ALF, ET, and Garfield seek Scooby-Doo
The TV sitcom ALF, which ran from 1986 until 1990, starred the distinctively coal-eyed “Alien Life Form,” aka “Alf.” At the time, ALF character toys even came with Burger King kids’ meals. While many vintage toys aren’t expensive on eBay (only a couple of bucks), the shipping fees can kill you, so I keep an eye out for vintage toys of that era at thrift stores and flea markets for my sister-in-law Andrea, who loves ALF.
Although Andrea is my age, she’s autistic, developmentally around 7 or 8 years old. When my in-laws lost their Mississippi Gulf Coast home in Hurricane Katrina, Andrea lost all of her favorite toys. She loves getting mail, though, so every so often my husband and I will send her a box full of thrifted surprises. While I have yet to find a replacement for the ALF with suction-cup feet that she used to put on the car window, I’ve sent her little ALF hand puppets, and I once scored some View-Master reels featuring scenes from the ALF television show.
Her other perennial favorite is Garfield, who, thankfully, is still easy to find on the secondary market. We’ve sent Garfield books, coffee mugs, stuffed toys, rubber stamps, and stickers.
My eyes perked up at the Mojo flea market on Sunday at a stall where a guy had bags of old toys, and I rummaged up two ALFs and an ET. Combined with the Ugly Doll and a few Wimpy Kid books already stashed in the “Andrea” bag, this will delight her.
Still looking for a Scooby-Doo!
Purchased at Mojo Flea Market, most Sundays at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall, Santa Rosa, California