Playgrounds

Playgrounds

Whenever the weather starts to warms up, playgrounds emerge from their wintery hibernation, filling up with the unmistakable sound of rambunctious kids laughing and screaming, just like they have for decades, if not centuries. There are swings and slides, merry-go-rounds and monkey bars, offering parents a well-deserved breather, while their kids burn off all of that pent-up energy. Playgrounds dot the landscape of every urban and suburban environment and are the source of many beloved childhood memories. 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...

Dodgeball

Dodgeball

Dodgeball is a game that kids either love or hate. It all depended on whether you perceived it as chance to prove your superiority, or simply as a brutal hour of being mercilessly pursued by flying rubber projectiles. Either way, we can all agree that it was one of the most memorable parts of gym class. Continue reading...

Lawn Darts

Lawn Darts

Every once in a while, a toy is released with all of the good intentions of the world, and yet, no matter how popular it may become, an unforeseen safety issue arises which requires that it be removed from store shelves. Few, however, have the dubious distinction of being outlawed completely, which brings us to Lawn Darts - those popular ground-piercing projectiles that sent more than a few tykes to the emergency room back in the day. Let’s take a look. Continue reading...

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel

It was just about impossible to be a kid in the 70s and not know who Evel Knievel was. He was the iconic folk hero of a generation that grew up a little too late to catch the space race or Daniel Boone. Eyes were transfixed to television sets everywhere each time he would put on his helmet and propel his motorcycle towards a ramp that would send him flying over cars, buses, fountains, canyons, and anything else that seemed to have a need to be jumped over. Of course, part of the allure of these spectacles was that Mr. Knieval didn’t always make the most graceful landing. Continue reading...

Trac Ball toy

Trac-Ball

Jai-Alai, in Basque, means “Merry Festival.” The game originated there over a century ago and has been billed as the “world’s fastest ball game.” Of course, a part of that excitement and intensity comes from its infamous reputation for crippling players permanently. Not the case with Whamo-s version, called Trac-Ball. But that didn't mean that there weren't a few dangers worth watching out for. Perhaps its no wonder that this game is so fondly remembered. Let's take a look back at Trac-Ball. 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...

Space Jam

Space Jam

If there was ever a film that didn't lack in star power, it was Space Jam. Released in 1996, this live-action/animation hybrid teamed up two of the most popular pop culture icons of the day, Bugs Bunny and sports legend Michael Jordan to fight the forces of evil within the confines of a basketball court. The result delighted audiences of all ages and scored a big hit at the box office for Warner Brothers. Continue reading...