Awesome Toys from Back in the Day
With most kids equipped with smart phones or other devices to play on, toys are just what they used to be. So, for us older folks, here’s a look back at some of the awesome toys we used to play on back in the day.
Ah, the Big Wheel – the tricycle with the big wheel and the emergency break on the side. I had a Dukes of Hazzard big wheel when I was a little kid. I would ride that thing and make the Dixie horn noise as I pretended to jump over hills and run from the cops. Actually, that kid of reminds me of my 20’s. Anyway, the Big Wheel first came out in 1969, and you can still get one of these ‘Hall of Fame Toys‘ today.
The Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D puzzle that came out in 1974, and has been making veins pop out of foreheads since then. I would spend hours and hours trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube. I could get one, maybe two, colors to match up. But, most of the time, I was left frustrated and would either peel all of the stickers off, take it apart to match up all the colors, or simply throw it up against the wall and watch it rain colors. I don’t want to talk about the Rubik’s Cube anymore.
The pogo stick can be traced back to 1891, when some dude from in Kansas invented a stilt that used springs on each foot. The modern version was patented in 1920 with the two handled version coming out in 1957. Since then, the pogo stick has come a long way. I remember trying to use one of these inside a house which was a bad idea – especially if you have a low ceiling. Nowadays, people use these to do all kinds of tricks, or peep over the neighbors yard to snoop around.
The toy was first introduced in 1913 and allowed you to build things using beams, nuts and bolts. The cool thing, was that after you built something, you could take it apart and build something else that was completely different. I had an erector set as a kid and it inspired me to want to be an architect, or a demolition man. So, I became a DJ.
My favorite thing to come out of the 80’s, besides girls who had big hair, break dancing and boom boxes, was the Atari 2600. The game console came out in 1977 and was responsible for introducing the world to Pac-Man, Pit Fall, Defender, Berzerk and more- games that I would play for as long as my parents would let me. A few years ago, I got an Atari Flashback game system that had some of the classic Atari games. I think I played it for about 30 minutes before I was back on my PlayStation.
Hungry Hungry Hippo
Hungry Hungry Hippo came out in 1978, and the object of the game was to use your abnormally long-necked hippo to get as many marbles as you could. How many of you remember cheating by tilting the game back towards you to let the marbles fall into the hippo’s mouth? To this day, I don’t know why it was such a popular game, but we sure played it a lot back in the day.
“You sunk my battleship” still rings in my head as one of the catchiest phrases from back in the day. The game, which came out in 1967, was basically a game where one player lays out their ships, and the other one guesses where those ships are. If you got the other player to turn their head by tricking them, then look over the board, you could rule the game.
Simon was a memory game which came out in 1978. The game would light up and play a tone in a random order, and you had to repeat that order to move on. Some people have been known to make Simon into a drinking game, though, that seems like it would be a pretty short game.
Micro machines, which became famous in the mid 80’s, were tiny scale models of different types of cars, trucks, trains, emergency vehicles and more. If you had micro machines, you were one of the cool kids on the block. And, the more you had, the better. I remember having a huge case to store all of my micro machines and my friends and I would trade them back and forth. The one thing that probably made micro machines even more popular, was the fast talking dude, John Moschitta, Jr. At the time, he was the fastest talker in the world. You couldn’t really understand the dude, but that didn’t stop people from buying these tiny toys.
Gobots, which came out in 1983 and produced by Tonka, were pretty popular when they came out. Then, Transformers took over and made the Gobot seem like a generic knockoff. In 1991, Hasbro bought out Tonka, and the rights to the GoBots toyline. Probably a good thing, because they actually sucked. But, they make our list because they paved the way for Transformers to take over the world, which, in turn, gave us Megan Fox. Nice!