Necco Sweethearts candy

Sweethearts

Every time Valentine's Day rolls around, the adults of the world exchange flowers and elaborate boxes of chocolate with their loved ones. Kids, on the other hand, have always preferred those little heart-shaped candies with the somewhat chalky flavor, each emblazoned with a short message such as "Be Mine" or "Kiss Me". That's right, we're talking about Sweethearts, a beloved confection that has always been happy to do the talking when you were too shy to verbally profess your love. Continue reading...

Mr. Machine

Mr. Machine

Children have long been fascinated with taking things apart and (hopefully) putting them back together again. Let a kid get their hands on a few of dad’s tools, and it is almost a certainty that they will start disassembling anything that lay in their path. Nothing is safe, from their own toys to their parent’s household appliances. Noting this particular universal fondness, Ideal Toys created the perfect plaything in 1960, a mechanical buddy, ready to be un-built and put back together again at will. His name was Mr. Machine. Continue reading...

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel

It was just about impossible to be a kid in the 70s and not know who Evel Knievel was. He was the iconic folk hero of a generation that grew up a little too late to catch the space race or Daniel Boone. Eyes were transfixed to television sets everywhere each time he would put on his helmet and propel his motorcycle towards a ramp that would send him flying over cars, buses, fountains, canyons, and anything else that seemed to have a need to be jumped over. Of course, part of the allure of these spectacles was that Mr. Knieval didn’t always make the most graceful landing. Continue reading...

Wrigley's Big Red

Big Red

It’s one of those jingles that somehow manage to be stickier than the gum. It sticks to your brain cells like a wad of silly putty sticks to shag carpeting. It’s the ad campaign that eventually made Big Red the most popular cinnamon gum on the market. Continue reading...

The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus

Scholastic's The Magic School Bus had the ability to traverse the ocean floor and zoom through the intricate chambers of the human body. If only we could all get out of rush hour traffic and go where the Magic School Bus goes, the world would be a happier and better educated place. Continue reading...

Air Blaster Gun

Air Blaster Gun

When a toy is yanked from store shelves after a relatively short run, it is usually for one of two reasons – it is either unpopular or unsafe. And perhaps not surprising to anyone, the unsafe ones are often pretty popular at the time they are pulled. Such was the case with the Wham-O Air Blaster, a toy with endless possibilities, some of them relatively dangerous. Let’s take a look back at this fondly-remembered toy that came and went with a bang. Continue reading...

Atari Fire Truck

Fire Truck

Where's the fire? Well, there was no fire, just a fire truck that had to be steered around roads full of obstacles in the 1978 Atari game. The player(s) had to steer a fire truck through the winding streets, accumulating points and--hopefully--earning extended play with a high enough score. Continue reading...

Iron Eyes Cody

Iron Eyes Cody

The story of Iron Eyes Cody is a rather fascinating one. With a solitary tear dripping down his cheek as he mourned the increasingly polluted land around him, his image served as a catalyst for modern environmentalism and encouraged many to do their part in helping to clean up the growing litter problem. A champion of Native-American causes, an actor that appeared in dozens of films, he is without doubt the single most recognizable Native -American face in modern culture. Of course, there’s just one little tiny detail, a seldom -mentioned tidbit of information that somewhat clouds the history of this iconic character – he wasn’t really an Indian. Continue reading...