Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mattel Story Maker Rediscovered


"The Turkey danced with a slimy monkey in my spaghetti."

If you were to punch the words "Mattel Story Maker" into Google.com, you would get 29,800 hits. If you were peruse through the first ten pages however, you would not find what I was looking for and it is a safe bet that looking further into the search results would turn up nothing either . It is as if the toy simply disappeared out of every toy box on this planet. Usually, the toys that disappear are usually the ones which are considered as a poor investment for the company coffers but the one which I was looking for in Google was nothing but great.

Back in 1991, Mattel created the Story Maker electronic toy. This toy was well designed and simple enough for all ages to use and enjoy. It comprised of seven buttons and hundreds of hours of fun for my then one year old daughter. The actions were simple… press six buttons and if that was too difficult, simply press one. I could spend the next paragraph explaining the way to use it but my video should make that task simpler and much more interesting.


I recently rediscovered this toy in my basement while going through some old dusty stuff to donate to the weekly trash truck. I had forgotten that I put this toy in a safe place and there it had sat for over the past ten or so years. Growing up, my daughter and son must have spent countless hours laughing at all the different sentences that this toy produced. It not only produced belly laughter but it also taught them proper sentence structure.

Finding this Story Maker toy also reminded me of the good times I had watching my children playing in the living room while I sat there and relaxed. I bet that, over the years the buttons were pushed, I must have heard every one of the nine thousand plus sentences that this toy spoke out.

Memories of my children always get me somewhat nostalgic. I miss those days where my kids thought of me as "cool," "great" and the "smartest of all Daddies who loves them more than anything else in the world…" One thing that time has taught me is that things change when children get older. "Cool" has turned into "geeky," "great" has lovingly turned into "retarded" and "smartest" has evolved into “not too swift.” One thing that will never change however is that they will always know that I love them more than anything else in the world.

Great toys, great memories and great feelings…

36 comments:

Wanda said...

Yes, memories...today I sorted through old pictures that I want to organize before our move...Did I get carried away.. In fact I had to post some of my mother and aunt.

Loved your post today...How we love our children, grandchildren...:)

Jocelyn said...

Your post has evoked many feelings in me--as I want that toy for my kids now...and I hate thinking of them moving out of their current "Mom rules the world" phase.

Dang.

geewits said...

My daughter is 23. 23!! Just yesterday I was thinking about some of her toys and how cute she was. I was trying to be progressive and bought her "tools" and little cars as well as girlie things. When her dad would work on the car she would take her little plastic tools and bang on the tires. It was really cute. They grow up and we are uncool for a while and then when they are out and have to pay bills and deal with the real world they see us in a third light - as real people with real concerns, and then we are "cool" again. You'll be cool again in a few years.

Lynn said...

What a great post. I have so much trouble letting go of my kids old toys that I had to buy a shed to keep them all in. What did you end up doing with the toy?

I love how you described the transition from 'cool to geeky' etc

Sandy said...

Enjoyed the post. I think I'm not sentimental enough. I got rid of all the toys that daily cluttered the house as soon as they lost interest. I think raising four boys made me insane and immune to sentimentality for awhile. But now I can revisit tender feelings with my grandchildren. My own children wore me out!

sandy

Akelamalu said...

I've never heard of that toy but it sounds great. We have a huge box of Lego which belonged to our sons - now their children play with it! :)

Monika said...

Yeah, that's funny, how things get turned around! :o)

Mother of Invention said...

rocate that I'm sure...and still think the same as they ever did deep down, just have different words to express it.

Mother of Invention said...

Hmmm...that was..I am sure they reciprocate!

Julie said...

Dave - Replied on mine. I just found your Trafalgar Lion post. I think it'll amuse you when I tell you I spent most of the last 25 years living down the road from Sutton in Surrey before we moved to Kent. Regularly used to pop into Sutton for shopping, and many of my 35mm photos are of Surrey. Lively area, but the traffic in the built up parts was diabolical by the time we left.

'Fraid there arn't many red Routemasters around now - you see them hired out for wedding parties mostly, although they are trying to bring them back!

Andrea said...

Isn't it nice to have memories to hold on too. I really enjoyed todays post.

Jules said...

Hi Dave - love coming here as i so know what you are talking about.

I have never seen this toy but being an English teacher i am most fascinated by it.

I have a 16 yr old (on Friday) and a 13 yr old. i was saying the other day that when they woke up when they were little they would come running into me and throw their arms around me and yell "Mummy, Mummy!" Now the youngest grunts at me when i find her watching TV in the morning!! The oldest though still wanders in and hugs me which is nice!!!

Love the coat story too!!!

Gypsy said...

"One thing that will never change however is that they will always know that I love them more than anything else in the world."


That's all that really matters....a lovely, touching post Dave.

Margie said...

My favorite part of this post are your words...
One thing that will never change however is that they will always love that I love them more than anything in this world!
Amen on that, Dave!

I very much enjoyed this post!
Thank you!

Margie

abbagirl74 said...

Oh! What a great find! I am green with envy.

CS said...

I love coming across old toys that my kids played with. The time just passes by so quickly....

BBC said...

I wandered around in the mountains a lot as a kid, it was wonderful.

BBC said...

I don't get women that don't want to let go of their kids. Nature doesn't work that way.

alexander said...

Interesting memories.
I guess the toys are the products of these companies. That is why I like traditional toys. To me they are more valuable. Interesting post!

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Midlife Mom said...

Hey Dave, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Always good to hear from someone new. Loved you post on your children, couldn't have said it better myself! :O) Wait till you have grand kids, it's not that you love them more then your children but it's a more intense incredibly fun love. Maybe you've heard the old saying 'if I'd known it was going to be this much fun to have grandchildren I would have had them first!'

My son just turned 32 and I have all of his old Star Wa*rs figures that I will give my grandson when he is older.

David Kim said...

I never had those fancy toys when I was a kid. I played Mad Libs though which is kind of similar. You ask people to give you a noun, verb, adjective, etc. and then you read a story with the words. Sometimes, they were hilarious.

A Happy Downtowner said...

Hey Dave, I don't have children but your post touched me a lot. I have a godchild I dote on but she's too young to recognize me who live so far away. I hope one day she'll think of me as "cool" and then "not so cool" lol cycle of life...

I hope you keep that toy for your kids even if the toys of choice will all be electronic, these oldies are sometimes the best!

Kerri said...

Oh Dave, my kids had one of these too when they were little.
My son was born in 1990, daughter in 1992. What a Great Toy this was!!! I thought it was hilarious..and they LOVED it!
Thanks for bringing back the memories!

heiresschild said...

great post Dave. i love the beautiful memories of my children also, and now i'm making beautiful memories of my grandchildren. my daughter's barbie dolls and strawberry shortcake & her friends are still here in the toybox for when my granddaughter comes over. love your last statement!

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for posting this video -- it brings back many memories.

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Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see just how permeant memory has become in our everyday lives. It's like everytime I turn my head, I see something with a card slot or USB jack . I guess it makes sense though, considering how inexpensive memory has become lately...

Ahhh... I shouldn't be complaining. I can't get by a single day without my R4 / R4i!

(Submitted on qqPost for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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Anonymous said...

I worked for Mattel Toys and wrote the packaging copy for that toy - and named it. It was a cool toy. Glad you liked it!

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