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Old 03-25-2019, 05:14 PM
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Your favorite cool toys from your childhood


This thread about the Electro-Shot Shooting Gallery began to drift into folks talking about other cool toys from their childhoods - to the apparent dismay of the OP, who seemed to want to stay on topic.
So I decided to open a new thread for anybody wanting to reminisce about all the awesome toys we enjoyed lo these many years ago.

I'll start with the Strange Change Machine and the Creepy Crawlers Thing Maker, both of which provided hours of fun for me and my brothers, but would never fly today due to the very real potential of either to severely burn little hands.
  #2  
Old 03-25-2019, 05:38 PM
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The LEGO Technic 8865 Test Car. I saved my allowance for many weeks to buy this for myself when I was 10 or so. IIRC, it was somewhere around $100.

For years after I slowly modified it: I lowered it, added 4-wheel steering, made it a roadster, changed the gearbox order, added brakes, motorized it, and a few other things. It (and other Technic sets) served a crucial role in understanding mechanical objects and 3D visualization and design skills.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:46 PM
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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.

Last edited by california jobcase; 03-25-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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Spirograph. Loved that thing. Spent many hour playing with it.
I liked etch-a-sketch too, but I had nothing to keep after drawing on it.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 03-25-2019 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:11 PM
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Neither did the Mr. Peanut peanut butter maker (the only old toy I still have)
Ah, yes, I remember this one. It produced a dry, weirdly gritty ground peanut paste that could only very generously be described as "peanut butter."

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Spirograph. Loved that thing. Spent many hour playing with it.
Spirograph was great! In today's electronic world, kids would never go for simple creative toys like Spirograph and Picture Maker, I'm afraid.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:19 PM
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I wanted a 'picture maker', i think instead i got a bunch of paper and colored pencils. Probably helped me to really sketch. But i was disappointed that year.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:33 PM
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APBA baseball game that I received at age 10. It used dice and a card for each player to replicate his statistics (on average) for the past year.

Actually I guess I got it for the Christmas I was 11, but the cards were based on the 1959 season for when I was ten. That was fortunate as in 1959 the Yankees did not win the pennant for one of the only two times in my life until I was 16.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:36 PM
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I didn't have any cool toys. My friends did, and never wanted to play with them because they were tired of them.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:45 PM
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APBA baseball game that I received at age 10. It used dice and a card for each player to replicate his statistics (on average) for the past year.

Actually I guess I got it for the Christmas I was 11, but the cards were based on the 1959 season for when I was ten. That was fortunate as in 1959 the Yankees did not win the pennant for one of the only two times in my life until I was 16.
That reminds me of All Star Baseball. Same kind of idea, with a spinner instead of dice. How I loved that game! I had forgotten about it until now.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:04 PM
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The sports talk reminds me of one. I never had it, but we had one at church. It was a basketball game in a regular board game sized box. There were two backboards which slotted into the ends, and there were holes in the box/court which had little spring loaded flipper levers with which to fling the ball at the goal. Half the holes aimed one way and half the other way. Anyone remember what this was called?
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
This thread about the Electro-Shot Shooting Gallery began to drift into folks talking about other cool toys from their childhoods - to the apparent dismay of the OP, who seemed to want to stay on topic.
Before Scrumpup got pissy I mentioned my Johnny Eagle Lieutenant. And the kid in our neighborhood that had a toy gun made from a real 1911 45ACP.

We had a Krazy Kar. A lot of fun but just a whell chair when you think about it!

No RC cars back then. We had COX cars that ran on actual gasoline! Real wise letting a kid play with gas!

Last edited by pkbites; 03-25-2019 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:02 PM
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I saved my allowance for many weeks to buy this for myself when I was 10 or so.
That's how I got a Dark Tower from Sears, after playing a friend's. No idea where it is now.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 03-25-2019 at 08:03 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:08 PM
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I really loved my Matchbox Cascade.

SSP Smash-Up Derby was pretty fun too.

Last edited by Ike Witt; 03-25-2019 at 08:11 PM.
  #14  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:12 PM
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I really loved my Matchbox Cascade.
Did Matchbox copy Ideal or vice versa?

