Super Jock

Super Jock

Able to take the abuse time and time again, without ever having to worry about landing on the disabled list, Super Jocks, introduced by Schaper Toys in the mid-70s offered a line of invincible athletes with a penchant for abuse and the ability to perform brilliantly under the pressure. Continue reading...

Super Soaker

Super Soaker

So many scientists insist upon wasting their time on the boring stuff – medicine, space exploration, computer circuitry. It is the select few, the ones who understand the importance of playtime, that truly make the worthwhile contributions. In the 60s, it was the tireless hours in a laboratory perfecting the Super Ball, simply so that millions of kids could have the opportunity to play with a ball that could bounce over a house. And in the 80s, one brave scientist would re-invent the whole concept of water warfare. Put away those water balloons, holster that measly water pistol – there was a new breed of aquatic artillery on the block and its name was Super Soaker. Let’s take a look at the origins of this terrific toy. Continue reading...

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...