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...

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...