We had the Ideal one.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:42 PM
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The LEGO Technic 8865 Test Car. I saved my allowance for many weeks to buy this for myself when I was 10 or so. IIRC, it was somewhere around $100.
Nice. I had the 8855 Prop Plane, with fully functional stick and control surfaces. It's still assembled, sitting on top of a cabinet at my parent's house.
  #16  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:52 PM
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We had Hands Up Harry - You faced off with this cowboy, you had your six-shooter (actually it fired one suction-cup dart and you had to re-load after each shot ), you shot off his hat, making his armed arms fly up, you shot each gun out of his hands, then when he was disarmed and vulnerable, you shot his belt buckle and HIS PANTS FELL DOWN! revealing striped underwear. Katherine Ross was nowhere to be seen! It never got old. Wish I had one now.

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.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 03-25-2019 at 08:55 PM.
  #17  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:52 PM
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I had one of these.

I would ride across town with that on my back so that I could play war with my friends like little boys used to do. Nobody blinked an eye, even with the black barrel, detachable magazine, gunsmoke generator, fairly realistic firing sounds, and light-simulated muzzle flashes.

Nowadays just having that visibly outside the house would get a dozen 911 calls and you shot by the police.
  #18  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
The sports talk reminds me of one. I never had it, but we had one at church. It was a basketball game in a regular board game sized box. There were two backboards which slotted into the ends, and there were holes in the box/court which had little spring loaded flipper levers with which to fling the ball at the goal. Half the holes aimed one way and half the other way. Anyone remember what this was called?
It was NBA Bas-Ket, made by Cadaco. I had it, too. Fun game.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
APBA baseball game that I received at age 10. It used dice and a card for each player to replicate his statistics (on average) for the past year.

Actually I guess I got it for the Christmas I was 11, but the cards were based on the 1959 season for when I was ten. That was fortunate as in 1959 the Yankees did not win the pennant for one of the only two times in my life until I was 16.
I got APBA Football and Baseball when I was a high school freshman (so, around age 14). Loved both games, and played them to death!
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:04 PM
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The Toot Sweet machine - Tootsie Rolls got inserted in the hole in the top, a mold was screwed down into place, the lever was pulled down and the Tootsie became different shapes that assembled into a working whistle or faces that you could attach to the whistle for some reason. Minutes later, down the hatch.
  #21  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:27 PM
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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.

Last edited by blondebear; 03-25-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:45 PM
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James Bond 007 Aston-Martin by Gilbert

I had two of these, both brought back from England, the second one at my special request to replace the demolished first one which was played with into oblivion. Now I have slightly less than one that is totally thrashed... and I would never replace it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcIWjSaq7Eo



The Outer Space Men by Colorforms.

I had a couple of these hard-to-find – and now insanely expensive - figures. Now I have one that is very worn and frayed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyvECRLXgNw



Barugon battery-operated monster

One of the coolest presents ever (thanks, mom!) NOTE: The vid shows the Godzilla model. The Barugon one looked similar and had the same basic action, in addition to which, it had smoke coming out of its mouth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yrV0Xg2Mr0



Zeroids by Ideal

I had two of these, Zerak and Zobor, both now long gone. Many years later, a friend gave me his Zobor, which I still have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3PB_E0XXhY

Last edited by Dropo; 03-25-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:02 PM
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After years of begging, my siblings and I convinced the parents to take us to Disneyland. We lived in Las Vegas, so it wasn't a huge drain on the family budget. I was eight years old at the time.

So, we all took off in the morning darkness. dad, mom and three kids. I remember dad was driving, when the police officer came to the car window. Don't understand what happened, but we did a U turn, went back to the house and dropped dad off. He was probably drunk, and the officer told him to get home. This was in the 50's, and these things happened.

Don't know why I am telling you this, but you need to know we were a poor family. Father was't working and had time to drink. Mom was a school teacher trying to support a family, including my brother in medical school.

We finally reached Disneyland, early in the morning. We got a package of tickets. It had a few for the big rides, more for the medium rides, and some for the kids (boring). We had a great time. And then I spotted the toy car.

