THE COOLEST TOYS EVER
PAGE TWO


MICRONAUTS

Now these things were the coolest.  All kinds of robots, big and small, were available that you could mix and match and make into all kinds of other new robots.  They even spawned a pretty cool Marvel Comic with gorgeous art from Michael Golden.  They're pretty cheap on eBay (the comics) and I highly recommend reading them if you ever get a chance.  My favorite was issue #7 where they fought the Man-Thing.  They were really tiny, you see, so it was extra cool to see them fighting this giant sized Man-Thing.  I haven't seen a giant sized Man-Thing that was that scary since John Holmes died.


WEEBLES

These little egg-shaped dudes were pretty fun.  The commercial slogan was "Weebles Wobble but They Don't Fall Down."  I took this as a personal challenge, however.  Due to their weighted bottom, they would pop back up if you knocked them over, so I would get out a hammer and smash them to pieces while screaming, "Stay down, BITCH!  STAY THE FUCK DOWN!"  My parents never bought me Weebles again after that, or let me play with other children, for that matter.


ETCH-A-SKETCH

My dad once told me that he spent hours on an Etch-A-Sketch drawing with the tiny lines until all the silver-dust was gone and you could see the inside.  This spoiled using these toys for me, as I always felt it was my duty to color the whole screen black instead of actually drawing pictures with it. 


EVEL KNIEVEL

These toys were awesome.  You'd pop Evel and his cycle on his launching pad, rev up the crank on the side, and then he'd go zooming down your driveway and crash into a broken heap, just like the real Evel Knievel.  I heard Evel talking on Jim Rome's radio show about his jump over Snake River Canyon, and he said he figured he only had a 50% chance of survival.  When Rome asked why he'd do something with such risky odds, Evel replied, "Do you know who I am?"  Though the toys were kick-ass, the doll itself was pretty shitty, as his body was made with pipe cleaner wire covered with shitty rubber, just like my high school prom date (don't ask!).


THE LEMON TWIST

This toy was pretty cool for the girls in my neighborhood.  You'd put a shackle around your ankle and then skip in place for hours while a lemon at the end of the rope twirled in a circle.  For guys with annoying sisters, this toy was a gift from God to keep them out of your hair for hours.  The follow up toy, Aborted Pig Fetus Twist, was a bit too shocking for parents to buy, and was a huge failure for the company.


STRETCH ARMSTRONG

Kids around in the 60s will never forget the day they were when John F. Kennedy was shot, while kids of the 70s will always remember the moment when they first pulled Stretch Armstrong too hard and watched his red sappy goo drip everywhere.  They brought him back in the late 80s but this time he was filled with cheap Styrofoam beads that didn't taste anywhere near as good as his original filling.


SLINKY

What walks downstairs and makes that slinkety sound?  No it's not your grandmother after you liquored her up and fed her the contents of your piggy bank, it's SLINKY!  My mom bought me one of these, however we lived in a one story house with no stairs, so it was pretty useless.  Every Slinky I owned would end up a tangled mess because I'd swing it around in the air like some crazy steel spring lasso. 


SSP SMASH UP DERBY

After being unsuccessfully marketed as "DUI Highway Death-Orgy", Kenner wizened up and re-titled the toy SSP Smash Up Derby.  These were the epitome of awesome.  You and a buddy would put a ripcord into the back of your car and pull it out, causing the back tires to whiz real fast and smash into the other vehicle.  Spring loaded pieces would fly off as you'd laugh and laugh and laugh.  I used to take my mom's James Dean and Jayne Mansfield collector figurines and reenact their famous accidents. Though it's pretty hard to get Jayne's head back on after the first time.


MR. POTATO HEAD

Everyone's played with toy at least once in their life.  Believe it or not, the original version just had the plastic accessories and you were supposed to stick them in a real potato.  I remember my Mr. Potato Head came with a felt mustache, but I had to throw it away cause I stuck into my own nose and it got coated with globs of snot.


ANT-FARM

We were too poor to afford an ant-farm so we used the corpse of an old hobo and had a maggot Farm alternative that was equally educational and frankly more fun to sleep with at night time.


THE SNOOPY SNOW CONE MACHINE

There was something totally cool about making your own snow cones, that made The Snoopy Snow cone Machine a great toy to have.  All you needed was a few ice cubes, and the strength of 20 men to push down on it hard enough while you turned the crank and got a shot glass sized sample of snow to dump Kool-Aid on.  Thanks, Snoopy!


CANDY LAND

Candy Land's color based game play made it so you didn't have to know how to read or count to play the thing, which makes it great young kids who are just learning to play games for the first time, and people from West Virginia.


ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS

Before videogames like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, you had this awesome toy!  Nothing could beat that great "SKIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" sound it would make when you'd give that perfect red-fisted uppercut to the blue robot.  If only our world leaders could settle their differences with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, we'd be living in a happy world indeed.


CABBAGE PATCH KIDS

This was perhaps the first toy whose demand was so strong, it encouraged parents to beat the shit out of each other in toy stores to get them.  The original dolls were kind of neat, complete with their unique names and adoption certificates, but it wasn't until they made the famous Snack-Time Cabbage Patch Kid, that it achieved its true level of coolness.  A motor in their mouth would let them eat french fries, but when a lock of hair got stuck inside, they hungry doll would gulp it down clear to the poor kid's scalp.  There is no truth to the rumor that Michael Jackson asked Coleco to modify the model and produce a "Cock Gobblin' Kid", however.


LINCOLN LOGS

Back in Abe Lincoln's day, they were just called "Logs", but this toy has persevered through the ages so kids can have hours of fun making log cabins.  Unlike Legos, Lincoln Logs never had much success with their movie tie-in kits, with the Star Wars Lincoln Log set providing mostly confusion to kids trying to fashion a Death Star out of notched wooden logs.


MATTEL ELECTRONIC FOOTBALL

Long before Gameboy, (or something called graphics, for that matter), was the original handheld game, Mattel's Electronic Football.  The action was limited to moving indiscernible dots on a playing field, but it was still more exciting than watching The Cincinnati Bengals play in real life.


SMURFS

Smurfs were a great collectible for the little girls and gay boys in my neighborhood growing up.  With over 2,000 different characters from Brainy Smurf to Colostomy Smurf, it was nearly impossible to collect them all, but it was fun to try.  And who could forget their wonderful theme song, "La la la la la la, la la la la la!"  I haven't heard lyrics that cool since Mon Chi Chi was taken off the market.

CLICK HERE FOR PAGE THREE!