Thrift Store Score: Tree House/Doll House

27 Sep

I am so excited about this Thrift Store Score and I’m sure this is partly because of how I discovered it. I had some time to kill before dropping Isobel off at my Mom’s house while I went to a doctor appointment, so I decided to stop by a thrift store. I still need some accessories for Isobel’s Halloween costume, my thrifting basket recently suffered an unfortunate accident (sad face), and I’m ever on the hunt for things for the shop, so I thought I’d just stop in for a bit since I was on that side of town.

I found a few goodies and I almost didn’t see this plastic tree in the kids’ section. It was folded up and looked like nothing of consequence, but my gut told me to take a chance. At best it will be a fun accessory for the hoards of LPS toys Grandma keeps giving her, and at worst we can donate it back to the store. I couldn’t figure out how to open right away and we were running late, so I bought it sight unseen.

It was a dollar.

Once we arrived at Grandma’s I brought the tree out and showed Isobel. She was immediately smitten. When I finally figured out how to open it (easy, really, push-button release) I gasped. I had thought this was a newish toy, but it was actually a well-preserved gem from 1975.

It was so much better than I could have possibly guessed. It came with a bed, three chairs, a daddy figurine and a little girl, who you will not see because Isobel insisted on serving her tea inside the jellyfish tent while I took these pictures.

I was so pleased with myself for finding this. Later when I triumphantly showed my prize to Anthony I couldn’t help but saying, “Isn’t this amazing! I feel like such a baller!”

Anthony thought for a second and then replied, “I don’t think you know what that word means.”

The tree was really a doll house, er, tree house, fit for the little figures that once inhabited it. I imagine a Mommy figure and a little boy figure probably completed the household. Even though this toy was before my time, it struck a familiar cord with me, as if I vaguely remember it.

As you can see in the photo above, the trunk has a little elevator that takes the little people from the house level down to the ground level of the house.

The little door opens and closes. The elevator works by turning a crank at the base of the tree. It needs a little work but I’m sure Anthony can fix it.

The tree has three rooms: a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom. I could immediately tell this toy was a 1970s original just by looking at the furnishings and the carpet, and my guess was confirmed by a stamped date on the bottom: 1975.

The kitchen might be my favorite.

A little ramp sits to one side of the living room. It looks like it was longer at one point but became damaged over the years. I think one side is supposed to be stairs and the other side is a slide. At least I hope one side is a slide. That would be fun.

There is also a little area under the kitchen that I think is a garage. I really have a feeling a very 70s Volkswagen-style van used to park there, but if that’s an actual memory I have or just wishful thinking, I can’t say.

Here is the Dad. Very 1970s Dad-like, with his super wide tie and thick mustache.

The book shelf illustration is amazing. I’d love to have a bookshelf that looks like that now. What goes around comes around.

I think I’ve never really left the 70s.


18 Responses to “Thrift Store Score: Tree House/Doll House”

  1. Gwen September 27, 2011 at 3:26 am #

    I used to have one of those! I’m not sure where my mom got it from (I was born in 82) but I spent hours and hours with mine. I didn’t have the figurines or the chairs in it, though. I don’t know where the toy ended up, either, but seeing the first picture on this post was like opening an old toy chest! How awesome!

  2. Erin from swonderland September 27, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I loooove it! Dude! You are SUCH A BALLER! (I’ve never grasped the exact meaning of that word either.)

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 7:00 am #

      From one baller to another, thank you! Anthony thinks just because I don’t play basketball, have tons of money, or deal cocaine that I am not a baller, but DUDE, I found the Tiny Tots Treehouse for a DOLLAR! How does that not qualify?

  3. K September 27, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    Ballers come from all walks of life–on the court with the ladies and coke OR! in the thrift store snagglepussing really good finds for a dollar.

    And I crap you not, I gasped when I saw the picture of the tree/dollhouse. I LOVE IT. It reminds me of one I had when I was little (I am also a gem from 1975) and I think it was for Weebles.

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      You are a gem! I am also vintage, but I’m from 1979.

      I’m going to start using “snagglepussing” as a verb now. Thank you.

  4. Anne September 27, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    Oh, our next-door neighbors had one of these when we were kids! We used to play with it with our Weebles, rather than the little plastic guys who came with it – it’s possible it was a garage sale treasure or hand-me-down, so maybe they didn’t have the guys. Anyway, we LOVED this toy – I’m sure Isobel will, too!

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      I have had so many people tell me that they put their Weebles in this thing. New goal: acquire Weebles!

  5. Cameron September 27, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    If I saw that in a thrift store I totally would’ve bought it even before I was pregnant! It is so super cool and you are totally a baller. Also, I was born in 1975. It was a good year. 🙂

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      1975 was an excellent year indeed!

  6. emily bilbrey September 27, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    amazing find, lady! gems like that don’t pop up everyday, but when you score them thrifted for SO cheap, it’s the best feeling ever! i still remember when i was shopping for a baby swing for poppy – the one i really wanted was $85 and we really didn’t have the extra cash. i tried searching for it on craigslist and no one was giving one up. well, just as i had given up and was planning to purchase a cheaper one that i liked less, my mom found the EXACT swing i’d been wanting at goodwill, for $7!

    it was SO baller.

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      The thrill of the hunt! What luck that you found the exact swing you were looking for. Amazing. 🙂

  7. Bonnie September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Awesome! I didn’t have this exact same thing, but I rememebr having something similar in size that was a tree thing for little toys like that. My memory is foggy but I liked it. I dont think we have it anymore though and I don’t think it was built as well

    • LittleBig September 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      I’m hoping its sturdy enough to last through Isobel and the next kid, but I’m not going to bet on it.

  8. Dingey September 29, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    One of my younger cousins had this very toy. I was enamored of any and all tree-based toys as a kid. I didn’t have this one, but I had something called “The Treehouse Gang” (?) All based around…well, a tree. I think there was some sort of platform in the tree, maybe, and a rope swing, and then you had to start purchasing the various dolls of adorable array of ethnicities, all outfitted with velcro hands so that they could: A. Hold hands. B. Stick to the rather literal canopy of the tree (which was made out of the soft-side-of-velcro-type fabric. All very Free To Be You and Me with awesome long hairstyles for ALL! I’m also delighted by all the Weeble speak here. I had the Weebles Marina, which I LOVED. I wonder if it’s still in my mom’s attic? She’s kind of nuts about cleaning stuff out for the church rummage sale when the nieces outrgrow any of my old toys, but I can check…..

    • LittleBig October 1, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Secretly? I’m still pretty enamored with tree-based toys.

      I should have realized you played with this. You are like my litmus test of cool, Dingey.

  9. discodiva79 November 1, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    Wow! What a treasure indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the “vintage toys” they are the BEST!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!

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