Jem

Jem

Many a doll maker have attempted to take a swipe at the iconic Barbie over the years. Most have failed, but in the case of Jem, she proved she had a few tricks up her sleeve and managed to hold her own, thanks to a revolution that was changing the entertainment world, a force known as MTV. Continue reading...

Payday

Payday

It's no secret that kids often wish they were adults. They yearn to do all those fun grownup things like drive the family car, see racy R-rated movies and plan the monthly financial budget. Okay, maybe that last item is less popular, but for those that wanted to try their hand at the bill-juggling madness that keeps their parents awake at night, Parker Brothers had just the solution - a fun little board game called Payday. Released in 1975, Payday offered a preview of the financial fun that would rear its ugly head later in life. Continue reading...

Connect Four

Connect Four

Commercials come and go, but catch phrases live forever. The final quarter of the twentieth century heard just such a phrase moaned from the lips of one young boy after having lost a game to his sister. While no boy in his right mind wants to lose to a younger sibling, losing at Connect Four ranks with Sorry! and Risk in the pantheon of crushing defeats. Perhaps that’s why before Milton Bradley marketed the game in 1974 under the goal-oriented name “Connect Four,” it was simply and somewhat quietly known as The Captain’s Mistress. Continue reading...

lincoln_logs

Lincoln Logs

One of the most enduring and endearing building toys to ever hit the market, Lincoln Logs have delighted kids for decades, thanks to their simplicity and the ability to create wooden structures both rustic and sturdy. What you may not know, however, is the fascinating story behind this beloved toy that has charmed children ever since its debut nearly a century ago. Continue reading...

hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos

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

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...

MyBuddyFinal

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...