COOLEST TOYS EVER
If ever there was a toy they shoul bring back for nostalgia's sake that would sell like hotcakes (and you know how good hotcakes sell), it would be Mattel's Slime. The original came in a green trash can and was a glob of salty smelling Hulk Spooge that would drip all the way down your arm if you'd hold it in the air. Later, they came out with varieties like Slime With Worms, and Slime Eyeballs! There's Nickelodeon endorsed versions of slime called GACK! SPLAT! and JIZZ!, but Mattel's was the best.
Of the many dangerous toys pulled off the market, perhaps the most justifiable were Clackers. Essentially a bolo on a stick, you were supposed to shake them up and down so the balls would repeatedly clack together, but more often than not you'd soon hear the clacking sound they'd make against a kid's skull.
Just saying this name out loud makes it one of the coolest toys of all time. Only the smart kids really had much success with these, however, as it required an advanced degree in Engineering to use.
One of the great time wasters, this was perhaps one of the biggest selling toys of the 80s. So popular were these infuriating things, that tournaments with giant cash prizes were held to see who could solve them the quickest. Other toys like Rubik's Snake, and Rubik's Revenge were soon introduced to cash in on the popularity, but the bizarre fishy smelling hair-covered Pubik's Cube was the final straw for the line.
The holy grail of the hero from "A Christmas Story", this NRA gateway drug has been a favorite of many a lad since their inception. Check out this HILARIOUS COMIC BOOK AD for them! What a cool dad to actually make boxes full of paper for an IN-HOUSE SHOOTING RANGE! I love the weird quote at the end "Bill's Dad and I are almost as tickled with indoor shooting as Bill is!" Are these Dylan Klebold's parents?
Between that magic period when you were too big for a tricycle, but not quite big enough for a bike, the great Marx Big-Wheel was the vehicle of choice. The coolest thing about these was going at your top speed (7MPH), and then jamming on the break and spinning out. Invariably, the back wheels would begin to split and you'd end up riding them scooter-style with one foot on the seat. In an attempt to hold on to the boys getting older, Marx released a sleeker version called THE GREEN MACHINE with a slogan, "For Guys 8, 9, and 10 years old, who really know how to ride!" Funny, that's Michael Jackson's slogan, as well.
The grand-daddy of dangerous toys has to be the famous Lawn Darts (or JARTS, as some versions were marketed as). This once popular game was all the rage until a 7 year old girl was impaled in the head by an errant toss. The grieving father took the case to court, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission argued that they had only received less than a dozen injury complaints. After being pressed to investigate further, they found that in one year, there was 6700 injuries and 3 deaths related to the seemingly innocent toys. The blunt metal tip, as it comes crashing to the earth, can generate a whopping 23,000 pounds per sq. inch of force, making it no problem to turn a kid's head into a pincushion. In 1988 they were not only recalled, but made illegal to sell, even in thrift stores.
It's not the first videogame system, but Atari's 2600 cartridge based console was clearly the most successful of the vintage platforms, with over 500 games released before fading away to the likes of Nintendo and Playstation. The simple beauty and elegance of the low memory games and easy to use joysticks made them a family favorite for a long time. There's a great program called "Stella" which you can download from ATARILAND for free that plays all the old Atari games right on your computer. And as the games are all about 4K or less, you can download the entire catalog in 4 different sections HERE. Atari even had PORNO GAMES if you can believe it!
Back before superhero toys were tiny hunks of crappy plastic you could fit in your pocket, Mego made "The World's Greatest Superheroes" which had real cloth costumes (complete with gloves that you'd usually lose in a day). Most male collectors grimace at the term "dolls" to describe them, insisting they should be called "Action Figures" instead. Of course, most of those same people look forward to a hot date with their fist, a jar of Vaseline, and Mork & Mindy fan fiction, so I don't take their opinion much to heart.
These little creatures were some of the hottest toys for girls of all time, with knockoff versions still available to this day. I've owned and collected many of them through the years, myself, and you can read about some of my favorites, RIGHT HERE.
When I was a kid, you could shout, "I'm gonna bust a cap in yo' ass" without getting in trouble, 'cause it was totally OK! Cap guns were fantastic treasures, making a ton of noise and giving you the glee of killing without the remorse of guilt that would follow if you really went through with it. There were small plastic caps for some guns, but my favorites were the tiny red rolls of paper caps that you'd tear of. I remember wrapping about 6 rolls of caps around a stick and setting it on fire, watching it pop all over the place. Those were the days! Of course, you can't get any realistic looking toy guns anymore, they're all day-glo orange. Maybe if we can convince gangs to start spray painting their guns orange, they'll make the toy ones look real again.
Man, when you were a kid, there was nothing yummier than a "just add water" cake baked in a light bulb powered oven! These were pulled from the market for a short time in the 80s, after kids found with just small modifications they could make an Easy Bake Meth Lab.
From Dennis The Menace to Bart Simpson, the sling shot has been a standard issue toy for troubled cartoon boys since the Dawn of Man.
The nostalgia of backyard football games with a Nerf ball is something I'll never forget. I always seemed to catch with my face, so these things were a godsend. There used to be this great commercial for them that went, "Nerf Football... RAH RAH RAH!". Remember how you'd play with these on a rainy day and they'd gain 8 pound of water and splash your face with each catch? It was OK with the footballs, but the Nerf Basketballs became completely unusable once they got wet. I'm still waiting for the Nerf Girlfriend, myself.
I always had such a tough time with these, as every slot racing experience I ever had resulted in the car flying off the track on the first hairpin turn, cause I could never control my speed properly. We had one called TCR: TOTAL CONTROL RACING that was pretty cool, that let you change lanes! I imagine racing videogames have diminished the popularity of these over time, however.
A failed experiment to invent a new kind of rubber for military use resulted in Silly Putty! One of the cool things you could do was press it on a newspaper comic strip, and it would lift the image off. You could stretch it and warp it, and perform impossible feats like actually making Fred Basset funny.
The staple of any sandbox (next to catshit), these rough metal trucks were one of the most durable and long lasting toys ever created. They even had commercials in the 70s that showed an elephant stepping on one, to show you how tough they were. I always thought Tonka could make a killing if they'd license their name to make real cars, as most guys would identify with the strength and trust the brand. Of course I also think that licensing the Summer's Eve brand into a line of Popsicles is a good idea, so what the hell do I know?
NOTE: I just got 50 gazillion emails that Ford is actually working on a TONKA branded truck! Holy crap, LOOK AT THIS!