Boomers remember their childhood toys.

Send us your memories. Here are some memory joggers: Dolls, Mr. Machine, Erector sets, Twister, tops, hoola hoops, Duncan yoyos, Slinky... What was in the toy chest?
Include your first name, city and state/province, & birth year.

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NOTICE: We do NOT know where to find these toys - so please don't email us asking.
All we can tell you with any degree of certainty is that you might
find them on EBay.

Read all about ’em.
Click on the book cover to order this beautiful book filled with color photos of our favorite Baby Boomer toys.

The Big Red Press & Mr. Kelly’s Car Wash
The Big Press - it was a big, red printing press with rubber moveable type and pictures which you could load into a sliding tray and print your own documents - all decades before these fancy Epson and HP printers!

Another biggie from, I guess, around 1963-64 - Mr. Kelly's Car Wash. It was a very detailed red plastic car wash with decals, around 12"-14" long, with neat little plastic cars. They were pulled through with a long motorized key chain and there were water bottles that you filled which provided dripping water to clean the
cars. Then you finished the job with these tiny tins of real paste wax! SO cool!

I have not a clue as to which companies manufactured these two fine toys, but they sure were fun! Thanks again for such a terrific web site! --- Barbara Sims, 1957

Rat Finks for 1¢
How about the old Rat Finks you would get out of the gumball machine for 1¢? I have one of the ones with the hole in the back for a ring so you could wear it on your finger. and then there was chatty cathy and chutes and ladders. and dont forget the fez (i still have one) from the Shriner's Circus. --- cindy fox, kenner, louisiana jan. 1957

A Boy's Toys to a Man’s Profession
Did anybody else have a Johnny Seven OMA, circa 1965? It had a detachable pistol, rifle, rocket launcher, grenade launcher, and two other systems I can't recall. It fired everything plastic and was great for knocking down your little brother's plastic soldier formation without any danger of hurting anyone. It was the envy of every kid playing on the construction site dirt piles during urban expansion. (And it didn't have any noticable affect on me as an adult.) --- Lieutenant Colonel Paul C.-1956

Big Daddy Roth Monsters
I had these wild looking plastic (I think they were bright pink) cars back in the late 60s, statues I guess you would call them. I forget what they were called. They were about 6 or 8 inches tall and had a base with a sooped up car with a driver sitting in it that usually had a real crazy look on his face and bugged out eye balls.  If anyone can remember these too and what they were called that would be great. I've searched just about everywhere on the web to no avail. I think they used to have them in Kar-Toon magazine. --- Steve, Bakersfield, CA, 1958

As I indicated in the title, these were "Big Daddy Roth Monsters" - check out his web site. - Tim, the archivist

Yellow Submarine, Guy Dolls and Air Blaster
I had a Beatle's Yellow Submarine for at least one summer. I would spend summer vacation with my Grandma and Grampa and my Dad. I had a lot of toys that would disappear from summer to summer. I remember that yellow sub, it came with four clear plastic Beatle figurine "molds" I guess you'd call them. I'm not sure what they were for also four cut-out pictures of the fab four. I also had a metal wind up submarine that was made in Germany. I think everyone had a Hot Wheels set. I had G.I. Joes and Major Matt Mason dolls. I also had this really neat toy rifle. I'm pretty sure now that it was a Springfield 1903 model, I've seen some on e-bay (also I own a real one). You could open the bolt and there was a gold colored wooden bullet permanently attached. My most vivid memory is when I asked Santa for a Wham-O Air Blaster. I remember writing to him on that wide ruled kindergarten paper tablet,the kind with the lines running horizontally. I never did get that Air Blaster. :( Does anyone remember the cars that when they hit the wall their parts would fly off and then you put them back together and did it again? Well enough already, it's been fun! --- kevin t., winter springs, florida, 1962

Homemade Scooters
They were made by taking a metal roller skate apart, putting the front and back on a piece of 2 x 4 on opposite ends, nailing the parts in place. You would then nail the 2 x 4 onto a wooden milk crate, fastening the bottom of the crate to the top of the 2 x 4 at the front skate part end. I f you were really into it , you would paint your scooter with any color paint that was available in your house. It was very inexpensive, but a lot of fun. --- Joe, Philadelphia, PA, 1947

Slotted Discs anyone?
I'm racking my brain trying to remember what these toys were... they were colored plastic discs about the size and thickness of a quarter coin, with slits cut into the edges. You could slide them together to make different shapes and things... sort of like legos but not. For some reason I remember them as DEALLY BOPPERS, but can find no reference to them online. Every site I find is calling deely boppers those goofy antenna you wear on your head, with little shapes (stars, hearts, whatever) attached to a headband with springs so they wobble around. Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about?? --- Nancy, Knoxville, MD 1968

Remco Showboat
These are still occasionally found on e-bay. The toy was a large pink plastic "showboat," complete with theatrical backdrops and cardboard figures from the Wizard of Oz, Heidi and others. My sisters and I spent many hours putting on plays -- it's one toy I wish was available for my own daughters. --- Karin, Minneapolis, MN, 1962

These were tiny--maybe half inch tall--plastic replicas of all the Disney cartoon and movie characters. I think I had every one ever made...Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the gang, Snow White and all the dwarfs, Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle. They also had them for the Hanna Barbera characters...Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. Oh, and the Flintstones. I kept them and when I was in my late 20s glued them into an old printers case for display. I haven't seen them since I moved to California but I think they're in a box out in storage.
I was also a Barbie fan, had the very first one which is worth lots of money now. I had most of the early clothes too, they were beautifully made. I also remember Tiny Tears and Betsy Wetsy (which I never really got, who wants a peeing doll, I didn't even like actual babies), Revlon dolls, Madame Alexander Dolls; Steiff stuffed animals (I still have my bear); Kenner girders and panels; Candyland; a nifty stewardess kit; Cootie and Mr. Potato Head; Mr. Bubble at bathtime; those little gadgets you made potholders with; Etch-a-sketch; Silly Putty; Paper dolls (I had Betsy McCall and Patti Page, that sure dates me!). I think I was the first, or one of the first anyway, on my block to have a Hula Hoop.I had the small ones for your arms and ankles too. Schwinn 3 speed bikes were the ultimate; I never had one, just a clunky used bike handed down from my cousin. One lucky friend had a tandem bike when I was in high school. We would ride around singing the scores from Broadway musicals at the top of our lungs.
And don't forget Mexican jumping beans, those were a cheap treat. I lost interest when I found out they had worms in them.
I was a creative kid, I made a lot of my own toys...a doll house, doll furniture, puppets, paper doll clothes. I used to draw my own cartoons too, at one time my career ambition was to be a Disney animator. I could draw Mickey at age 4 better than I can now! --- Chris, Redwood City CA, 1952

Vrroom X-15
My Grandparents gave me the Mattel Vrroom X-15 for Christmas in 1965. It was a three wheel car that was steered by a joy stick. I have been trying to find information on this toy for months. I'm not sure when the car was first made, or how long it was made. I still have the car, and I can still make out the serial number on it. It used to make noise and shoot "sparks" out the back end, however, that didn't last long. I wore out all three wheels, my dad was able to replace the back two, but the front one could not be replaced. The seat was adjustable, so it took awhile to "out grow". --- Sandra, St Louis, MO, 1963

Agent M, Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Hardy Boys
I had an "Agent M Zero Camera Gun" (pictured in the Virtual Toy Shop), as well as a larger fake movie camera which also turned into a gun. These came in handy when my brother, neighbors and I would play "Man From U.N.C.L.E." We also had a green bazooka that was spring powered, and fired lightweight blue projectiles. Another favorite item was a Superman costume -- just like Superman's, except for the reminder which the manufacturer printed on it, something like "Remember, this is only a costume - only Superman can fly." I guess this was a good idea, though, because in our neighborhood, rumor had it that a kid across the street, wearing a towel as a cape, was just about to climb out of an upstairs window when his Grandma stopped him! Another thing which was sold at our local toy store was The Hardy Boys series of books. I remember that they sold for $1.25 each, and my brother amassed nearly the entire set. They gave us many hours of enjoyable reading. Another favorite childhood book was called 365 Bedtime Stories. There was a story for each day of the year, and featured the families living on What-A-Jolly-Street, including a kindly neighbor lady named Mrs. Apricot. Does anyone remember this book? --- Dave, Belleville, IL, 1957

I remember Remco's Fascination. It was a maze game that worked with a battery operated score keeper that indicated which player won. i think it was from around 1960. Kenner Give-A-Show Projector....sitting for hours in a dark closet watching cartoons of Ruff n Ready and Huckleberry Hound. One of my favorite toys was my Remco Fighting Lady battleship (then politically correct). It was really big, with planes and catapults and guns, missiles, and more. --- jonathan, short hills, nj 1954

Shaper Toys
My toy memories...My great uncle and aunt,Bill & Jeanette Shaper, started the Shaper company. Cooties, Don't Spill the Beans and Barrel Full Of Monkey's were a few of the games. My Mother remembers being in their basement and assembling the toys to be sold in the first years of the company. I grew up owning every Shaper toy ever made. Now I wish I had kept them all. --- Louise Spartanburg,SC 1962

Dolls, Campbells Pots and Pans, and Books
Hello fellow boomers. My favorite toys of the 50's were dolls and paperdolls. I spent hours with each. I had and still have my Betsy Wetsy, Tiny Tears, Poor Pitiful Pearl (who still sits proudly on my bed), Patty Play Pal, a ballerina doll with jointed arms and legs, and a Madam Alexander
Baby doll. I also have the first Barbie and the first Ken along with their first vinal carrying case (although I was a little old to play with dolls, I just HAD to have them). My paper doll favorites included Katy Keene and Millie the Model (both with comic books I faithfully followed), the Lennon
Sisters, Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day, June Allison, Jane Powell, Marge and Gower Champion, Little Women, Brenda Lee, and oh so many more. I use to love to trace their clothes and design my own with, of course my box of 64 Crayola crayons. One of my favorite Christmas presents was a Campbells Soup set. It contained about 10 miniature cans of Campbells soup and little stainless steel Pots and Pans with covers that you could use on the real stove. Of course there was desert, compliments of the Easy Bake Oven and included cake mixes. A lot of time was spent challenging my dad to games of Pic up Stix, Monopoly, and Candyland (all of which he managed to cheat) until such time that along came hoola hoops! Lets not forget roller skates that screwed onto the edges of our shoes and the famous roller skate key hanging around our neck on a shoe string! Many more hours were spent with the aforementioned box of crayola crayons and coloring books and the reading of comic books. In later years I learned the joy of reading, so along came Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Trixie Beldon, The Bobsey Twins, Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys and a host of more to follow (I'm 52 and haven't stopped reading yet! The Library is still one of my favorite haunts). I also remember a little red and white "record player" that played 33's, 45's and 78's and had lots of fun times with that too. I am an only child and so had plenty of time to spend with all my friends mentioned above! I never really realized how lucky I was until seeing all these precious memories written down. Thank you for letting me share my favorite memories of toys and play with all of you! --- Sharynne, Torrance, California, 1948

