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Day 03- Best gift ever received

I'm pretty sure I'll never be more excited about a Christmas present than I was in the year (1985, I think) that my sister and I jointly received a My Little Pony Dream Castle from our paternal grandparents. This was at the height of the My Little Pony craze in the UK, and Dream Castle was the ultimate, top-of-the-range, much-coveted playset. Though we could buy individual ponies ourselves after a few weeks of patient saving up, Dream Castle was well beyond our wildest pocket-money dreams - so of course we had pined after it for weeks and could barely contain ourselves at the thought of actually owning it. And as our collection at that time was fairly small, consisting of perhaps 3-4 ponies each, receiving this huge exciting playset that was every MLP-loving little girl's fondest dream really did make a huge difference to the number of little characters we had to play with and the environments we could put them in.

It is of course symptomatic of what an expensive playset it was that even as a Christmas present it had to be shared between the two of us rather than given to either of us individually. I can report to our credit, though, that even though I was only 9 years old and my sister only 4, we did actually share it between us very fairly and politely, taking a week at a time to alternately 'own' the pony Majesty who came with it and her little pet dragon Spike. As an adult I suppose I could say that part of the reason I still remember that gift so fondly is that its shared nature symbolised what was really best of all about our My Little Pony play - that it made for a very successful bridge between two sisters who were quite far apart in age on a childhood scale, allowing us to come together in imaginative story-making and role-play, building cardboard houses, making clothes etc. But honestly as a child it was just all about owning the magic, and perhaps also having the prestige amongst our peers which came from having what was widely recognised as the coolest MLP playset on the market. If we had to share with each other in order to get that, then that was just a price worth paying.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm sure K will let you play My Little Ponies with her if you ask her nicely. :-)
Dec. 4th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
You had a MLP Dream Castle and I didn't.

This is grounds for the dissolution of our friendship.

(Unless you'll let little!me visit your childhood and play with it.)
Dec. 4th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
Hmm, well, I will have to consult my little sister about that... But yeah, if she's OK with it, you can come play! :-)

In all honesty, though, just like every other toy of this kind ever in the history of the world, I have to tell you that Dream Castle seemed a lot less exciting once you actually owned it than it did through a toy-shop window. But I know it's no good telling that to a little girl who was so cruelly denied.
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:04 am (UTC)
I second this emotion; not that I was deprived, I had a veritable bevy of the ponies themselves, but none of the associate 'kit' (castle, grooming parlor, etc) which I think my parents saw as the tipping point into actual MLP addiction.
Dec. 4th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Hehe - our parents were basically helpless to resist in the face of our joint fanaticism!
Dec. 4th, 2012 09:31 am (UTC)
Ah, that is nice :-) My brother and I are close in age, I don't remember getting a joint present per se, but I do recall that one year I got some rollerboots and he didn't - we ended up routinely wearing one each and playing what we imaginatively labelled 'roller hopping'.
Dec. 4th, 2012 09:44 am (UTC)
Aw, bless! I think you guys outdo me and my sister for the Golden Well-behaved Children award in that case. Agreeing to go along with a sharing arrangement imposed by adults is one thing - voluntary sharing is quite another!
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
:-) I think I was quite lucky that my brother was (and still is!) lovely and very easy to be with! We muddled along pretty well as kids and are still very good friends. It has been very useful to have another person who understands exactly how to handle my parents!
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
My parents recently turned up with loft-stuff from their house, so I now have my dream castle (saved up for over a looooong time - my parents foolishly said if I saved up half they'd pay the other half, think it was for a birthday in the end!) and my grooming parlour :)
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
Ooh, excellent! Have you got somewhere nice to display them? If the castle is in good condition (no yellowing or broken tabs) then it's worth about £20-30 now. Although I think that's also more or less what it sold for back in the '80s, so I guess that allowing for inflation it hasn't even held its original value.
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
I think it's all there and in pretty good condition!! Unfortunately they threw out the box before bringing it over, as it was disintegrating... At some point I'm going to go over there to collect the comic collection, I think I have most from issue 1 for a couple of years. Plus all the club stuff :) (I hope!!)
Dec. 4th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
Ah, I used to love the comic! And anything made of paper like that is very collectible now, for the obvious reason that most people tended to throw it away after a couple of years. If you have the filofax-style MLP fact file, which I think you could send off for with horseshoe point, you are quids in!
Dec. 5th, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
I'm hoping the comics are still okay!

Yes, I have the filofax. It's not in perfect condition, as I did do the puzzles and drawing things in it, but I have it safe at home - I rescued it a while ago ;)
Dec. 10th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
I've been meaning to comment on this post, because it brought up so many feelings for me, due to both nostalgia for my childhood and my own son's current joy in the playsets he received for his birthday. It gave me a lot of food for thought when comparing the playsets and expectations of possessing them in my day and in his....

But I don't have time to write it all out, so I'm just going to say thank-you for posting.
Dec. 10th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, perhaps it is something you could store away for a future post on your non-LJ blog? I'd certainly be interested to see what you have to say on the topic, and of course it would work quite well in the post-Christmas period, as you could talk about your son's reactions to his Christmas presents. But obviously I fully understand that you have other stuff on your mind right now.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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