The movie Toy Story became an instant classic for many reasons, but mostly because it showed us something that we all instinctively know to be true....some toys are more than just toys.
For me it was a circa 1960 stuffed animal I called "Mr. Minky". He looked pretty much like this guy.
I'm told I was a precocious imp who started talking early, so Minky and I must have gone way back. Many years later when helping my parents move I found him. He was down in the basement in a never visited cubby under some stairs. Mildewed, plastic crumbling, his vapid simian expression was still happy. Into the dumpster he went. As I had a brother actively hauling crap back out for dubious sentimental reasons there is a slim chance that he moulders on somewhere.
My own lads seemed less into this sort of thing. Oh, somebody decided to make them into sensitive modern males and got them a baby doll. "Baby Mike" ended up being used as a hammer, and sometimes for more advanced experiments that involved falling long distances. This is probably the sort of thing that gets reported nowadays, but the kids all turned out fine.
Seeing things through grandparent eyes is different. You are so focused on not missing a single moment that assorted minor characters are noticed. Toys, or more than toys, appear, have their day and fade into obscurity.
First came Possum. He was actually some kind of dog toy. He had not one but two "squeakers". This made for considerable amusement when he was for instance hiding in Grandpa's back pocket. Every time I sat down there would be a squeak and I'd leap up trying to figure out where Possum was hiding. Possum developed a mischievous streak after a bit. One time he danced across a ledge gleefully pushing things off. The eldest grandchild was shocked...."Possum, why did you DO that?!". He had a brief revival with GC2, but has now vanished.
Obviously characters like Possum are my fellow players in the constant "Grandpa Show" that has been running for years. Not quite puppets, they have their own personas. The current co-star is Doll Baby. Here she is:
Doll Baby has the strongest personality of all my Comedic Foils*, perhaps reflecting the Indomitable Will of her owner. And to put it as kindly as possible, Doll Baby is a Stinker. Hugs, kisses, Doll Baby hands then out with abandon to all. Except to Grandpa. With me she'll peer in close, pause, then give me audible "raspberries" every time. Or she'll use her one extended thumb to methodically pick her nose. If I get up from the table to get something from the kitchen she'll steal my chair every time.