Water Wiggle

Water Wiggle

Kids love to abuse their toys, but every once in a while a toy turns the tables and inflicts a little abuse of its own. With its goofy smiling face, the Water Wiggle seemed innocent enough. Simply throw on your bathing suit, attach the toy to the outdoor faucet, turn the water on … and watch all hell break loose. 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...

Drive-in Movies

Drive-in Movies

They may be disappearing from the landscape one-by-one, but Drive-in movies certainly aren’t forgotten. Enormously popular in the 50s and 60s, there were few places that could compete with the local drive-in when it came to a great place to take a date - mainly due to the privacy that an enclosed theater just couldn’t afford. They were also popular with families, providing an affordable night out on a hot summer's night. Continue reading...

Climbing Trees

Climbing Trees

When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, explorer George Mallory famously replied "Because it is there." It's a sentiment understood by practically every kid who ever stared up at a tall tree, determined to perch among its lofty branches and view the world below. In fact, it's quite possible (though we can't prove it) that a childhood tree first inspired Mr. Mallory's lifelong interest in climbing. It seems a reasonable assessment considering this shared fascination we seem to biologically retain towards relaxing atop our forest friends. Continue reading...

Sno-Cone Machines

Sno-Cone Machines

At the end of the day, when playing is over and done with, you put your toys away and then what? You have nothing to show for it, no lasting reminder of a day’s hard work. Manufacturing something while still managing to have fun would well and truly validate your childhood. And if that something was edible, the venture would be win-win. Sno-Cone Machines debuted in 1967 and combined the best attributes of toydom. Brightly colored, shaped like a snowman, noisy, soggy and syrupy, Hasbro’s first sno-cone factory was a guaranteed hit. Continue reading...

Otter Pops

Otter Pops

At the end of the 1960s, technology was advancing at a breathtaking pace; changing the way we lived, giving us hope for the future. No, we’re not referring to the Apollo space program. We’re talking about the far more significant invention of the stick-less popsicle. You probably know these colorful treats by one of two names, Fla-Vor-Ice, or the more common Otter Pops. Continue reading...

Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stands

The sweltering summer heat is relentless, and if you only had a little spending money, perhaps you could take refuge in a nice cool place like a movie theater. But, how to raise some quick funds when mom and dad won’t fork out a few bucks? Sure, you could take a summer job, mowing the neighbor’s lawn or delivering newspapers, but why risk heat stroke when it was much simpler to build a nice, shady lemonade stand. Continue reading...

Bomb Pops

Bomb Pops

For many a former kid, the arrival of summer coincided with the joyous ringing of faraway bells, ones that signified the approach of a little white truck, filled to the brim with frozen treats. And assuming your parents were generous with their spare change, you would soon come face to face with a vast menu of choices plastered on the side of the truck. With so many items to choose from, a great many gravitated loyally to the most patriotic of Popsicles - the Bomb Pop. Popular for over 50 years now, they have proven that they are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet. Continue reading...