It was a shiny, red and black convertible. You would wind it up, which powered its' four speed manual transmission. And the steering wheel turned the front wheels! Throughout the day, I would remind mom about the car. I imagine it was expensive. Everything sold in the park was expensive.

Good news, I came home with the car! Loved that car. Although it was difficult to shift gears on the fly. Do to its' small size. And when I finished playing with it (never off-road), I always returned it to the box it came in. It was a beauty!

When I came home from college, I could not find it. Mom said I wasn't using it, so she gave it away. Very tragic. Else I would have it today.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:25 PM
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Nice. I had the 8855 Prop Plane, with fully functional stick and control surfaces. It's still assembled, sitting on top of a cabinet at my parent's house.
Neat! That's a pretty clever mechanism it uses for the aileron/elevator control.

I still have mine, but almost completely disassembled in a box (along with a ton of other pieces). Maybe I should put it back together...
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:51 PM
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Me and my sibs played every board and card game there was. Funny, my kids weren't into board games. We had a few Scrabble tournaments. But mostly they played video games. Sad, really.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:01 AM
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i had one of those basketball games i had a cheap battery operated train set that came with a small track that you put on a plastic mat for scenery and came with 50 army men ....i had fun replaying my version of a ww2 train battle

was even more fun when i bought a box of cowboys and indians ...

i had the usual 80s toys gi joe starwars transformers....... but i miss my colecovision and sega master system the most.....
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:13 AM
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I'd spend hours playing with Lego sets and never build what I was supposed to

oh and even tho I was wishing they had star wars toys 30 years ago now that they do

I think making my own ships using various space sets was more fun .....

Actually, i think sometimes lego sets are just higher quality models than toys. I mean would you build the 4500 piece super star destroyer and then give it to your kid at 150 a pop?

Last edited by nightshadea; 03-26-2019 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:58 AM
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Tinker Toys. I'd sit for hours and make stuff with them. Also Lincoln Logs.


We had this one thing. It was the size of, and looked like, a 12 inch portable television set. But it had a record player on the top. There was a slot on the side to put these film/slide strips which were about a foot long. They would show up on the screen which inside was really just a simple projector with a light bulb and a mirror. The record and film strips would play in tandem. Real modern stuff for the 60's.

I remember one of them was The Wizard of Oz. It told/showed the entire story from Dorothy in Kansas, the tornado to OZ, walking the yellow brick road and meeting all the characters, killing the witch and getting sent back to Auntie Em in Kansas. All in 2 minutes and 33 seconds (my Dad timed it once).

I guess it was called the "Show 'n Tell"

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8

Last edited by pkbites; 03-26-2019 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:12 AM
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I remember one of them was The Wizard of Oz. It told/showed the entire story from Dorothy in Kansas, the tornado to OZ, walking the yellow brick road and meeting all the characters, killing the witch and getting sent back to Auntie Em in Kansas. All in 2 minutes and 33 seconds (my Dad timed it once).
Oops. My memory must be failing me. It was THREE minutes and change, not 2.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:52 AM
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I liked Legos - not "kit" Legos for making a specific thing, but the older general purpose ones. I built Lego "machines" complete with complicated internal structures representing things like power & computer cores, energy conduits, etc; I still have my childhood blueprint for a Lego "robot" somewhere.

I had a REMCO Electronic Sound FX Machine, which was a lot of fun (and probably pretty irritating to my parents, now that I think about it).
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:47 AM
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I remember really wanting the vibrating football game, where you assembled your team then turned on the vibrations to make your players move. It looked so cool on tv. Then a friend got one and I realized it sucked.

I had a kinda cool spy briefcase (Bond? UNCLE?) that had a real camera hidden in the briefcase. You could take pictures without people realizing. After using up a roll of film, it was off to the drugstore and a week wait. The pictures were all blurry misrepresentations of what you thought the lens was aimed at; mom's elbow, a friend's neck, etc.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:59 AM
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There are two that I remember

2XL, the question and answer robot that also doubled as an 8 track player when I stole my brother's copy of Boston

Vectrex, the failed video game platform that had an integrated black and white monitor.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:05 AM
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SSP Racers

You pulled a zip cord though the plastic car (rather like starting a lawnmower), and it spun a single outsize wheel in the centre of the car (usually cunningly(!) hidden in the bodywork).

