Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


Not/Quite Remembering: My Favorite Toy (Thanks Toy Story 3)

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Not/Quite Remembering: My Favorite Toy (Thanks, Toy Story 3)


I thought it might be fun to, rather than put up a review of Toy Story 3, to kind of take a moment and think back to my past and recollect for a moment for everyone and hopefully get some thoughts back on the subject. Pixar, yet again, is able to get me thinking and perhaps a bit moved in its latest film. Oh, and your magical spells of nostalgic hypnosis.

There's an aspect that Toy Story 3 has that the other two films do not. If you are the age of Andy in the film, or older, you will find yourself saddened. This is not because it's a depressing film or we're seeing these characters for the final time (though we've heard that before...Shrek). There's a moment in the film where it kind of hits you on a level the other two didn't - something a little more personal and meaningful. You aren't sure what it is a first, but you'll get these goosebumps and a tension in the back of your throat. Why?  Because you know damn well there are some toys from your past you wish you could play with again. You have no idea what happened to them, maybe they're at a day care, with some other kid or at the junkyard. Either way...they're not with you now.

That's something you think about often, sure. You'll say "Oh man, that action figure was the best," or "I had this awesome toy or stuffed animal with me all the time." Yet, Toy Story 3 manages to make you utterly and wholeheartedly wish you never got rid of it. That's not just a toy but a piece of you. It's something that is a connection to your past and many people wish they could relive those moments one last time. It's not that you just got rid of it, but it's also that you kind of forgotten it entirely - at least in the sense of how meaningful it was to you at age four, or eight or twelve.

For me, I had a Scooby-Doo stuffed animal. I loved that thing. It was a good size, certaily big enough to hug for a four year old, very plush and had a felt color around its neck. We were inseparable.  I took it to family dinners at the grandparents', slept with it at night and ran around the small house my mother and I lived in with it daily.

I even remember at the age of four I took him to Preschool every day (and day care as well). One day some kid started playing with him but wouldn't give him back. I utterly freaked out and, unfortunately, Scooby got the worse of it as this other kid and I wrestled for him. He was shredded, his arm torn off and stuffing flying every which way. Once seperated by the teachers, it could only end one way: my four-year-old self utterly balling my eyes out and not stopping at the sight of my favorite toy hanging on for life.

(A fairly accurate rending, actually)

~You know...that....that might have been a girl, actually. I suppose that doesn't matter, I just remember going into this kind of "zone" where all I wanted back was my Scooby Doo and I'll do anything to get it. Looking back, I more feared Scooby might actually accidentally be taken, not stolen, and I'd never see it again. The people at that Preschool didn't have logs and records of toys, you know.

My mother was called in from work. God bless the single mothers out there, and I remember riding home with her in the El Camino and just staring out the window not saying a word. We got home, and I fell asleep for a nap that I'm sure my mom was happy I took.

You see, that's something mothers do - they work behind the scenes when you don't realize it as a kid and can only fully appreciate when you're an adult. I woke up and there, in my mom's hand, was a fully re-sown Scooby doll. It was like nothing ever happened. It never left the house again.

When I started getting into Junior High and High School, I started slowly phasing out toys. Many began being sold in garage sales, others donated, some broken ones (though not broken to me) had to tossed. I remember my mom bringing up Scooby to me, who had a permanent seat on a bookshelf by then, and whether or not I would sell him with the other stuff. I told her absolutely not, and believe it not she absolutely agreed. Even she knew it was just too personal of an item to ever get rid of, so she put him away for safe keeping. I know he's still up in the attic of my parent's house waiting for me. In fact, I know the details: he's wrapped in a black trash bag to keep the dust off him and stuffed in a box called "Jeremy's Kid Stuff" that, last I saw, is towards the back of the crawlspace area on the right side and also has my elementary school stuff and some Ghostbusters action figures.

~Hmmmm....I should fly home soon. I think I have an attic to rummage through.

So what toy were you closest with? Was it a particuarly cool Hot Wheels car? An action figure? Maybe a stuffed animal like me?



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