Memory Lane: Your Cavemen Gotta Have Caves

Image result for images of marx toy caveman

It’s 1958 and you’ve just acquired a Marx Dinosaur set, complete with an assortment of cavemen. The little fellow pictured above is one of them. There are also cavemen throwing rocks, walking around with clubs and grinning placidly, making stone tools, and cavewomen preparing supper. It was 1958 and we were not required to show transgender cave-bipeds. etc.

Anyway, you’ve got cavemen and they ought to have a cave. Otherwise the dinosaurs will get them. No cave came with the set, so you had to provide your own.

My cavemen lived in caves made of my mother’s books, Grandpa’s beautiful stone building blocks, upside-down shoeboxes… and sand. The sandbox was the best place for caves, mountains, volcanoes, and forts. You did run the risk of losing a caveman or two, because these figurines were really quite small: that determined-looking spearman up there is only about an inch tall, albeit he’d be taller if he’d only stand up straight. I know exactly how tall everybody is because I still have my cavemen, except for those few who, for all I know, are still somewhere at the bottom of the sandbox in the playground next door. Uh, no, wait–they’ve expanded the school to swallow up the playground, and there is no more sandbox. Kids don’t play there anymore.

Is it already too late to teach children to use their imaginations?

I think God will help us if we try.

5 comments on “Memory Lane: Your Cavemen Gotta Have Caves

  1. I laugh at the notion of cavemen walking hunched over. The evolutionary fairy tale seems to need this transition into humanness.

    It’s very cool that you kept so many things from your youth. I have barely anything from mine and wish that weren’t so.

  2. If kids today played with cavemen — I mean cavebeings — it would be on their phones with a programmed app. As for sandboxes, can’t have those. Too unsanitary, and children might swallow or inhale sand or suffocate each other. Tsk. Better to keep them in safe spaces, with monitored activities, cultural indoctrination, and hypnotic phones.

    I had paper dolls, not cavemen, but I also built dwellings, cities, and adventures out of shoeboxes, blocks, cut-out landscapes and furnishings, and pictures from magazines. Sometimes a couple of friends and I even staged plays with our paper dolls on makeshift stages.

    1. E.R. Eddison did the same thing when he was a boy, and got a swell fantasy novel out of it later on in life–using the same characters who used to be little cardboard figures on his toy stage.

  3. My brother didn’t have cavemen, but he did have cowboys and Indians and, of course, all those army guys with tanks and things 🙂

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