The best toy I never had

I coveted my neighbours’ family tree house toy.  I loved that plastic pop-up tree, with demented looking 70’s nuclear family and their dog. It was de rigueur to wear a yellow turtleneck and brown cords whilst playing. The dog kennel in a smaller tree with door that opened and closed like a knight’s helmet was a favourite of mine. 

I’ve been on an international search to buy an original.  I know you can buy a re-released version by Vulli which has music as you open the tree, but I don’t want the modern tricked up one requiring batteries with additional bits to break.  I want the original with splendid 70’s wallpaper and space-age moulded furniture. 

I have found remnants across the globe.  A complete set of the family in the UK (complete with Dad with seriously porn moustache), a serviceable working tree house in the US, a complete set of furniture and car from NZ.  Problem is, I can’t get people to send it half way around the planet.

I’ve looked in Australia, but all I can find so far are the tree house with dodgy stairs, a car in cowardice yellow (it’s meant to be RED) and a single parent family of Dad and boy – not the cosy family tree house I remember. 

I suppose I could go all Angelina and carefully collect a family together from scattered parts of the globe, but I worry there’ll be cultural adjustment issues, and no Brad to help pay for the family therapy.


11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Weezie on September 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    OMG Binny and i had one too – we LOVED it and there is nothing like it around these days for our kids. It’s one of the toys we can’ t find that mum stored. I was thinking about this treehouse the other day!


    • Wasn’t it brilliant? The way you just pushed it down and it all packed away in the tree was genius. If you’re willing to be very patient, you’ll be able to buy it, bit by bit, on eBay – but of course I’ll be bidding against you…


  2. Posted by Jules on September 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Ah Soph – I too have been looking on and off for one of these for about 2 years for Soph – I have very vivid memories of coveting my neighbours – we seriously played with it for hours and I so desperately wanted one. You’ve revived my interest, I’m on the hunt again now – watch out for rival bids on ebay!


  3. Posted by Gab on September 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Soph, we know people all around the world who could get the stuff from those foreign tree house barons and post them on. All continents covered!



    • You’re right, I should be able to marshall the resources to get this stuff from friends around the world – I just can’t work out why the sellers won’t post to Australia?? Why is it any more hassle if I’m paying the postage? I’ve even offered bribes to no avail.


  4. Posted by Anita on September 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    My treehouse is perfectly preserved and residing at my Mum and Dad’s place. It’s always the first toy to come out when the kids go over to play! Not only is it gorgeous, but virtually unbreakable. Hope you can get your hands on one.


    • Hold the phone – I’ve just tracked down a complete set in the US for US385 including shipping. So for around A$400, the gaping hole in my childhood can be filled and I can live a complete life.


  5. Posted by Jenn on September 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I was doing a google search for trees when I came across your page. I too had one of these as a kid. I think my dad did some of the advertising for it at one point so we got one free. The tree is still at my parents house but a few of the family is missing if I remember correctly. I had no idea they were as wide spread as to be popular across the world… me with my little toy in Ohio. Probably one of my favorites as a kid – nice to see other people enjoyed it too. …. maybe I should ebay it, didn’t know they were worth anything other than memories 🙂


    • So far I’ve found them in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, UK, US, France and Canada, so it was definitely a global phenomena. They have actually become ‘collectables’ – if you have the box and the complete set in good condition, you can earn yourself around US300. But if I were you, I’d be holding onto it…


  6. […] finally ‘won’ a Family Tree House (complete with family and dog) on eBay after a few bitter failed attempts.   It’s heading half way around the globe from the UK to Australia via big fat boat, so […]


  7. Kudos Soph – Tenacity wins every time.



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