Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos game

Scientists claim that hippos (Hippopotamus amphibious) are herbivores, but millions of kids can attest otherwise. Their experience suggests that these gentle beasts have an insatiable appetite for little white marbles. Many a feeding frenzy has been observed during the course of a rousing round of Hungry Hungry Hippo. Continue reading...

Tonka Trucks

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...

My Buddy

My Buddy

Not since Jack Jones sang the opening to The Love Boat has a theme song been as exuberantly performed as the one that accompanied My Buddy. Of course, the kid that sang this composition had plenty to be enthusiastic about – My Buddy was a pretty unique playtime pal. A departure from conventional marketing wisdom, this was a doll marketed for male children. Continue reading...

Trouble

Trouble

Sometimes the simplest of challenges are the ones most frustrating, which pretty much encapsulates a little board game called Trouble. Introduced by Kohner in 1965, it brought out the competitiveness in everyone who played, sometimes raising their stress levels to the point that the game maker thought it wise to protect the lone die behind a globe of plastic, lest it get flung across the room. Continue reading...

Battle Beasts

Battle Beasts

Combining the classically cute with the technologically terrifying, Battle Beasts brought animal and mineral together in a way that could render one into a vegetable. As if playing with them wasn’t fun enough, just looking at the amazingly unique and endlessly creative designs was enough to occupy a kid for hours. Continue reading...

Tinkertoys

Tinker Toys

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...

Lite-Brite

Lite-Brite

For those whose artistic tastes lean away from the traditional and more toward the cool, look no further than a child’s bedroom. Disregard the crayon drawing on the refrigerator. Put the coloring book down. This sort of artwork is so good, it can only truly be seen in the dark. Continue reading...

Sno-Cone Machines

Sno-Cone Machines

At the end of the day, when playing is over and done with, you put your toys away and then what? You have nothing to show for it, no lasting reminder of a day’s hard work. Manufacturing something while still managing to have fun would well and truly validate your childhood. And if that something was edible, the venture would be win-win. Sno-Cone Machines debuted in 1967 and combined the best attributes of toydom. Brightly colored, shaped like a snowman, noisy, soggy and syrupy, Hasbro’s first sno-cone factory was a guaranteed hit. Continue reading...

Super Soaker

Super Soaker toy

So many scientists insist upon wasting their time on the boring stuff – medicine, space exploration, computer circuitry. It is the select few, the ones who understand the importance of playtime, that truly make the worthwhile contributions. In the 60s, it was the tireless hours in a laboratory perfecting the Super Ball, simply so that millions of kids could have the opportunity to play with a ball that could bounce over a house. And in the 80s, one brave scientist would re-invent the whole concept of water warfare. Put away those water balloons, holster that measly water pistol – there was a new breed of aquatic artillery on the block and its name was Super Soaker. Let’s take a look at the origins of this terrific toy. Continue reading...

Boggle

Boggle

If you've ever played Scrabble, you know the feeling of staring slack-jawed at your opponent for seemingly hours on end while he tries in desperation to form a word out of four E's, a J and two O's. Maybe in those impatient moments, you cursed the makers of the game for not imposing a time limit in the rules. Or maybe, you were just better-suited for a word game introduced in the 70s called Boggle. Continue reading...