Did you “Get Honey West?”
1960's toy memories: My all-time favorite, Suzy Homemaker oven (similar to Easy Bake). I got it out of my parents' attic recently, plugged it in, and the 20-some-year-old light bulb still lit! I also loved playing with Barbie and Skipper (still have them too!), games Shenanigans and Camp Granada, Ouija board, Jingle Jump (went around your ankle, you spun it and jumped over it). I also had a Tressie doll, never got but still want: Honey West, coolest female spy ever! --- Pam, Delaware, 1958

Silly Sand
Does anyone remember Silly Sand?? It was different colored sand and you squeezed it out of plastic bottles and made sand castles with it?? I also remember a doll that was a ballerina and you pushed down on the top of her head and she would spin around. Who could forget Etch-A-Sketch, Pick-up Sticks and Ouija Boards. Baby Tenderloves and my most prized possession: My Mrs. Beasley Doll.(like the one Buffy had on Family Affair (the TV Show). I also remember when they had the Flip Wilson Show they came out with the "Geraldine Doll" - you pulled the string and she would say different catch phrases used by Flip (as Geraldine) on his show. --- Sunny G., Thomasville, GA, 1963

Mystery Date and other games
Some of my favorite toys included Romper Stompers, Tickle Bee, Mystery Date, Paper Dolls, Stratego and of course Barbie. Boy do I wish I still had some of those! There also was a toy called Hoppity Horse (?). It was like a big rubber ball that you sat on and had a shape like a horses head, and you could bounce all over the house and drive your parents/siblings crazy! Also with Mystery date my sister, in later years, confessed that when it was my turn to answer the door, she would divert my attention and somehow rig it to open the Geek! HA! Those were the days!!! --- Alicia, Eden Prairie, MN 1967

A Flood of Memories
And the memories come rushing back...with lightening speed, hope i can manage to get them all in here before i forget again...i remember having a Suzy Smart Doll, she came with her own desk, blackboard and chalk; a Kissy doll that would "kiss" you when you squeezed her arms together; Thumbelina and then of course, Baby Thumbelina, Crissy..whose hair you could make longer as it grew out the top of her head...mostly i remember my sister breaking it and not being able to get the hair back in !!! I remember the game "Fascination", blue plastic mazes with silver balls, one for you, one to race against a partner with, i can still hear the song..."Fascination, Remco Fascination"...I remember having a real working printing press, (that used real ink which i used without permission and was punished for after staining clothing, the carpet, etc....)...I remember sitting at a "Pegboard Desk", hammering in little plastic colored pegs for hours, then turning it over and using the chalkboard", anyone remember "Monkey Sticks"...little 2" cords of blue, yellow and red plastic with connectors on the ends...we used them to make bracelets, necklaces, etc....very sadly i remember taking apart my Mr. Machine, to find out just how all those cool gears and thing worked...always wanted but never got a Sno-Cone Machine...had a child's height real working kitchen set (haha, made of pink cardboard, i think), but the sink had running water and a cool and necessary for washing all those pots and pans and tea sets and Easy Bake Oven utensils, we had a toaster that even popped up toast, and a percolator that perked!!...loved the smell of my "Tinker Toys" can with the metal lid (probably contained lead !!!)...any other "girls" out there remember the dress up kits that came with the Plastic Wigs !!!! I remember having a "Twiggy" doll, which was really ironic because i was overweight my entire childhood !!! She came with the coolest clothes (mostly mini-skirts !)...I had a "Franny" Doll, too, long wavy brown hair, Barbie's body double cousin!!! Anyone remember sticking those straightpins that had the little colored balls on the ends into the earlobes of Barbie and friends for earrings....our Barbie's got to looking more like acupuncture experiments....I remember having a Super Deluxe Barbie DreamHouse, made of cardboard, that unfolded several times, having about four different rooms...decorated in the most modern 60's decor! How could i forget "Bye-Bye Baby", a baby doll that was HUGE, but absolutely gorgeous,,,,wish i still had her....we had Pee Wee Dolls by the tons, each dressed in different outfits, i think they even made dolls dressed in traditional foreign costumes too..I remember Silly Foam, used in the bathtub, squirting it on our bodies, the tiles, etc....I remember Fizzies, flavored tablets that melted like AlkaSeltzer when you mixed them in water....My sister had a "Patti-Play Pal" who was bigger than she of those "walk-with-you" dolls...I remember playing for hours with Paper Dolls, (imagine trying to get one of your kids to play with some paper dolls now...haha), and getting very upset when the perforations weren't perforated all the way, causing you to tear off the tab on what was the prettitest outfit...thanks for giving me this opportunity to remember just how great a childhood i really did have. --- Kate Tamburri, Toms River, NJ 1956

Toy Memories from a Military Brat
Man! What a trip down memory lane... My Dad was a Naval Officer, so we moved around a LOT. And my parents were most generous when it came to toys, but they also insisted I read, so I had lots of books, too. When it came to the toys though, I had some pretty neat ones. While blasting across the web, I saw some things that reawakened some dim memories.

Motoriffic Cars - I had the T-bird, which I really got off on because it had fins resembling the batmobile. I had more Bat-stuff than any other kid on the block. Regrettably, I don't remember all the manufacturers anymore, but I do recall the neatest one - a periscope that had a clip on the side so you could clip it to your belt, (or your britches if you weren't wearing one). I'm sure
today I would be arrested as a peeping Tom, but I spent HOURS looking through it. I also had this plastic Batman helmet/mask. The thing was HUGE, and the front would irritate your chin underneath, but it was COOL! My personal treasure, though, which I still own, by the way, was the Corgi BATMOBILE. It no longer has the little figures, or the little plastic missiles for the rocket tubes, but other than that, it's remained intact, and on display.

Topper had this machine gun which had like seven different weapons on it, including these plastic spring-launched rocket-grenades, which caused me to get in trouble for breaking stuff around the house until the dog ate it up. It made noise, and overall was the ultimate arsenal for a kid, provided you could remember all of what you had at your disposal.

Whammo, (I think...), made these hand-thrown propeller boomerang thingies which I guess were the forerunners of the "Frisbee". They were cool as all get out, but invariably wound up stuck in trees, or on the rooftops of the entire neighborhood. They were relatively safe to throw at your friends, too, because they would curve off and climb to amazing altitudes. Only once in a great while would one get lucky enough to decapitate a buddy, and when you did, everyone who was playing scattered like cockroaches. I wish I could remember what they were called...

Hot Wheels, Sizzlers, Strange Change Machines, Thingmakers, Goop, (Edible Goop), GI-Joe's, Superballs, so many simple, but fascinating toys. I'm 40 now, with a 10 year old daughter of my own, and there are days and incidents I remember as clearly as if they happened yesterday. God, I was lucky; we ALL were. My child-days STILL haven't ended. The greatest hope I have for my daughter is that she remembers her childhood as fondly as I remember mine; and that she keeps all the sense of wonderment and awe as long as I have. --- Jim Kirk, 1960, Taft, Texas

Dolls, dolls, dolls...
I had a doll named "Tubsie". She was battery operated and she moved her arms up and down and "splashed" the water in her bath. I've never known anyone else that had her. I got her in '67. I also had a doll called "Baby Tender Love". I see her sometimes at Flea markets. My favorite doll of all was a vinyl doll who's limbs were connected by these vinyl rings. His arms and legs kept falling off and my mom would sew them back on. I never have seen a doll like him again. I never did get that Easy Bake Oven. I'm still waiting. --- Melanie, Llano, TX, 1962

Editor's note: We have seen Easy Bake Ovens on E-Bay. Also, Barbie now has a similar "oven".

My favorite toys were always my dolls. I loved them all but my two favorites were my Baby Dear doll and a funny little boy doll named "Perthie". He was dressed in one piece pajamas with a pink and white striped robe. I remember the first time I saw the Baby Dear dolls - it was a few months before Christmas and the Sunday newspaper had a full page spread of these dolls all in different baby positions. I thought I would just die if I didn't have one. Little did I know that my mother had already seen these dolls displayed in a department store window in Boston, fallen in love with them and immediately bought one to put away for me for Christmas. That Christmas morning stands out as the most exciting one of my whole childhood. I still have both of these dolls and they have been well-loved by me and then by my two daughters. --- Debby Park, Boston, MA (birth year?)

I guess I was part of the "leading edge" of boomers (1946), but did anyone else have dolls called "Sweet Sue"? I have two of them - one a small blonde and the other a real dressed up auburn haired larger doll? I remember the other dolls coming out later, but I was too old by then. Let me know if anyone else had these dolls. --- Peggy, (city/state?),1946

Kenner SSP Race Cars
Anyone recall Kenner SSP Race Cars? They were plastic (high impact) cars with a gyro wheel and rubber tire that was activated with a toothed T-handle rip cord. I recall that they really flew, and left rubber burn out marks wherever they were released. (My mom made me stop playing with mine indoors after she tried to scour these off the tile. The dents in the base boards were noticed later by Dad.) I always sat "Indian style" when my friends and I would zip our cars back and forth to each other (for obvious reasons). I had the "Laker Special" and "Can Am" versions. There were a lot of others. --- Pete, Jacksonville FL,1961 (see this item in our Virtual Toy Shop)

Vrroom X-15
We have a Vrroom X-15 yet our grandkids play with , I have repainted it and put 2 new tires on the back. I still have the orginal back tires. My wife's son had it when I married her in 1977. This one has a noise maker on it, it looks like a speaker. I think it had something than run on the front tire. I was just wondering about how much it is worth. I was born in 1947 and that is the first time I have seen any. --- Tom, Ardmore, Oklahoma (remember to include your birth year, please)

The best games...
Hands Down has to be one of the best games ever! Does anybody remember that? There was this stand that had plastic hands that you had to slam down. The idea was not to be the one left on top. Other favorites include Ker Plunk, Don't Spill the Beans, Mystery Date, and Buffy and Jodi Paper Dolls. I remember desperately wanting an Easy Bake Oven during my entire childhood. This was the one unattainable object that I could never get. A couple of years ago my husband bought one for me for Christmas. I wept like a fool! --- Connie, Tempe, AZ (1961)

