I must admit that I can't specifically remember when I got it - whether it was a birthday or a Christmas present - but what I do remember is that I loved it. It was blue, it was about four and a half feet tall, it was box-like and it had had a control panel painted underneath a scanner (plastic window) on the inside (which, unfortunately due to the way that the laws of physics currently work, was not bigger than the outside). It was a TARDIS playhouse and it was all mine.
It was a thing of elegant simplicity. You snapped together the plastic frame, inflated the mock light on the top of the cover, pulled said cover over the newly constructed frame and, once inside through the police box's tent-style doors, the whole of space and time was yours to explore.
It kept me amused for hours, did my TARDIS tent (well, what else would a young Doctor Who obsessive need?). It didn't even have to "go" anywhere; sometimes I'd be perfectly happy just sitting in it. Sadly, unlike the "real" thing, it was not immune pot the ravages of time and two factors ended its run. Firstly, I grew too big for it and secondly the outer cover ripped and some of the pieces of the frame went missing.
So, like may things at Ma and Pa's that were once cherished, it was consigned to the loft where it probably remains to this day. I wonder if I could fix the old girl up and take her out for a spin?
* Actually, that would still be pretty cool.
** This one still stands, obviously.
*** Maybe my wants aren't so radically different these days after all..