Saturday, March 13, 2010

80s Sears Wishbooks

Ok, so I'm sure we all know what the Sears Wishbook is. For those of you who don't know what it is, you can either click on the link or continue to read for what is sure to not even skim the top of this massively wonderful book. At least that's how I saw it as when I was a kid.

The Sears Wishbook was this massive 300+ pages, catalog that had everything in it from clothing, to toys, and from what my mom said back in the day you could get pets like birds and dogs from it. How cool is that? Of course now the Sears Wishbook is nothing compared to what it used to be and has undergone some changes over the years, but back in the day as a kid you loved to see that "wishbook" show up at your house. Not only did it signal Christmas was on the way but it also meant you got to look at all the toys out there and start scheming ways to convince your parents or Santa to get which toy was your must have for the year.

Now my brother and I knew better to ask for something from the catalog because "Santa doesn't buy from Sears and we'd have to wait to see what he brought us.", but in looking through some of the catalogs I saw that perhaps Santa did buy from the Sears Wishbook because I sure had a lot of those items as a kid. I thought I'd show you all some of them. Feel free to click on the pictures to be taken to my Flickr so you can see them full size. Let's get started with the stroll down Memory Lane, shall we? :-)

SearsWishbook 1985 Page 476

So this first picture has the much coveted Day to Night Barbie. I remember playing with her as a child. I thought her clothes flipping to make her day look a night look was just so "cutting-edge". I really think I got her because my mom liked her a lot. She was the only thing I got from the Day to Night, but it was enough for me. She had her briefcase and purse as well as her accessories. I could pretend Barbie went off to work. I made her a makeshift desk and she was set. I don't remember if she had a boyfriend or if she was just a successful single gal. But since most of my gals share boyfriends I'm sure she had a lad to take her out to dinner. I keep thinking of Mr. Heart being her boyfriend from time to time since I did have two of them. But I could be wrong. I didn't have nearly enough guys to go around so she may have dated them all. LOL! I mean heck, she was a successful business woman, she could afford to date around until she found Mr. Right. :-D

SearsChristmas 1986 Page 427

This next picture I wanted to focus on the pool. I had the pool, the floating chairs in it, all of the dolls pictured, and a table similar to the one in the background. I only have Skipper left out of all that which of course is so sad, but she keeps my memories alive and that's the important thing. :-) I don't know why exactly I had the pool since most of the time I had to use it empty. LOL! I could only put water in it when I was in the kitchen or outside. Which was "ok", but you couldn't bring all your doll stuff with you to the kitchen and limited what you could play. I mean you'd have to constantly stay at the pool. There was no dipping in the pool and then going back inside to watch tv or have dinner. Nope, you had to stay at the pool the whole time. :-( No fun. So the pool was mostly used empty so I could have variety and hey, at least I didn't have to wait for my dolls to dry before I could use them again. :-) For some reason while thinking about that pool, I have a vivid memory of opening it up and seeing a black spider walking around in the folds of it. Now I am terrified of spiders and was more so when I was a child. I'm sure there was a lot of screaming as I toss the pool and ran for my life. And I'm sure the spider skittered away and mom couldn't find it and thus ended a lovely day of doll play because you know I couldn't relax being in a room with a spider ready to pounce at any moment. LOL! Ahhh, the good old days. :-D

1988 Sears Christmas Catalog Page 382

This next picture shows you the Maxie Gym/Locker room I mentioned in a previous post. If you squint you can see some of the accessories and how it was set up. I forgot that there were two hoops in the set. But now I remember them. I wasn't sure what they were for as a child and I would do weird things like try to use them as a headband on the dolls with coarse hair that would hold it in place. I believe it sat on Maxie and Jem's heads perfectly because they were pretty big. If you also squint harder you can see a shower curtain in between the vanity and the workout bench. That curtain was a pain to keep attached and the hoop it was hooked to was a pain too. Of course the chair to the vanity was flimsy and would topple over if you didn't place the doll just right on it. But for the most part the set was cool and like I said, made a perfect jail cell. :-D LOL!

