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-   -   Your favorite cool toys from your childhood (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=873000)

OldGuy 03-27-2019 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21557975)
We had the vibrating football game and played it a lot. It was a bit chaotic but that was half the fun. Never did have much use for the passer, though.

I had one of those. Chaotic is being generous. I could never get the passer/kicker to throw or kick the ball a distance shorter than 2-3 filed lengths. That made completing a pass impossible. You could kick a field goal with is, but the ball was so high it was very difficult to see if the kick was good.

I did however find a way to put the passer to good use. The rule was you could hold the passer and pull it back (as if the passer was dropping back to pass) then wait for your opportunity to pass. I'd just hold it there until all the defensive men had vibrated their way to the side lines then let it go to run. It was like an extreme quarterback draw. With the field essentially empty, the QB made a long gain, often a touchdown.

Of course that strategy once used was all too obvious for the other team to adopt.

wolfpup 03-27-2019 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondebear (Post 21557303)
My all-time favorite was the Whoosh! compressed-air powered jet/glider. From the Sears catalog, it was a little to fragile and a little too prone to ending up on somebody's roof. But what a blast it was to launch it skyward and chase it down as it glided off to who knew where.

I was having a hard time thinking of any really memorable toys from my childhood (though I can think of many from my son's childhood!) but that reminds me of a compressed air and water rocket that I had. That was really cool, and was a great toy out at the cottage where there were lots of big empty fields.

You poured a measured amount of water into this transparent red plastic rocket, depending on how high/far you wanted it to fly. Then you attached it to an air pump, pumped it up, and pulled the trigger. That thing could soar to amazing heights!

Mean Mr. Mustard 03-27-2019 06:24 PM

These are long shots, curious if anyone remembers:

Big Bruiser. A large, toy tow truck that came with a pick-up you could tow. The pick-up had replaceable parts, such as a regular fender and a crinkled fender. link

Mastermind. Some sort of "computer" toy. My memory is foggy, but I think there were cards you entered into the computer, lights would flash, and you would receive some sort of response to your question (?). (could not find link)

Both of these are from the mid 60s.

Also, who else had a plastic car wash similar to this?


mmm

pkbites 03-27-2019 06:24 PM

I had the talking GI Joe circa 1967. When the talking mechanism broke I would pretend the speaker holes in his chest is where he was shot in combat and survived!

Years later my younger brother had a Pulsar action figure. It was kind of weird. He would pit Joe against Pulsar.


Plastic Army Men. Loved playing with them things. Blew the shit out of them with fire crackers! Would stage time travel battles between them and the plastic cowboys and indians set I had. Got a huge set for something like 2 bucks out of a comic book. Took 4 freaking months for delivery. Mail order shit took forever back then.

burpo the wonder mutt 03-27-2019 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 21560802)
I was having a hard time thinking of any really memorable toys from my childhood (though I can think of many from my son's childhood!) but that reminds me of a compressed air and water rocket that I had. That was really cool, and was a great toy out at the cottage where there were lots of big empty fields.

You poured a measured amount of water into this transparent red plastic rocket, depending on how high/far you wanted it to fly. Then you attached it to an air pump, pumped it up, and pulled the trigger. That thing could soar to amazing heights!

I had one of those; it looked like a Saturn V. I think the nose-cone would separate and a parachute was supposed to float it back to ground, but that never worked. Who cares? Trying to blast a landing jetliner was the real objective.

wolfpup 03-27-2019 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 21560890)
I had one of those; it looked like a Saturn V. I think the nose-cone would separate and a parachute was supposed to float it back to ground, but that never worked. Who cares? Trying to blast a landing jetliner was the real objective.

There were many variants on that general theme and from what I can find on Google, there still are. The one I'm thinking of was the first of its kind, and it was a very simple design that looked like a 1950s concept of a rocket ship. Later on they added things like you mention, and IIRC there was even a two-stage version. I can't remember if I ever had any of those, probably not. I distinctly remember the simple red rocket, and it was great because it was very light and unencumbered with the fancier add-ons, and could really soar to fantastic heights! :)

california jobcase 03-27-2019 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkbites (Post 21560876)
Plastic Army Men. Loved playing with them things. Blew the shit out of them with fire crackers! Would stage time travel battles between them and the plastic cowboys and indians set I had. Got a huge set for something like 2 bucks out of a comic book. Took 4 freaking months for delivery. Mail order shit took forever back then.

