Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks

When Kenner created the Easy-Bake oven, it provided kids with a safer alternative for practicing their culinary skills, thereby keeping them out of the kitchen and its inherent dangers. Shrinky Dinks, on the other hand, brought them back to their kitchens in droves, eager to watch the shrinking process through the glass window as their artistic creations were transformed into decorative plastic trinkets. Sure, some may have received a few minor burns along the way, but not enough to dissuade them from playing with their beloved Shrinky Dinks, a toy that has remained enormously popular since its inception. Continue reading...

Silly Putty

Silly Putty

What an inert, innocent appearance for such a versatile toy. Silly Putty would just sit there like a lump—literally—until you deigned to pick it up. But then, oh then…it came alive. Well, not really; there was a fair amount of elbow grease involved in getting enjoyment out of the Putty. It bounced; it flowed (if given enough time); it stuck to the wall; it stuck to newsprint and comic books and copied whatever was on the page; it even picked up pet hair and dust, should the average 8-year old feel a sudden urge to clean the living room. It could be kneaded and bent, stretched and flattened. And it owed its existence to an accident. Continue reading...

Silly String

Silly String

Like some of your finer spray cheeses, Silly String comes packaged in an aerosol container and can be shot at targets up to 10 feet away. Sadly, it’s not edible like its Kraft counterpart, but ever since Wham-O introduced this novelty in the late 60s, it's probably appeared at just as many parties. Continue reading...

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...