Childhood Attachments

Have a childhood toy that you loved to bits? Well, apparently you are not alone. In his book ‘Much Loved’, Mark Nixon went around and documented stuffed animals that have been treasured and lost, used and occasionally abused, but never forgotten.

The idea of snapping these photos on his Nikon began after noticing his son’s devotion to his stuffed Peter Rabbit.

“I was struck by … the way he squeezed it with delight when he was excited, the way he buried his nose in it while sucking his thumb, and how he just had to sleep with Peter every night,” Nixon wrote in the introduction to his new book, which is published by Abrams. “I vaguely remembered having similar childhood feelings about my own Panda.”

Peter Rabbit, Age: 10, Height: 16", Belongs to: Calum Nixon
Peter Rabbit, age 10, height 16 inches. Belongs to Calum Nixon.

Panda, Age: 50, Height: 16", Belongs to: Mark Nixon
Panda, age 50, height 16 inches. Belongs to Mark Nixon.

“It is universal. It is that primal kind of emotional attachment that a lot of people have,” he said in an interview. “When you’re that young, they’re just a great comfort. I had no idea how much people would respond to it.”

Daddy Bunny, Age: 8, Height: 14", Belongs to: Zoe Bracken
Daddy Bunny, age 8, height 14 inches. Belongs to Zoe Bracken.

Beary, Age: 6, Height: 12", Belongs to: Tom O'Connor Jr.
Beary, age 6, height 12 inches. Belongs to Tom O’Connor Jr.

Bobo, Age: 34, Height: 12", Belongs to: Shane Maher
Bobo, age 34, height 12 inches. Belongs to Shane Maher.

Flopsie, Age: 6, Height: 14", Belongs to: Lua Spencer
Flopsie, age 6, height 14 inches. Belongs to Lua Spencer.

One Eyed Ted/Aloysius, age 55-plus, height 13 inches. Belongs to Gerry Ryan and Babette Ryan.

Edward, age 104, height 23 inches. Belongs to Melissa Nolan of the Dolls Hospital and Teddy Bear Clinic.

The book also features stories of the stuffed animals’ histories, including tales of their origins and travels. Nixon didn’t think that this project would not only catch the enthusiasm of kids, but also of the adults. Many of the stuffed toys he photographed were more than 40 years old – some more than 100 years old. How they could withstand the test of time, I have no idea. However, it is clear that people’s attachment to their animals truly does runs deep.

Hate to admit it, but I might have a little white rabbit tucked in my bed somewhere despite being a quarter of a century old…

What was (or still is) your little stuffed obsession?

via Slate

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