Talking Pee Wee

Talking Pee Wee

When Pee Wee’s Big Adventure hit the big screen in 1985, everybody fell in love with the nerdy character created by comedian Paul Reubens. Due to the film’s box office success, Pee Wee Herman would soon delight children (and more than a few adults) with the critically acclaimed Saturday morning show, Pee Wee’s Playhouse. It was only natural that a whole assortment of merchandising would follow closely behind. Everything from lunchboxes to trading cards hit the shelves. Perhaps none of the products were more memorable than the Talking Pee Wee doll. Continue reading...

Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi

It happens every day: another parent is sucked into taking care of a new pet. It might be the stray kitten Jenny found in the alley, the lizard Mikey picked up at school, the puppy bought by grandpa; no matter the critter and no matter how it got there, there were sure to be messes and catastrophes to follow. Worse yet, the biggest of these disasters would come once the excitement wore off and the poop-scooping, feedings, grooming and general maintenance would be foisted onto someone else: the parent.Throughout the years, a variety of tactics have been mounted against such irresponsible pet caretaking. From mice to fish, from ant farms to sea monkeys, these pets are brought onto the scene to test the mettle of the most strong-willed of children. As often as such ventures were successful, some were ill-fated, at least for the starter pets. Not to mention such efforts did little to thwart the incessant begging and puppy dog eyes. Luckily for parents and kids of the late 90s there was the Tamagotchi. Continue reading...

Teddy Ruxpin

Teddy Ruxpin

Imagine if one of Disney's Country Bears tired of pick-up trucks, hoedowns, and the sleepy town life, and skipped off to college where he took a few speech classes, studied English, music, caring and sharing, and you've just imagined Teddy Ruxpin, the first cybernetic stuffed animal. Let's take a look back, shall we? Continue reading...

The Game of Jaws

The Game of Jaws

It was the game that turned mere fishing into an extreme sport. With frazzled nerves, you gingerly cast your line and hoped for success, always mindful that the jaws of death might suddenly steal your catch of the day ... and scare the living daylights out of you along the way. It took nerves of steel to mess with this plastic carnivore and few emerged unshaken by their encounter with a great white in The Game of Jaws from Ideal. Continue reading...

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

While life has existed for millions of years on planet Earth, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that a game was invented to mirror it. Back in 1860, it was considered "America's Favorite Parlor Game" and when it was reintroduced by the Milton Bradley Company a hundred years later, it proved just as popular and remains so to this day. Continue reading...

Tickle Me Elmo

Tickle Me Elmo

When we recall 1996, some might think of the Olympics, others might think of elections, but for a good portion of retail workers, moms, pops, grandparents and great many would-be gift givers, 1996 was undoubtedly the year of Tickle Me Elmo. It served as a reminder of the last true doll craze, the 1980s juggernaut called the Cabbage Patch Kid. Of course, there were Beanie Babies and a good number of other “popular” toys that emerged over the years, but none that could match the Elmo-mania that gripped the nation at that particular point in history. Continue reading...

Tinkertoys

Tinkertoys

Parents have long sought to buy toys that will sharpen the minds of their kids, whereas kids certainly don’t care about that stuff – they simply want something that is fun to play with. Luckily for both, every once in a while a toy comes along that provides both fun and a little cerebral nudge. Perhaps one of the best examples is a simple building set called Tinkertoys. Not only do they encourage kids to think, but with the ability to build almost any toy a child could imagine, they have been bringing smiles to young and old alike for almost a century now. Continue reading...

tonka

Tonka Trucks

Let's face it: There are few ways to demonstrate the invincibility of a toy that are as convincing as having an elephant stand on it. And, as viewers of the highly successful 1974 commercial could readily attest, the imagery merely re-enforced a fact that every boy in America already knew; Tonka Trucks are virtually indestructible. This reputation of durability has made Tonka easily the most recognizable name in toy trucks for over 5 decades. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...