; my two girls still get the little people stuff out and play pretend. So simple and good. And that sweet little black pig and little white cow. It’s just enough.

  8. Jill says:

    How sad that the cash register died! That’s awesome that you still had it all this time. I, too liked the ding! Guess everything is electronic now, so no real ding!
    As for the Sear Wish Book, that is really fun they are bringing it back. I used to circle all kinds of stuff in there that I wanted for Christmas.
    By the way, I got the DVD yetserday. Thanks so much!!!

  9. Blonde Mom says:

    Jill:

    I’m glad you got the DVD!

    Yes it seems like all the toys are electronic now, however a lot of my girls’ favorites don’t require batteries. This is also great for us parents because they tend to be the toys that don’t make noise. The noisy ones sometimes lose battery power, never to regain it (mwaaa haaa haaa haa.) 😉

  10. Mof2 says:

    Oh…I loved the Fisher Price Little People play sets. We are buying Pumpkin all the ones out now. She has 4 different big playsets now. I just wish that I could find my old house. I miss it so much. I also had the zoo. Thanks for the memories!

  11. Jill says:

    Oh – that farm!!!!! We had one. Mostly my brother played with it (for hours) and I would knock it down and run over it (in less than 30 seconds). In fact, my dad made a cassette recording of us when I was about 3 years old and in the background you can hear the “mooooo” sound of my brother opening and closing the barn door.

  12. mayberry says:

    We had the cash register and the barn. And the dollhouse and the school – remember it came with a chalkboard that you flipped over to store the letters and numbers?

  13. Beagoodmom says:

    I hear there is quite a collectible market for the little people that came with the farm and airport in the 1970’s. Back then, they all looked alike, in my opinion. But I guess people drool over ones like “yellow busdriver with pencil-thin moustache.” If you have any of those, you should check Ebay and sell them!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I have the farm! I even have most of the original pieces, too, I bought it at a garage sale for like three dollars. I couldn’t believe they were selling it! I also have the house with the yellow roof and the blue walls, which I bought from a kindergarten teacher who was retiring and selling everything from her classroom. I’ve looked at buying the original furniture on eBay but it is NOT CHEAP.

    We were at Target last night, and they are selling a bunch of original Fisher Price toys as part of a merchandising campaign for a new movie coming out, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Remember the Teaching Clock? Sigh.

  15. Ken says:

    I have the vintage Fisher Price Farm and School House and was wondering if anyone knows if the paint used contains??

  16. alex says:

    Hey, I have the complete 1970’s Fisher Price Farm for sale if you or anyone is interested in owning that piece of our childhood, I got my kids the 1990’s version and kept this one on the shelf, its in great shape. Email me at just100million@gmail.com

  17. cromeow says:

    Almost 6 years after the original post, I came across this page while trying to repair our hand-me-down FP cash register. There was a legless Lego minifigure jamming it.

    I’d repaired it once before, remembering that there was a simple mechanism involved and a little trick to discover to get it working. I was having trouble discovering the trick a second time.

    I finally succeeded, and want to report that the ding sound made it all worth it. [Good thing, because the kids probably will spend less time playing with it by age 18 than I spent trying to make it work.]

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