The Best of the West to the Worst of the Cakes
My fondest memories of childhood toys were definitely the Marx "Best of the West" horses for Jane and Johnny West. The only one that I ever did own was "Commanche"; he had moveable joints so you could pose him. Of course he was never the one that I had my heart set on - I had wanted "Thunderbolt", (my friend had him and many of the other horses) but I still wore Commanche out with love. Then my sister sat on him one day and broke his leg (Sisters!!!). He underwent two major glue jobs and when that failed, a cast made out of masking tape (probably half a roll!), but alas, he never recovered. I have only now, in the last couple of months, been able to locate the old Best of the West toys, and am slowly building a collection of the toys that I desperately wanted as a child but could never have.
Three of the other "big" childhood memories were a HUGE farm set, probably made by Marx as well, that had a large barn and silo made of tin, lots of plastic animals and people, farm equipment, and these neat rows of "soil" that had holes in them where you could insert the various vegetables; corn, cabbage, etc.
We also had a black projector that would plug in, and we set put in on a book to project the picture, tape paper to the wall, and trace the image. We spent countless hours in the bedroom with this, and probably learned more about drawing in this way than we ever did in school!
The last item was, of course, my sister's Easy Bake oven. She would make little cakes and brownies for everyone and was so proud. She even had a package to make bubblegum! But somehow, she burned the bubblegum, and I remember everyone in the room taking a bite of this charred, pinkish black goo and saying "MMMM, it's good" Well, except for me. I took one bite and
said "Eeewww, yuuuck!!!" and spit it out (Well, I was only seven or eight!).
To this day my sister hasn't attempted to make bubblegum again. Aahh, the memories of childhood.... --- Diana, Ottawa, Ontario, 1957

Daisey Air Rifles
A neat toy that made some noise and if you stuck the barrel end in dirt you could fire a "dirt bomb" about 20 feet. We would play "soldier" in an open field near our home, and it was alot of fun at that time. In 1965 I got to use a real rifle in another open field in some other place far away from here. I have a lot more happy memories with the toy gun. --- Dave, born in Camden, NJ 1946

Snuggles, etc.
I remember these small stuffed creatures that were wearable. I think they were called "Snuggles". They came in different colors and you could attach them to your arms or legs. I had several and they were popular around the same time as Troll dolls. Another cool thing was a sort of Alka-Seltzer-like soft drink tablet called "Fizzies" that you dropped into a glass of water. But my most favorite childhood possession was my bright green bicycle with a "banana" seat. I have two sisters and we each received one for Christmas one year. I also had a Poor Pitiful Pearl doll and a Chatty Cathy. I loved Chatty Cathy but it seemed like her pull-string always malfunctioned prematurely. --- Lu Anne, Charlotte, NC,1953

Girders and Panels
My all time favorite toy was the building set called,'Girders and Panels', I believe it wsa mae by Kenner. What a great toy. Build your own skyscapers or train stations to run your Lionel trains through or perhaps build a pit area for your Strombecker race cars, (remember them, the brushes on the cars always picked up carpet lint, if you were lucky enough to have carpet). Man, I spent hours playing with that toy. I talk about it on my radio show from time to time. --- Dave Elswick, Little Rock, AR, 1953

Bell Hops
I remember Bell Hops. They were a plastic ring with a cord about 12 inches long. On the end was a bell attached. You put the ring on your ankle and hopped over the bell. (Like a hula-hoop for your feet, bet required less coordination.)
I also remember a game called Booby Trap. It had a bunch of wooden pegs that you pulled out one at a time. If you pulled the wrong peg, a wooden slat would send the pegs all over the place. --- Cindy, Royal Oak Michigan, 1961

Tommy Tucker / Mystery Date
I remember (and does anyone else) my favorite doll was Tommy Tucker. Also my favorite game (I wish I could play it now) was Mystery Date! They should bring it back. What memories. --- Eileen, Philadelphia, 1962

Editor's note: Comedian Joel Hodgson (MST3K) used to use a Mystery Date Game in his stand-up act. "Open the door for your Mystery Date" the theme song directed. "Will it be a dream? Or a dud?... It's a Dream!" - whereupon he opened the door to his own face.

CLACKERS! Does anyone remember them? When I was in Junior High they were the latest fad. They were a pair of hard plastic balls (about the size of golf balls) attached to each end of a string. The toy worked by holding the string in the middle between your thumb and pointer finger. Then you would shake your wrist up and down to bang the balls together above your hand and then below. The greatest thing was to keep the Clackers going for as long as possible without missing a beat. It was easier said than done but practice made perfect. I remember walking the hallway to go to my next class and it seemed like the everyone in the whole school had a set. We all had our Clackers going while walking to class. After a while the staff became tired of this new fangled toy and banned the toy from school. --- Barbara, Wilmington, De, 1956

Troll Dolls
Troll Dolls - all sizes. I would beg and plead with my mother to take me to the store so I could spend my coins in the gum ball machines. There would always be at leat one machine that dispensed those tiny 1-2" troll dolls. They were a hard plastic with neon colored bristly hair. The hair was similar to the bristles of a toothbrush. They were the thing to have and anyone wo was anybody had at least 10. The larger Troll doll was about 4" in height and were also a hot item. At one time there was a Troll Horse made. Now that I think about it, for some strange reason I still have the horse and a couple of other troll dolls in a very special box. I guess holding on to bits and pieces of my childhood is more important than I thought. I haven't thought about them for 20+ years. --- Barbara, Wilmington, De, 1956

Box of 100 Plastic Figurines, Anyone?
Does anyone remember the little pink plastic figurines that used to come in a box of 100?  The figurines were probably no bigger than 2" high. Some of the specific ones I remember were china men and ballet dancers. There was more than one of each type. You could order them in the back of The Workbasket magazines. I still can remember the many dance reviews I put on with those figurines. --- Victoria, Shortt, Moscow, Idaho, 1953

Little Miss Echo Doll...
I had many dolls, but my three favorites were: Little Miss Echo- She had a tape recorder in her body and when you turned a knob that looked like a bow on her chest, she would record what you said. When you turned the knob the other way, she'd repeat it back to you. She was a large doll, too with long gold hair. Baby Dear- This was a soft body doll with vinyl arms, legs and head. She looked like a newborn baby. I played with this doll so much that she lost all her hair but a thin curl left in the top of her head and her body had been repaired several times. My mother bought me a second Baby Dear to replace her (now sold with rooted hair that would not fall out)- but I said now I have twins- a boy (the one with no hair) and a girl.
Genie Doll(?)- This dolls was wonderful - she could have all kinds of things happen to her and then you would nurse her back to health. She came with plastic casts that you could but on her leg and arm, crutches, Band-Aids and little pink spots to paste on for chicken pox and measles. She was dressed in a pink silk romper. --- Debbie from Bryn Mawr, PA 1956

Plastic Cave Men and Parachutes
I remember my older brothers and I playing with these free plastic cavemen that came in the cereal, "Fluffs". They were about 6- 8" tall and usually clay-coloured. There were several different variations, all in menacing poses (like holding a rock over his head, ready to throw it down and crush some poor thing). We used to use them for lots of cool things, like tying a breadbag (as in 'parachute') to them and throwing them off the highest point we could find, whereupon they would plummet to the ground like rocks. The parachute rarely opened. --- Cathy Born, New Brunswick, Canada,1964

I had hours of fun throwing a little plastic parachute guy up into the air and watching him either gracefully glide (or plumet) to the ground. The little plastic parachute folded up into a rectangular hole in the guy's back and the strings went through his hands held up by his head. --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

Close-n-Play Record Player
Close-n-play--It was a red, plastic, self-contained record player-open it, it stops.Close it, it plays. I remember having one of these and carrying it from one friend's house to the next. Also, Lucky Locket Kiddles, Flatsies(?)- pliable, flat dolls (along the lines of Gumby), and Baby's Hungry - one of my favorite dolls. Boy, do I feel old. --- Mindi, Philadelphia, 1961

Name that mini toy:
Can anyone help?? I'm trying to remember the name of a series of THEMED, MINIATURE TOYS / ACCESSORIES from the early '60s -- all the items in each box were TINY REPLICAS OF THE REAL THING, like Kleenex or laundry soap or toilet tissue and I guess aimed at girls.
I specifically remember a soda fountain set, with gum balls to put in the soda fountain glasses (to represent ice cream, I guess) and a miniature box of straws, plus a box of paper napkins. I also remember a nurse or doctor set, or maybe it was drug store related, with cotton balls and Band-Aids, etc. The memory dries up after that. I think I remember them being called Merry Miniatures, or Tiny Toys or something like that. Anyone else remember? As far as my favs as a child in the late '50s and all through the '60s, I played with dolls: Tiny Tears, Toodles, Barbie, Mary Hoyer, an Effanbee babydoll named Bubble, Raggedy Ann, Betsy McCall, a little Girl Scout doll and Little Lulu; Colorforms Miss Cookie's Kitchen; Changeable Charlie (a wooden puzzle where if you turned a piece, you would change Charlie's look), Lambchop, a puppet from Shari Lewis, Mr. Moose puppet from Captain Kangaroo, jacks and caps that you exploded in a gun or with a rock. Also, those one-shot wonder things like Jingle Jump (a loop you put on your foot attached to a string with some gadget with a bell on the end that you swung around and jumped over), Shake-A-Puddin' and Creepy Crawlers & Creeple People. I read Mad Magazine, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, The Bobbsey Twins and The Happy Hollisters. We played Blockhead, Game of Life, Sorry, Monopoly, Barbie Queen of the Prom, Operation, Rack-O, Risk, Time Bomb and Stratego, among others. --- Jane in Delaware, 1954

Johnny Reb Cannon
How about the Remco Johnny Reb Cannon? One of my all time favorite toys. I used my brother as target practice many times. The plastic balls left a real nice red welt! Where were the consumer advocates? This was one dangerous toy. I remember getting in trouble for blowing bulbs off the Christmas tree too!! --- Mike Horn, Evansville, IN, 1955

Matchbox Cars
I used to collect Matchbox cars. Each week I would get one more. I spent all week picking out which one I would add to my collection, then I would spend about a half an hour in the store checking each one out. I must have driven my parents crazy. I had almost the whole set by the time I was done. I still have them and I can even remember which number many of them were. They cost about 49 cents each (not too much less than today). When I take my daughter to the toy store, I always still check out the Matchbox aisle. She has quite a collection too, but she allows as how it is probably just a continuation of my childhood collection. --- Dale, Naugatuck, CT. 1954

