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...

Slip-n-Slide

Slip ‘N Slide

Peering jealously over the fence at the neighbor’s nice big pool became a thing of the past with the Slip ‘n Slide. When the summer weather was scorching hot and the beach was an inconvenient distance away, kids found cool relief along a runway made of plastic. Hooked up to the garden hose, the runway magically transformed into the wettest, most slippery surface ever devised by man. Continue reading...

Sno-Cone Machines

Sno-Cone Machines

At the end of the day, when playing is over and done with, you put your toys away and then what? You have nothing to show for it, no lasting reminder of a day’s hard work. Manufacturing something while still managing to have fun would well and truly validate your childhood. And if that something was edible, the venture would be win-win. Sno-Cone Machines debuted in 1967 and combined the best attributes of toydom. Brightly colored, shaped like a snowman, noisy, soggy and syrupy, Hasbro’s first sno-cone factory was a guaranteed hit. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Speak & Spell

Speak & Spell

Ponder for a moment the fate of most educational toys. They are destined to languish in the back of a closet somewhere after getting a disdainful glance in favor of the more exciting toys in the pile of presents. A toy that (gasp) teaches has to be mighty sneaky to get past a youngster’s well-honed radar for such subterfuge. That Speak & Spell managed to lure kids back even after they realized it was a learning tool was remarkable; becoming a best selling toy was nothing short of phenomenal. For years, kids not only enjoyed this device everywhere they traveled but, miracle of miracles, they also learned from it despite themselves. Continue reading...

Spirograph

Spirograph

Artistic talent or not, every kid could produce abstract masterpieces with a Spirograph. This geometric drawing toy was introduced to the world at a toy expo in 1965. Kenner Toys recognized a good thing when they saw it and acquired the rights to market it in America. It's been a beloved staple of arts and crafts toys ever since. Continue reading...

SSP Racers

SSP Racers

The zippiest, funnest model cars in existence had to be SSP Racers. It was all in the name - Super Sonic Powered. The cars got their boost of speed from a plastic zip cord pulled through a slot in the chassis that made the wheels spin like the dickens. That's all the innovation it took to turn these little speed demons into a classic toy that remains beloved to this day. Continue reading...