Clarabell

Clarabell

What a travesty it would be to have a circus without a clown. It seems no less odd than having a western without a cowboy. Such was the dilemma on the popular children’s show, Puppet Playhouse, featuring host Buffalo Bob Smith and a loveable puppet named Howdy Doody. Taking place in a circus setting, the show had everything a kid could want – except for a clown. Thankfully, along came Clarabell, a sidekick so loveable he became an icon. Continue reading...

LIttle Professor

Little Professor

In the 1970s, electronic games emerged as an exciting new form of entertainment quickly embraced by the nation’s youth. Arcades were no longer rooms containing pool tables and pinball machines, instead allowing for a rousing game of Pong and a few other modern marvels. The Atari game system even allowed this emerging technology into the comforts of our homes. With the kids completely enthralled by everything electronic, it became possible to sneak in an educational game or two under the radar. One of the more successful was the Little Professor, a hand-held device that taught math to unsuspecting kids. Continue reading...

Spiderman

Spiderman

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that Marvel Comics superhero Spiderman would show up on the Saturday morning airwaves. From the moment it first aired in 1967, the cartoon was destined to be a classic. With legendary animator Ralph Bakshi supervising the production, and a swinging theme song so catchy it adhered to our memory as securely as Spidey climbing a skyscraper, it was pretty clear from the get-go that Spiderman would find a loyal following. Continue reading...

Big Wheel

Big Wheel

In the world of toys, there is the neat, the cool, the trendy, and the classic. But every once in a while, sometimes only once in a generation, comes a toy that hits all these points and also serves to help define the decade. The Big Wheel is one such toy, so iconic that they are still being pedaled down neighborhood streets four decades after their debut. Continue reading...

SantaClausAliensFinal

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Earthlings have a long-held affinity for the jolly bearded fellow in the red suit who hands out Christmas presents each year. Is it any wonder that other planets might be a little jealous that we haven’t shared St. Nick with the rest of the Cosmos? Well, that all changed in 1964, when Martians took matters into their own hands in the campy sci-fi classic, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Continue reading...

Lionel Trains

Lionel Trains

From the time he was a boy, Walt Disney held a great fascination for trains, to the extent that he eventually installed them in his theme parks, and loved to ride his personal railroad around the property of his Beverly Hills estate. While most of us aren't able to enjoy quite the same level of resources, Lionel Trains has long made sure that everyone who loves trains can have their very own. They have been around for over 100 years now, with no signs of running out of steam. Continue reading...

BabesToylandFinal

Babes in Toyland

Children of all ages have long held an affinity for the Victor Herbert operetta, Babes in Toyland - which joins the many beloved Mother Goose characters in a musical story that has seen numerous incarnations over the years. Laurel and Hardy starred in the popular 1934 film version and by 1961, the master of family entertainment, Walt Disney, decided he wanted to take the classic for a spin with his own inimitable style. Continue reading...