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...

Barrel of Monkeys

Barrel of Monkeys

All games would like you to believe that they are oodles of fun to play, but only one can boast that it is as fun as a barrel of monkeys? In fact, it is a Barrel of Monkeys! And for over four decades, kids have played with these interlocking primates for hours on end in this endearing and enduring game that tests one’s patience and coordination like no other. Continue reading...

Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins

Imagine how boring the world would be if ice cream only came in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Sure, people would still eat the stuff by the bucketful because a summer’s day just wouldn’t be the same without a few drips of ice cream running down your arm. But, as they say, variety is the spice of life. And for a little over 60 years, Baskin-Robbins has been providing that spice to the tune of 31 scrumptious flavors of ice cream, all ready to be sampled from a little pink spoon. Continue reading...

Battle of the Network Stars

Battle of the Network Stars

Remember back when there were only three major networks on TV? It seems so long ago. There were ABC, NBC and CBS and each network fought vigorously for their slice of the pie. And while viewers might not have been privy to the cutthroat nature of the business behind the scenes, they were at least able to get a glimpse of their favorite stars try to best each other on The Battle of the Network Stars. 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...

Bay City Rollers

Bay City Rollers

Bringing up the rear of the British Invasion, the Bay City Rollers emerged from Scotland in the 70s and after racking up a respectable number of fans in the UK, arrived in America to enjoy even more adulation. Besides gracing the American music charts with a string of hits, the teen heartthrobs also endeared themselves to millions via Saturday morning television. 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...

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

There are almost as many similarities between Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins as there are between the Kennedy and Lincoln administrations – although those of the former are certainly less coincidental. Both films incorporated animation into live-action sequences. Both had magical guardians who managed to spellbind the precocious children under their care. Both took place in London and actor David Tomlinson had a supporting role in each film. Other than that, they were completely different. Continue reading...

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper

Halloween costumes are a cherished part of childhood, transforming ordinary kids into superheroes, monsters, and celebrities for that one special night at the end of October. While many constructed their own costumes out of old clothes and face makeup, the rest of us relied on a man named Ben Cooper, who offered an entire plethora of choices, each residing in a small cardboard box which contained a plastic mask and accompanying vinyl garment to be worn over street clothes (and winter coats, depending on where you lived). For a child growing up in decades past, picking out a Ben Cooper costume at the local store was one of the most anticipated shopping trips of the year. Continue reading...