When I was a kid, my very favourite toy was Fashion Wheel. Readers in the US might not know what this is, but I'm sure they'll remember Fashion Plates which was very similar. You set the plastic head, body and legs of your choice, rubbed the black crayon over it (similar to brass rubbings), then coloured it in. And you could even use the plates to create a texture for the fabric. It was genius. Never mind that the crayon always made the faces look all smeary!
Recently I saw a post on Apartment Therapy about Fashion Plates and it made me start hankering after my Fashion Wheel, so a quick trip to Ebay later and I was the proud owner of an early 1990s model. The clothes (and heads) are slightly different to mine, which was more 70s style even though I had it in the late 80s. The special crayon had long since disappeared so I tried out a Conté crayon and a normal wax crayon and both were very smeary, I'll have to work out how to do it so it doesn't smear so much. Some of my ladies' faces look like they have been kicked! I cleaned up the outlines a bit in Photoshop so they looked a bit tidier.Here's Richard's Fashion Wheel drawing (below). This version comes with a plate with a cat and a dalmation on it which is quite cool :-) Somehow his was less smeary than mine, maybe he didn't press so hard.
Did anyone else have Fashion Wheel or Fashion Plates? What creative toys did you like when you were a kid?