1988 Sears Christmas Catalog Page 378

Oh this next one I loved. I remember my mom taking it out of the box and putting it together for me. I believe it was a birthday present. It wasn't Christmas and since these wishbooks came out in September and my birthday is in August I'm sure the toy was out already then. Bottom right-hand corner. The hospital set. Oh I so LOVED this set. I used it and used it often. I constantly had poor dolly souls ending up in the hospital. They were either having a baby or they broke their arm...which got to go into the cool cast which sadly isn't pictured. This set was just so cool. It had the bed with the table you could put over it like in real hospitals. There was a slim closet that the Barbie is blocking that you could put something in. I guess since you weren't expected to stay long you didn't have to put much in there. There were books and meals that didn't look to yummy, so I guess it was pretty realistic back then. ;-) There were doctor tools like a microscope and other small things that fit into the white doctor bag. There were the toiletries that were in almost every set back in they day with tissue, hairspray, hairbrush, comb, mirror, and this circular box that the lid came off of. Ok, I never knew what that circular box was for. If any of you know what I'm talking about could you fill me in on what they were. They weren't a hat box. Were they jewelry boxes? Powder boxes? I don't know and it's always had me scratching my head about it. So if you want to fill an old gal in please do. I'd be every so thankful. :-) But yeah, in all, the set was pretty cool and I'd say the coolest one I owned as a child. You could pack everything up into the box and take it with you. Which I never did take it anywhere but my room, but having the opportunity to do so was neat. :-D

1988 Sears Christmas Catalog Page 375

Upper left-hand corner. California Barbie. I had her and Midge, which IMHO was the best doll out of the set. I loved her red hair and her clothes and I loved how Midge's clothes matched up with Barbie's and vice verse. Though I seldom mixed their clothes up, I did it from time to time to give them a fresh new look. LOL! These two gals were the only ones from the set I had. I would have loved to have had all of them, but I loved my gals and they were the popular ones. Ok, so those of you out there who had these dolls, do you remember the blue plastic record that came with the Barbie? I believe the song was called "Living Doll" and it was sung by the Beach Boys. Oh gosh, when I was a kid, and my mom taught me how to play the record placing a penny on the record to give it some weight, I played that song over and over and over again. The song is still in my head to this day. I believe the record is all I have left from my gals. Midge's head broke off from play and while my mom glued her back on it just wasn't the same. So off she went to Good Will. :-( But the record is still in the same condition I got it as a child. Isn't it weird how looking at some of your childhood stuff, it's almost like time hasn't passed at all and you're still that little innocent kid playing with your dolls? Yeah. :-) Ok, so I did a quick search for the record and found a snippet of the song. If you have RealPlayer you can listen to it. And if don't have RealPlayer, it's a free download that you can easily uninstall afterward if you don't want to keep the program. Go to this website and you will see a button that says "Hear Here". Click on it and you will download the RealPlayer file and then just click on that and you can hear the snippet. Tell me what you think of it. It seems that while it says it was by the Beach Boys that actually only one of them worked on the song. Hummm, interesting.

But then there's that one thing that always got away. Along with the Maxie Lifeguard Stand I wanted so badly as a child, there was one more thing I just had to have and never got. I still remembered it vividly in my mind and you can imagine how shocked I was when I saw it on this website. I was excited I could share with you guys. :-)

1988 Sears Christmas Catalog Page 374

Let's focus on the bottom of the page. This little brown box held a treasure trove of goodies that I have wanted since the day I saw it. Even to this day I could remember the items in the box and wanted that so badly when I was kid. I could just picture playing that Barbie when to college and all the stuff she'd bring for her dorm room. Granted I had most of this stuff already, but it just wasn't the same as having this set. I can't remember if I asked for this set or not, but if I didn't I wish I had. I might have had a chance to own it. I am wondering if these would have worked with Barbie since the set is not made by Mattel. I would assume so, but you know how some clothes could be just a hair off in size and then you have a useless outfit. So maybe there's a reason I didn't get this set after all. LOL! But I had to share about "the one that got away" for giggles. :-)

If you are interested in seeing if you can find some of your childhood treasures in the Wishbooks I looked at, you can find some pages of the wishbooks on Flickr by searching for Sears Wishbook or you can click here to be taken to the website I used. Happy hunting and I hope you find something that makes you smile and takes you back. :-)

Well that's all for this post. It's seriously time for me to take a posting break since I didn't take the one I said I was from my last post. Will post more a bit later on today. Talk to you soon. Bye for now. :-)

Loves ya,

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