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Snow Fun

Penny Farthing

Wimbledon features a branch of toy store The Entertainer, into which I frequently pop. (Thundertanks and Towers of Omens are both half price, incidentally, although the new toys are to a different scale so they won't fit my 1980s Thundercats figures, either articulated or miniature.)

During yesterday's visit I picked up a Sylvanian Families catalogue and had a browse through. I used to be mildly keen on these twee little figures in flocked plastic; I had a cat family, a badger family plus horse-drawn caravan which I won in a competition at the local toy shop, and a random beaver brother who was free with tokens from the backs of the packs and to whom I gave a complicated backstory explaining his arrival and subsequent adoption by the cats.

Anyway, I read the catalogue, and I realised I want to be the person who writes this copy. Because whoever is doing it now is having way too much fun.

Take the Fielding family of field mice, for instance: there's Helen, Bridget, Daniel and Darcy, plus babies Clipperty and Clop who sleep in a clog. The Billabong koala family are all named after prominent Australians: Rolf, Matilda, Clive and Germaine.

More? Try Rossetti, Bronte, T. S. Eliot and Shelley, the Keats cat family. Or their cousins the Macavity cats, the littlest of whom is called Skimble. My favourites, though, are Harley the dog and his son Vespa.

Come to think of it, they've been doing this for a long time; the beaver family, I've just realised, was called Waters, and the one I had was - groan - Roger.

These days there are Sylvanian meerkats in a cynical attempt to exploit me a popular trend. I also like this policebadger and police box set, which has obviously been created so you can play Dr Who with your Sylvanian creatures or similar-sized toys. Or perhaps as a Grandville joke, come to think of it.


If you're in Wimbledon (village) at all often, I should check you know about Bayley and Sage — it's either a very convenient delicatessen or a very up-market convenience store, depending on which way you look at it.

Bad for the wallet, but I really miss my mum and brother living in the area. It was an excellent place to visit when stocking up on nice stuff before Christmas.
Ooh, no, I didn't! Wimbledon Village is a bit of an uphill trek but it sounds as though this would be worth it...
I was in the Merry Hill branch of The Entertainer today. (Not at all looking for MLP blind bags, honest guv!) And I hadn't realised before that the Sylvanian Families toys were still around. I wasn't sure if they had disappeared and were making a comeback of sorts, or if they'd just always stuck around and I never noticed. My sister used to collect loads of them in the late 80s, so I have fond memories of those.

(I also noticed some Polly Pocket toys which was just as much of a surprise. Not that I remember them well, but I do remember the name at least, from the 80s.)

I can only imagine the fun those lucky people must have, who get to write either the children's books for MLP or Sylvanian Families, etc, or even more so if they're the lucky so and so's that get to write stories for the cartoon versions!
Sorry for the randomness of this, but I had to say it : HOORAY FOR MERRY HELL!

Polly Pocket now isn't like old Polly pocket. Polly pocket used to be a 2cm all plastic lass with tiny little playsets (My fave was a fairy in a butterfly locket). Then she sort of got merged with the slightly less popular Lucy Locket (or so it appears to me) as suddenly she grew to not-so-pocket size and grew real hair :O

Also yay ponies.

I'll go away now :D
I liked the miniatureness of Polly Pocket, though I didn't have any cos I didn't do dolls. I think there's a husky set, but it goes for lots on eBay unfortunately.
Merry Hell has a good ring to it, and as it gets ever nearer to Christmas, the name will take on a life of its own. Still, I guess it's better than Colley Gate. :P I was all ready to give the manager of Merry Hill a right ear bashing if he stuck the same decorations (4 years in a line!) up this year, and he's gone and pre-empted my righteous rage, with a bunch of new decorations.

Ah, yes I remember now. Those Polly Pockets back in the 80s or 90s were tiny little things and had a wonderful habit of getting lost. I remember the name Lucy Locket but I had no idea they merged them together. That explains much!

Ponies...! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!

I think I'd rather write the books, though cartoons get more exposure. Either would be fine, really!
I was just saying to P when we went to the former Woolies in Poole (They have a nice display of SFs there) how much I wanted them as a kid. Specifically I wanted what I think was a gypsy caravan, which my friends had and I felt sorry for their horse (he always ended up with legs everywhere)

How do you find the Macavitys? There again, I guess they only dissapear when there's been some sort of crime :p
That police box is adorable. Thats going on the wishlist :p
I HAD THE CARAVAN! I won it! It was pretty great; the poor cats had to live in a shoebox.
I'm strangely fond of Sylvanian Families, and the jingle from the 1980s TV adverts has been stuck in my head for years. I've never bought any of the toys myself, but whenever I go into The Entertainer (which wasn't often until fairly recently) I tend to get distracted by the huge wall of SF stuff. I particularly like their cars, which are of the Morris Traveller type and could, with not many changes, have come out of a 50-year-old brochure for BMC or the like.
They live very much in what TV Tropes calls 'Christie time', or perhaps Rupert Bear time. There's a very sweet motorcycle and sidecar...
Or perhaps as a Grandville joke, come to think of it.

Grandville action figures would be kind've fantastic.
I could go for a LeBrock plushie to keep me safe at night.
Note that the Sylvanian police box is a GPO box rather than the authentic TARDIS police box design, so the makers have not had to pay any royalties to the BBC.
That's because it is a police box and nothing but a police box, honest guv!