Favourite childhood toys

Who counted a space hopper amongst their best friends during childhood? Which VP of consumer products used to covet her friend's pram? And who still sleeps with a blue hippo? Samantha Loveday finds out the favourite childhood toys of some of today's top licensing execs...
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Graham Saltmarsh, Licensing Director, Cartoon Network

Pride of place was my catapult (very Dennis the Menace), followed by my metallic purple three speed Chopper bike and, finally, a teddy bear which has been passed down my family for generations, but due to all the wear and tear looks like 'Frankenbear' (pictured).

Rob Wijeratna, joint MD, Rocket Licensing

Action Man, Scalextric and frisbee.

Janet Woodward, Head of Licensing, Coolabi

My three favourites - bearing in mind that I was a kid in the 1960s - were:
Sindy, but I didn't have a Ken. I did have her younger sister, but I can't remember what she was called. I used to hook Sindy on the end of a fishing rod and dangle her out of my bedroom window when it was dark so that she hovered outside the living room window and frightened my sister to death.

Space Hopper: This was more than just a toy, he was a best friend. We travelled miles together.

Robin outfit (as Batman): being the youngest I was always the monkey, not the organ grinder, so green knickers on the outside was my fate (but I got my revenge with the hovering Sindy).

Rob Corney, MD, Bulldog Licensing

I think in terms of a top three, Scalextric has definitely got to be in there. Having just bought one for my nephew, every generation of males in the family was fighting over the controls on Christmas Day.
Lego is also a must for me, although the product has become hugely more complicated since my time as a child, where imagination came into play to convince me that a vaguely box-shaped creation was, in fact, massively aerodynamic intergalatic space ship. Nowadays you can actually make an aerodynamic intergalactic space ship.
Domino Rally kept myself and my best mate Paul out of trouble for days on end as we tried to get into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest ever rally. Unfortunately, Domino Rally was also the favourite plaything of our cat, Mistoffelees, which made mass construction projects rather problematic. But it did teach me that cats do always land on their feet, they do have nine lives and Christopher Wren would never have managed to build St Paul's if he'd had a penchant for felines.

Lisa Shapiro, MD, TLC Entertainment

Mr Happy, Dougal and Kenny from South Park.

Stephen Gould, co managing director, 4Kids

Space Invaders, Action Man and Kerplunk.

Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, co managing director, 4Kids

Barbie, Leapster from Leapfrog and Roboraptor from Wow Wee.

Clare Piggott, VP of Consumer Products, Nickelodeon

Daisy, the Mary Quant fashion doll. She was the coolest fashion doll ever with the best accessories, including a fantastic pair of red, round oversized sunglasses - so ahead of her time. I loved my Daisy doll.
Tiny Tears - my favourite doll to nurture.
Teresa Wilkinson's Pram - she always had the most expensive toys at school. I don't remember the make but I loved to play at her house so I could use that pram. Of course, I would take my Tiny Tears with me and wheel her around in Teresa's pram pretending it was mine.

Nicolas Loufrani, MD. Smileyworld

My number one favourite toy of all time is a blue hippopotamus named Potam which was offered to me when I was born 36 years ago and is still in my bed, to the amazement of all my girlfriends.
Number two is the Lehman grosse bahn LGB, the biggest miniature train on the market, which I have kept since my childhood.
Finally, my Marklin minu club which is the smallest miniature train of which I have a whole network built patiently over the years.


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