They could get a lot of speed, and so were great for jumping down stairs, or racing down the road (where they usually disappeared down a stormwater drain, necessitating getting the pick to pull up the drain cover).
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:55 AM
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One year my brother and I made a deal with our parents to combine our collective Christmas and birthday gifts for the year so we could get Omega Supreme. It looks super cheesy now, especially next to the newer version, but at the time, it was the shit.

And apparently if I still had the box (and all of the parts, which of course I don't), it'd be worth about $2000. Oh, well. I'm sure my brother and I got at least that much enjoyment out of it, so, even trade I'd say.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:00 AM
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Capsela!
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:48 AM
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I loved those old lego pirate ships (late 80s, early 90s, by my memory) with the cannons that actually could fire and send a lego "cannonball" across the room. My friend and I would set up elaborate fleet battles across the living room floor that could take hours, complete with rules like every time a "cannonball" struck a ship, we shook the ship violently 3 times to simulate damage.

We were so disappointed when they changed those cannons so they couldn't fire any more.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:10 AM
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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.

Erector sets!

And one of my slightly older uncle's toys, so probably from the late 1940s. It was a bazooka type gun that fired ping pong balls when you pulled the handles together. Similar to this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Camo-Burp%C2%.../dp/B000JR9ROO
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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SSP Racers

You pulled a zip cord though the plastic car (rather like starting a lawnmower), and it spun a single outsize wheel in the centre of the car (usually cunningly(!) hidden in the bodywork).

They could get a lot of speed, and so were great for jumping down stairs, or racing down the road (where they usually disappeared down a stormwater drain, necessitating getting the pick to pull up the drain cover).
I never had a full sized one, but Burger Chef gave away some miniature ones as a promotion. These had an aluminum wheel which caused the car to lack traction, so I stretched a rubber band around it for a tire. It doubled its performance!
  #39  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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A few of my favorite toys:

1. All of my action figures. Mostly Star Wars but also GI Joe and Masters of the Universe.

2. I had an awesome Rodan toy. It was in the same product line as the Godzilla toy (which I also had) that was much more common. The detail on it was great. It's jaws opened and closed. The wings flapped and the claws could pick things up. I found it last year when packing up my attic and the wings had melted in the heat and broke. Poor Rodan.

3. I didn't have many Legos but I played with Fiddle Sticks. It was a building toy with plastic hollow tubes of different lengths and colors and joints. I remember one of the suggested projects was a spaceship that was like three feet long with wings. My friend and I spent an afternoon building it and were so proud when we fished.
  #40  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:16 AM
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Erector Set
Handy Andy Tool Box
Spirograph
Mattel Snake & Mongoose Hot Wheels Set
Major Matt Mason
  #41  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:22 AM
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I'm another one who spent countless hours with Lego. I never had any of the fancy Technic car chasses, but I did make a Technic car of my own (much simpler) design, with the front and rear wheels synchronized (with appropriate gearing, since they were different diameters), and a pair of ratchets that could be engaged or disengaged to allow for "drive", "park", "reverse", and "neutral". Though most of my builds were spaceships (the Spaceship Guy in the Lego Movies was a real nostalgia kick for me).

Erector Set was another big one, though I mostly used if for things intended to be functional, rather than just free play.

And I also had a couple of those Radio Shack electronics kits with the spring-loaded connectors-- I think the 160 in 1 kit and the 200 in 1 kit. Man, if only I still remembered more than a fraction of what I taught myself using those kits. I'm still hoping to find a kid nowadays who would appreciate them, to give them away to.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:33 AM
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I got this one toy, which I adored, then it broke two weeks after Christmas and I never saw it again... except at a friends house years later... and cannot find it on Google.

It was an airplane... simulation? You had to lay down (or place on a table in front of you) and biplanes would appear, whereupon you had to shoot them. The thing itself was a singular piece, the gun on one end, the simulator part at the other. It was kinda close to a video game except it wasn't.