I (or my mom) only ever sent off for three things in the mail. The first was a Batman rubber stamp kit. It was from the back of a cereal box. It was smaller than I thought and my dad had to get some ink for it since its ink pad was dried out. The next was Sea Monkeys! It seemed like they took forever to arrive, but they did sort of work. Reading the Johnson Smith catalog that came with it was worth the dollar!

The last thing was a camera I got from saving up Bazooka Bubble gum comics. A little known shortcut was to buy the nickel Bazookas. They had bigger comics that were worth ten comics each. The camera was so small it took twice the exposures on a regular roll of 120 film. I never used it.

Looking back at things, I wonder why my parents were always so keen to get rid of all of my cool toys once I quit using them regularly. I remember them asking if they could give away or throw out some of them, but most of the good ones just disappeared over the years. Oh, well.

pkbites 03-28-2019 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by california jobcase (Post 21561013)
It seemed like they took forever to arrive


It seems that everything mail order took forever to arrive back in the day. Even from the JcPenny catalog.

When I was in 3rd grade I sent in my Bazooka comics for a "space radio phone". That was in the spring of that year. When they arrived I was already in the 4th grade, I kid you not.

And all they were was 2 metal discs and some string, like when you used tin cans to make a telephone. Don't know what I actually expected to get for nothing, but still, I was so pissed! :mad:





Tonka Trucks! I had about 20 of them, the good ones made out of steel! I even had the firetruck that hooked up to the garden hose and squirted real water via a hydrant and cherry picker. They were awesome!

pkbites 03-28-2019 05:43 AM

You Fly It. Played with it for hours days on end.

It was just a cheap model plane and fishing line, but it was fun. Kids now days would probably be bored to tears with it.

Chronos 03-28-2019 12:05 PM

If we're talking about disappointing mail-order toys, there was a Go-Bot (I couldn't afford Transformers, except when I got lucky and found one at a garage sale) that was this scorpion monster thing, available only by special offer. The ads made it look huge! I was excited to get it, because I already had the big mobile base thing for the good guys, and was looking forward to having a similarly-sized evil one to match up against it. When it (eventually) came (I don't remember how long it took, but of course it felt like forever), it turned out to just be the same size as any of the other Go-Bots. Though I did eventually get the evil base, too (at a garage sale).

Gatopescado 03-28-2019 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21557975)
We had the vibrating football game and played it a lot. It was a bit chaotic but that was half the fun.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldGuy (Post 21560789)
I had one of those. Chaotic is being generous.

I got one for my birthday, and at some point during the party, my two older brothers got in a fight, and one of them fell on the game, bending the playing field.

From then on, you would line up the players, hit the switch, and they would all immediately make a bee-line to the sideline divot around the 20 yard line. :( Just kinda spun around in a huge clump.

It looked just like the marching band scene to follow years later in Animal House.

I never played a single game with that thing.

kayaker 03-28-2019 12:29 PM

Dude, you missed nothing IME.

ekedolphin 03-28-2019 09:53 PM

The Sesame Street Cookie Counter was the electronic doodad I had to entertain myself in preschool, instead of, like, a Game Boy or something. I found myself quickly bored by the calculator function. But do you see those left and right buttons underneath Cookie Monster's hands? There was a juggling game that was my addiction.

(It also made a lot of noise.)

Spoons 03-29-2019 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkbites (Post 21561327)
Tonka Trucks! I had about 20 of them, the good ones made out of steel! I even had the firetruck that hooked up to the garden hose and squirted real water via a hydrant and cherry picker. They were awesome!

Not quite as fancy, but I had a Tonka Jeep that was great fun in the sand pit of the local playground.

