A blog about 80s Dutch fashion doll Fleur in English and Polish. Blog o holenderskiej lalce z lat 80 Fleur po angielsku i po polsku.
Polska wersja tego wpisu tutaj, zapraszam!
Hello All 😀
This is an English version of the post from last week. If anyone missed it, the post from the week before is very relevant to this story. I want to show you my childhood dolls, but also to try and convey just how special these dolls were in Poland in the 1980s. January brought with it a huge attack of nostalgia, which resulted in these here ramblings 😉
I’ve also been musing about today’s children – no doubt, they have a lot more toys than their parents and grandparents had. Do you think it’s possible for children today to have the same sentiment for their childhood toys like the older generations have? If children have plentiful toys of all kinds, can they find their favourite and cherish it forever? For children who have dozens of Barbies and Kens – one day, when they are grown-ups, will they be able to say “I had my favourite Barbie” and actually name her and maybe even find her again on eBay? And speaking of eBay, what of those auctions for dozens of Barbie dolls with a description “I’m selling these because my daughter grew out of them” – the parents who are happy to sell off the excess, and their daughters who will never see their dolls again? Honestly – I envy them their splendid childhood, but I also feel sorry they are losing all their dolls.
Do you ever think about your childhood toys, about your favourite ones, do you still have them, or do you ever want to buy replicas, to recapture the memory, the feeling?
For me it was like this: I was extremely lucky. During my childhood years, in the mid-1980s, I had two Fleur dolls and one Barbie. Also, one box of real LEGO! The first Fleur I really wanted. The Barbie was a Christmas surprise. The second Fleur was a substitute for a Barbie I was obsessed with and couldn’t afford. I still have them all today, and also my Barbie obsession! 😀
My first Fleur came to me due to the goodness of my wonderful Grandma, who gave up her own gift from an aunt – an absolute fortune totalling $5 (whole FIVE dollars – about a quarter of an average monthly salary in Poland in those days) – to buy me a doll in Pewex (here I encourage you to read the previous post if you haven’t already). My first doll was the Amazone Fleur. There were only two dolls in Pewex to choose from on that special day – Amazone and Tennisstar. Oh how difficult it was to choose one of them! Eventually the Amazone won – because she had more accessories. I loved that doll with all the might of a child, and I played with her… well… as gently as a child could 😀 my Grandma made piles of clothes for her, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I brushed out nearly all her hair, the tip of her nose is gone, there is a huge hole in one of her knees, and she’s missing a finger, her lashes, and some of her lippy paint. On the other hand I still have her original outfit, but the scarf, whip, and trophy are all lost. Below you can see what she looks like today, and how she looked when I got her 😀 she is well loved!
My second doll, Fashion Play Barbie, was a Christmas present from my parents. I have to admit that I had to ask my Mother to tell me how I got this Barbie, because I had no memory of receiving her at all. She said that she spent a long time looking for her with my Dad, because they couldn’t afford just any doll from Pewex. I remember very clearly playing with this Barbie a lot as a child, but I must have been very careful because she is in really good condition! Unfortunately, I also caused damage to her hair… child + scissors + Barbie is a recipe for disaster! Oh, and yes I decapitated her, because I was trying to find out why it’s so easy to take Fleur’s head off, but not Barbie’s. Many many years later I accidentally found her NRFB at a store with used toys, and of course I bought her immediately! Unfortunately, due to age and probably improper storage both dolls developed stains on their legs. So here they are – my childhood doll (shoes and belt are lost) and same doll in unplayed condition 😀
Today my Barbie is well respected – she wears her beautiful Fashion Avenue gown while she hangs out with her vinyl sisters!
Her box didn’t survive, but with my own child’s hands and scissors (hmmm… probably the same ones which cut off her hair…) I cut out the pictures and Barbie logo from the box, and I have them to this day! These are the vintage originals below! 😀
Christmas of my 10th year was very memorable, because I got my one and only box of LEGO – an absolute treat! Lego was sold only at Pewex, just like Fleurs and Barbies, so it had the magical quality of something unattainable. Basically, my older cousin Marius and I saw the little red logo through a plastic bag under the tree that year, and we started arguing who it was for (the bag wasn’t labelled… how clever were our parents!). In the end, it was my gift… Marius wasn’t happy! I absolutely couldn’t believe my luck, Lego was very expensive and I was just a girl too, Marius would have been a much more logical recipient of this gift! In any case, I cherished it and I played with it only at home – you never took Lego outside in those days, they’d get damaged or stolen – and you’d never get another set, simply because it just wasn’t possible! The first bit I lost was one of the little red lights – and my Dad got angry at me and said I don’t respect Lego 😦 I am hoping to find this set one day, I would love to have it again…
My second Fleur came to me through the wisdom of my Grandma. One day I saw in Pewex the Music Lovin’ Barbie, and I lost my mind! I absolutely had to have her, everything about her was just wonderful to me – her face, her hair, her very yellow outfit, her walkman (goodness!). But – the price was $11, almost the equivalent of my Dad’s monthly salary… it just wasn’t conceivable to spend that much money on a single doll! Well, after a few days of the sheer torture I gave in – I had to have her. I went home, stole the money from my piggy bank, and ALMOST made it to Pewex – my Grandma stopped me at the door, her sixth sense told her I was up to no good! When she saw this absolute fortune in my hand she tried to change my mind, but I wouldn’t budge. So, being a wise woman, she said “let’s go have a look at this Barbie then!” Oh happy day! Once we arrived at the store, however, she convinced me to give up the Barbie for the sake of the far less expensive Alpine Fleur. And that’s how my second Fleur became mine 😀 I was a lot more careful with her, and aside from her very bad hair she is in a far better condition than Amazone. I also have her complete outfit, boots and skis. Below, what she looked like originally, and what she looks like today!
Of course, I never forgot that Barbie which I gave up, all those years ago… in 2001 I found her on eBay, after a very long search. I didn’t know what her official name was of course, my memory faded over the years… when she arrived it was such a strange day, almost like time travel – when I held the box in my hand, just like all those years ago in Pewex… and here she is, the lovely girl 😀