Long before everyone had color televisions, video games and personal music players, we amused ourselves with traditional toys. Well, maybe they weren’t all traditional, but they were fun! Even with all our progress, many games and toys from my childhood are still popular today. But there are a few from Christmases past that have gone away, some for safety reasons.
- The Sonic Blaster. This was probably my most favorite unsafe toy of all time. There was a pump handle that you were instructed to pump “no more than 8 times”, which was of course an invitation to pump until you couldn’t anymore. When you pulled the trigger, it let out all that compressed air which echoed through its long chamber in the coolest “BOOM” you ever heard. We once set a lit candle at the bottom of the basement stairs, and then blew it out with the blaster. We had ours taken away when my parents found the burnt paper plates we were lighting and blowing out like we were skeet shooting. Mattel took it off the market due to the damage it caused ear drums. Not the sound, but having it blown at the side of your head.
- Mr. Kelly’s Car Wash. Nothing unsafe, just boring. We started looking for inventive uses that the toy was not designed for, which is never a good thing. Little plastic cars go through a motorized tunnel where they get squirted with water and dried with little sponges. Yipee. Perhaps its purpose was to motivate us to go to college, or to be Mr. Kelly and not one of his workers.
- Thing Maker. This was like a Fry Daddy, only you filled it with plastic pellets. When they melted, you injected the mixture into molds to make your own “Things”. There were theme sets with bugs, army men, and other creatures. Anyone who had one got a burn mark or two.
- Photo-Electric football. You had a set of papers that had plays drawn on them. Your opponent had defensive plays. You lay them both upside down on top of each other on a lite box, and slowly pull a slide out so the light would shine through the paper. If the Offensive play moved down field without touching a player’s dot on the defensive sheet, touchdown baby! Of course if the bulb burned out and you replaced it with one that was too much wattage, you burned the plastic screen that the plays are set on, and maybe even caught it on fire. Some halftime show.
- Jarts. Need I say more?
Any toys you remember from your past that you probably wouldn’t let your kids get near?
May your holidays and gift-giving be safe, memorable, and trouble free.
Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.
Anna at abdpbt is responsible for the effort to Fight Listless Mondays. Find other list links on her blog. Her lists and the others linked there always give you something to think about, and may even make you smile!