This John Deere tractor was expensive but has lasted very well, and if anything lasts in my family for more than a week, it has to be good. The children have had a lot of fun out of this and it's still going strong - Alice loves to sit in the trailer and get her older siblings to take her on rides. She'd stay in there all day if she could.
Several Christmasses ago we gave this doll's house to Meredith. It's all wooden, beautifully designed (the roof lifts up for the attic), and the front opens, and it's just sooo pretty to look at. Meredith has had hours of pleasure playing quietly in her room with the little dolls and furniture. The accessories for the house are expensive, so we've just added to it slowly, and Meredith has used her Kelly dolls (another good buy) for the people. And in a few years Alice will benefit from it too.
Another toy that has surived is the good old Tonka truck. I tell you what - this think is indestructable! It has had 10 year olds sit in the back of it and it doesn't break. My 5 year old son loves it - I think he gets it out at least once every day to play with.
I hunted everywhere for this card game. Happy Families. It was a favourite with me and my brother and sister when we were children (although my Dad came to call it 'Grumpy Families' because of all the fights we got into over it). It's not a terribly PC game these days, so when I say I had to hunt for them, it took me a year or so of looking in every shop I went into - and then I found them (at a really cheap price) in the Warehouse! And my children love it, and even my 5 year old can grasp the rules of the game.
We inherited a stack of these Wally's World (of Where's Wally fame) magazines from my nephew (who is now an adult), and I have to say how brilliant they have been for rainy days, long car trips and sick days in bed. They are full of stories, puzzles, games and wacky stuff. I believe he got them as a regular subscription.
This game, Buckaroo is fantastic for the really young and the adult as well. The children have loved it and had lots of laughs out of it.
We were given this Fisher Price barnyard when my oldest son was just a baby and it is always a popular choice. It has been the centrepiece of a Lego farmyard, race trace and a focal point on the Thomas the Tank Engine railway among many other things. It opens right out and makes animal noises too.
My older children (10yrs and 8yrs) are just discovering the world of pre-teen books and a love of reading. So I am very glad for my Enid Blyton collection that I have had since I was a child, added to over the years when I visited second-hand book stores, and have bought new ones recently as well. The book depository (UK origin) also has Enid Blyton books that I never knew existed! What a gold mine!
Of course, there are so many other toys that we have loved that I don't have pictures of. The piano (not really a toy, but gives a lot of pleasure), cooking sets, musical instruments, dress ups, tupperware, paper dolls - they all have their part and have been valuable, but the toys I have listed have been some of the more significant purchases that have been worth their weight in gold.