Fireball XL5 comics and coloring books
Fireball XL5 Coloring books and comics, Penny Brite, Lite Brite, Flash Gordon, Mrs. Beasley Doll. --- Beth Karle, Princeton, New Jersey, 1957

Easy Bake Oven
One of my favorite toys was my Easy Bake Oven. It came with cake mixes but those didn't last very long. We discovered that if we bought the Jiffy Cake mixes we could make cakes with 7 or more layers for 20 cents each (10 cents for the cake mix and 10 cents for the frosting mix.) I still have memories of our tall Leaning Tower of Pisa cakes. --- Barbara, Salt Lake City, UT, 1958 (see this item in our Virtual Toy Shop)

Tiny Tears
I had a tiny tears doll. By the way I still have my tiny tears doll on my dresser. Recently I saw in a magazine where they are selling a porcelain tiny tears doll to commermorate her 50th birthday. --- Joyce, born in Camden, NJ, 1950

1950’s Computer and Rat Fink
I want to tell the person who remembers the 1950's computer that i had one, too! would love to find one again. and to the person with the poor pitiful pearl dolls--i still have mine and found another several years ago through "toy collector" magazine (before you could really shop on line). i also found the old dr. seuss pop-together toys that i remembered from the mid-50's (really expensive now) and started collecting the "rat fink" model kits as well as the "silly surfers". now, what i'd really like to find is a 50's toy that was magnetic--it was a stage or set of some kind, and you moved the little cardboard figures around from underneath with a "wand" that had a magnet on it. does anyone know about this?? --- dee, washington, d.c. 1951 (Rat Fink can be seen in our Virtual Toy Shop)

I love those monstrous cartoons of a hairy rat in an undersized hotrod with the oversized gearshift. This is one of my favorite memories from the late 60's. . --- Gary, Riverside, Ca, 1960

Kid’s Passtimes in a Simpler Time
Our favorite pastime was jumping rope and playing hop scotch. We drew a series of boxes on the ground and saved a lid from an old tin can or used a favorite pebble or rock to toss down on the hop scotch grid. You had to hop on one foot on the number one (the first block), toss your can lid onto number two, hop onto two with one foot on the 2 block and one on the number 3 block beside it, then pick up your lid, toss it to 4 (you had to take turns with the other kids, of course).
Five and six were the next two blocks above the 4. Above them were the 7. Next was the 8 and 9 blocks, and all alone at the top the number 10 block. On ten you had to pick your lid up while standing on on foot, turn around and start back down the grid all over again. The first one to make it back without tripping or stumbling or dropping their lid or tossing it out of the lines (the lid couldn't land out of the lines, it was out of bounds then) won.

We jumped rope to rhymes : Doctor, Doctor .... mama's got a brand new baby. Wrap her up in tissue paper, put her in the elevator , first floor ....stop. That's all I can remember of that rhyme. When you came to the elevator chorus, the rope would go faster and faster. Sometimes we used one rope and sometimes two, one for each hand with someone standing a rope length away with the other ends of the ropes. The ropes would be crossed over one another as you jumped, and over top your head. That was called "double dutch". There are hundreds of double dutch rhymes to jump to. I saw a double dutch competition on televison a few years ago and am happy kids are still enjoying it today. I've got a brand new pair of roller skates, you've got a brand new key...let's get together and skate! Roller skates were much different than today. They were made of medal, were adjustable but to adjust them you had to have a key. They were nothimg much more than two metal bars with wheels ...and a curved holder that went over your toes in front and a plate in the back that went up against your heels. The best friend in the world had the key.

Paper dolls were the cool thing. I'd get together with my friends, Shirley T. and the two Joyce's on one of our front porches ( or sometimes we would visit from porch to porch in imitation of our mothers). We'd spend hours carefully cutting out the clothes and the paper doll. It came with a little cardboard stand, the really nice ones were thick cardboard and didn't bend easily, the cheaper ones were just paper.
The clothes had paper tabs that you folded down to attach the clothes to the doll. Often the clothes came with accesories like a comb, a brush, a hand bag and shoes and a feather boa or scarf. The pages were colorful and had lovely artwork scenry like palm trees, the beach and stuff on the more expensive ones. My favorite paper doll was Vera Miles (I can't remember who she was, a model I think or movie star). There was Shirley Temple, too. If you were lucky enough to afford a monthly magazine subscription McCall's had Betsy McCall in every issue. My sister and I would go down the alley and nib in the magazines our neighbors threw out and often come up with several issues of McCall's. We would be in seventh heaven then.
One year I had a toy washing machine that really worked. It was a wringer washer and you could fill it with water and actually put the clothes through the little wringer on it. It came with a clothes line and minature wooden clothes pins.
Sometimes on a hot summer evening we'd play mumbly peg. Don't tell your kids about involves a pocket knife! You had to throw the knife then spread your legs the width of where the knife stuck...and the person who could still get the knife without falling down and was able to spread their legs out the farthest...won.
Midnight we'd sneak out and play tag or other games under the street light. Statues -- you would take the person by the hand and swing them around until they were dizzy, then however they landed when you let go, you had to stay like frozen like that...if you moved, you were out. The first person to move ended the game I guess...I really can't remember. We played stop light or red light gree would get in a line and when the person who called out the lights would say green you moved foreward, when they said stop you had to stop. If you moved after they called stop or didn't stop on were out of the game. Of course we played sand lot baseball.

Every Sunday night the local Glasco park would put on a cartoon show down at Glasco park. (That was about five blocks from our house on Dewey Ave.)A movie screen was put up on the telephone pole to show the movies on and someone had a movie projector. You had to bring your own seat. We'd bring towels or a blanket and share with our friends. Everyone waited excitedly until it got dusk and dark enough to show the movie. We all cheered when Woody Woodpecker came on the screen with his kooky laugh and the entertainment for the night had begun.
We'd pass around home made popcorn and you brought your own soda pop in a bottle or a pitcher of koolaid to share with your group. The kids seemed much nicer, harldy anyone ever stood up and got in your way so you couldn't see the movie. Some of the most wonderful nights I had were watching those cartoons. On Saturdays the park had a craft session and for a nominal fee someone taught us a new craft.
Life was simpler in those days and a toy didn't always cost a fortune like it sometimes does now. We played our simple games over and over and they were always fun. We loved to sit down with dot to dot bocks (connect the dots), a color book and crayons and color for hours. We would pull out a deck of cards and play war or rummy.

Some of my favorite board games were: Monolpoly, The Game of Life, Ants in your Pants, Hi Ho the Cherry-O, Shutes and Ladders, Go to The Head of The Class, Aggrevation ( a game with marbles similar to Sorry), Sorry, Parcheesi, Dominoes (I never learned to play these), Tiddly Winks (Little plastic disks you would take one disk and click another disk laying on the table with it...and try to flip the disk into a cup provided for it), Pick up sticks, later there was Clue and Scrabble, Yatzee, and Masterpiece.
The boys would get together and shoot marbles. I was a tomboy and could shoot with the best of them. If you didn't have anything else to do on a rainy day there was always checkers or tic tac toe. --- Judith (born in Lancaster, OH), 1947

Secret Sam
I remember a toy that i had and never heard of anyone else having. It was a spy briefcase that included a toy gun that you could shoot while still in the case or remove from the case and use. The gun also had a rocket launcher that worked. There was also a camera in the case that could take pictures from within the case or be removed for outside use. I'm not sure what else was in it but I believe there was more. --- randy- reedley, ca. - 1955
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I owned a "vacu-form" which came with figures, thin plastic plates and a heater that had a pump handle on it to create vacuum. You would put a figure on the heater area, put a plastic plate on top of it and wait until the plate got hot and pliable. Then you would pump the handle and the vacuum would form the plastic around the firure. Then you cut out the plastic figure and in some cases assemble it with other plastic figures. --- randy- reedley, ca. - 1955
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Remember this thing? It was a piece of coathanger like wire bent in a J like shape. With a red balanced wheel that would spin up and down as you pointed it up and down up and down. I remember being mezmerized by this thing and the physics genius it took to invent and market such a simple yet facinating toy! --- Byron, Minneapolis, MN, 1955
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Remco Flying Fox
The 1960 Remco "Flying Fox" was a giant four propeller passenger plane, that sat on top of a simulated cockpit control platform. Throw a switch and the nose, tail and wing lights turn on. Increase the throttles and the left then the right engines engage. Before you know it you were in control of a fully functional air vehicle. You could change your air speed with the throttle control, you can dive, climb, bank left or right. I still remember the wonderful sound it made. --- Michael Lerner, Cranford, NJ (born 1956)
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I remember playing for hours with Colorforms, which were playsets consisting of plastic cut out pieces that you would stick on to a cardboard background. They were reusable so you could re-arrange the pieces. The most popular ones were the character related (like Rocky & Bullwinkle, Three Stooges, etc). Colorforms first came out in the late 1950s. --- Michael Lerner, Cranford, NJ (born 1956)
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G.I.Joe space suit and frogman outfit...
Oh yes, I loved Hasbro's G.I. Joe with his Mercury space capsule and silver metallic space suit, as well as the orange and black mini-sub and orange wet suit (we called it a "frogman outfit" back then. I had a black plastic bazooka (don't remember the name of this) with a big red lever on top... you pumped the lever as many times as you could manage and then when you pulled the trigger a huge burst of compressed air shot out. Don't think this was the same as the "Whammo Air Blaster" previously mentioned; it's described as a pistol while this was a great big thing, at least 4' long.

The fire engine referred to was sold at Texaco -- at least the one I had was! -- about 2' long with a garden hose connector on the side to make the water cannon mounted on the back actually squirt water.

Slinky -- the weird part is that they still sell Slinkys (Slinkies?) but now they're plastic. It's just not the same without that characteristic sound (chizz, chizz, chizz).

I had some kind of doll (er, action figure, 'scuse me) who was an alien of some sort; don't remember his name. He had pointed ears like Mr. Spock, had a ray gun in his hand that had various plastic attachments to go on it, and wore a rather Roman-looking silver helmet, a dark blue outfit, and a silver backpack (that conveniently doubled as his battery case). There were buttons on his backpack that made his ray gun fire and light up, his eyes light up red, and a round geometric emblem on his chest light up, all with accompanying sound effects. Anyone remember his name?

