clackers

Click Clacks / Clackers / Kerbangers

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

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...

Connect Four

Connect Four

Commercials come and go, but catch phrases live forever. The final quarter of the twentieth century heard just such a phrase moaned from the lips of one young boy after having lost a game to his sister. While no boy in his right mind wants to lose to a younger sibling, losing at Connect Four ranks with Sorry! and Risk in the pantheon of crushing defeats. Perhaps that’s why before Milton Bradley marketed the game in 1974 under the goal-oriented name “Connect Four,” it was simply and somewhat quietly known as The Captain’s Mistress. 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...

CrayolaCrayonsFinal

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. Continue reading...