Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Toys for kids or adults

The difference between adult toys and tools is getting a bit blurry. Are my Kindles toys or tools? My computers? The big screen TV?

I recently picked up an original Robbie the Robot. I don’t know who the target audience was, but I’m sure the people buying Robbie today are grown ups, at least physically. I can’t vouch for their mental age.

robby the robot in black and white

This old doll belongs to a friend of mine. She inherited it from her Norwegian grandmother and time had done very ill by it. The face was gone and one leg rotted away. The dress was ragged and all the paint on her was blackened. I gave her a wig, repainted her.

I recreated her face and repaired her dress. I could not replace her bad leg, but I took it off cleanly and sealed her body so she will not rot more. I’m sorry I didn’t take “before” pictures, but this “after” shot gives you an idea of how well the restoration went. She lives in Maine with her proud mommy.


Ten years ago, it was the 100th anniversary of the original Teddy Bear. I bought one and gave him his own chair. He became a she-Teddy, or maybe just a bit dandified — because I found this feathered hat and it fit. He/she/it has worn it ever since.


Allow me to introduce Toni. She was produced by Ideal in the 1950s. She was the second doll to come into my life, on my 6th birthday. She was — is — all about her hair. She came with a little box of miniature rollers and a permanent wave kit, aptly named “Toni Permanent Wave.” The setting lotion (you mixed it yourself), was just sugar and water. It didn’t do anything except make her hair sticky, but for as long as she lasted under the assault of small girls with combs, brushes, and the 1950s version of styling gel, she was glorious.

I got this Toni — an original from 1954 — in urgent need of TLC. I replaced her wig, got her a new dress, underwear, shoes and socks. Did a little touch-up on her face paint, then re-strung her. She is as good as new and just as lovely.

I used a “toy lens” effect for Toni’s portrait. I’m considering getting an actual toy lens for my camera. The effects are fun and unpredictable, but the lenses are inexpensive and great when I’m feeling playful.


My granddaughter loved the dolls and stuffies when she was a kid, but the teenage years brought new requirements. As soon as she was old enough, she began saving her birthday and Christmas money. When she had enough, she bought her own toy. And ATV. They get bigger. Toys get bigger, too.

Kaity with ATV

Kaity wanted wheels. Too young for a driver’s license, this ATV was her first “ride.”

Categories: Black & White, Cee's Photo Challenge, Photography, Toys

Tags: , , , ,

19 replies

  1. Great photos. You have a magic gift in fixing the dolls. 💕😍


  2. Toni like the home perm! 🙂


  3. Oh Robby ❤


  4. I like the teddy bear…but then I’m a softy for them. Thanks Marilyn for participating.


  5. Darn, I’d always wanted to ride an ATV, but would probably roll it over and cripple myself within 5 minutes of being on it. None of my toys were that cool…


    • I would NEVER have let her buy one, but it was Kaity’s money and her parents seemed unfazed. One of her friend broke a leg on it … they are very tippy … and I don’t know if she has driven it since. I suspect that took the bloom off the rose for her and her friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ATV’s look like a LOT of fun, but I’ll bet it’s also dangerous as hell. It’s the kind of thing you try once… then be thankful you’re still in one piece and move on!


        • It depends on where and how you use them. Flat smooth ground is safe enough, but no one wants to use them on those kind of surfaces. Our wood has paths, of a sort, full of rocks and roots, logs and holes you can’t see coming. Everyone drives fast so if you hit something, you are toast. I’m sure it IS fun, but it’s too easy to get hurt. That’s why I’m not surprised my granddaughter has more or less abandoned it. Watching a friend taken away in an ambulance was a cautionary tale.


      • Love Kaity’s smile!


  6. My favorite episode of Lost in Space was when Robbie showed up and fought Robot. Two icons.


    • I have always been very fond of Robbie. Many people love him and TCM sells (for $24,000 approx.) a full size version of him. I don’t think it does anything much, but if you are rich and don’t have anything better to do with your money …


  7. Love this post Marilyn! The photos and stories behind them are wonderful 🙂


    • Thank you. It was fun to do. These are all toys with a back story. I’ve got a lot of other toys too … I collect dolls and my son collects miniature steam engines. There are all kinds of toys here, but these particular ones have some personal connection for me. And the black and white worked pretty well.

      Liked by 1 person

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