Saturday, April 25, 2009

Deluxe Reading Playmobile

People always remember their first car. My first real car was a 1963 Rambler Classic 660 station wagon. I will always remember it with great fondness.

However, years before the Rambler, I had another "car". In 1961, the Deluxe Reading Toy Company sold their Playmobile dashboard in supermarkets and drug stores. I remember seeing it on display at what was then an A&P store at the corner of Old Richmond Road (now Bissonnet Street) and Beechnut Street in Houston. Boy, with all the shiny parts and look of a real car of the era, I really wanted this toy. I remember telling my parents I wanted it, but I also saw that it cost $19.95. To me, that seemed like a fortune. It probably wasn't that inexpensive for my parents back then either. Still, when Christmas morning came, there it was under the tree, glimmering and shiny with the colorful tree lights reflecting off of it.

The Playmobile had a car key, sun visors, tinted windshield with working wipers, rear view mirror, and all kinds of gauges, knobs, and switches. Oh man! I must have driven a million imaginary miles at the wheel of my Playmobile!

I guess I always liked driving toys though. One of my very early memories of my life was a big steering wheel that was installed in the playground of a park in Norman, Oklahoma. I must have been about 2 or 3 years old, and I still recall how much I liked playing there and pretending to drive.

Maybe that is why I still love road trips, and am somewhat a road geek all these years later!


Jeff said...

I had a Playmobile too - I'm guessing around 1960 or 1961. I would have been 4 or 5 at the time. I had forgotten about the "working" winshield wipers, probably because as I recall they didn't work for very long . . . but the Playmobile had to be one of my very favorite toys of childhood . . . and probably cemented my love of cars at a very early age.

Thanks so much for the memory

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! This is great!!! First, I find a mint condition Johnny Seven OMA and now I jst may be on my way to being able to replace another piece of my childhood. The Playmobile Car Dashboard. Far out man. Hell, by the time I got to driver's ED, I knew what everything was on the dash and even could tune the radio while I was driving. Hopefully one day, I will find another of these wonderful toys.

orca17 said...

Does this bring back memories! I had a Playmobile, too - ironically, also bought at an A&P Grocery (this one on Pearl Street in Jacksonville, FL). Probably my favorite toy as a kid.

Anonymous said...

got mine 1961. Aults grocery Indianapolis in