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Living the Dream - 15% Off

May 19th 2020

Now’s the time to live the dream you’ve always had – collecting trains and toy soldiers. To help you make those dreams a reality, we’re giving you 15% off the ENTIRE STORE, now through Sunday, May 24. Use the code DREAM2020 at checkout to apply your discount!

It’s still important to stay home if your work and health allow, and instead of focusing on productivity or the anxiety of the current moment, turn your attention to reigniting old passions and hobbies. In the time of global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to be gentle with yourself and with others. Have you always dreamed of making a diorama about your favorite historical events? Have you been hoping to make the foray into a new scale of train model? Do you want to turn your living room or backyard into a dynamic garden railroad? We’ll help you make it happen! Now is the time to cultivate those hopes and dreams.


Dreams are one of the great mysteries of the human experience. Did you know:

  • Many people in the U.S. used to think we dreamt in black and white. “…The rise and fall of the opinion that we dream in black and white coincided with the rise and fall of black and white film media over the course of the 20th century, suggesting that our opinions about the coloration of our dreams are subject to cultural influences.” In a 2006 study, Schwitzgebel et. al. found that “groups with longer histories of colored media exposure reported more colored dreaming” (Schwitzgebel, 2006). Do you dream in color?
  • Humans have been interested in dreams for thousands of years. The earliest recordings of dreams are from Mesopotamia on clay tablets, recounting the adventures of a legendary hero, Gilgamesh. The tablets included how to interpret the dreams’ symbolic and metaphorical imagery. Of course, oral versions of dreams likely circulated for hundreds of years before being recorded on tablets! (Rock, 2004)
  • By about 1000 BCE, texts had been written in India and China about deciphering the meaning of dreams, which mostly were believed to be messages from gods that could foretell the future (Rock, 2004). Have you ever experienced a dream foreshadowing something that happened to you, big or small?
  • Sigmund Freud’s dream theory has had resounding impacts on scientific and popular thought. He believed that dreams were the road by which the unconscious activities of the mind could be understood. He thought dreams sprung from subconscious wishes (mostly a function of, he thought, libidinal drive) that were normally suppressed during waking hours (Rock, 2004).
  • “Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function.” On the other hand, some scientists believe that “the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance” (Revonsuo, 2001).
  • According to some studies at Berkeley, dreams could help with emotional processing. “REM-sleep dreaming appears to take the painful sting out of difficult, even traumatic, emotional episodes experienced during the day, offering emotional resolution when you awake the next morning. REM sleep is the only time when our brain is completely devoid of the anxiety-triggering molecule noradrenaline. At the same time, key emotional and memory-related structures of the brain are reactivated during REM sleep as we dream. This means that emotional memory reactivation is occurring in a brain free of a key stress chemical, which allows us to re-process upsetting memories in a safer, calmer environment” (Walker, 2017).
  • Sleep and dreaming may also help with creativity, problem-solving, and information consolidation.
  • Some believe that dreams are simply physiological, while others believe that they are psychoanalytic. Dr. David Maurice has suggested “an alternative explanation for the phenomenon known as REM sleep, the stage in which the eyes rapidly move and most dreams occur”: "Without REM…our corneas would starve and suffocate while we are asleep with our eyes closed” (Breecher).
  • “’The truth is, we don’t really know why we dream,’ says Brady Riedner, a researcher with the UW–Madison Center for Sleep and Consciousness. ‘What we do know is that during dreaming sleep, the brain is just as active as it is during waking, but in a different way’” (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008).

Although we may not know exactly why we dream, or whether the function of our dreams is more physiological or psychological, it is clear that the dreams we have for ourselves (at least the ones we have while we’re awake!) can have a profound impact on our lives and our happiness. Trains and Toy Soldiers wants to help you achieve your dreams about pursuing your hobbies and passions - give us a call today and we’ll help you figure out where to begin or pick up your hobby again. We’ve got thousands of collectibles, from vehicles to train sets to hand-painted figurines to stunning backdrops, and we’re eager to help you ignite your joy. Live your dream, and don’t forget to use the code DREAM2020 to take 15% off the entire store.

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING