Brooklyn’s Harry Chapin Playground was a place where used toys could be dropped off so that other children could play with them. The playground was nicknamed “The Island of Misfit Toys,” after the island sanctuary of that name in television’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) Christmas special.
New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation cleared the playground of toys just before Christmas in 2012 and sought to end the toy-giving tradition.
City of New York Parks & Recreation
Harry Chapin Playground
Columbia Hts. at Middagh St.
This playground is named in honor of the singer and songwriter Harry Chapin (1942-1981).
Born in New York City, Chapin grew up in Brooklyn Heights, and he and his brothers often played in this very park.
Wikipedia: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin/Bass. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song by the same name which was itself based on the 1939 poem of the same title written by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May.
The Island of Misfit Toys
The “Island of Misfit Toys”, another addition to the original story, is an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. It is during the initial scene on the Island that Johnny Marks standard, “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” is performed by the inhabitants. Toy versions of nearly every character from this show were produced in the 1990s.
New York (NY) Post
Parks Department workers taking away toys left for kids
By RICH CALDER
Last Updated: 6:06 AM, December 24, 2012
Posted: 1:26 AM, December 24, 2012
The Grinch is lurking at a Brooklyn playground — and he’s come for the toys!
Parents who take their kids to Chapin Playground near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade are fuming because Parks Department workers in recent weeks have swooped in and hauled away toys left there for youngsters to share.
For many years local parents have dropped off used toys that their children outgrew at the playground off Middagh Street for other kids to play with.
A few well-meaning folks have even donated new toys for the toddlers and preschoolers who frequent the playground.
The decades-long tradition has led to some parents nicknaming the playground the “Island of Misfit Toys” from TV’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Brooklyn Parents Demand Parks Dept. Stop Removing Broken Toys From Playground
By Jen Chung in News on December 24, 2012 1:20 PM
Not only do Brooklyn parents want their babies allowed in bars, they want to make sure their kids get to play with broken toys. Families who frequent the Harry Chapin Playground in Brooklyn Heights are upset that the Parks Department has been removing toys left there for children to play with. According to the Post, toys have been left there for decades, leading “some parents nicknaming the playground the ‘Island of Misfit Toys’.”
The playground has also been referred to as a “graveyard” for “garbage toys.” Still, a mother revealed on a Yahoo forum that she filed a complaint with the Parks Department.
PIX 11 (New York, NY)
Brooklyn Heights residents: City a grinch for ending toy dropoff at park
by Monica Morales
Here at Chapin Playground just feet away from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, you will find one-year-old Emily here from Brooklyn Heights playing this Christmas Eve with her dad.
She just loves these toys left behind by other parents who have children that have outgrown them or just plain want to share them with other kids.
It’s a tradition that warms parents hearts.
The playground has had so many toys donated that some parents have nicknamed the park “The Island of Misfit Toys.”
New York City • Buildings/Housing/Public Spaces • Friday, January 04, 2013 • Permalink