Like Mandy, my sister & I were actually pretty egged on by my parents to make "customizations" to our toys. Remember those monkeys with holes in their ears/mouths/noses that you could then stick their thumbs/toes into? My mom was pleased to find one with rearranged limbs (as in legs jutting out of arm sockets) after my sister and I performed a morbid bit of surgery on one of them with scissors and safety pins. Guess that got me started with my love of reconstruction early on in life. Oh, and we had a creepy life-sized Barbie head without a body that you could style with makeup and curlers. She looked really punk rock by the time we were done with her.
You guys are bringing back all kinds of memories of make-believe games my sister & I would play as kids. I remember getting a microcassette recorder one Xmas ("you'll want to remember all those story ideas that come into your head", said Mom). Anyway, my sister and I staged these mock presidential elections between my monkeys and recorded "interviews" with them. One was in cowboy get-up, the other in tennis gear. The latter spoke like Ricky Ricardo and hailed from the Republic of Cocarita before immigrating to our fictitious country. The cowboy talked like a cross between Yosemite Sam and Porky Pig. Even back then, it was a race between the populist of color and the elitist good 'ol boy who fought dirty to win the election. At one point, the cowboy confided to his interviewer that he planned to "kill that little Cocarita boy " if he won the election. What was even more fun was the fact that my sister didn't catch that part until we later played it all back. She was shocked and horrified, much to my delight. Hee!
Gwenn, I'll bet my hubby would love to read your dad's article. He was on a team that designed audiophile speakers. Share it?