As I alluded to in my Hot Wheels post, the requests for race cars often balanced out a request for Barbies. Every year there was some cool accessory that I just had to have. There two in particular that I remember very well and which I know I played with for many years. The townhouse was a thing of beauty:
That elevator was just the coolest thing! Heaven forbid any Barbie should access one of the upper floors without riding in it.
The one that is really seared into my memory though, is this one:
It’s significant not because it was the most awesome toy or my most favorite, but because of when I actually first saw it. While googling to find these images I read that the Friendship Airplane came out in 1972. I most likely asked for it that Christmas or the next which would put me at 7 or 8 years old. For reasons I no longer remember, I got the idea to snoop around the house about a week before the 25th to see if I could find any gifts. I must have had *some* suspicion at that point about Santa because it doesn’t make sense that I was looking for gifts from my parents as those would already have been wrapped and under the tree. I figured out that my mom was probably hiding things in the closet of the spare bedroom at the far end of the house. She must have been in her room all the way on the other end (one story ranch style house) perhaps napping or showering or some such situation when I knew I would be undetected for a safe amount of time and I crept to the closet and opened it up slowly. And I saw this exactly:
Oddly, rather than being disappointed in verifying my Santa suspicions, I remember feeling thrilled that my detective work had been successful and that I was getting the plane! I was also not bummed to know ahead about it. In fact, I think I may have snooped in subsequent years though without success. And these days I am all about being surprised as my sweet prince has learned when I yell at him NOT to tell me what he got but to just wrap it and put it under the tree (he’s the worst! Can’t keep a secret EVER!) Still, I will never forget the first time I laid my eyes on Barbie’s Friend Ship :-)