Matchbox

Matchbox

One might think that a delightful collection of scale model cars would be something that a child would want to lovingly protect from harm. Something about a car, however, brings out a more sadistic side to kids. Try as they might, they can’t help being lured into a world of fantastic car crashes and death-defying stunts - paint scratches be damned. Probably no other toy has consistently faced the abuse that Matchbox cars have been put through; an impromptu demolition derby is just too enticing to pass up. But for over fifty years, these little die-cast metal beauties have won the hearts of kids everywhere and somehow a small portion have survived unscathed enough to be coveted by collectors everywhere. Continue reading...

Toss Across

Toss Across

Requiring only a pencil and paper, the game of tic-tac-toe can be played practically anywhere, and has served as a remedy for boredom to many a young child over the years, at least until they get old enough to realize that a match between two skilled players is apt to lead to a draw, and draws just aren't fun. In 1969, the creative minds at Ideal Toys found a way to turn tic-tac-toe into a carnival game of sorts, where luck and finesse were just as important as strategy. The game was called Toss Across and it soon found its way into millions of homes, becoming a beloved toy to a generation of 70s kids and beyond. Continue reading...

Slime

Mattel Slime Toy

If there's one thing the 70s taught us about toys, it's that anything with an "ick" factor is likely to sell very well. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a viscous green matter packaged into plastic garbage cans called Slime. Introduced by Mattel Toys in 1976, Slime proved immediately popular, a must-have on many a kid's Christmas list that year. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

Polly Pocket

Polly Pocket

Mom’s purse was always filled with an assortment of strange devices - such as those little compact containers, complete with mirror and that ever-mysterious make-up. And if mom had a need to carry these things around, the first thing a young girl was likely to think was “I want one too!” But as intriguing as a dollop of colored powder might be, imagine the appeal of having the same little cases to carry around, just like mom, but have them filled with a delightful little secret world filled with tiny and adorable dolls. The temptation would be almost impossible to resist. Continue reading...

Major Matt Mason

Major Matt Mason

Long before Buzz Lightyear was blasting off into space, kids have held an affinity for space-related toys – perhaps never more so than during the space race of the 1960s. As man reached for the stars, kids reached for the ultimate astronaut hero of the toy world – a well-equipped action hero known as Major Matt Mason. Continue reading...

Whac-A-Mole

Whac-A-Mole

Tough day at school? Siblings giving you a hard time? What you need is little cathartic activity to make things seem all better. All can be cured with a trip down to the local Chuck E. Cheese (or Showtime Pizza, if you prefer) where a plastic mallet and a field of unsuspecting rodents await your assault. The game is called Whac-A-Mole, and it's been delighting kids for decades. Continue reading...

See ‘n Say

See 'n Say toy

This toy talks. It talks. It’s an inanimate object and it talks. Imagine the delight and awe of the average toddler in the 1960s who received a See ‘n Say. It was like having a little minion that imitated all sorts of sounds at your command. Pretty heady stuff for a 4-year old. Continue reading...

Big Jim

Big Jim action figure

As the Vietnam War raged on in the early 70's, the public had tired of their usual fondness for war-related toys. Heck, even G.I. Joe took on more of a Steve Irwin persona, choosing a life of rugged adventure over another tour of duty. But he was no match in the brawn department to the one and only Big Jim. This was a man's man - a sports hero, martial arts master and adventurer, all wrapped up in one beefy package. Continue reading...

Lie Detector

Mattel Lie Detector game

For future gumshoes of the world, who needed a challenge greater than the iconic Clue game could provide, came the much more challenging detective game of the 60s – Lie Detector. Not only were up-and-coming sleuths faced with a staggering 24 suspects, rather than the six regulars that inhabited the competing game, but a real-life Official Mattel Lie Detector was included to put the screws on the suspected perpetrator. Continue reading...

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...