CNN iReporters' desk toys

Updated 1:11 PM ET, Tue September 4, 2012
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Film professor David Tolchinsky has a collection of Spock dolls that he describes as "a cheaper mid-life crisis than collecting Porsches". David E. Tolchinsky
CNN's iReporters told us that desk toys are often a chance to remind themselves of something that makes them happy. For Chantana Mekwilai, that's family: the 29 year old secretary keeps dolls crocheted by her younger sister at her office in Pathumtani, Thailand. "She took two days to learn to crochet and makes one small doll in three hours," she says. "They are so colorful and make me smile and enjoy working." Chantana Mekwilai
A little plastic shark in a pinstripe suit works wonders for 22 year old Philippines college student Clyde Antes' motivational levels. "Whenever I feel bored or tired while working, I'll just look at my toy and it makes me laugh," he says. "You talkin' to me, Sharkbait?", Antes makes the toy say. And, "Pro bono? Never heard of him". Clyde Marion Antes
There are practical advantages to having toys to hand in the workplace, too. Hala Al Hajj Shehadeh, a postdoctoral assistant professor of mathematics at the Ann Arbor, began keeping toys when she first brought her newborn daughter in to work. Two years later, her office still contains rattles, balls, stuffed animals, coloring crayons, stickers, puzzles and toys. "I have all her toys, to keep her busy when she visits," Shehadeh says. Hala Al Hajj Shehadeh
Nashville podiatrist Carmen April has a doll called a "fit" which she throws at the wall, when the need arises. "My receptionist thinks it is hilarious when I "throw a fit"," she says. "I always warn her so as not to scare her," she says. "Friends who know how much I love my 'fit' ask to borrow it." Carmen April
Rachel Cauvin, an interior designer and project manager in New York, has been collecting children's toys from fast food chain meals for years. "I am a big kid at heart," she says. "How could you not love those little faces looking up at you every morning when you come to work?" Rachel Cauvin
Cauvin's coworkers have yet to pass any comment on her predilection, but she says, "if they could only come to life like in the movies that would give my co-workers something to really talk about!"