Big Jim

Big Jim

As the Vietnam War raged on in the early 70's, the public had tired of their usual fondness for war-related toys. Heck, even G.I. Joe took on more of a Steve Irwin persona, choosing a life of rugged adventure over another tour of duty. But he was no match in the brawn department to the one and only Big Jim. This was a man's man - a sports hero, martial arts master and adventurer, all wrapped up in one beefy package. Continue reading...

Mattel Lie Detector game

Lie Detector

For future gumshoes of the world, who needed a challenge greater than the iconic Clue game could provide, came the much more challenging detective game of the 60s – Lie Detector. Not only were up-and-coming sleuths faced with a staggering 24 suspects, rather than the six regulars that inhabited the competing game, but a real-life Official Mattel Lie Detector was included to put the screws on the suspected perpetrator. Continue reading...

Pogo Stick

Pogo Sticks

It sounds like a story right out of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and it probably contains more fiction than fact - but it’s still too good not to repeat for old time’s sake. In Burma, there lived a poor little shoeless girl named Pogo. Her bare feet made it too difficult to make her daily trek, along the muddy roads filled with jagged rocks, so she could pray at the local temple. Her father finally came upon a solution to her dilemma and fashioned a jumping stick so that she could propel herself over these various obstacles and strengthen her soul without sacrificing her soles. A worldly traveler named George Hansburg happened to witness this miraculous jumping stick in action during one of his trips and decided that the rest of the world could also benefit from Pogo’s jumping stick. Continue reading...

Mr. Microphone

Mr. Microphone

Few that watched television in the 70s could ever forget the presence of a man named Ron Popeil, who regularly hawked the products manufactured by his company, Ronco. A master of mail order merchandising in his day, Popiel gave the world such memorable devices as the Pocket Fisherman, the Veg-O-Matic (and plenty of other “O-Matic" gadgets) and the iconic Ginsu knives. But while all of these products were marketed toward adult audiences, there was one particular gizmo that was geared towards kids and teens, a little device known as Mr. Microphone. Continue reading...

Hugo, Man Of A Thousand Fac

Hugo, Man Of A Thousand Faces

Let’s face facts – Mr. Potato Head, lovable as he may be, really couldn’t hold a candle to Hugo, the Man of a Thousand Faces. This was advanced cranium alteration, the opportunity to turn Hugo into the doll of your dreams, or your nightmares. Let’s take a look back at this unforgettable mug. Continue reading...

Erector Set

Erector Sets

When it comes to toys, the words "some assembly required" aren't often welcomed by parents. But every once in a while, a toy comes along where assembly is the sole purpose, a task left to the child that engages the imaginative mind while providing countless hours of fun. And for almost a hundred years, Erector Sets have done just that, becoming one of the most iconic building toys of all time. Continue reading...

Flexible Flyer sled advertisement

Flexible Flyer

Ah, the Flexible Flyer... the state of the art snow sled in 1889 and still the best choice for an authentic, sturdy, steerable sled! Continue reading...

Lone Ranger Action Figure

Lone Ranger action figures

For over 80 years, kids have been enthralled by the many adventures of a masked man known simply as The Lone Ranger. In the 30s, they sat transfixed to radio broadcasts, reliving the thrilling days of yesteryear and by the 50s, they were able to watch their favorite hero and his trusty companion, Tonto, keeping the west safe each week on television. And as was to be expected, more than a fair share of masks, cowboy hats and toy guns were sold to kids so that they could step into the shoes of the beloved lawman. But the real playtime fun came almost twenty years later, when Gabriel Toys released an extensive line of Lone Ranger action figures and accessories - thereby proving that, while a fad may only last a year or two, a legend lives forever. Continue reading...