Toss-Across

Toss Across

Requiring only a pencil and paper, the game of tic-tac-toe can be played practically anywhere, and has served as a remedy for boredom to many a young child over the years, at least until they get old enough to realize that a match between two skilled players is apt to lead to a draw, and draws just aren't fun. In 1969, the creative minds at Ideal Toys found a way to turn tic-tac-toe into a carnival game of sorts, where luck and finesse were just as important as strategy. The game was called Toss Across and it soon found its way into millions of homes, becoming a beloved toy to a generation of 70s kids and beyond. Continue reading...

Toy Record Players

Toy Record Players

In a world where portable music devices are commonplace, it seems unfathomable that it wasn’t always possible for a youngster to play their favorite music in the confines of their bedroom. Sure, mom and dad had the fancy, expensive stereo in the living room but it wasn't exactly kid-friendly. One was likely to face the wrath of an angry parent if caught mishandling their prized phonograph collection. But, as usual, the toy industry came through to save the day, allowing children the same pleasures of the adult world. With the introduction of toy record players, now a kid could close the bedroom door and have complete control of their listening choices. The world would never be the same. Continue reading...

Trac-Ball

Trac-Ball

Jai-Alai, in Basque, means “Merry Festival.” The game originated there over a century ago and has been billed as the “world’s fastest ball game.” Of course, a part of that excitement and intensity comes from its infamous reputation for crippling players permanently. Not the case with Whamo-s version, called Trac-Ball. But that didn't mean that there weren't a few dangers worth watching out for. Perhaps its no wonder that this game is so fondly remembered. Let's take a look back at Trac-Ball. Continue reading...

Trolls

Trolls

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Troll Dolls have seemingly been around forever. Modern generations can thank the retro-crazed 90s for the resurgence of a more-brightly hued version of the little lucky toys, while older generations can thank Thomas Dam, a Danish woodcutter who, as legend has it, simply didn’t have enough money to buy his lovely daughter a toy. Rather than put on a sad face over the whole matter, Dam delved into Nordic fairy tales for a bit of inspiration and carved up a troll doll for his daughter. She loved it, dressed it up and showed it off to anyone that might take a look. Slowly but surely the ugly little doll won a spot within the hearts of the townspeople and thus, the beginning of the Troll Doll. Continue reading...

Trouble

Trouble

Sometimes the simplest of challenges are the ones most frustrating, which pretty much encapsulates a little board game called Trouble. Introduced by Kohner in 1965, it brought out the competitiveness in everyone who played, sometimes raising their stress levels to the point that the game maker thought it wise to protect the lone die behind a globe of plastic, lest it get flung across the room. Continue reading...

Twister

Twister

Few games have the risque reputation associated with Twister. Then again, few games have ever asked you make body contact with your opponents as you practice your contortionist skills. Competing toy companies have tried to paint the game as nothing more than a precursor to sexual activity, but that hasn't slowed the popularity of Twister one iota, a family friendly game firmly entrenched in pop culture ever since it arrived on the scene in 1966. Continue reading...

Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm

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. 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...