Big Trak

Big Trak

In the ever-expanding universe of toys, November of 1979 witnessed a significant advancement in the world of domestic science fiction with the entrance of Big Trak, a toy that appealed to every aspect of childhood imagination. Added to the idea of a tank were lights, noise, and a relatively new feature in the technologically burgeoning toy industry -the ability to program. Continue reading...

Twister

Twister

Few games have the risque reputation associated with Twister. Then again, few games have ever asked you make body contact with your opponents as you practice your contortionist skills. Competing toy companies have tried to paint the game as nothing more than a precursor to sexual activity, but that hasn't slowed the popularity of Twister one iota, a family friendly game firmly entrenched in pop culture ever since it arrived on the scene in 1966. Continue reading...

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

Label a game as “educational” and it might just sit on a shelf gathering dust. Sometimes more covert tactics are necessary to get kids to put on their learning hat during playtime, perhaps by dangling a bunch of delicious-looking cherries from a tree. What youngster wouldn’t want to be a part of the picking action? Introduced in 1960 by Whitman Games, Hi Ho! Cherry-O was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a learning game for kids in the 3-6 range that flew in under the radar because it was so much fun to play. One didn’t need to be able to read to play Hi Ho! Cherry-O, as everything was image-based. The board was laid out with four trees around the […] Continue reading...

Cootie

Cootie

The tales of origin vary. Some say it hails from the name of a biting insect in Malaysia, Polynesia, or some other pacific island. Others believe that it cursed the American occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century. Still others believe it came out of the American trenches in Europe during the first World War. But one thing everyone could agree on was no matter where the term came from, Cooties were imaginary. For a while. Continue reading...

Barrel of Monkeys

Barrel of Monkeys

All games would like you to believe that they are oodles of fun to play, but only one can boast that it is as fun as a barrel of monkeys? In fact, it is a Barrel of Monkeys! And for over four decades, kids have played with these interlocking primates for hours on end in this endearing and enduring game that tests one’s patience and coordination like no other. Continue reading...

Super Jock

Super Jock

Most athletes have the ability to take a good pounding to the noggin without suffering in their performance. And, if they should happen to hold the title of Super Jock, not only is head-banging an understood occupational hazard, it is precisely what is needed to get the job done. Able to take the abuse time and time again, without ever having to worry about landing on the disabled list, Super Jocks, introduced by Schaper Toys in the mid-70s offered a line of invincible athletes with a penchant for abuse and the ability to perform brilliantly under the pressure. 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...

Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks

When Kenner created the Easy-Bake oven, it provided kids with a safer alternative for practicing their culinary skills, thereby keeping them out of the kitchen and its inherent dangers. Shrinky Dinks, on the other hand, brought them back to their kitchens in droves, eager to watch the shrinking process through the glass window as their artistic creations were transformed into decorative plastic trinkets. Sure, some may have received a few minor burns along the way, but not enough to dissuade them from playing with their beloved Shrinky Dinks, a toy that has remained enormously popular since its inception. Continue reading...