Simon

Simon

As the 70s came to a close, and with video games clearly the wave of the future, many a Christmas wishlist contained a single word towards the top - Simon. From its inception, this Milton Bradley classic was a must-have game, and it remains a beloved icon from the era, a multi-colored musical light show who served as a loyal friend on a lonely day. Let's take a look back at this addictive little toy. Continue reading...

Sit 'n Spin

Sit ‘n Spin

It is a scientific fact that if you take a child, place them in a featureless void, forbidden to speak, they will still find a way to entertain themselves. How? By spinning in place, of course. Every kid everywhere spontaneously invented spinning and the activity never lost its appeal. Confusing your inner ear was the first natural high experienced by all toddlers, which was why they always pleaded to go on one more Tea Cup or Tilt-a-Whirl ride at the carnival, even if they were already staggering around like drunks. Enter Sit ‘n Spin, an amusement park for one. Continue reading...

Six Million Dollar Man Toys

Six Million Dollar Man Toys

It was only natural that one of the most popular television series of the 1970s gave rise to one of the most popular action figures of the decade. Queue the bionic sound effects, please, and welcome Colonel Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man. Steve is wearing a lovely red NASA tracksuit with matching sneakers. Try not to stare at his wonky eye. Continue reading...

Slime

Slime

If there's one thing the 70s taught us about toys, it's that anything with an "ick" factor is likely to sell very well. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a viscous green matter packaged into plastic garbage cans called Slime. Introduced by Mattel Toys in 1976, Slime proved immediately popular, a must-have on many a kid's Christmas list that year. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

Slinky

Slinky

Everyone knows the Slinky. Beloved by children and physics teachers alike, this toy debuted in 1945 and has yet to ever slink away. Odds are good that every kid had at least one Slinky during their lifetime and if they didn’t actually own one, they’ve certainly played with one owned by somebody else. How did a simple metal coil become such a childhood icon? Let's take a look back at this marvelous toy and find out. Continue reading...

Slip-n-Slide

Slip ‘N Slide

Peering jealously over the fence at the neighbor’s nice big pool became a thing of the past with the Slip ‘n Slide. When the summer weather was scorching hot and the beach was an inconvenient distance away, kids found cool relief along a runway made of plastic. Hooked up to the garden hose, the runway magically transformed into the wettest, most slippery surface ever devised by man. Continue reading...

Sno-Cone Machines

Sno-Cone Machines

At the end of the day, when playing is over and done with, you put your toys away and then what? You have nothing to show for it, no lasting reminder of a day’s hard work. Manufacturing something while still managing to have fun would well and truly validate your childhood. And if that something was edible, the venture would be win-win. Sno-Cone Machines debuted in 1967 and combined the best attributes of toydom. Brightly colored, shaped like a snowman, noisy, soggy and syrupy, Hasbro’s first sno-cone factory was a guaranteed hit. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...