Little Hostess Buffett by Marx

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I will be 51 in a few weeks.   Proclamnmation of this is only important to establish what I and other 49, 50, 51 and 52 year old women and possibly, some extremely effinmant men know and have always known:  that the Little Hostess Buffett by Marx was THEE consummate toy.

I remember desperately wanting one for Christmas.  I told all of my friends; made my parents aware of my biggest Christmas gimme.  I wrote Santa several letters; and  made it ABUNDANTLY clear that I wanted one every time I saw him  or C. Everett Koop in a store or mall.

I guess it was Christmas of ’65 or ’66.   It was and will probably always be one of my favorite Christmas gifts.

And I’m not alone.  A few years ago, I wrote a three part blog post called, “I Was Milton Bradley’s Love Child”, in which I chronicled (with photos) some of the most memorable toys of my childhood.

Those posts have always garnered a tremendous amount of hits and comments–even private email–and invariably, it’s almost always about Jingle Jumps and the Hostess Buffet.

  This is the classic Jingle Jump.   The yellow part was secured around the ankle; the heel fit into the blue cuff part and the blue box behind it contained jingle bells.  

Attached under it,was a long red plastic cord and attached to it was a plastic ball.  You moved you leg/ankle in a circular pattern and with your opposite foot, jumped over the ball as it came around.   It was something similar to a dance move.  Certainly, a precursor to a Ska dance move that would make the kids go crazy 30 years later  in the early 90′s.

But the biggest mail generator in all of LaurieLand has been whenever I’ve made mention of the Little Hostess Buffett by Marx.

I have searched high and low on Google and Bing and other search engines and couldn’t find a photo of the item itself, but I found a pic of the box it came in.    Here is the pièce de résistance:

I remember waking up on Christmas morning and there it was…already assembled in all it’s plastic French Provincial glory.   White plastic with gold accents.   Gawdy as hell, but I thought it was cool.

It came with everything a young, aspiring future hostess could want.  A full 16 piece place setting of plastic bone china.   It bore a uncanny resemblance to the Wedgwood earthenware pattern known as Edme.  Remember this my fellow Hostesses???

 It came with four plates, four cups and saucers.    And four crystal (read plastic) sherbet cups and ice teas.  It was carved plastic though.  Something akin to Waterford I would imagine and it came with a 16 piece set of plastic flatware–silver in color of course.   And if memory serves, those knives were serrated which could double as a weapon. 

Yes, back then, our toys, burned, maimed, cut, impaled, were poisonous, clipped, stabbed and probably make us sterile.

But boy did we have fun!!!

I also remember that the Buffett came with four rather ugly green colored paper napkins and a plastic fruit bowl with plastic fruit.   Bananas, I remember for sure…maybe lemons and oranges, too though I can’t quite remember.   Friskie, our sexually frustrated Cocker Spaniel always destroyed our toys.  I remember her  punishing a few of those bananas.  

It also came with  silver candlesticks; two pink plastic taper candles and a three-piece silver plastic tea service with a sugar bowl, a creamier, the tea server and all of it poised on a plastic tray.

I don’t remember having my Hostess Buffet for very long.  I must have grown out of it.  I remember walking in the room I shared with Karol and found her and her friend Julie using the plastic fruit bowl as a Barbie bathtub.

And by the way; Karol and Julie played nasty Barbies.  The characters were vile and the story lines were sordid as hell.   Kinda hot considering the authors of all this Mattell based smutty dialog were 10 year olds.   I remember watching a stiff armed and legged  Barbie and Ken sitting awkwardly  in the tub/bowl trying to get to know each other Biblically and not having much copulatory success.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was witnessing at the time, but I do remember for some reason, feeling differently about that bowl after that.

I guess the Buffett went the same place many of my toys went after I grew tired  or grew out of them:  as hand me downs to my slightly younger cousin, Dawn.   I was the youngest of three girls, so that made sense.  

I found a few plates in some old boxes a few years ago, but that’s all that I have left from my Little Hostess Buffett by Marx….

Well that, and these insatiable sexual urges every time I see a Barbie…a Ken and little plastic bowls.

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For more childhood toy memories from the early to mid 60′s go to my original post, I Was Milton Bradley’s Love Child – Part 1 here, then that post will contain links that will take you to Parts 2 and 3.

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5 comments

  1. I’m not ashamed of making our Barbies do the “nasty”. We all did it. At the age of 10, our sexualtiy was coming into play and we acted it out through them. Later, it became reality and it was better than make believe . . . alot better!

  2. I’m cleaning out my basement this week and–if I’m emotionally strong enough–will be throwing out my Hostess Buffet. (Well, actually it was my sister’s, but share and share alike, right?) It has lost its legs, yellowed, and been decorated with stickers, but it nobly served two generations. Thanks for the reminder of how it looked in its glory days.

  3. I am cleaning out my mothers house.Up in the attic in the same corner I left it 35 plus years ago sits my very own Hostess Buffet. Along with a few of the fork/spoons/knifes/water glasses/tea cups/plates/sauers.Three piece tea set/plastic plates/plastic bowl and even the fruit still display.I was surprised how good of shape it was in considering the age of it and the many years of hot ,humid summers sitting up in the attic. Many of days my best friend Nancy and I would play for hours in the hot attic but at 8,9,10 yrs old it didn’t matter how hot it was the memories are so dear.
    The question is,what do I do with it now? I also have the Marx Vanity set with chair.

  4. Just bought one of these at an estate sale for my three year old. She loves it! It still has about 75% of the accessories you recall it coming with (no napkins, no candles but candle holders are here, etc)

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