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Video: Unboxing the Tomy Smaller Home Bentwood Rocker

Tomy Smaller Home Rocker and Tiny Newspapers Test Shot
The Tomy Smaller Home & Garden Bentwood Rocker and my tiny newspapers. This was a test shot for what would become the cover of the Holiday 2021 chapbook. The scale between them’s slightly off, but I think I did okay for someone who really isn’t that crafty.

Remember all those tiny newspapers I was making? I finished them! I made 320 sets, which means 640 total (two per set). I really enjoyed listening to documentaries or watching TV with my family while I worked on them, and shocked myself when I got them all finished in just three weeks.

Anyway, the tiny newspapers will accompany this year’s holiday chapbook, which is my “Christmas Card” to friends and family (if you’re not on my postal mailing list and would like to be, please drop me a line through my Contact Page). This year’s story is “Nothing to See Here,” and is set in 1986 between the Challenger and Chernobyl disasters.

I’d had the Tomy Smaller Home & Garden (also known as Tomy Smaller Home after a lawsuit) dollhouse as a kid, and loved it to death (more on my current quest to replace the whole thing in future posts). All of the furniture was well made, and there were a couple of unique things about it: it was 1:16 size (most dollhouses are 1:12, and to give you a better mental snapshot, Barbie is 1:6); in addition, its design was “modern” (at the time, that meant extremely 1970s/early 1980s in its décor).

My favorite piece, for some reason, was the Bentwood Rocker. I really fantasized about owning a real one when I grew up (not anymore, peeps! I’m over it, just FYI). I needed to take a photograph for the cover of the chapbook, and I thought the rocker would be perfect, since a full-sized one features prominently in the story.

Nothing to See Here 2021 Chapbook front cover
The front cover of 2021’s holiday chapbook.

Since I’d bought the SH&G living room set that contained the rocker—but I’d scored it in brand new, unopened condition—I wasn’t about to crack into the kit to use the chair as a prop. I went on Ebay and instead bought a used one for ten bucks. It came in a Velveeta box—pretty appropriately ’70s!

Contemporary Velveeta box.
The Velveeta box containing the rocker…it’s almost $8 now? Good Lord! I remember when this crap was three bucks!!

The day it arrived was magical.

The unboxing — March 5, 2021. Oddly enough, I’m wearing a vintage 1986 necklace.

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