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...

Hangman

Hangman

A children's game centered around a virtual public execution might not seem the most politically-correct idea, but that hasn't stopped millions of youngsters from playing Hangman over the years. Much like the game of Battleship, generations of kids only needed paper and a pencil to play, but eventually a board game would follow to enhance the experience. Continue reading...

Aggravation

Aggravation

It's always been hard to find that "family game" balance. Make it too hard, the little tykes wouldn't get it. Make it too easy, and nobody else would want to play with the little tykes. But sometimes, that rare game got it right. Take, for example, the case of Aggravation, a board game marketed by Lakeside that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient game of Parcheesi. Continue reading...

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

Parents tend to spend countless hours striving to impart ethics and morality upon their children. But lecturing isn't always effective and, hey, you can only make them watch so much Davey and Goliath. Thankfully, Milton Bradley introduced a board game that offered a little assistance in this department, yet was still fun for kids to play. They took an ancient Indian board game, made it a little less scary sounding, and the result was Chutes and Ladders, one of the most popular board games ever devised for the younger set. Continue reading...

Othello

Othello

When Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were singing “Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony…” they weren’t singing about Othello, but it might have seemed that way. When this board game’s black and white pieces were laid out, things appeared peaceful at first. But fortunes changed quickly, luck ran out, and come to think of it, there wasn’t any perfect harmony to be found at all. It was every man for himself. Continue reading...

Hacky Sack

Hacky Sack

Over the years, kids have come up with many creative ways to alleviate boredom at school: some play paper football, some trade notes back and forth, and some just tune out the world with their iPods. One of the coolest ways to kill scholastic downtime is to play with a Hacky Sack footbag. This easily-learned activity became a hit with sports enthusiasts of all ages during the 70s and 80s by providing a fun activity that developed dexterity at the same time. As a result, it became a hit of international proportions. Continue reading...