Marbles

Marbles

For most toys, pinning down the era in which they originated is an easy task. The longer a toy has been around, however, the more challenging the task becomes. In the case of marbles, it’s literally anyone’s guess. In a nutshell - they’ve likely been around for as long as man has been able to roll little balls into each other. Continue reading...

Chinese Checkers

Chinese Checkers

Let's start with what Chinese Checkers isn't - it neither came from China, nor is it a variation on the game of checkers. The game was originally called Halma and is of European descent. But Halma sounds more like a medical condition than a really fun game, so American game manufacturers gave it a more exotic moniker and the rest is history. Continue reading...

Yes & No Books

Yes & No Books

Those long family road trips could be ever so tedious, sitting in those cramped quarters and enduring the taunts of your equally bored siblings. For parents who yearned for a little backseat peace and quiet, a Yes & No book provided miles of quiet entertainment. With a nifty invisible ink pen included, and a plethora of games contained within, these books worked like magic. Continue reading...

Dino Riders

Dino Riders

Between the electronic toys of the 70s and the quirky toys of the 90s came the clever toys of the 80s. Cartoon creators and toy makers combined their popular concepts into freakishly cool tie-in toys. Robots and vehicles collided to form Transformers. Machines and animals merged into Battle Beasts. And pre-historic creatures met the people of the future in the guise of Dino Riders. Continue reading...

Holly Hobbie Oven

Holly Hobbie Oven

It arrived on the toy aisle almost a decade after its Easy-Bake competitor, but its appearance gave the impression that it was century older. Fashioned after an antique stove, the Holly Hobbie Oven gave youngsters the ability to bake cookies and cakes just like mom ... or more appropriately, just like grandma. Continue reading...

Transformers

Transformers

With Transformers, the possibilities were endless: Toy vehicles that turn into toy robots that fight each other. Toy robots that turn into toy vehicles that you can actually drive. Toy vehicles that turn into laser-toting robots. Laser-toting robots that turn into … you get the idea. Continue reading...

He-Man

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Every generation has its pantheon of great toys. In the 1980s, toys such as Transformers and G.I. Joes were the Titans of the toy world. But the masters were He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Clad essentially in nothing but furry briefs and all-terrain Ughs, He-Man nevertheless captured the fancy of thousands if not millions of little boys across the country. Continue reading...

Capsela

Capsela

Somewhere in the realm between Legos and the Radio Shack 50-in-1 electronics kits lay the most underrated construction toy of perhaps any generation. Capsela was more than just building or constructing. Capsela was engineering. Capsela rewarded both the mind that could think ahead and the one that discovered as it went. Continue reading...