AntFarmFinal

Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm

Today, we take a look back at a true classic, an educational toy that lives and breaths and burrows and scurries. For over fifty years, kids have stared intently through the clear plastic walls of their formicarium (the scientific term for ant farm), as their new ant friends labor intensively to construct a sand-tunneled utopia. Granted, anyone can build one of these observation instruments with a handful of easy-to-obtain supplies, but we have long put our trust into a man named Milton Martin Levine, known to millions of kids as Uncle Milton, to supply us with his special Ant Farms (ants included). Continue reading...

Uno

Uno

Nothing brings a family together like a nice game of cards. But many games are either too complex for the little ones to get a handle on, or too simplistic for the older crowd to enjoy. Then, along came Uno - a card game that could be learned in a few minutes but proved addictive enough to keep families playing until the wee hours of morning. This balance of simplicity and challenge has made Uno one of the most beloved card games of all time. Continue reading...

Vertibird

VertiBird

Some toys are forgotten within months of their initial release; others linger in the memory banks for decades after their demise. In the latter category resides the coolest helicopter to ever hit the scene, the one-and-only VertiBird. For anyone who ever had the pleasure of piloting one of these perpetually-circling choppers, it was an experience you wouldn't soon forget. Continue reading...

View Master

View-Master

Sure, there have been plenty of technological breakthroughs over the years that make something like a View-Master seem more than a bit antiquated. But there is such a simplistic charm to this little plastic box that allowed the young mind to travel to faraway lands, once visited or never before explored, and see them in all of their three-dimensional splendor. Everyone who has experienced the pleasure of a View-Master distinctly remembers the little lever and the clicking sound it made when advancing to the next frame. And any tourist of earlier decades can remember a time when seemingly every destination, not to mention every department and toy store, displayed racks containing hundreds of little discs. Today, we look at the history of, and our fascination with, the View-Master. Continue reading...

Wacky Wall Walkers

Wacky Wall Walkers

In the 80s, it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a rubber octopus slowly make its way down a wall - a slimy and slithering slinky of sorts. The critter retained its hold, thanks to its remarkably sticky eight legs which adhered when thrown, then methodically walked towards the ground under the merciless forces of gravity. The Wacky Wall Walker would become a toy fad that gripped the entire nation like no other, to the astounding tune of a quarter of a billion of the wiggly beasts being sold in a few short years. Continue reading...

Water Rockets

Water Rockets

Who says that science and summer can't co-exist? Thanks to these nifty spaceship-shaped toys, kids were able to get some firsthand experience of the power of water pressure, and have loads of fun while doing it. A staple on toy store shelves for over 50 years, they are affectionately remembered as water rockets. Continue reading...

Water Wiggle

Water Wiggle

Kids love to abuse their toys, but every once in a while a toy turns the tables and inflicts a little abuse of its own. With its goofy smiling face, the Water Wiggle seemed innocent enough. Simply throw on your bathing suit, attach the toy to the outdoor faucet, turn the water on … and watch all hell break loose. Continue reading...

Weebles toys

Weebles

Who could forget those egg-shaped friends of childhood known as Weebles. Despite their unsteady stature, despite what adversity they faced, they always picked themselves up, standing proud and forever smiling. In their own subtle way, they taught us what to do when life knocks you down, and their legacy is fondly remembered by anyone who ever had the pleasure of playing with these beloved playthings. Continue reading...