Hmmm. What about... not Lite Brite, with the pegs that you used to make light up pictures, but the other toy I cant recall the name of... it had a base similar to a Lite Brite except flat, and had clear plastic rods, domes, etc. that you could use to build futuristic cities that lit up from underneath in different colors... just like what our cities would be like someday, say in the year 2000, perhaps... :-) More memories to come. --- Alan Seeger, Springdale, AR (grew up in Okahoma City, OK) 1959
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Captain Action
How many remember when in 1966 Captain Action first arived on shelves ? Captain Action was a 12" Action figure put out by Ideal toys who with the
help of the accessories packs you could buy, would turn into 9 different super heros. I recieved him on Christmas Morning of that year along with two of the accessoires packs, Captain America and the Phantom, which my Father had picked out during Christmas shopping. I have long suspected his selections were the ones he liked himself, And as the Ideal commerical would say " Mr. Machine says, It's a wonderfull toy, It's Ideal ! " --- Michael R. Bklyn, New York 1958

Whamo SEBP
Remember Wham-O Superelasticbubbleplastic from the 1960s. It came in a tube and you put a little dab of it on the end of a plastic tube. By blowing into the tube you were supposed to make large multi-colored plastic round shapes. All I can remember is blowing and blowing and blowing into the tube and nothing happening! My cheeks ached! The plastic did have a funky smell (sorta like the Testor's Model Airplane glue).--- Michael Lerner, Cranford, NJ (born 1956)
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Aurora Monster Models
<<Aurora Monster Models>> Building Aurora model figures took up alot of time when we were kids. The model displays always looked much better in the store than when we built them ourselves. Remember going to the hobby shop to buy the model glue and small bottles of paint? Favorite monster models were the Mummy and Phantom of the Opera. Another favorite included the Dempsey-Furpo Fight scene. We loved to blow these models up with cherry bombs. Too bad, they are quite collectible now. --- Michael Lerner, Cranford, NJ (born 1956)
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Robot Commando
My Robot Commando by Ideal. It shot ping pong balls out of its arms and rockets out of its head. --- Barbara, Denver CO, 1953
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Tammy doll
There were probably lots of girls that had Ideal Toy Company's Tammy doll instead of Barbie. Her figure looked more "teen like" that her famous competitor (and that appeased some mothers). For a few years she did have a lot of clothes and accessories available across the aisle from the Barbie stuff at Marshall Fields toy department. She had a family, including a little sister Pepper. --- Terry, Chicago, 1956

Memories from "Down Under"
G'day cobbers (Austrailian for friends)! Just reading your comments brought back a flood of memories,Mousetrap, Twister etc. but the one that sticks in my mind most is Monopoly. Hours and hours of it! I always went bankrupt so quickly but my big brother and my cousin would go on playing the same game for what seemed like days! Aah, it was great, my childhood and I try to share alot of the old games with my children now. I think they feel a lot of them are pretty tame but when we go to the shack where there is no t.v. no phone etc we get down to some great boardgame playing!.Thanks for the trip down memory lane guys!regards from Downunder! --- Janita K Adelaide, South Australia, 1954

The Marx "Zoom Mobile"
I had a Marx Zoom Mobile when I was a kid and it was the BEST toy I ever had. It was bright red with a real trunk and an electric motor. I could ride down the sidewalk at a dangerous 1.5 MPH. That was until my evil older brother jumped off our bunk bed and broke the steering wheel. I've never been the same since.
After substantial therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and copious amounts of prescription psychotropic agents I have come to grips with the fact I may never see such a fine toy again.
Thirty years later, my brother made a futile attempt to atone for his despicable behavior by buying my daughter a Barbie Electric Lamborghini.
I, unfortunately can not fit in it. I am not appeased by his pathetic attempt at compensation and I plot his demise on a daily basis. --- Keith, Levittown, NY, 1962
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Roll Caps on the Sidewalk
Know what I've been thinking about lately? I can't seem to get it out of my mind...dammitt, I'm going for it! I'm going to go buy a roll of caps (do they still even sell them)? I'm going to get my hammer and on a warm summer night I'm going to go out and hunker down on my front sidewalk, and I'm gonna pop them by hitting with my mighty hammer:). And for the loudest grandest finale I'm going to hit a whole roll all at once! --- David, Spokane, Washington, 1953
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The Great Garloo
When I was six years old I remember the christmas of 1959 I got a green robot with Green fishlike scales and a devil like green head This toy was called "The Great Garloo" I wanted this robot so bad I could'nt wait for my aunts & uncles to leave on Christmas day just so I could have him all to myself and not share him with anyone especially my two sisters who to this day still tease me about my affection for this toy. I can still recall the long green remote control cord he was attached to and the only thing he could really do was move foward or backward and bend over with an enormous roar. Please any of you Great Garloo owners please be proud! We are a special breed of people. --- Larry M., Queens Village, N. Y., 1953
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My red pedal car
I would get up every morning, head to the garage and get out my red pedal car. I rode that car up and down the sidewalk for hours,it seemed. I also had a very large erector set with which I built a ferris wheel and hooked it to the motor.I put tiny toys on it as riders.I guess the best toy was a Lionel train set,which had every car and all the landscape equipment.To this day I have no idea what happened to all of those toys but, I know what happened to all the memories. --- Lois Banacki Osceola,In 1949
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ENLARGE-O-GRAPH would prjoect small transparencies onto larger surfaces so you could trace them...JIMMY JET made if feel like you were flying an airplane.....Anyone remember ODD-OGG?, he was half turtle and half frog! ... and my all time favorite-SUPER-SNOOPER, it looks under, over, around anything (all done with mirrors in a periscope looking device)... --- Bernie W. Levittown, PA 1956
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Misc. Toy Memories
Reading these wonderful memories, have been a treat. One Christmas I remember my father must of thought even though I was a girl I needed to have a nice shiny car run by batteries and it had working headlights in my collection of toys. My gram bought me a nice pedal car. I remember an old ratty teddy bear, barbies, ginny dolls, and of course paper dolls. My baby dolls had to look realistic, and dressed with with real baby clothes. I can still smell that sweet scent of baby clothes in the Woolworth dept. store. My gram would bring me there by bus on Saturday's. Going downtown was so much fun. My mom would ask when are you going to stop playing with dolls!! Well I have to say, at 52, I have several dolls, a tin doll house, a large wooden doll house, which I had
fun decorating. A BiltRite pram, in excellent condition. And would love to find a Hedstrom carriage of the fifties, LOL My mom laughs that my passion for my dolls has never stopped. I get a kick out of seeing my youngest son of 19, toys he played with are in the antique stores already. I wouldn't part with the few things I do have and hope to find more. How about marbles, the little tin crayon box we use to have in school. We would hope to get a good box when the teacher would pass them out. How about the smell of freshly mimeographed papers in school. I'm even lucky enough to have the same friend from the fourth grade still. I'm glad I was a baby boomer! --- Jennie, Nashua, N.H. 1948

I was born in 1957 and six monthes ago I have started buying back all my old childhood toys on ebay. The best remembered were:
Chatty Cathy - blond with blue dress & white apron, Miss Revlon Lady Doll - blond with peach formal dress with tulle overskirt, Dee & Cee Baby Sue Doll with brown saran hair, pink dress & bonnet (still have), Black stuffed rocking horse with strap on red saddle and reins, rockers were in red.
Pink & Blue doll carriage, Canopy doll bed with white bedding, 2 Skippers dolls, blond & redhead (still have), clothing and accessories, 2 Tressy Dolls, 1 Mary Make-up Doll (still have), Red plastic building bricks with yellow doors & windows, cardboard roofs, navy blue super ball, indian rubber balls (lots of ball games against the wall), Barbie Queen of the Prom game from 1963 (still have)
Big Brown Teddy Bear, spinning tops with string, paper dolls with magic stick on clothes
Books: The Toybox (still being published), Heidi with beautiful illustrations
Kenner Give A Show Projector with comic slides (still have)
Slinky, Clackers in blue, Silly Putty, Pogo Stick - especially loved this
Roller Skates with key that attached to your shoes.
Archie Comic Books, Richie Rich, Little LuLu, Wendy & Casper, Donald Duck
Hoola Hoop, Skipping Ropes, yoyo
Jumpsies (elastic joined together, 1 kid at each end hold end elastic and others jump over it at ankle, knee, arm's length, waist, underarm, shoulder, ear, head, and high sky lengthes. When you could not jump over, it was your turn to hold the elastic. Played this everyday at school in good weather., Marbles, Cap Guns & Holsters, --- Games:Battling Tops, Mouse Trap, Operation, Kerplunk, Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly, Stock Ticker, Careers, Life, Pit, Popeye Cards that made a cartoon when fanned, Twister, Masterpiece.
Paint by Numbers, especially in Black Velvet, Plastercine and moulds, Footsie , Etch A Sketch, Puzzles, ColourForms, Plastic Soldiers and Farm Animals, Racing Car Set, Musical Toy Piano --- Susan, Ontario, Canada, 1957

... Authentic Battle Sounds
What kid born in the 50's and 60's doesn't remember Marx playsets? Davy Crockets Alamo, Fort Apache, Battle ground and my personal favorite The Giant Battle of the Blue and Gray! I spent hours in my backyard digging trenches,putting up breastworks and planning battle strategies for those heroic men in blue and gray. The giant set even had a record with authentic battle sounds you could play to increase the realism. After I had them all set up I would stand back and shoot them with my Daisy BB gun. I still have most of the soldiers and when I look at the dents the BB's put in them, I am instantly whisked back to those days of fierce backyard battles. What Fun it was!!! ---- Wally, St Louis, MO, 1953

Tressie Doll
Does anyone remember a doll called Tressie ? the hair came out of the top of her head? --- Denise, Ormond Beach, Fl. (originally from the Philly area)1955

I think the doll that Denise is thinking was called Beautiful Crissy. She had reddish hair and you had to push her belly button and pull her ponytail for her hair to grow. She had a knob on her back that you'd turn to make her hair short again…. I also remember Johnny West and Jane West cowboy dolls that had all kinds of plastic clothes and accessories. --- Mary, NJ 1961

My cousin and I also had a Tressie dolls. I think she was a blonde with a section of hair that "grew" from the top of her head. My favorite toys were my collection of Troll dolls and the Troll Cave House. Does anyone else remember these? Colorforms were another favorite of mine. Creepy Crawlers brings back memories of burning rubber. Midge got my vote for best all around Barbie doll. I am sure I have forgotten a lot more than I remember. I will have to revisit this page to jog my memories. --- J.S.D., Central IL,1955

Eloise Rag Doll
I miss my Eloise rag doll with her crooked smile and yellow yarn hair! --- Hannah, Norwalk,CT, 1948

Lost in Space, Thimble City, Golferino...
I can remember the following toys: Lost In Space action set that included a styrofoam Jupiter 2 which housed a motorized Chariot. The Chariot would ride around a track made out of plastic tubing. It also included the plastic figurines of the entire cast.

