Whatever happened to …

… that special toy?

You can’t go to stores anywhere these days without recognizing that Chrismas in on the way.

I’ll admit that I do get a kick from going through the children’s toy area of the store and just look around. So much plastic! Such high prices! When I hear reports that there are fewer sales than normal, it doesn’t surprise me.

If you could just somehow flash forward to Boxing Day, buy something, and then flash back to today, think of the money that you’d save.

It’s also interesting when I think of our local big box store how they’ve put the electronics right next to the toy aisles.

I have one very special toy that I remember from my youth.

It was a metal Fina gas truck. You know the ones that you often see at gas stations having their underground tanks filled? This was one of them. I can’t remember ever asking Santa for it but it arrived and it was something special.

I remember setting up little villages in the living room with a couple of gas stations. I’d be down on my hands and knees moving my truck from station to station. In the sandbox in the summer time, it was there too – playing gas driver for some reason. Just being a kid, I guess.

I also had to urge to point out to Dad whenever I saw a Fina gas station and had an urge to fill up at Fina stations whenver I could. Beyond the sign, Fina gas stations just stood out.

It hung on down in the basement and then one day it was gone. I don’t remember its departure; I can only guess that it was a victim of a cleaning while I wasn’t there.

These days, one of my wife’s favourite activities is to visit a “Giving Tree” at a store in town. From the branches of a Chrismas tree, you can select one or more cards that will have a description like “9 year old girl”, she goes shopping and returns it unopened where the staff wraps them and finds them a good home. We both hope that it goes to a good home and is appreciated like I appreciated my Fina truck.

For a Sunday morning, let’s talk toys. Maybe this will even be inspiration for those of us who still have shopping to do.

  • do you have a favourite childhood toy memory?
  • do you still have it or did it somehow go away?
  • if it went away, how?
  • did you have a friend or neighbour that had a toy that you absolutely wanted but never got?
  • do you enjoy buying toys for kids?
  • what was unique to the design of a Fina station? Do you know of one that’s still around?
  • is there something special about seeing a child open a gift?
  • do you contribute to a cause at Christmas time?
  • is there something special about giving a gift that you never see opened?
  • why are electronics located right next to the toy section?
  • do your own kids (or do you) hang on to that special toy long after it’s not age appropriate?

Please take a moment to share your stories. We all had toys so we all have stories to share.

This is a regular Sunday morning post around here. You can check out all the past issues here.

Join the Conversation

  1. So many questions! LOL
    I’ll just focus on one: my favorite toy. It was an electric train set. My older sister’s boyfriend and my dad built a village setting for the train in a room off the attic. I was told that this section of the house was dangerous and off-limits so I stayed away from going up there. When Christmas arrived I had a few small gifts (i.e. Toronto Maple Leaf sweater, some small long-forgotten toys and a plaid shirt and that was the extent of it. I remember almost crying since there really were no interesting toys and as an eight-year old I had hopes for something more interesting. My mom told me that she thought there might have been another gift upstairs and asked me to bring it down. When I saw the city… the train… the tunnel that the train ran through and the control centre I nearly died. I’ll never forget that morning.


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