Here's a blast from the past: when I was a child, we often had to go to Grandma's for dinner. It was kind of dull when the adults were enjoying cocktail hour, so Grandma would pull out some of my Mom's old toys for us kids; one of which was a mechanical tin merry-go-round. You wound it up, and it would spin and play music, until the spring ran out. Then you did it again.

It was a fascinating toy, and I loved it as a child. Just for sentimental reasons, I took it when we cleaned out Grandma's house. It's at least 80 years old, but I still have it to this day, and it still works.

Chronos 03-29-2019 09:09 AM

One that has a lot of nostalgia for me: It was a sort of diorama of a plastic tree in a forest, with cartoony animals in the tree, and a puck with a sticker of a nut on it. You'd push one button, and the raccoon would swat it with his paw, launching it up to the next branch, and then the squirrel would flick it with his tail with another button, until it got to the top, where it'd go into a hole in the tree and fall out the bottom again (flipped over, with a different nut-picture on the other side).

OK, on its own merits, it was maybe entertaining to a 3-year-old, but nothing too special. What made it special to me was that I noticed the screws at the back, that could be used to take it apart, and see all the pieces inside that made it work, and then put it back together again.

Cardigan 03-29-2019 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 21557264)
We had Major Matt Mason (and his bazillion accessories) was an awesome space toy. The creators put a lot of thought and ingenuity into it. I still have one of the 4 D-cell powered tank-like vehicles. In the original box.

I remember getting a Major Matt Mason flexible action figure one Christmas when I was a wee lad. This same Christmas my brother got a Billy Blastoff with battery-powered lunar vehicle accessories. I was soooo jealous. What could the good Major do but strike a pose? Billy, by contrast, could tool around in his cool lunar rover. But I've gotten over it. Really, I have. I don't think my parents loved my brother more than me. I mean, it was probably just an innocent oversight on their part getting me MMM without accessories, and my undeserving older brother getting BB with accessories.

pmwgreen 03-29-2019 03:02 PM

When my daughter was young, we had the Sesame Street Alphabet Roadway, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQWpG0d16K4 which was a lot of fun until we burnt out the clutch on the bus. You could connect the letters to each other in any order to make a track. Some letters like P were turn arounds, X was a cross-over piece, etc. The challenge was making a track from all 26 letters that didn't have an end the bus could drive off.

Wheelz 04-02-2019 02:28 PM

Another one I just remembered: Wizzzers!
These were essentially just tops aided by an internal gyrostat, and would probably bore today's kids to tears. But we had hours of fun with these back in the '70s.

Dinsdale 04-02-2019 02:49 PM

Apologies if I missed it, but no mention of Hot Wheels so far? My best buddy down the block and I would spend endless hours with them. When my kid was old enough, I brought out my old cars and track. The first thing he did was crash them into each other. I was thinking about how old the cars were and said something like, "Don't do that!" Then I took a moment and remembered how I used to play with them, and the cars were crashing into each other again! :D

And yeah - creepy crawlers. I can still remember a few things I burnt with that thing. At a time that I have very little $, what little I had was spent on Hot Wheels cars or that Creepy Crawler goop.

Another one that I haven't seen is a chemistry set. Sure, send Jr into the basement to cook up some chemicals over an alcohol flame! :D I remember REALLY liking smoke bombs!

Ike Witt 04-02-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wheelz (Post 21570661)
Another one I just remembered: Wizzzers!

That thing never worked as intended for me...

AHunter3 04-02-2019 03:01 PM

Klackers.

Not to be confused with Clackers. ;)

Wheelz 04-02-2019 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dinsdale (Post 21570709)
Apologies if I missed it, but no mention of Hot Wheels so far?

Oh God, yes! We must have had miles of orange track, and we'd set up courses down the stairs, over furniture, up on countertops, etc. The trick was to keep the car going roller-coaster style for as long as possible without either losing momentum or flying off the track. We also had Sizzlers (motorized Hot Wheels), but the free-wheeling original version was a lot more fun.