Thimble City - a small 3 dimensional city on a board which sat up on legs so that cue sticks with magnetic tips could be maneuvered underneath to move vehicles and people around the city.

Games remembered include Golferino featuring a funny looking golfer dude in the center of a 9 hole golf course. You could pivot the golfer to face each hole and try for hole in ones. Also, Crazy Clock which was a Mouse Trap spinoff where the object was to awaken a sleeping man from his bed via a Mouse Trap like concoction. - J. Mourer, Phila., PA (Born 1958)
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More Mousetrap Memories
I wanted to mention the board game "Mousetrap". My Grandparents had this game at their house. After spending a half hour putting all the pieces together, you had this colorful, plastic, Rube Goldberg contraption. When you turned the handle, gears would go around, and marbles would drop, and levers would flip, and this little cage would rock down this slotted post to fall over one of the mouse playing pieces. I'm not sure we ever actually played the board game (which was probably pretty dull), but we loved putting together that contraption. --- Nat, Washington, DC, 1960
Did Anyone ever actually PLAY the GAME?!

To Nat of Washington, DC, who asked did anyone ever actually PLAY the GAME?! I have to give this answer an unequivocal NO! My kids have the game and they also went straight to building the mousetrap and losing the game pieces. --- Pam, League City, Texas, 1961

Whammo Air Blaster
If ever there was an annoying toy, it was the "Air Blaster" by Whammo. I certainly remember the many Christmas hairdos mussed from the toy aisle. Unfortunately, the big, black lever cocking pistol could also send pencils and other projectiles flying through the air. It was a great toy. As I recall, the plastic housing near the lever base broke on mine. --- Gary, Arlington,Texas,1951
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Comedian Joel Hodgson used this to “blow dry his hair while camping.”

Pedal Car/Fire Engine
Does anyone remember a little red fire was a little car type thing , of course metal, and it had those pedals that you put your feet on and they kind of rotated in a circle to make you go? It is so weird because I can remember every detail. Funny enough this little fire engine didn't
even belong to me. A little girl up the street had everything you could imagine. When she would go out of town I would go down the sidewalk , oh, probably 6 houses or so, go into her garage and get the little red fire engine. I must have traversed that sidewalk a million miles. I can still recall stopping when my legs would tire from pedaling and climb one of the crate myrdle (?) trees that lined the grass area between the sidewalk and the street. Can you believe that I have more pictures of me in this fire engine thing than you can imagine? Who took these pictures? Didn't they know I was temporarily "theiving" ? And, didn't they wonder exactly where did this new toy come from? But, I always put it right back in the same spot so nobody would know it had been moved; making sure the wheels were lined up in the same position when I got it. Neat memories.

Just the other day my sister and I were talking about old times...the red fire engine came up......she thought it was mine! --- Phillis Tubb, Woodville, Texas -1964
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Anyone remember Operation? We never followed the instructions, just went straight to pulling out the bones & butterflies with the tweezers. --- Pam, League City, Texas, 1961

Hula Hoops
I remember winning the hula hoop contest at a local store here in my home town. I came in first place and I remember getting a Barbie doll with my money.....they were the good OLE days. --- Linda, Richmond, VA, 1950

Shoop Shoop Hula Hoops. Remember them? They had little beads in them that would make a "shoop" noise as they slid around in the tubing. --- Katherine, Decorah, IA, 1955

Politically Correct? What’s That?
Non P.C. toys? Johny Eagle guns! I guess about half-size, pretty detailed, M1 and Colt 1911 auto pistol, fired little spring-loaded bullets (how's that for an ongoing market? I lost all of mine in about a day) Coolest things in the world, and they'd probably get me shot these days :( --- Duncan, Baltimore, MD, 1956

Thumbellina and Little Kiddles
I remember my most favorite baby doll (Thumbelina - pictured on left). They came out with a new one last year, but it just sits there. Definitely not the same. Mine had a little wind up knob on the back. When you wound her up she would move just like a little baby. I loved her to pieces. Took her in the tub with me, washed her hair, cut her hair. By the time I was through with her, she was practically bald and the knob broke. As ratty looking as she was, I wish I still had her. I think my kids would get a good laugh at the way she looked. If I close my eyes I can still see her. Little Kiddles were tiny little dolls, about an inch tall that came in little plastic bottles and would have their own scent. One was Honeysuckle Rose. Don't know what I remember that one in particular, but there were a bunch of them - each with their own scent.
Where are these types of toys today? --- Lore, Chicago, IL, 1958
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Gosh, it has been a lot of years, but I think you shook dice and had to get certain numbers in order to get the part you needed. It consisted of a body, antennae, 2 eyes, 6 legs and a nose thing. You had to get the numbers in order otherwise you could not "build" your Cootie bug. First one to complete the entire bug....WON. I wonder where that game is now? --- Cheryl from Hutchinson, MN, 1948
(Editor’s Note: Cootie still exists - the original was made by Shaper Toys - now the bugs are bigger and rounder - not so menacing looking)
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Tumble Bug
Another toy from Shaper was Tumble Bug - you raced little weighted capsules down a multi-laned curvey ramp. --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953
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Name that Toy:
A purple/black/gray plastic castle w/ a spring platform in the turret that luanched plastic bats when you hit a little a little green(?) button at the bottom. I wish I knew that grandma was gonn' throw this one away, because I've never seen another one. I can't remember how it was played w/ but I liked it! The other toy I liked I can't remember what it was called, but when the hatches were down it looked like and oil tanker,but when they came up it could fire rubber tipped spring powered missiles & depth charges and it was motorized!
All of those cheap Japanesse & Chinesse toys that you could buy at the corner store were cool too! From little sparker wheels w/ colored plastic windows w/ a spark shower mechanism underneath powered by like a rack & pinion you'd push w/ your thumb & ray guns that you'd pull the trigger they'd spark and a projectile would move back & forth. Space ships that had flashing lights & cockpit bubbles that would zig & zag across the floor also locomotives that operated the same way. Amen to the one about grandma attic. It was the best! Our play area was called the " Back Room " as central heat wasn't common unused rooms had the door closed to conserve the heat from the coal stove in the sitting room. Next to being unsupervised in the " Great Outdoors " nothing came close. --- Shawn, Sykesville, Maryland, 1959

Poor Pitiful Pearl
Of all the toys I had, I remember my Poor Pitiful Pearl doll the most. In fact, she may be what first brought out my lifelong dedication to service. She was not a beautiful doll, perfect for the way I felt about myself, and she was dressed in rags. She was someone who really needed my care.
I also kind of liked my Betsy McCall (from the magazine) - she was no glamour girl either and it was fun that she was articulated at the knees, elbows, etc. I liked her clothes - my grandmother would take me shopping at Hengerer's (in downtown Buffalo NY) for new outfits. Betsy Wetsy is the only other doll I remember.
I had a hula hoop, but could never really master it. We really weren't into toys that much - I could play with just about anything and be happy. I made Peter Pan characters out of bobby pins, went places in a boat made of blocks, created obstacle courses out of lawn furniture, tires, and trash cans. Sometimes I think we spoil our kids buying them all the toys we never had. Hmmmm.... --- Sandy Atkins, Fullerton, CA (grew up in Buffalo/Eggertsville, Tonawanda, NY), 1951

Betsy McCall - a paper doll in every issue of McCall’s Magazine. Grandma used to save them for me. --- Tammy, St. Paul, MN 1953

Super Stuff
Super Stuff came in a cottage cheese container as a pink or green powder that you mixed with water and smelled minty but was the texture you described. Flubber came on a card much like Silly Putty but was clear with bubbles throughout. It bounced and would also transfer comics. I remember it pretty well because I had a bad case of the mumps that year and my parents gave me so much of the stuff that after combining them all together it would no longer bounce, and after about a million comic transfers it became black like tar. --- Wally, St Louis, Mo,1953

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Sting Ray Bikes
(See the Transportation Page)
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G.I. Joe
Boy did I love that G.I. Joe doll and all the accessories you could buy with it. I had the Mercury space capsule and the Fire truck, both for the G.I. Joe doll. The fire truck even had a workable water pump and the Space capsule came with a yellow 45 rpm record that had the final 10 seconds countdown. I had a great time with that toy. Another favorite G.I Joe set was the diver with real lead weights. --- Luc Fontaine, Quebec, Canada, 1960
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I had the basic model in OD fatigues, boots, and not-to-scale dogtags. Remember the stick-on rank and insignia? My Joe was promoted several times - skipped Pfc and went straight to corporal, eventually made M.Sgt. Also had a GI Joe knockoff called Fighting Yank. Later got the official deep-sea diver outfit, which included a rubberized canvas suit and gloves, realistic bronze-colored plastic helmet with a faceplate that opened, boots and weight belt with, as someone else pointed out, real lead weights. Also included were two rubber hoses that hooked to the back of the helmet - you blew into these to make Joe bubble underwater. Don't know how many times I filled up the bathtub for the sole purpose of taking Joe for a dive. The water had to be at least a foot-and-a-half deep, for acceptable realism. Later bought the space capsule and spacesuit off my friend, who had gotten tired of it (he had everything). The suit was made of some shiny, silver, aluminized fabric, and seemed like a pretty decent replica of what was worn by the Mercury astronauts. Again had to fill the bathtub repeatedly, for simulated splashdowns. The capsule probably met the fate of most of my plastic models, i.e. it's likely I torched it with lighter fluid, homemade black powder, or my dad's propane torch (which could melt glass,
for cryin' out loud). Or possibly some combination of the above, I just don't remember. Recently saw the reissued space capsule, GI Joe, and spacesuit in Toys R Us. I may have to go buy it. --- Scott, Rocklin, CA, 1958

Dinky Toys
Those were the best diecast metal cars and truck. The quality was great and the detailing was near perfect. They even had the Thunderbirds serie and the Captain Scarlet serie. I wish they would still make them. --- Luc Fontaine, Quebec, Canada, 1960

