I received my first set when I was four.
And it entertained me and my siblings for many, many years.
But one ingredient for fun was missing.
And had to be supplied by the owner.
Stay with me . . .
It was a yellow box.
With writing that I couldn’t read yet.
The picture on the front showed round-faced, rather lumpy people.
I wasted no time in opening it. Hmmm. Body parts.
I looked at my Dad. What on earth . . .?
“You make people with it!” he said, helpfully.
Okay, I hadn’t heard of ‘Frankenstein’ yet, so I didn’t suddenly picture laughing, exultant, mad scientists.
But still I looked at my Dad doubtfully.
I tipped the box and poured out eyes, noses, mouths, ears, hands, feet and even ‘hair’.
“Yeah,” he said, picking up an eye. “Mother! We need a potato!”
Obligingly, Mom brought us one and Dad proceeded to poke eyes, nose, mouth, etc. into it.
And I got my first glimpse of Mr. Potato Head.
“Let me try!” I grabbed the potato and jammed it full of everything on the table.
Okay, so my first attempt looked like something out of a heretofore (ooo, good word) unknown horror movie, and my technique and strategy were nothing more than simply finding a space to put things (FYI: Potatoes aren’t very big).
But it was fun.
I played with that little set for hours, creating people. People who were easily dismantled and re-formed.
Hmm. Maybe we’re onto something here. Dismantling and re-forming. I wonder if that can be done with hips.
But I digress . . .
That set was around for many, many years. And grew. And expanded.
Little bits that had to be painstakingly picked up after each session. (Because Heaven help the person who left it out if Dad stepped on something during a barefoot foray through the house.)
And many, many potatoes, carrots, turnips and at least one pickle were snitched and sacrificed in the quest for fun.
Moving ahead . . .
My daughter recently gave her daughter a Mr. Potato Head.
A slick, complete set.
Including a head with pre-punched holes.
It is bigger.
Gramma still isn’t sure if it’s better.