Selling My Son’s Childhood

We kept them and kept them for years and years. The castle, the cowboy town, the Robin Hood tree house, the pirate ship. The digger, the grater, the cement mixer. The wooden train sets, both Thomas and Brio, which were combined to make a single set.

We waited and waited for someone else to play with them, and someone else eventually did. Our granddaughters enjoyed them for a short time, especially the cannon battles with the many cannons that came with the sets in the 90’s. The sets are so boring these days compared to then. The figures had character back then and movable arms. They were so much more than the blobs that do nothing in today’s modern sets. The toys did much more than just have a door or a gate that opened and closed. They contained so many features to jumpstart a child’s imagination.

We also waited and waited to see if JT would want them for a child of his own, but JT is almost thirty-one with no plans for children. We are ok with this, and he is ok with us finally moving these toys to new homes. But it is not easy.

If I knew a little boy who would enjoy these toys, I would happily give them away, but I don’t. If I knew of a children’s charity that would take older, slightly used toys, I would donate them; but Christmas charities want new stuff and I get that. Not every used toy is in as good of shape as JT’s toys are.

So I decided to sell my son’s childhood toys on Facebook market place, which is very popular with the second-hand purchasing crowd. The proceeds will go to JT since they are his toys. After all, he is a musician with a limited income who is carrying some debt.

Tell me, how does one put a value on a childhood. We personally believe that these special-to-us things are very valuable while others want them for next to nothing. We don’t want to insult the corresponding memories but also want them to move on to make new memories.

When the first listings went up, there was a flurry of activity. The construction vehicles went quickly to a child who has tractors and trucks on his wish list. I was happy when the mom, who incidentally has the same name as my son, decided to take all three after seeing the condition of the two she came to pick up. It just seemed meant to be.

The pirate ship also went quickly, purchased by a doting grandma who knew exactly what her grandson loved. Another perfect pairing.

The rest of the items are still waiting to be noticed by the right people. People who live close enough for easy pick up or drop off because these are larger toys that would cost a fortune to ship. There has to be a kid who loves castles and knights out there. JT couldn’t have been the only one. And another who loves train sets. One who is crazy about cowboys and one who knows about Robin Hood and Little John. There has to be. I sure hope someone falls in love with them before Christmas. They were once the perfect gifts, and I am sure that they will be again.

Thank you for reading. 

Photos:   Jenn Stone

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23 thoughts on “Selling My Son’s Childhood

  1. It’s so difficult… My mom, as a hobby to keep herself busy, is re-buildind all the Lego she gifted my kids. They aged out and it was just sitting around. When she finishes a set, I list it to Facebook Marketplace.

    It’s still difficult. I played a lot of Lego with my kids…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s making me wonder where our old stuff went as I haven’t seen it at my parents’. Mind you, there’s that much clutter, it’s not to say it isn’t still all there. I particularly remember my brother’s fort and a great ‘Travelling through space’ scrolling board game we used to play. All the childhood board games are in a little suitcase though which, now I’m starting to clear my mother’s house out, I’ll be taking myself.

    We loved lego – I also had a ‘Bayko Building Set’ which had sections you slipped down wires set into a board to make the house walls etc. I preferred my brother’s lego though…

    You’re right about the standard of toys now. I had a small case full of toy miniature horses – the type you’d buy to put on a farmyard you were building. They were all individual and beautifully made and detailed and all had names and I loved playing with them. I even went so far as to make a showjumping board game for them myself which I enjoyed playing with my horsey friends. Now the farm animals you can buy are very coarse and plain and also the sizing is wrong – often they are selling sheep next to cows of the same sizes!

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  3. I’ll bet selling these items produced its share of nostalgic feelings for JT and you. I instantly recognized the pirate ship because our son (just turned 30) had the exact toy. There are a few things from his childhood that we haven’t parted with yet.

    I’ve never been on Facebook marketplace before, and I’m curious about that. Did you research how much the items might be worth, or is this an exercise in mostly trying to clear the house out?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes JT, in particular, became nostalgic when he read the post and saw the pictures, but we all are ok with moving them on. It has been enjoyable learning some details of the children who are going to play with them now. Especially that great pirate ship.

      Facebook marketplace is pretty easy to use and very popular . Once the post is up, all communication goes through messenger. Most people e transfer the $ directly to my account. I did do some pricing research but since many of these toys are considered vintage and collectable, I found the prices high. I tried to price them as if I was a mom looking for toys for a child. It is very easy to change the price after it is posted, so anything that wasn’t getting traffic, I just lowered the price. There are still some things to go so I may lower the price again if necessary.

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