Today we have a little wooden toy train doodlewash which is decidedly vintage, but now that I think of it, probably wouldn’t be considered fun for modern kids. Considering most 2 year olds know how to use an iPad, I’m sure this little train would lack the bells and whistles needed today to keep a child enthralled. Which seems a bit sad considering what makes toys like this come to life is imagination.
I used to have one of those pull toy wooden dogs on wheels, but by the 70’s the wheels had already turned to plastic. It was by Fischer Price and was called Little Snoopy. This was confusing because it looked nothing like Snoopy, who everyone knew as the white beagle from the Peanuts cartoon. This one was a little brown and white dog shaped a bit like a large bean with vinyl ears nailed to its head and a tail on a spring with a green gumdrop at the top, so it resembled an antenna.
Although I considered doodlewashing him, he didn’t seem festive enough and I’m still in the throws of Christmas fever. Though I think as a toy, Little Snoopy might beat out a wooden train in terms of play factor. I always loved the look of wooden trains, but sliding them around yourself grew tedious quickly. As a kid, I immediately wanted the model railroad vs. a wooden train as they had the power to move on their own which was super awesome.
I remember a restaurant as a kid that had a train that traveled around the perimeter, dodging in and out of tunnels as it made its way around the place. For some reason, the fact that the train disappeared for a moment and then reappeared made the entire experience more magical. And I always imagined what it would be like to be small enough to climb inside and take that ride.
Living in the middle of America, there wasn’t an easily accessible passenger train system, so it wasn’t until I was an adult traveling Europe that I would get to take that ride. It was worth the wait. I loved every moment of the experience! Finally, I was taking that ride previously only enjoyed by those miniature people I had imagined. And in that moment, my childhood dream was fulfilled. I was a kid again, riding in a dream, dodging in and out of tunnels, and truly understanding for the first time that the magic really is in the journey.