Creepy Crawlers
I had a Creepy Crawler set with lots of metal bug molds. You would pour PlastiGoop in the molds, cook them on a little hotplate setup, and make your own bugs! The Goop would come in lots of colors, including glow-in-the-dark white. I created a whole zoo full of critters! There was also a similar setup called Incredible Edibles, where you could make bugs that were (almost) eatable! Mom didn't appreciate my insect infatuation - I was always scaring her with them. --- Anthony, Austin, TX, 1959
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Major Matt Mason
In the late 60's, when the US and Russia were both racing to put a man on the moon, an astronaut doll was introduced named Major Matt Mason. There was an amazing array of stuff you could get with him - lunar crawlers, space stations, rockets, even alien enemies and allies. Even the foot-tall G. I. Joe was pretty tame compared to this little 6-inch explorer. We would spend hours waging space battles in the back yard, utterly destroying dad's lawn to make craters and tunnels. --- Anthony, Austin, TX, 1959

Taylor Aerocar
One of my favorite childhood memories was playing with a Gladen Models Aerocar model.
This was a model of the Taylor Aerocar used on the Bob Cummings show. An actual flying car that I have had the pleasure of riding in several times, thanks to Ed Sweeney, the current owner of that Aerocar.
The model had removable wings and aft fuselage like the real Aerocar, and had a rubber band driven pusher prop that would actually push the Aerocar model across the floor.
Being a kid, I busted my first, so I got a second model. Busted that one too. Now as an adult, I have looked everywhere for one of these models. Last time I heard, the value was about $250, if you could find one. I haven't yet. ---Randy, Orange, Ca., 1952

Better Than Toys
Grandparents Attic
My grandparents had a great attic....filled with old paraphernalia....dusty and very outdated clothes, hats, coats, home decorations, etc....we used to play for hours. We'd imagined how they looked when they were dressed in the clothes and tried on the clothes ourselves. And we'd set up a room with the decor, trunks and old chairs.
My grandparents were quite okay with this....they also made the offer (much to my parent disapproval) that we could take any one item, we really wanted. They were quite surprised when my sister and I decided on a pair of antlers....we thought how great they would look in our room at home.....

We would also take many car trips. My parents, always the teachers, would buy flashcards to help us get a jump start on our next year of school. It helped pass the time and it worked....I was the first kid in class that knew all the state's capitol cities. --- Beth, Yankton, SD (then... St. Paul, MN), 1954

The Block Box
Grandpa and Grandma had a “Block Box” that all of us cousins loved to play with when visiting their house in Sister Bay. It consisted of wooded spools and blocks. That’s it. Just spools and blocks. But it kept us quiet and busy for hours! --- Julie, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1953

Jewel Tea Barbie
Every little girl loved Barbie. For me, it was 1964. I was 6 years old, and my grandmother bought a Barbie for me and one for my sister from the Jewel Tea man. (Remember the Jewel Tea man?) I so wanted a Barbie with long hair. I loved long hair. I always had a pixie cut, as it was the style for little girls. My aunt talked my grandmother into purchasing a Bubble Cut Barbie, as she had constantly set, short blonde hair, and she thought the doll looked like her. At first I was disapointed, but I got over it. My sister and I had many hours of fun playing with those and other Barbie dolls. And.. don't forget the shoeboxes. They were the beds, cars, pools, or whatever else Barbie needed. In the 1960's Barbie had yet to have her own store bought EVERYTHING. --- Maria, Schenectady, NY 1958

Mr. Ed Talking Puppet and “The Game of Life”
I can remember a big favorite of mine was a hand puppet. It was of Mr. Ed, the talking horse. It had a sting so he could "talk" like the chatty cathy dolls. I just thought he was wonderful! --- Sandy, Boscawen, NH , 1958
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I recall how much fun we had with the neighborhood kids all getting together to challenge one another in a game of "Life". It was a board game, and we spent many hours with it, over and over again! --- Sandy, Boscawen, NH , 1958
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Mattel Printing Press
Mattel had a printing press that you could set your own type (backwards on a dymo-type tape) and stick the tape type on a drum that you would ink and print. It was extremely long to "typeset” a whole “newsletter” and it looked pretty bad, but I thought it was SOOOO COOL - and it probably had a positive effect on me becoming a graphic designer today. --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

1959 Toy Computer?
Anyone ever have one of these? My older sister did and we had a great time with it. I believe it was the first computer type of toy to be marketed around 1959. You would have a card with a multiple choice question on it and feed it to machine. The answer would come on in lights. Does anybody out there know what im talking about? --- Nina, Pittsburgh, PA 1953

The Toy Computer Nina is referring to was the Hasbro Thinkatron Toy Computer from the 1960s. --- Michael Lerner, Cranford, NJ (born 1956)

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Remember Clackers? They were 2 strings on a ring with hard plastic balls attached at the end. You held the ring and with a real fast motion moved your hand up and down so the balls would hit above and below. I think they were banned from the market after a while due to the balls shattering. They were alot of fun though. I remember driving my parents crazy with them. --- Brenda, Reading, PA, 1961

Easy Bake Oven
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I remember Easy Bake Ovens - one light bulb (I think it was 60 watt) heated this metal “oven” that was painted pink with fake controls. It actually baked little cakes that came in miniature cake mix boxes. --- Jennell, St. Paul, MN 1952

Iloved making those little mini cakes!! You had to use the special easy bake mixes and they tasted great every time. --- Nadine, Penndel, PA 1963

Tickle Bee
I remember my tickle bee game with the bee and magnetic wand that would move the bee around the board. I was only 3 or 4 at the time but i really loved that one. I also remember the red plastic squares with skunks on them and you lined them up or something like dominos and when you got the big skunk they fell over??? If anyone can remember this one help me out! P.S. I still have my chatty cathy doll and she still talks. She sounds like she has had a few margaritas but she is still way cool!! --- Nina, Pittsburgh, PA 1953
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Misc. Dolls
Among my favorites on my toy collection were my Betsy Wetsy doll, my Shirley Temple doll, my prized Revlon doll which I won at an amusement park in Keansburg, NJ and my Ginny doll. Naturally all doll clothes awere kept in a study doll trunk. I also had my Ricky doll which was put out after Lucille Ball gave birth to Ricky Junior.

I was 10 years old when Barbies came out. My mother wouldn't buy me one because she disproved of their anatomy ---felt I was too young for such a doll. When I finally got my Barbies oh how I delighted with the outfits I could get. I even began making my own Barbie clothes.

My all time favorite paper dolls were my Katy Keene dolls which I believe were also in a comic book too. --- Mary, Little Neck, NY, 1950

Box Carts (Go Carts)
I remember my first box cart. You got a 2 x 4 piece of wood, cut to appropraite length of maybe 3 feet long. Then you needed a solid wooden box, usually the kind that milk was delivered in to the stores. With the opening facing inward, you nailed the short end of the box to the end of the 2x4, so the box was laying on the 2x4. Next you needed one roller skate which you promptly separated into two parts. One part was nailed to the underside of the 2x4 at the front(and under the box) while the other half was nailed to the underside of the 2x4 at the rear. The boxes were proudly decorated with bottle caps which were nailed on. You rode the box cart like a scooter. --- Mary, Little Neck, NY, 1950

Give-A-Show Projectors
Give-A-Show Projectors! I think they were red plastic things that showed film strips on the walls and ceilings. - Tammy, Milwaukee, WI, 1954

Monster Magnet
I remember the Monster Magnet, by Whammo. It was a horseshoe shaped plastic thing with very powerful magnets on each end. Coming up from the magnet ends, the plastic was shaped like muscular arms. At the top of the horseshoe arc, there was a monsters face with an opening in the middle (the monster's mouth) that served as a handle. Man with that thing, you could pick up anything made of metal including my Stingray bike with the banana seat, sissy bar, high rise handle bars and racing slick back tire. --- Paul, Janesville, WI,1957
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Billy Blast Off
My brother had a Billy Blast Off doll that had different kinds of space ships. and out fits.i had a Barbie called Tressie. You had to use a key to wind up her hair. --- Cindy Mischka, Temperance, Michigan, 1959
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X-15 Riding Toy
The toy that I had in the late 60's and never saw anyone else have or ever again for that matter, was the X-15.. It was a three wheeled metal riding toy.. The rear wheels did the steering via a joy stick.. The front wheel had pedals on it...It was a silver blue color.. It was patterned after the X-15 that the military had done some testing with. It was the predecesor to the Big Wheel. I think.. I had one as a kid and my favorite memory of it is .... It had a seatbelt in it and one day I flipped upside down in the morning (before the other kids were out ) and couldn't get out because the seat belt would not unbuckle... So my mom had to come save me in her bathrobe.. lol... She was mad... Did anyone else have one of these??? I think we got ours at Sears.. or Santa did. --- Jeff V., 1963
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Cartoon Carousel
I had a little carousel shaped thing with mirrors on all (many) sides that you set on top of special records. When the record played, you would look into one side of the mirrored carousel and see little moving pictures/cartoons which were printed on the label of the record. (Simple animation - like early kinescopes). --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 55126

Misc. Toy Memories
I loved small toys... remember the dolls you put your fingers in for her legs? I think they were called the Ffinger Ding Dolls . The dolls in the small perfumed bottles with big heads and teeny bodies. How 'bout the game where you wound tops on all four corners and pulled the strings (Battling Tops?) And those vibration football games. The Sunshine Family type Barbie Dolls. Oh, remember the rubber bugs you could make by melting the plastic on a mold? Or, those plastic molds you pour white liquid in and they hardened and then you could paint them? Shrinky Dinks - the plastic that you colored on and shrunk it down in the oven. And that t.v thing that played records and the film strip went in the top, and it moved to different frames while the record played? --- karen, michigan, 1965

Working Fire Truck
I can still remember my all time favorite toy. It was a fire truck that hooked up to a regular garden hose (by Tonka?) and really worked. My older brother would lite things on fire and I would put them out. Not sure who made it, but I sure had fun with it. --- Jack, Stevenson, Washington 1959.

Betsy Wetsy
Anyone remember the Betsy Westy doll? You could feed her a bottle of real liquid (whatever you wanted or your mother would let you!)and she'd pee and you could take her into the bathtub. She was all rubber and I think she had hollow limbs-I remember her being heavy with water and having to leave her in the tub to drain out. --- Bev. New Canaan, Ct 1947

Silly Putty
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Remember when you first met Silly Putty? Making backwards prints from the comics in the newspapers and then stretching and contorting the images was so cool! Also, pulling it slowly to a long string, then pulling it quickly and having it snap! --- Anne, Rochester, MN 1962

The Johnny Seven
The Johnny Seven. It was seven guns in one for the ultimate fighting man!. It fired the little white plastic bullets and had a grenade launcher and fired a missile. It was a great toy for playing war or army. --- Wallace, Columbia, SC 1956
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Mad Magazine

How many of us grew up on Mad magazine? We also collected the books (see attached). All great minds were formed on Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, Don Martin, Mort Drucker and Sergio Aragones' work. The best days in my opinion were the William M. Gaines years.

