Smarties

Smarties

You've just spent the evening knocking on every neighborhood door within sight, watching your pillowcase or plastic jack o' lantern gradually fill with tasty confections. Returning home, you eagerly dump out the rewards of your labor and scan to see what you've collected. And, much like every other kid who has ever performed this ritual, you are likely to come across a few rolls of little tablet-shaped candies wrapped in clear plastic. Both sweet and tangy, with a distinct powdery consistency, Smarties have been a staple of Halloween for over six decades. Continue reading...

Sugar Babies

Sugar Babies

The offspring of the celebrated confectionery clan we'll call the Sugar family, Sugar Babies are the diminutive nuggets of sweetness that bear genetic resemblance to their proud parents, Sugar Daddy and Sugar Mama. They have satisfied the hunger of sweet-toothed fans for over 70 years and counting. Continue reading...

Wax Bottles

Wax Bottles

Okay, you really weren’t supposed to eat them, but how were kids to know? After all, they were in the candy aisle. Technically though, the liquid inside was the candy, not the wax container that surrounded it - which didn’t stop kids from ingesting enough wax to turn their digestive tract into a candle, sans the wick. That’s right, we’re talking about the wax bottles of our youth. Continue reading...

Duncan Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo

Few toys have as long and storied a history as the illustrious yo-yo. It’s been around so long, and in so many iterations, that it has rightly earned the moniker of toy-legend. The simple combination of wood or plastic and string has stood the test of time since the ancient era, and remains one of the world’s most beloved toys. Continue reading...

Candid Camera

Candid Camera

Long before the perpetual era of “reality TV" took foothold, a mischievous little series called Candid Camera offered us all the opportunity to laugh at other people on television. It also encouraged millions of viewers to ponder the unsettling realization that someone, somewhere, might just be pointing a camera at them. Continue reading...

DayTheEarthStoodStillFinal

The Day the Earth Stood Still

1951’s seminal The Day the Earth Stood Still had a major impact on atomic-era sci-fi and pop culture. A nuclear-age warning to the people of Earth, it was based on “Farewell to the Master,” the Harry Bates story concerning Klaatu, an alien who arrives on Earth with his robot Gort in a flying saucer from the far beyond. Continue reading...

Tinkertoys

Tinkertoys

Parents have long sought to buy toys that will sharpen the minds of their kids, whereas kids certainly don’t care about that stuff – they simply want something that is fun to play with. Luckily for both, every once in a while a toy comes along that provides both fun and a little cerebral nudge. Perhaps one of the best examples is a simple building set called Tinkertoys. Not only do they encourage kids to think, but with the ability to build almost any toy a child could imagine, they have been bringing smiles to young and old alike for almost a century now. Continue reading...

Ditto Machine

Ditto Paper

Kids now-a-days don’t even know what they’re missing with their fancy Xerox and digital copy machines, but students of a bygone era can recall the bluish-purple print and unforgettable aroma of a freshly printed page of ditto paper (Perhaps "Ditto" wasn’t the name your school used; some called it a "spirit duplicator"). Once part of the daily scholastic routine, technology would eventually lead to the extinction of these fondly remembered machines and the paper they produced. Continue reading...