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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sonya Lee 

Little People have been around for nearly six decades. They started off primitive, as a rolled cardboard base wrapped in paper and a spherical wooden head. Fisher-Price introduced them in 1959 in the Safety School Bus playset. The original shape went through a number of body styles before coming up with the ubiquitous design that was prevalent through most of my childhood playing in the church nursery. The first Asian character was introduced the last year of regular production in 1990 with the Little People School. After that, a new line of "Chunkies" was introduced, mostly to allay people's worries about choking.

In 1997, the line was again redesigned to their current shape, with faces that resemble people more than beach balls and actual arms and legs. In this new era, there are five main characters that keep getting reproduced and repackaged in the various playsets. A red-headed and bespectacled girl named Maggie, two blondes named Eddie and Sarah Lynn, a boy of African descent named Michael, and this little cutie named Sonya Lee. There are other multi-ethnic characters that pop up now and again, such as a Latino bus driver (whom my daughter has named Mr. Noodles) and what looks to me like a girl of native American descent in the construction crew.

My kids love the Little People. Who wouldn't? They are absolutely adorable just to look at and offer hours of imaginative play. Among the dozen or so sets we've got are the Noah's Ark (with both expansion sets), the playground, the tea party, the musical circus train (no longer available), and of course, the farm. Someone needs to remind me to post about the Fisher Price farm with the door that goes "moo" on a plane bound for Manila. Anyway, I love the Little People, too. Let's hear some love for the Little People.

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