Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Memories of the 80's

Remember the 80's? Floppy fringes, blue mascara, and gender-bending with Marilyn, Boy George and a load of boys at my school who'd got hold of their sister's eyeliner. Remember Pop Tarts, Neighbours,  Grolsh. Taboo. Malibu. Max Headroom and Roland Rat? What about Cabbage Patch Kids?

DD and her new baby
Love 'em or hate them believe it or not those "dolls" are 30 years old this year. Well I'm a fair bit older than 30 but even though I was a teen when they first hit the UK I really wanted one for Christmas.
Oddly my mum told me to grow up and I got a huge, heavy Ghetto Blaster with not one but two tape decks from Santa instead. It was great - it was portable too if you inserted 8 DD batteries which lasted a whole 20 minutes if you were lucky.

Anyway,  I pretty much forgot about Cabbage Patch Kids until recently when into my inbox popped an invite to attend a party to celebrate the Kids birthday at Hamley's in London complete with cake and party games and retro food.
The kids had no clue what I was getting so excited about. I had to show them what a Cabbage Patch Kid looked like and explained the whole story of how they are born and the fact that each one is unique with its own name and birth certificate. They were hooked!

So this week we took a selection of children into London at stupid-early o'clock and queued up to be let into Hamleys- normally it's closed on a Sunday morning so the children felt very privileged.
We were greeted by life-size Cabbage Patch Kids and help-yourself retro sweets. Nope. I still don't like parma violets. Flying Saucers on the other hand....

Splitting into groups we flitted round the store playing olde style party games like Simon Says, Pass the Parcel and Musical Bumps.
Much to her delight DD#2 won a Cabbage Patch Baby playing Musical Statues. Her face lit up as she posed for the photographer and it was love at first sight between her and her new baby. She has hardly put it down since. She has re-named it however as she didn't like the one it came with!

Grumpy was not so happy. He wanted one. He really wanted one. Bless him he is often shy of joining in things but motivated by his all-encompasing desire for a Cabbage Patch Kid he danced, and passed parcels and even had a go at duck, duck, goose which frankly baffled him.

Time passed, cakes were cut, lunch was served  (vol au vents, Monster Munch & teeny prawn cocktails featured on the buffet) and the chances of him winning grew slimmer.
There was time for one last game. Many of our group had wandered off for cake, the magic show or face painting. DS#3 who had largely come for cake offered to join the game- Musical Bumps- to maximise the family's chances of winning. (We sound a bit Mafia don't we?)
The music started. My 5 and the other children started dancing. One child out. Grumpy out (cue quivering lip). Another child out. Another and another.  DD#2 out. Leaving three of my children and
 another child.
I'm ashamed to say, cute as the other little girl was, I crossed all my fingers for Team MAD. The music started again. Two more of mine out leaving the other girl and DS#3.

YES! My boy had won and bless him immediately handed the Cabbage Patch Kid proffered to Grumpy who was over the moon!

Grumpy opening "his" prize.
No-one went home empty handed - everyone got a lovely themed party bag which made it feel like Christmas when the children unpacked their goodies at home.

I was surprised how much the children liked the dolls. The dolls don't talk, light up, move or connect to the internet and nowadays so many children's toys are packed with stimuli they come to expect it. "What does it do?" you hear them ask. But my younger children this week have enjoyed hours of simple, imaginative play with their babies and  the accompanying blanket, dummies, nappies and bottles. It has been lovely and the only irritating noises came from the children, not the toy.
 

Disclaimer; I attended this event as a guest of a PR company. Views however are entirely honest and my own.


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