Upsy Downsy

Upsy Downsy

The year was 1969 and lava lamp-laden hippies roamed the earth. Besides gathering together for the lovefest that was Woodstock, they also helped to create a fashion style that went so far as to invade the toy world. The result was a set of colorful characters that had their own little commune of psychedelic happiness, the groovy and ever-lovable Mattel Upsy Downsys. Continue reading...

Battling Tops

Battling Tops

Assuming you didn't have access to cockfights and bare-knuckle boxing bouts as a kid, the next best thing to getting your gladiatorial fix was Battle Tops. Once you released your spinning top into the plastic arena, you could sit back and watch the carnage erupt as you cheered on your fearless plastic cohort and hoped that, once the dust cleared, it emerged the last one standing, er, spinning. Continue reading...

Bionic Woman Toys

Bionic Woman Toys

Who says a girl can’t have a little adventure with her own action figure? If Steve Austin could traipse around town showing off his nifty cyber-eye and superhuman strength, certainly a female doll could show off her mechanically-enhanced espionage abilities as well. Introducing Jaimie Summers, The Bionic Woman - a gal that had some very special talents all her own. Continue reading...

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...