Chatty Cathy

Chatty Cathy

Dolls have always happily provided companionship to little girls, acting as security blanket and trusted companion. But Chatty Cathy offered something more, something special. Not only could you talk to Chatty Cathy and share your woes but, thanks to the tug of a ring on a string, Cathy could talk back. And talk she did. Continue reading...

Chutes Away

Chutes Away game

The lives of the survivors are in your hands. Do you have what it takes – the ability to line up your crosshairs successfully and the timing necessary to drop your paratroopers at precisely the right moment and save the day – the pressure to keep your cool when lives are resting on your piloting skills? Chutes Away gave you a chance to be a hero – actually ten chances if you want to get technical about it – and see if you had the intestinal fortitude to emerge victorious. Continue reading...

Click Clacks / Clackers / Kerbangers

Click Clack toy

It's a shame that the very thing that makes a toy attractive is the one thing you can't advertise: the danger factor. If the makers of lawn darts had been allowed to write on the packaging, "The toy that could kill you if you use it wrong!" then nearly every kid in the world would be begging for a set. So it was with the simple, seemingly harmless 70's toy called Click Clacks (or, depending on where you grew up, Knockers, Knocker Bockers, Clackers, Ka-Bangers, Knicker Knackers, etc.). Had they worked only as the toymakers intended-as a noisy little twist on paddleball games-then Click Clacks might now be collecting dust in the Hall of Forgotten Toys. But no, these little spheres had a grander destiny: the much cooler Hall of Dangerous Toys. Continue reading...

Clue

Clue board game

At first glance, one couldn’t be blamed for thinking that Clue is just about the farthest thing from a family-friendly game on the market. Everyone gathers around and watches Mom accuse Junior of cold-blooded, motivationless murder with a blunt instrument. Junior points the finger at Pops and decries him for sullying the dignity of the conservatory. Pops accuses himself of everything in the book and glows with satisfaction when someone (anyone?) proves him wrong. Yet, families around the globe have gathered to play this addictive whodunit board game for over six decades now, ensuring its rightful place in pop culture history. Continue reading...

ColecoVision

ColecoVision

Perhaps one the most ambitious home video game systems ever contrived, ColecoVision took the world by storm in the early 80s, offering an enthusiastic public seemingly everything under the sun. Unfortunately, the only thing quicker than its ascent was its decline due to promises not kept. For the couple of years it was around though, ColecoVision made quite the mark, and is still fondly remembered to this day. Continue reading...

Colorforms

Colorforms

"They stick like magic!" Actually, magic had very little to do with what made a Colorform stick, rather it was just the adhesive quality of the thinly-cut plastic. The real magic lay in their ability to encourage the imagination. Colorforms were mere props, whether they resembled geometric shapes or a sitcom star. The box provided the stage; it was up to you to choose and arrange the props and, most importantly, concoct the story. Perfect for rainy days and long car trips, generations of kids have created millions of Colorform settings over the years. Continue reading...

Cootie

Cootie

The tales of origin vary. Some say it hails from the name of a biting insect in Malaysia, Polynesia, or some other pacific island. Others believe that it cursed the American occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century. Still others believe it came out of the American trenches in Europe during the first World War. But one thing everyone could agree on was no matter where the term came from, Cooties were imaginary. For a while. Continue reading...

Crayola Crayons

crayola crayons

Long before most of us were entrusted with things like paint and permanent markers, those wishing to explore their artistic talents were limited to the simple, non-toxic pleasures of crayons. And there is simply no other brand that ever came close to capturing this market like Crayola. With their rainbow of vivid colors, and an intoxicating smell that still lingers in the minds of many, Crayola is now synonymous with the crayon and, as such, accompanied just about all of us through our pre-adolescent creative endeavors. Today, we take a look back at one of the most iconic drawing tools ever to land in a child's hand. Continue reading...

Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers

Many boys harbor a fondness for bugs. Not only are they fun to play with, but there is also the realization of the sadistic havoc you can wreak with them. Every family member had a target on their back and if you played your cards right, you could evoke a scream of blood-curdling fear with just the right placement. Of course, like all of God’s creatures, the little critters wanted nothing more than to escape your clutches and, therefore, weren’t the most cooperative accomplices. If only someone could invent a bug that didn’t run away. Even better, if only you could manufacture an endless supply of inanimate insects all for yourself, imagine the terror you could induce. Mattel Toys, always plugged in to the secret desires of youth, came through by offering your very own bug factory. You know them as Creepy Crawlers. Continue reading...

Dark Tower

Dark Tower

At a time when role-playing aficionados wielded war and wizardry with pencil and paper, Milton Bradley introduced an electronic God into the mix. Released in 1981, Dark Tower proved to be a little bit of everything. It was a board game around which players moved tokens according to the roll of the dice; it was an electronic game, with every player answering to a randomly generated fate on each turn depending on where they landed; and it was a nod to the intriguing world of Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading...