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...

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...

Stratego

Stratego

In the fog of war, one cannot rely on a clear vision of the enemy. It takes careful planning of both a brave offense and a deceptive defense of misinformation and cunning strategy to keep the enemy off balance and ensure victory. But one needn’t go to West Point to learn the necessary skills for capturing an enemy flag. For kids of all ages, the preferred training was always a simple board game called Stratego. Continue reading...

KerPlunk

KerPlunk

Classic games become so for one reason, because no matter how many times you play them, they remain challenging and, more importantly, fun! A perfect example is a simple game where grasping at straws can make or break you and the sound of silence is most welcoming. Such is the challenge of those who choose to try their hand at KerPlunk – a test of hand/eye coordination and strategy that also requires plenty of sheer luck. Continue reading...