Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks

When Ross Bagdasarian changed his name to David Seville, sped up his recorded voice, and released the single, “The Chipmunk Song,” he never could have fathomed the enormous popularity that would follow. Over a half-century later, his trio of Chipmunks – Alvin, Simon and Theodore – are still going strong, appearing in feature films and delighting young audiences with their squeaky voices and irrepressible charm. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Army Men

Plastic Army Men

Some say it’s hard to keep a good man down. Nothing more true could be said about Army Men: green plastic soldiers fixed to a molded base, which stand defiant in the face of oppression, tyranny, and latent childhood aggression - as they have for over fifty years. Let's take a look back at these valiant toy servicemen from yesteryear. Continue reading...

Barbie

Barbie doll

Perhaps the best word to describe the iconic children’s toy, known simply as Barbie, is “invincible.” In the battle waged to win the hearts and minds of little girls (and more than a few boys) everywhere, the toy battleground is littered with thousands of battered beauties, all whom failed to knock this iconic princess from her lofty pedestal. In name recognition alone, real people like Princess Diana and Mother Theresa don’t hold a candle to Barbie, a doll that, for over the past five decades, always seems to emerge unscathed and ready to show the world why she is the queen of style, the princess of fashion, and the most beloved toy that perhaps the world has ever known. Continue reading...

Baseball Games

arcade baseball games

More than a half-century before anyone would ever know what a video game was, pinball games reigned supreme in the local arcade and enjoyed a long and colorful history that continues today. But another game emerged back in the 30s, one called a “pitch and bat.” Unlike traditional pinball, these games operated by firing a ball from the center of the machine. Players would hit the ball with the help of some mechanical apparatus and “bat” the ball back towards a plethora of targets and indentations within the playing surface. Continue reading...

Battleship

Battleship Game

Strategically place your fleet out of harms way and pray that your number (and letter) doesn’t come up. In the seas of war, torpedoes are flying and coordinates barked at an ever-increasing pace. It’s going to take a little logic and a lot of luck to win this battle, all fought within the confines of dueling plastic L-shaped game boards. This is Milton Bradley's Battleship, “the classic naval combat game!” Continue reading...

Bazooka

Bazooka gum

Okay, so Bazooka gum isn’t the first commercially produced bubble gum, nor is it the first to contain a comic strip on the wrapper. That hasn’t stopped it, however, from becoming an iconic candy for well over a half century. It’s about as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, with its patriotic red, white and blue wrapper and its availability in just about every drug store for a mere penny or two. As a result, it’s mere appearance unfailingly brings back fond memories of childhood to anyone who ever took a moment to read a Bazooka Joe comic or save up a stack of the wrappers to turn them in for a prize. Continue reading...

BB Bats

BB Bats candy

Some candies are so teeth-adhesive that one wonders if a dentist invented them. And while the little rectangular suckers known as BB Bats might not have been invented by one of these white-coat-wearing sadists, they have probably made as many dentists smile as the kids that chomp into them. Continue reading...

Bit-O-Honey

Bit-O-Honey

Chicago has long held a reputation as the candy capitol of the United States. And, in 1924, the Schutter-Johnson Company launched a unique new chew to the windy city, one that would delight children and dentists alike. Christened as the Bit-O-Honey, it was guaranteed to give a kid’s jaw muscles a workout like no other. Continue reading...

Bomb Pops

Bomb Pops

For many a former kid, the arrival of summer coincided with the joyous ringing of faraway bells, ones that signified the approach of a little white truck, filled to the brim with frozen treats. And assuming your parents were generous with their spare change, you would soon come face to face with a vast menu of choices plastered on the side of the truck. With so many items to choose from, a great many gravitated loyally to the most patriotic of Popsicles - the Bomb Pop. Popular for over 50 years now, they have proven that they are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet. Continue reading...

Bozo the Clown

Bozo the Clown

Few clowns have ever enjoyed the same enduring popularity as the lovable red-haired, white-faced icon known as Bozo. For over half a century, literally dozens of men have donned the floppy shoes and red nose for the television cameras and endeared Bozo the clown to generations of young viewers. Continue reading...