Pogo Ball

Pogo Ball

Once you mastered the pogo stick and the Hoppity Hop, there was a new challenge on the horizon - a planetary-shaped projectile that could have you soaring towards the stars or, just as easily, dusting yourself off from an earthly collision with the unforgiving ground. It took some major balancing talent to propel yourself with the Pogo Ball, but if you possessed the right stuff, the sky was the limit. Continue reading...

Glo Worm

Glo Worm

Children are not afraid of the dark; they are afraid of what is hiding in the dark, waiting to devour them whole once the last electric light has been shut off by a parent's treasonous hand. Possibly there is the faintest glimmer of a distant streetlamp slipping through the child's Strawberry Shortcake curtains, but the light is too diffused to overcome the inky darkness with all its hidden horrors. Continue reading...

Easy Bake Oven

Easy-Bake Oven

Moms don’t generally relinquish control of their kitchen appliances to the kiddies, especially the oven, and for good reason – a 450-degree chamber isn’t the best place for kids to stick their hands. And yet, the oven is where all those delicious baked goods come from – moist cupcakes, gooey chocolate chip cookies, basically the finest treats a kitchen can offer. And what about all those future culinary wizards, eager to get a head start in the world of batter and frosting concoctions? Luckily, for the upcoming chefs of the world, and the rest of the kids who simply dreamt of their very own bakery - where they could escape the “don’t touch that” limitations imposed by nervous adults and churn out a never-ending supply of tasty concoctions, there was the iconic Easy-Bake Oven. Let’s take a look back at a toy that offered the sweetest of rewards. Continue reading...

Jenga

Jenga

Jenga is a game that required steady hands and nerves of steel. Forget Operation, forget The Game of Jaws - these were child’s play by comparison. You were going to need some serious intestinal fortitude to make it through a game of Jenga, where one wrong move, one unintended twitch of the wrist would bring the game crashing down around you much to the delight of your nerve-rattled opponents. Continue reading...

Pokémon

Pokémon

A combined love of collecting bugs and playing video games led to one of the biggest toy crazes of the 90s, when Japanese gamer Satoshi Tajiri concocted a little game called Pokémon. As the editor of his own gaming magazine, Tajiri had become enamored with the Nintendo Game Boy system, especially the fact that two systems could be interconnected, and he wanted to create a special game for the system. After six long years of work, Nintendo bought the rights to his game and the Pokémon craze was officially launched. Continue reading...

Bop It

Bop It

In the world of toys, simplicity often reigns supreme. Such is the case with a handheld electronic toy called Bop It. First released in 1996, this addictive game quickly rose in popularity, spawning an extensive line of sequels that continue to mesmerize and challenge kids to this day. Continue reading...

Ants in the Pants

Ants in the Pants

Few wonders of nature captivate a child quite as much as the insect world, and don't think that this magnetic attraction didn't catch the attention of toy manufacturers. Beating the big boys to the punch was the Schaper Company, who practically cornered the market on bug-based games. Continue reading...

Micronauts

Micronauts

If only he could have been in two places at once, things might have been different. Instead, Martin Abrams of Mego Toys had a choice to make – bid for the merchandising rights to produce toys based on a film called Star Wars, or continue working to secure the rights to a toy called Microman with the Japanese company Takara. He chose the latter and, in hindsight, it proved to be an enormously costly mistake. But if there was a bright side, it was that millions of kids had the opportunity to experience a decidedly cool line of toy figures known as Micronauts. Continue reading...