bananasplits

The Banana Splits

Just about every former kid who grew up in the late 60s has fond recollections of The Banana Splits. With a format loosely based upon the popular prime-time show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Banana Splits combined live-action, psychedelic rock music and classic animation, all offered up with a generous helping of both short comedic sketches and lengthier episodic features. Continue reading...

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Astro Pop

The Space Age was in full swing after World War II. Swift technological progress and widespread economic growth gave birth to a culture in love with rockets, space stations, and dreams of life on the moon. Every kid wanted to be an astronaut, and every week, a new toy or TV show was there to feed that dream.Spangler Candy of Bryan, Ohio, (founded in 1906) met this demand with the snazzy, rocket-shaped Astro Pop. This lollipop, a thin inverted cone of hard candy on stick, suggested a three-stage rocket: a red cherry-flavored lower section, a dark green lime middle, and a long yellow tip of lemon. Continue reading...

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Sea Monkeys

For the child seized by the creative spirit, when construction toys like Legos were simply not enough, Sea Monkeys satisfied a tyke’s urge to meddle in the realm of biology. Aided by an intensive ad campaign appearing in every comic book in the 1960s and 70s, Sea Monkeys sparked the imagination and intrigued the junior (mad) scientists of America. Continue reading...

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Tonka Trucks

Let's face it: There are few ways to demonstrate the invincibility of a toy that are as convincing as having an elephant stand on it. And, as viewers of the highly successful 1974 commercial could readily attest, the imagery merely re-enforced a fact that every boy in America already knew; Tonka Trucks are virtually indestructible. This reputation of durability has made Tonka easily the most recognizable name in toy trucks for over 5 decades. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

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Hydrox

The cookie world, as you might imagine, is just a tad competitive, and when it comes to two chocolate wafers embracing a layer of sweet vanilla crème, there has always been a heavyweight and an underdog. We know you are aware of the former, but for the uninitiated, we would like to talk about the latter, and thy name is Hydrox. While their demise can be directly linked to their Nabisco counterpart, they are the cookie of choice of millions of people who, in 2008, demanded their cookie back. Let’s see what all the fuss was about. Continue reading...

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Etch-A-Sketch

Perhaps one of the most popular drawing toys ever conceived, the Etch-A-Sketch has been testing the imagination and dexterity of millions of artists for the past fifty years with its two little white knobs. Master their operation and you can create a masterpiece. Make a little mistake, and you will literally have to shake it off and start over. Let's take a look back at the history of this classic toy. Continue reading...

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The Twilight Zone

Television took a turn towards the surreal in 1959, with the debut of a new anthology series called The Twilight Zone. Each 30-minute episode might delve into the areas of science fiction, drama, comedy, horror, or political commentary, but the only thing one could truly expect from each episode was the unexpected. Famous for its last minute twists, the success of the show is attributed to the genius of its creator, writer and host, Rod Serling, who imagined some of the most engaging stories to ever hit the airwaves. Today, just about everyone can cite a favorite episode of this classic series, over 50 years after its debut. Continue reading...

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Whee-Lo

Sometimes the very repetitive nature of games is what makes them so mesmerizing. Such is the case with Whee-Lo, a toy that was introduced in the 1950’s, and was so unique and addictive that it continues to sit on store shelves today. Let's take a look back at this memorable toy that has perpetually entertained us for over half a decade. Continue reading...