This is why the Internet is my favorite: Finding lost toys of my childhood

October 17, 2017

About 30 years ago, I had a favorite toy: Tyrone the Tiger. He had long floppy arms and legs which I loved because when I held him across my arm, with his butt in my elbow crook, his legs would dangle. Well, being a kid, I somehow lost Tyrone in our local Grand Union supermarket on one of our grocery shopping days. After backtracking our day, my mother figured out where I had lost him and we went to pick him up. I swear to god, I can remember this moment… I was being held, my mom talking to the cashier. However, when we got there, the staff said they had literally just tossed him out earlier that day. He was even sitting in the window for a few days hoping to be found.

Well, we both were really really upset over this loss. I remember being given a replacement tiger with similar floppy legs but it just wasn’t the same. Eventually time had eased the pain, however Tyrone was never forgotten. The little kid in that photo above had no idea it would be some 30 years before she got to see her sweet Tyrone again with the help of something called the Internet.

So fast forward to two weeks ago, my parents are cleaning out their closets, going through old photo albums and my Dad took a picture of this photo of me holding Tyrone and texted it to me. Seeing it totally ignited this insanely strong feeling of nostalgia. I started looking for crochet patterns for tigers with the right shaped nose and long legs on Ravelry because I was just going to make my own replacement Tyrone. But it wasn’t until I was in bed for the night, decompressing on my tablet, when I decided to take to good ol Google.

And it was here where I found Tyrone!

Here’s how my searches went (because I know you’re dying to know how advanced my sleuthing skils are):

  • I typed in “Tyrone tiger toy” in Google, and got a bunch of results for some computerized V-tech toys.
  • I typed in “Tyrone tiger toy -vtech” and got a bunch of results for a Tyrone the tiger made by Ty. Nope.
  • I typed in “Tyrone tiger toy -vtech -ty” and a few rows down in the image results was a picture of TYRONE!
  • I clicked on the photo, read the photo’s file name: Wallace_Berrie_Tiger_Toy_Floppy_Arms….
  • The photo took me to an eBay listing for Tyrone the Tiger! There were three listings actually. I was flipping out!

I had no idea the brand name was Wallace Berrie, which there’s tons of other stuffed animals made under this brand name too, like the Smurfs, Donald Duck, etc. And I also hadn’t gotten my hopes up of ever finding him again because he was made in 1982, the year I was born. Plus, what were the chances toys this old would even still be in one piece? So I was sitting in bed, completely amped up, texting my mom (who was asleep), and Brian (who was playing hockey) links to my discovery. Posting to my Instagram stories like a giddy little kid. I couldn’t stop staring at the pictures of him.

As soon as Brian got home from his late night hockey game, I basically forced him to login to his ebay account and buy it for me. I couldn’t remember my login and there was NO TIME to waste playing the password reset game. I was in too deep. If he sold to someone else I might have DIED at this point. I was only 5 days away from being reunited with my favorite childhood toy!

Now that I have Tyrone back, I feel like a small piece of my childhood has been restored, I get to enjoy watching my son play with Tyrone in this crazy full circle moment, and all is as it should be!

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