Speak & Spell

Speak & Spell

Ponder for a moment the fate of most educational toys. They are destined to languish in the back of a closet somewhere after getting a disdainful glance in favor of the more exciting toys in the pile of presents. A toy that (gasp) teaches has to be mighty sneaky to get past a youngster’s well-honed radar for such subterfuge. That Speak & Spell managed to lure kids back even after they realized it was a learning tool was remarkable; becoming a best selling toy was nothing short of phenomenal. For years, kids not only enjoyed this device everywhere they traveled but, miracle of miracles, they also learned from it despite themselves. Continue reading...

Spirograph

Spirograph

Artistic talent or not, every kid could produce abstract masterpieces with a Spirograph. This geometric drawing toy was introduced to the world at a toy expo in 1965. Kenner Toys recognized a good thing when they saw it and acquired the rights to market it in America. It's been a beloved staple of arts and crafts toys ever since. Continue reading...

SSP Racers

SSP Racers

The zippiest, funnest model cars in existence had to be SSP Racers. It was all in the name - Super Sonic Powered. The cars got their boost of speed from a plastic zip cord pulled through a slot in the chassis that made the wheels spin like the dickens. That's all the innovation it took to turn these little speed demons into a classic toy that remains beloved to this day. Continue reading...

Stay Alive

Stay Alive

The luck of the draw. These words never were more relevant than how they pertained to a simple but nerve-rattling game of Stay Alive. Your once mighty fleet of marbles had been whittled down to one lone sphere, amidst a sea that could open up any minute and swallow your prized sole possession like the Bermuda Triangle. Continue reading...

Stratego

Stratego

In the fog of war, one cannot rely on a clear vision of the enemy. It takes careful planning of both a brave offense and a deceptive defense of misinformation and cunning strategy to keep the enemy off balance and ensure victory. But one needn’t go to West Point to learn the necessary skills for capturing an enemy flag. For kids of all ages, the preferred training was always a simple board game called Stratego. Continue reading...

Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong

He looked like just another pretty blonde head on a Mr. Universe body. A Ken doll with better pecs and a sporty bathing suit. But Stretch Armstrong, first released by Kenner Toys in 1976, was much more than muscles; he was malleable. Bend him, pull him, twist him, tie him in a knot, it didn't even faze him. He laughed at your puny attempts to harm him (note: toy did not actually laugh). Stretch's limbs could be pulled to four times their natural span and still manage to squeeze back to normal size, without unsightly stretch marks. No, we aren't pulling your leg. Continue reading...

Suckerman

Suckerman

Toy fads come and go. Most are short-lived in both their production, and in the memory of those that initially fell for their seductive allure. Every once in a while though, one stands out as being so darn cool that its memory far outlives its shelf life. And just about everyone that was sucked into buying a grotesque little creature called Suckerman retains a fond recollection of a toy that managed to stick in their memories about as well as it stuck to walls, floors and just about everything else it was ever flung against. Continue reading...

Super Ball

Super Ball

It looked like an innocent little ball, nothing so special about that. But how many ordinary balls are made of a space-age sounding material called “Zectron”? And more importantly, how many balls have the ability to leap to staggering heights with a simple toss? Only one, the oft-imitated ball of legendary status, the little rubber sphere that managed to live up to its lofty name - the Super Ball! Finally, science put its efforts into something that everyone could enjoy. Continue reading...