Anyway, I loved that thing and was very upset when it broke... and now I can't even barely remember it.
  #43  
Old 03-26-2019, 08:27 PM
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My mom used to buy me these cool science type toy model sets in the 60s. One was a working Bell Telephone (v1.0) that you put together with plastic and wires and stuff. Yes, it worked. Then there was the little Gutenberg press that you assembled, and you could set some type for it, and it came with a composed page of a Gutenberg Bible to print. It was very cool. But the best one. Well I had been building plastic monsters and horror film characters - all the good ones. My mom found this replica Guillotine put-together model that was cool and really worked. But it's greatness came from the fact that it came with a little plastic patrician with a spring-loaded head that you could strap on the table, lock him with the headstock, and lop his little head off. But that's not the best thing. That was when my Mom saw this in a toy store and said, my son will LOVE this thing. Let's see Amazon try to put that out today.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:04 PM
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I loved those old lego pirate ships (late 80s, early 90s, by my memory) with the cannons that actually could fire and send a lego "cannonball" across the room. My friend and I would set up elaborate fleet battles across the living room floor that could take hours, complete with rules like every time a "cannonball" struck a ship, we shook the ship violently 3 times to simulate damage.

We were so disappointed when they changed those cannons so they couldn't fire any more.
I had one of those, you pull the knob in the back and then let go and it fired like a slingshot. Those were the best. In retrospect, probably not safe firing a plastic BB-sized pellet at that force but man it was fun. I loved pirate Legos. Ooh, and tte little shiny gold coins you could put in a treasure chest, and the little shark with chomping jaws...
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:01 AM
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That reminds me of All Star Baseball. Same kind of idea, with a spinner instead of dice. How I loved that game! I had forgotten about it until now.
Strat-O-Matic was the same kind of thing. Closer to the APBA game in that it used dice instead of a spinner. I got my game, a 1977 version, at a yard sale in the mid 80s. Somehow D&D missed my little group of nerds, this was our replacement.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:47 AM
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Speaking of technic Lego sets, I had (still have) the 952 tractor and the 915 bulldozer plus the motor and misc gears . I made the actual models once or twice, but I also combined them + lots of hand me down sets.
I came close to getting both big mobile cranes but never did.

Brian
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:59 AM
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2 more that I forgot about: The Evel Knievel stunt cycle. And better than the vibrating football game was Super Toe.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:18 AM
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The Six Million Dollar Man Space Capsule, complete with doll... er, "action figure". Loved this one. For about a week, but it was a fun week.
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:43 PM
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I had a "Switch and Go" when I was a kid. Here is a you tube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNSGGFPmdGQ

I didn't have the "Battle Set", I had a one with construction vehicles I think. There was another game but I have no idea what it was called. You had vehicles and a track but it only had curves and buildings. The vehicle would just roll across the floor between curves, so you had to get everything lined up precisely.

Spirograph never interested me until 1) I was told the numbers corresponded to number of teeth on wheels and gears. 2) I found a source for large flat smooth thick cardboard, and 3) I found out about Fisher Pens and their universal refills (Black, Blue, Red and Green too)! I would cover one side of a sheet of paper with calculations and the other with the drawing.

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I got this one toy, which I adored, then it broke two weeks after Christmas and I never saw it again... except at a friends house years later... and cannot find it on Google.

It was an airplane... simulation? You had to lay down (or place on a table in front of you) and biplanes would appear, whereupon you had to shoot them. The thing itself was a singular piece, the gun on one end, the simulator part at the other. It was kinda close to a video game except it wasn't.
This nothing like what you describe but seems to be a similar game. It was called "SkyDuel"; you held it up to your eyes.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/336362665893598724/
  #50  
Old 03-27-2019, 03:56 PM
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Looking at those reminded me of this electronic baseball game which was a big hit when I brought it to my church's youth group retreat. That sound stayed in my head for hours after I got home.

I bought the game through one of those cereal box offers; this particular offer had been for a different hand-held baseball game but the company underestimated the number of orders they'd receive. To compensate for their error, they sent out games which were better than the original offer.
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