Intellivision

Intellivision

The video game console wars of the early 80s were reminiscent of the video format wars a few years earlier, where VHS won the popularity contest hands-down, yet Betamax still boasted a better quality. In this arena, the Atari 2600 played the role of the VHS tape and underdog challenger was Mattel’s Intellivision, a fine little video game system that never quite captured the same spotlight, but will forever be remembered by many from that era as the superior system. Continue reading...

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels

In the world of die-cast toy cars, attention to detail is appreciated, but what kids really crave is speed. And for over forty years, Mattel's Hot Wheels have delivered the goods, proclaiming themselves not only fast, but the fastest. As such, they have remained enormously popular (and collectable) ever since they were first introduced in 1968. Continue reading...

Magic 8 Ball

Magic 8 Ball toy

When you are in need of some quick advice, what better place to turn than to a trusted, all-knowing billiard accessory. For more than 50 years, people have been posing questions to the Magic 8 Ball, a toy that is never at a loss for words and ready to offer enigmatic solutions to all of life’s problems with a quick shake and a glance into the murky window of destiny. Let’s take a look back at this classic toy. Continue reading...

Chatty Cathy

Chatty Cathy

Dolls have always happily provided companionship to little girls, acting as security blanket and trusted companion. But Chatty Cathy offered something more, something special. Not only could you talk to Chatty Cathy and share your woes but, thanks to the tug of a ring on a string, Cathy could talk back. And talk she did. Continue reading...

Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers

Many boys harbor a fondness for bugs. Not only are they fun to play with, but there is also the realization of the sadistic havoc you can wreak with them. Every family member had a target on their back and if you played your cards right, you could evoke a scream of blood-curdling fear with just the right placement. Of course, like all of God’s creatures, the little critters wanted nothing more than to escape your clutches and, therefore, weren’t the most cooperative accomplices. If only someone could invent a bug that didn’t run away. Even better, if only you could manufacture an endless supply of inanimate insects all for yourself, imagine the terror you could induce. Mattel Toys, always plugged in to the secret desires of youth, came through by offering your very own bug factory. You know them as Creepy Crawlers. Continue reading...

Mattel Electronics Football

Mattel-Electronics-Football

Prior to 1977, a football game was something a kid could only experience as an outdoor group activity. Can’t find enough kids to play? Weather uncooperative? Tough luck. It would take the advent of hand-held electronics games to bring the pigskin into the bedroom, the school bus and anywhere else where tackling each other was probably a bad idea. Today, we take a look at the game that started it all, Mattel Electronics Football. Continue reading...

Pulsar

Pulsar

Introduced by Mattel in 1977, Pulsar was a fourteen-inch plastic action figure in the vein of the Six Million Dollar Man and Visible Man. And when we say “vein”, we mean it. Let's take a look back at this self-described "ultimate man of adventure," shall we? Continue reading...

VertiBird

VertiBird

Some toys are forgotten within months of their initial release; others linger in the memory banks for decades after their demise. In the latter category resides the coolest helicopter to ever hit the scene, the one-and-only VertiBird. For anyone who ever had the pleasure of piloting one of these perpetually-circling choppers, it was an experience you wouldn't soon forget. Continue reading...

M.U.S.C.L.E.

M.U.S.C.L.E.

Comparatively speaking, the wrestling warriors of the World Wrestling Federation were a rather tame and normal bunch compared to a small arm of rubbery beasts known simply as M.U.S.C.L.E. (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere). Adorned with such odd features as fins, snakeheads, horns, fur and teacup shaped heads, these little guys made a big splash on the toy market, one that continues to this day. Continue reading...

Rock’em Sock’em Robots

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots

Ladies and gentlemen, may we present to you — in this corner, the ancient and noble sport of pugilism. In the opposite corner, tiny robots with fists. The winner and still champion - kids everywhere, who got to enjoy vicarious violence in bright, primary colors, thanks to Rock’em Sock’em Robots. Continue reading...