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THE RETROCRUSH TOY HALL OF FAME INAUGURAL INDUCTEES

If there's one thing that kids have in common, it's a love of toys.  Whether your parents got you ever latest new flashy thing, or you just found an armless GI JOE to pass the time with, toys have played an important role in all of our lives. We've created an initial selection of honorees to be inducted into our Toy Hall of Fame, and will add new ones each year. There's an address at the end of the article to suggest your own. So without further adieu, here's our maiden honorees!


BARREL OF MONKEYS

This game is more fun than...well, you know (HAW! HAW! HAW!).  Seriously, it was pretty cool to dump these dudes on the floor and connect them into a giant chain o' monkeys.  They should make a version with plastic Robert Downey Jr.'s and Courtney Loves called "Barrel of Junkies".


TRACER GUN

This is one of those toys you'd always see for sale at a grocery store and bug your mother for incessantly while she shut you out and focused on the latest Weekly World News headline instead.  You were always guaranteed to lose at least half of your ammo within one day after getting one of these great guns.  Some versions would even work with pennies!  


VERTI-BIRD

This cool toy featured a helicopter on an arm that would fly in a circle and you could make it go up and down.  Apparently too many stupid kids liked to let the plastic propeller cut their eyes open as it flew by, so they took it off the market.  If you get action figures of Vic Morrow and 2 Asian kids, you can re-enact a scene from TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE for extra coolness.


SUCKER-MAN

Despite the name, it's not a toy endorsed by Ron Jeremy, but Sucker-Man was pretty darn cool.  You'd just get him wet, then throw him on the wall, and ... he'd stick there!  Just like a puppy, only without the annoying whimpering sounds and blood stains.  They also had a Glow In The Dark Sucker-Man, for night time Sucker-Man action!


VIEW-MASTER

I spent many an hour with my View-Master camera staring at reels of the 1966 Batman TV show because there were tons of sexy Julie Newmar Catwoman pictures.  Good thing you only needed one hand to use it!


SIMON

This maddeningly addictive game was introduced in the 70s and is still made to this day.  By repeating the sequence of colored lights, you'd drive yourself nuts in no time.  It's the second best selling electronic family game of all time, next to Kenner's POW Testicle Shock-o-Rama Playset.


MILKY THE MARVELOUS MILKING COW

After drinking water, you could squeeze Milky's udder and collect her milk in a bucket.  Now if only they'd make a version of this featuring Jenna Jameson, my life would be complete.  They actually made a follow up to this toy called "Gobbles the Garbage Eating Goat".  Trash Film director John Waters has a hilarious write up of it in his essay, "Why I Love Christmas", that I've excerpted below:

"That crazy eating goat" reads the delightful package, and in small print, "Contains: One realistic goat with head that goes up and down. Comes complete with seven pieces of pretend garbage." This Kenner Discovery Time toy's instructions are priceless. "Gobbles loves to eat garbage when he's hungry, and he's ALWAYS hungry. (1) Hold Gobbles mouth open by the beard. Stuff a piece of pretend garbage straight into his mouth and (2) pump the tail until the garbage disappears." It ends with an ominous warning, "Feed Gobbles only the garbage that comes with the toy," and in even smaller print "If you need additional garbage, we will, as a service, send it to you direct. For 14 pieces of garbage send $1 (check or money order; sorry, no C.O.D.) to . . . . " I can't tell you the hours of fun I've had with Gobbles. Sometimes when I'm very bored, Gobbles and I get naked and play-play.


THE GREAT GARLOO

How could a toy called The Great Garloo not be cool?  A mix between The Creature From The Black Lagoon and a caveman, this battery powered remote control toy from 1962 is one of the more sought after monster collectibles of all time.  Howard Stern has even mentioned that this was the greatest toy he was ever given as a kid.


THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN

Definitely one of the cooler action figures ever made, this Bionic Man doll had a bionic eye you could look through, a button in his back that could lift an engine, and a bizarre rubber arm skin that you could roll down like a condom to look at his bionic circuitry.  You could also use him to slap around your sister's Farrah Fawcett Majors doll.  Also, if you put a rolled up sock under his shirt, you have an instant Fall-Guy action figure.


OUIJA: THE MYSTIFYING ORACLE

In these days of cell phones and Palm Pilots, it's nice to remember the days when you'd talk to the evil spirits of beyond with a good old fashioned Ouija Board.  Captain Howdy says, "Hi!"  There was a girl named Susan who lived down the street that told me if you took apart the board, you would find Satan's brain inside.  I wonder what asylum she's living in now?


KENNER GIVE A SHOW PROJECTOR

This was great because you could watch cartoon slideshows in your room after everyone was asleep.  I never could figure out how to cut out pictures from my dad's Playboys and make them work inside, but someday I will.  Someday...


HOLLY HOBBY

Holly Hobby was a fun doll in the 70s that sort of cashed in on that "Little House on The Prairie" look.  The follow up doll, Betty Bukkake, caused much outrage, however, and was taken off store shelves, immediately.


THE GHOST GUN

This is one of those toys that I'd cut off a thumb to get!  A buddy of mine had one and I still think it's cool as hell.  You'd put these film strips of ghosts in the gun and they'd be projected on the wall.  The gun would shoot little pellets through the strip and it'd look like you were shooting the ghost on the wall.  These can go for $200 easily when and if they are for sale.  I'll be your best friend if you buy me one, honest!


BATTLING TOPS

Battling tops were great simple fun.  As these little dudes spun around and knocked in to each other, hours of delight would be had. 


CARE BEARS

These loveable little bears had different symbols to express their personality on their chest.  Good Luck Bear had a shamrock, Grumpy had a cloud, Sunshine had a sun, and Goatse had a huge gaping anus embroidered on his tummy.


MAGIC 8 BALL

When I was a kid, I'd spent hours playing with my Magic 8 Ball.  So much that its answers became a part of my everyday conversations.  Of course, when my parents would ask "How was school today?", and I'd throw back "Try again later!" or "It is certain", they got fed up and threw it away.  Goodbye Magic 8 Ball!  I still love you.


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 & STRETCH MONSTER

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.

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