Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mrs Bender's coming home!

Anyone has who read my original post explaining how the Mini House Project started, will be aware of the Bender Family; the four, small rubber folk, who lived in the dolls house belonging to my sister and I, in the early 1970's.

And who were, unbeknownst to them (with no malicious intent on our part) early practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga. That's the one where you can pick your teeth with your toenails and keep your ears warm at the same time...

In an age where most tiny inhabitants of 1970's doll's houses could only stand or lean stiffly against their furniture, the Bender Family, who consisted of Mr and Mrs Bender, and their flexible children Tommy and Sally, were ahead of their time. After all, they could put their legs behind their ears with gay abandon. However unwillingly.

Admittedly, as was mentioned in my previous post, it made the cartilage / wire inside their legs pop out of the back of their knees, but for us, as children with enquiring minds, that seemed small price to pay, for the amusement.

I never questioned at the time what the Benders actually felt about this. And perhaps it is no surprise then, that our dolls house was eventually taken away from us (well...we were 18 years old and 21 respectively), and the Benders went too.

I just assumed that they had all relocated, eventually to the Big Dolls House in the Sky. Or at least gone into hiding, to escape more devilment from other horrible, small children, who take delight in making people's legs bend the wrong way.

I never thought I'd see the day that she'd be flaunting
 herself online. Not least,  because the Internet 
hadn't been invented in her day.
But how wrong could I be? For this evening, I discovered that Mrs Bender at least, is alive and well and selling herself on the internet!

It appears, however, that Mr Bender is no longer on the scene (unless he was taking the photos) and with Tommy and Sally all grown up,  I can only surmise that, at the grand old age of 43 (86 in rubber years) she is is need of ready cash and a roof over her head.

While perusing Google this evening, I stumbled across a picture of her, sitting at a jaunty angle, in a new, blue and white polka dot frock (her old one was a respectable, dull bottle green as befitting a mother of two).  Waving like a floozie for the camera! All topped off with a new hairdo; the old one, while the same peroxide blonde, was more "Maggie Thatcher at the start of her Prime Ministerial career", circa 1979.

And wearing a slick of blue eyeshadow too!!  If only we still had the tiny bar of pink plastic soap, I would have made her wash that off, for starters.

Thinking back, it can't have been an easy life, trying to feed a family of four, on food made out of felt and glue, with no running water and sporadic mains power. When someone finds it funny, to make your head face a different direction from your feet on a regular basis.

Still got good legs for someone who has spent
most her life with them warming her ears 
It's a blessing she could sit down, poor thing. Still kept her figure though....which is more than can be said for me.

I felt a stab of pity. After all, I feel partly responsible for the position she now finds herself in. Literally.

And so, to save her from whatever degrading, unhappy, contorted life she was heading for, I paid my £3.25 including postage, to the wonderful folk at who have been looking after her up until now.

A sort of Dog's Trust for dolls of a certain age.

Although, how dear Mrs Bender (if it is indeed she, and not a look-alike) will feel when she finds out who has re-homed her, is anyone's guess.

She will find out soon enough, when she arrives in the post box of No1. Heatherside Corner.

But if she is reading this, in advance...

Pledge: "Dear Mrs Bender, when you arrive at the Mini House, I promise I will never, ever again, bend your legs the wrong way just to see what happens to the back of your knees."

Well....maybe just the once, for old times sake.

Disclaimer: No rubber people will be harmed at any time, during, or after, writing this blog.

A Bender is for life and not just for Twister.

N.B. Thank you to for kind permission to use the above images, before she arrives safely ( I promise) at No1.Heatherside Corner. I have a lot of saying sorry to do! 


  1. Wow great that you managed to find her, will keep an eye out for Mr Bender for you, lol.

  2. Isn't it wonderful that the skills she learned at your hands enabled her to earn a living when hard times fell and even better that she can now come home to a happy retirement.

  3. You are right Christine, could have been a lot worse! The gal did good! She could have been selling herself via eBay by now, on a 99p listing. Thank goodness we found her before she'd sunk that low! She seems relieved to be here, and now has a large house to enjoy without any annoying kids or husband to run around after, picking up their socks etc. No wonder she looks so cheery!

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