Sunday, June 6, 2010

Picture of the Day: Toying with Nostalgia

At Panjiayuan, the antique flea market, there are stalls upon stalls selling all kinds of things, from paintings and silk scarves, jade bracelets and embroidery, chopsticks and silk pouches, leather-bound boxes and Chairman Mao statues.

But there's one that catches a lot of attention because of the memories it invokes -- toys.

They're in the shape of robots, jack-in-the-box, a menagerie of animals, rockets and houses.

These toys made of tin are from the 1960s to as late as the 1990s, and with a twist of the key they come alive in a variety of ways.

Little drummer boys in red uniforms and blue beefeater hats march slowly banging their drums, while a cat runs on a wheel, then rolls on its side before getting back up again and continuing on its way. Two men play a fierce game of table tennis, and a small fish swims in front before the big fish catches up behind him and swallows him whole.

Many people come by this stall and are nostalgic about their childhoods, and some want to buy back their youth.

However it will cost you -- while some are only 30RMB ($4.39), some are priced upwards to 120RMB ($17.57) -- probably 10 times the original price.

What is old is new again...

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