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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.
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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, 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.
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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.
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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, 11:02 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, 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 04-09-2019, 09:57 AM
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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.
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.
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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, 06:45 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 03-27-2019, 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 03-25-2019, 09:03 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.
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, 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, 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, 08:58 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?
It was NBA Bas-Ket, made by Cadaco. I had it, too. Fun game.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:45 PM
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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!

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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.
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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, 08:52 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.

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Old 03-29-2019, 10:12 AM
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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 03-27-2019, 05:41 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.
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!
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:24 PM
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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
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:24 PM
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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.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:55 PM
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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.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:05 AM
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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!





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!
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:31 PM
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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.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:43 PM
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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!
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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.
  #35  
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

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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, 08:00 AM
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Capsela!
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
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!
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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, 08:48 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, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
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 03-26-2019, 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
  #50  
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.
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