Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Way Back WhensDay: Sears Wish Book

Memories...
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Long before the Internet, tablets, and smart phones, kids and parents turned to the Sears Wish Book to do their Christmas gift browsing.  It would always arrive at our house before Halloween, and my brother and I would flip through the 600 plus pages, with pen and paper jotting down the things we hoped Santa would leave under our tree.  Of course the catalog was filled with things like clothes and electronics, furniture and linens, but we bypassed all that and went straight to the last portion of the catalog.

That of course is where all the toys were featured.  I can still remember the excitement of seeing what new releases would be on store shelves.  Not only was this prior to the Internet, this was long before all the cable kids' channels and their gluttony of commercials.  The Sears Wish Book was usually the first and sometimes only time we saw some of these toys.

LJN Delight!
The catalog featured things like Muppets, which I happened to love and got several for Christmas 1982. My brother eyed a Howdy Doody puppet in the book and Santa came through and delivered it that year.  As I got older, it was the WWF LJN figures that had all my attention.  Of course there was a plethora of GI Joe, Star Wars, and HeMan figures that made it to the Hunsperger boys' toy box too.

I don't know what year we stopped receiving the big book at our house, but I remember missing it.  There were wimpy wannabe's, but nothing ever stood up to the Sears Wish Book.  I've found that there's now an app for that.  It's a high tech way to find the things you need, but I think kids today are missing out on turning the pages of the actual catalog, anticipating what they'll find next.

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