Little People (Not a Roloff Story)

When you say “Little People” now, people think you’re being all PC and shit.


But in my day, those were midgets (hey I’m not saying progress wasn’t needed, that’s just how it was.  If you ask me, and no one ever has, “little people” sounds waaaay more derogatory than midget.  Whatevs.).  And Little People…


didn’t look like this.  This sanitized, impossible to choke on, grossly out of proportion, possessed of arms travesty wasn’t what we were talking about, either.



No, we knew Little People.

The multi-level garage.  The school.  Even the camper, the object of much of my childhood jealousy:




We played with them and set up worlds around them and sometimes got all creative and put pipe-cleaner arms on them and lost entire afternoons enraptured in their unchanging faces.  We put them in our mouths and down heater vents and forgot them in couch cushions.


Best Christmas present I ever got was Little People.  Specifically,


the Sesame Street Little People.


I flicked Oscar’s lid for hours.  I put Gordon and Susan in bed together.  I lost Cookie Monster within days.  I was sad that Big Bird’s head didn’t look right.





It was pretty much all I got for Christmas that year.


And I felt so damn lucky I thought my head would explode.

17 responses to “Little People (Not a Roloff Story)

  1. You’re exactly right! And have you seen the new version of the weebles? Wow… talk about no fun to chew on for kids.

  2. They have arms now?

  3. they were also pretty adaptable when placed on the tracks of my train set. although we never tested them against glass, as projectiles in my brother’s slingshot (“wrist rocket”), they could also fly.

  4. Oh I loved the original Little People!! I was devastated when my mother gave all our stuff to the neighbors when both my brother and I didn’t produce off-spring by the time we hit our early 30’s…I hate this weird plastic nonsense they have now. We liked the bus and the parking garage and fire station. That was guaranteed “keepouttamomshair” stuff there!!

    • When The Boy was 3, the preschool he attended had some of the old school Little People. He couldn’t understand why mommy was moved to speechlessness by them.

  5. I had the garage set. Wonder I never became a mechanic . . .

    • Because all you wanted to do was drive the cars around the curvy ramps, not work on them! And when none of the real life shops had elevators? Why bother?

  6. Little people were wonderful! We had a set of cousins who had EVERYTHING; and I loved playing with it all! I’d be hard pressed to say which was my favorite, the barn or the camper.

  7. We had them too, but they weren’t called ‘Little People’…we just called them ‘The Armless Mutants’, and did they ever provide hours of fun. If I knew then what I know now, I would have wondered where their arms went, and if it posed a risk of radiation poisoning. But as a kid, we were blinded to such dangers.

  8. dude…that multi-level garage was the bomb! i didn’t have one. my grandma did. it’s how she lured us to her house. cranking up that car elevator, with the ticktickticktick-DING…ticktickticktick-DING. just knowing that on one of those dings, the garage door would open, and swoosh, your little person in his little people one-seater coupe would go wooshing down the slide!


    • NIKKI!!! How are you! How many cars did you get stuck between floors and that goddamn elevator, though?

      • i’m splendid…so good to read your stuff again! i love it.

        ha…i do remember shoving my fat little fingers in the little tiny windows of the elevator to loosen the wedged armless little person and his ride!

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