Tiny Things

80's McDonald's Toys

I had most of these high quality McDonald's toys.

When I was a kid I had some great toys. I’m sure I complained to my parents from time to time that I wanted more, or that I was bored (despite having a room full of wonderful toys). That hasn’t stopped me from looking back with fondness on the toys that I had, the adventures we shared, and the array of senses recorded in my memories.

I liked some of my toys for a particular smell they had, others had great textures. Some of them were pleasing to the eye, with nice shapes. There were probably a few that I enjoyed for the way they tasted (even after my toddler years I was known to put toys in my mouth). I remember a handful of my toys for the sounds they made.

Most of my favorite toys though appealed to two or more of my senses.

The thing I liked best about toys though was that they were small. Little toy guns, little hats, little torches, little boats, little planes, little cars, little swords, little knives, little instruments… I loved shrinking my imagination to play with those tiny things, and the world we created together was so huge that even my immense imagination couldn’t fill the expanse.

I had the red one.

I absolutely LOVED Mighty Max toys.

Perhaps one of my favorite things that I ever watched (a strong claim for someone with so many favorite movies) was an ABC Weekend Special titled, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.”

The boy had a toy motorcycle, much like many of my toy vehicles, and the little mouse could actually ride it. He had a tiny helmet too.

Oh how I wished to have a little friend who could play with my little things like they were full sized things! I had a rubber ducky (a cool one, not like the crummy ones they sell in stores now), and my dad gave me a sailor’s hat from one of his G.I. Joe action figures (his own childhood favorite) because it fit perfectly on my rubber duck.

I often wonder what became of that rubber duck and his hat.

Perhaps my favorite little things though are LEGO. I love their MINIFIGURES and the little accessories you can get for them.

When I was little I had a LEGO pirate set that came with a cool lantern, and I used to love that lantern. It was actually several pieces that you had to put together, but I held on to it. When I was sad, I’d sit in a corner in my room, pull out my lantern, and gaze at it for what felt like an eternity. I soaked it in. Every detail of it is forever recorded in my memory.

Fortunately, I held on to the lantern. I still have it. It is part of a small collection of my favorite little things. My son ended up with most of my childhood LEGO collection, but the lantern remains with me.

I may give it up one day, but sometimes I still like to pull it out when I’m feeling sad.

This isn’t to say that physical possessions make me feel better. I love the idea of owning the fewest possible physical items. I love simplicity. I love mobility (and you aren’t very mobile when you’re burdened with tons of stuff). But I do enjoy having a few personal possessions that mean something to me. They may bring me a little comfort, but they don’t make me happy. Happiness is not found in a drawer or shoe box.

I think I had the spider.

Yes, Mighty Max was awesome for being SUPER TINY.

Anyhow, my favorite things are miniature things. I love smaller versions of things that we use. I love little dollhouse furniture, I love tiny tool chests, tiny computers, miniature books, and the list goes on. The idea of miniature things is just pleasing to me. It’s not so much that I think they are cute. It’s almost more like an impulsive desire to collect these things.

The other day I was looking at a small tin (like an Altoids tin, I suppose) and I wondered what the inside would look like if a tiny person lived inside. It could be a fun craft project someday.

A long time ago I saw this cool street art where the artist took tiny people and put them in the world doing things that big people should do. Some of them were construction workers, except that instead of carrying boards or windows, they were carrying cheese puffs. They looked gigantic in the little people’s hands. I loved the art, but at the time couldn’t find any information about the artist.

Well, I found him. He goes by Slinkachu. The name is funny. It reminds me of when my daughter asks to play “the Pikachu game.” I tease her by calling it “the stinkachu game,” or sometimes “stinkychu,” “stinkypoo,” or anything else I can make up that sounds like Pikachu.

Regardless, I really like a lot of Slinkachu’s work because it’s so tiny. I wouldn’t necessarily want one of his prints, and I’m not as into tiny figurines as I am into tiny accessories for tiny people.

I spent a good deal of time looking at Slinkachu’s installations though, while simultaneously working on clearing out some of my Amazon.com wish lists (they get out of hand sometimes because when I get depressed I go into “collector” mode and try to collect all the stuff I’d need to take up a new hobby or assemble the perfect first aid kit). In one of my Amazon wish lists I found a bunch of tools and things for working with leather.

Off and on throughout my life I’ve had a mild interest in doing leather work for fun. Not stamping, but sewing it. I want to make myself the perfect leather satchel. But in researching the tools, supplies, raw materials, and work space requirements, I discovered that it will be a hobby better suited to my later years than now, since I lack the funds and space required to do real leather work.

This is made out of fake leather. Mine will not be.

Tiny Satchel: I will make you.

Then I had an idea. What if I started small? What if I started really small? I could make the perfect leather satchel for a 12″ tall guy. Then I could go smaller or bigger. I could get a small bit of thin, quality leather, and print the patterns right on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. I could hand sew it all in no time since it’d be so tiny.

Heck, I’ll bet I could even make a miniature version of my favorite hat, and I could find a toy to wear it.

This blog is about me, right? So I wanted to share this with you, because tiny, miniature things are an obsession with me, and now you know.


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