Ike Witt 04-02-2019 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wheelz (Post 21570797)
Oh God, yes! We must have had miles of orange track, and we'd set up courses down the stairs, over furniture, up on countertops, etc. The trick was to keep the car going roller-coaster style for as long as possible without either losing momentum or flying off the track. We also had Sizzlers (motorized Hot Wheels), but the free-wheeling original version was a lot more fun.

I had this stuff that I had inherited from my brother.

pkbites 04-06-2019 12:21 AM

Space toys were also huge in the mid-late 60's. My brother and I had all sorts of rockets and stuff.

We had a lot of Major Matt Mason toys.

I was not yet 9 when America landed on the moon. It was a HUGE freaking deal, especially to a kid!

Southern Yankee 04-06-2019 04:54 AM

As a kid in the 70s, Corgi die cast toys stand out as the coolest thing I remember. Specifically, there was a James Bond car that turned into a boat, and a tank that shot projectiles.

kaylasdad99 04-09-2019 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by california jobcase (Post 21556974)
I had two Thingmakers and most of the available molds. I also had a Pretzel Jetzel and Incredible Edibles. Neither one worked very well. Neither did the Mr. Peanut peanut butter maker (the only old toy I still have) or the Sno-Cone machine. I've heard Kenner E-Z bake ovens also performed poorly.

For parents interested in a toy that makes edibles as it should, consider cotton candy machines. The small ones go for about thirty bucks, and they really work as they should!

We also had some monkey bars in the back yard and a merry-go-round for two people that worked by pumping the footrest/handle bars. These were awesome, but I am nine years younger than my three older siblings, so those two outside toys were ten years old before I was able to use them and didn't last long for me.

We HAD one of those! We called it what my Dad called it -- a whirligig.

No idea what it's official name was, or I'd be able to find a picture of is on google.

kaylasdad99 04-09-2019 10:06 AM

Another cool one (in a dorky sort of way, in retrospect): Mr. Machiine.

cochrane 04-09-2019 10:21 AM

Anyone remember the Great Garloo? It was a green robot that stood around two feet high. It had a remote control that could make it "walk," and it could bend over and pick up things with its hands.

kayaker 04-09-2019 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 21581666)
Another cool one (in a dorky sort of way, in retrospect): Mr. Machiine.

Yeah, I remember that being a really cool toy. Hard to believe that today.

Wheelz 04-09-2019 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 21581666)
Another cool one (in a dorky sort of way, in retrospect): Mr. Machiine.

I was too young to remember, but the story in my family is that my older brother, at about 3 or 4 years old, got a Mr. Machine for Christmas and was scared to death of it. It subsequently went into the closet and never came back out.

Monty 04-26-2019 09:52 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed two that have already been mentioned: Tinkertoy, and Lincoln Logs. I also have fond memories of the View-Master to see photos in 3D. My favorite set of photos for that were from the Civil War photographer, Brady. And, finally, the Lite-Brite which was pretty cool to see after following a text to place the bulbs, akin to the old typewriter picture puzzles.

Oddly enough, every one of those is still in production today.

pmwgreen 04-27-2019 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monty (Post 21611921)
I also have fond memories of the View-Master to see photos in 3D. My favorite set of photos for that were from the Civil War photographer, Brady.

That's a weird bit of trivia. Apparently the stereoscopes were all the rage during the civil war and a lot of those 3-D pictures were sent home as souvenirs. Considering how many seemed to be of piles of bodies, I can't see how having it in 3-D enhanced it. Still it is amazing to think they have been recreated as View-Master disks.

Daylate 04-29-2019 02:12 PM

I had a lot of great toys when I was growing up during and just after WWII, but one of my favorites was a chemistry set in a beautiful fitted box. And this thing had a LOT of cool elements in it. Including powdered charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate, with a bottle of powdered magnesium just to make things exciting. And combine these in the right proportions (soon discovered), and what did you get? BOOM! We blew up a lot of stuff with this set, and didn't have to go to the hospital even once. Kids nowadays have it so safe and dull.

Daylate 05-01-2019 01:25 PM

HAH! Daylate, Killer of Threads", strikes again!!


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