But before I started reading MAD, there were the comic books. One of the best things I remember as a kid was getting my weekly allowance, then going to the local five-and-dime store, and buying candy bars and comics. I loved Big Hunks, Raisinettes, and Charleston Chews. Those were the nickle candy bars. Then I would check out the comics. I went from reading romance comics to Marvel comics (my faves were Spiderman and the Fantastic Four). My father was completely against comics, so my sibs and I would have to hide them. Nothing like reading our comics with a flashlight, under the covers, while the chocolate from the Charleston chew you are eating is sprinkled on the sheets! --- Deborah, Redwood City, CA, 1951
(thanks for the photos!)

Rock’em Sock’em Robots
Remember this? "Ah, you knocked my block off!" --- Carol, Blue Bell, PA, 1964
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My son recently gave me a Bob-O-Loop! I think from the 60s. Paper dolls, were the makers of dreams. I remember that in the 50s I wanted a Revlon Doll more than anything. Then there were the drink and wet baby dolls--Betsy Wetsy and Tiny Tears. Many toys are still around today: Silly Putty, Play Dough, Hula Hoops and paddle balls. I also remember the Mr. Bubble craze. And learning to play Scrabble with Junior Scrabble. Of course we all started off with Candy Land, Uncle Wiggly, Chutes and Ladders, and Bingo. Remember the Go-Fish cards that were shaped like fish? Or the Old Maid card set that featured circus performers and the Old Maid really looked like one! Many of these toys are still around today! --- Kathy, Baltimore, MD 1950

Toy Guns
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When “The Untouchables” became the big hit TV show, Santa Claus brought me and my brother each a “Real” machine gun. This was a big, heavy, chrome looking thing. It looked exactly like the one’s that Elliott Ness used to chase Frank Nitty and Al Capone. It took about 6 batteries to work, made a Ratt-a-tatt sound and you would go through an entire box of caps in nothing flat! Mom got grey real early...and....definitely a politically incorrect toy by today’s standards! --- Mike, Mt. Airy, Md. 1949

Gun Belt Buckle
I had a belt buckle that, when you stuck out your stomach putting pressure on the buckle, a small gun would pop out and fire a cap. --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

The "belt gun" that you are referring to was the "Bat Masterson" derringer gun buckle. Gene Barry played the 1950’s TV “Bat Masterson.” A gentleman gambler who never wore side-arms but was often accused of “dealing off the bottom” by some drunk cowboy. This often lead to the clever “self defense” tactic of keeping his hands on the table while expanding his stomach to trigger the derringer mounted within the belt buckle. Worked every time! --- Mike, Mt. Airy, Md. 1949

Mr. Potato Head
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We had eyes, ears, silly noses, hats and a pipe to stick into a real potato. Now they're a plastic potato with holes, not near as much fun! When I asked my kids where the magic markers were? They looked at me like I was crazy and said, "they're not magic!" --- Linda, Indiana, 1961

Spud Gun
Speaking of potatoes, I had a "Spud Gun" made of metal (I've seen reincarnations of them in plastic). You stuck the end of the barrell into a potato to get a little potato plug (bullet), which shot out of the end when you pulled the trigger. Harmless fun? I don't know, I never heard of anyone putting an eye out with the eye of a potato! --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

Davy Crockett
Do you remember the Davy Crockett craze? ( 1954 ) I still have a Davy Crockett coon skin cap complete with Davy's likeness on the crown. I also still own a leather Davy Crockett belt complete with Davy Crockett belt buckle. I also own a Davy Crockett cap firing rifle and pistol. --- Dave, Cedar Rapids, IA, 1946
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Misc. Toy Memories
Remember Johnny West and Jane West and their poseable plastic horses?? I also had Geronimo and captain murdock!! how about the games don't spill the beans, sorry, the getaway chase game, the sinclair gas station green dinosaur soaps. how about the little soap characters that grew fuzz? remember super stuff
(thanks, I was trying to remember what that stuff was called) - a pink powder that you mixed with water and let sit in the fridge until it was a gooey mix you ran through your fingers? johnny lightning race cars. remember the duncan yo-yo craze in the late 60's? ordering all kinds of cool toys from the backs of cereal boxes? remember the cut out records from the backs of cereal boxes? I still have some from the jackson 5 and the suger bears!! how about roger staubach's monday night football game? or the electric football games where the players vibrated all over the field? --- pete, Norway, MI,1960

My son recently gave me a Bob-O-Loop! I think from the 60s. Paper dolls, were the makers of dreams. I remember that in the 50s I wanted a Revlon Doll more than anything. Then there were the drink and wet baby dolls--Betsy Wetsy and Tiny Tears. Many toys are still around today: Silly Putty, Play Dough, Hula Hoops and paddle balls. I also remember the Mr. Bubble craze. And learning to play Scrabble with Junior Scrabble. Of course we all started off with Candy Land, Uncle Wiggly, Chutes and Ladders, and Bingo. Remember the Go-Fish cards that were shaped like fish? Or the Old Maid card set that featured circus performers and the Old Maid really looked like one! Many of these toys are still around today! --- Kathy, Baltimore, MD 1950

When I was a small kid, I remember going to the five and dime and being able to get those play dress up plastic high heels along with a tiara and wand for a dime (remember those girls?). Some of the best toys were for free though. I would take my mom's old shoe boxes and make castles and doll houses out of them. You could make a whole bunch of things with an oatmeal box too! A fun toy around our house was the hula hoop! Even the parents got into the act with it! You could get a whole bag of plastic Army soldiers, Indians or Cowboys for fifty cents, a bag of marbles for a dime, a bag of tiddlywinks, a bag of ball and jacks, Gene Autry gun and holster set, Erector Sets, Lincoln Logs, chemistry sets, Whirligigs, kites, just too many to name them all. But the best toys of all, were in mom's closet playing dress up with her clothes and shoes! --- Susan, Panama City, Florida 1955

I remember my very first computer....... Hasbro's Think-a-Tron. I still have it along with the original box, and it still works!!!!!!!! Also, my sister had a Hedda-Get-Betta Doll. --- Tom, Dayton, Ohio, Boomer since '52.

Slinkies. And my grandmother's looong staircase. --- Mike, San Angelo, TX 1956

Remember the Slinky commercial? "What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs? It's such a wonderful toy. A Slinky, a Slinky, what a wonderful toy. A Slinky, a Slinky, it's fun for a girl or a boy. Everyone knows it's Slinky." By Hasbro. - or Something like that... somebody correct me! --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

Why I remember this I will never know. I can't even remember my fax number but... "What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkety sound, a spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, everyone knows its Slinky. ..It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy, it's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a's fun for a girl and a boy!" --- Tony, Harrisonburg, VA '64

Marvel the Mustang
This is was a plastic horse that you rode around. Its hoofs had wheels and the legs went forward and back as the horse went up and down. The commercial went something like: “Marvel the Mustang he's almost for real. You saddle him up, spurs on your heel. No winding, no batteries, what a horse, too! Marvel the Mustang he'll ride with you... (again) something like that. --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

Pebbles Doll
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This doll, modeled after Pebbles Flintstone, was inflatable. She had a weighted bottom so she would stay seated. - Gayle, Texline, TX 1956

Super Balls!
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They were hard, black rubber balls that bounced much higher than ordinary rubber balls. The first size was about two inches in diameter, then they got smaller - one inch or so. - Tim, Shoreview, MN, 1953

Super Balls (continued): The black elstomer that they were constructed of left black marks on light colored walls. Mom promptly declared them an "outdoor" use only toy.--- Joe, MI 1962

Secret Agent Toys
Mattel made a series of secret agent toys. For instance, radios and cameras that turned into guns. There were also invisible ink pens and code rings. Coupled with shows like man from U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart - we had a lot of imaginative “secret agent” fantasy adventures. - Tim, Shoreview, MN, 1953

When I was about 12 a secret agent toy called, "Six finger" came out. It was a fake finger you could hold out from your hand that looked very real. The finger shot little plastic projectiles and also came with an end that was an ink pen.--- Gary, Savannah, Georgia 1956

One of my brothers and I had spy briefcases that included a built-in camera and walkie talkie. We learned Morse code using the keyers on the walkie talkies. I wonder whatever happened to ours. Guess I'll have to ask him. --- Jim Lindley, Fairview Heights, IL, 1955
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Six Finger
Six Finger: Remember the commercial? “Six finger, six finger, man alive! How did I ever get along with five?!' --- Tim, Shoreview, MN 1953

Man, am I glad someone else remembers Six Finger! It was the coolest! It had a metal clacker built into the flared base, for sending morse-code, I guess. There were different attachments as mentioned, like a ballpoint pen, a secret message container and others that are on the edge of my memory. All the attachments fit in a hole in the end of the finger. --- Dave, Wichita, KS 1962

SIX FINGER Toy. This neato litte gadget caused me more time in the principal’s office than I care to remember. For me it was First Grade in 1966 that this was the "gotta have it toy." --- Joe- Boise, Idaho 1959

Misc. Dolls
Chatty Cathy: I remember getting her for Christmas from my grandparents. What a neat doll. - Diana, Roanoke, VA, 1953

I remember the Chatty Kathy and later the Chatty Patty dolls. They were the first "pull the string" dolls made that I remember. Joyce, Marlette, MI 1955

I had a Shirley Temple Doll. She had all those famous locks in her hair, which I combed out the first day I got her. My cousin said she was going to snitch on me because I ruined the doll's hair. I said I could put the locks back in. I was lying. I think I invented the first Afro on a white doll. - Eva, San Diego, CA, 1953

Does anyone remember a doll called PEPPER, she was like a barbie doll, but not the Barbie family... she also had a sister named TAMMY and I think a mom and dad too!!... Pepper had red hair(?). I got her in 1963. --- GTede, Pembroke Pines, Florida, 1958

I think it was a toy (stuff) that came out shortly after the original Flubber movie (with Fred MacMurray). It was a powder to which you added water and it made some weird green, or possibly pink gel. Someone else remember this stuff? I can still feel the cold, damp, giggly substance. Help me out here. --- Tim, Shoreview, Minnesota, 1953 (see Super Stuff above)

Mr. Machine
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I had a clear, flat, robot toy called Mr. Machine that showed the gears going around when you wound it up and watched it walk. --- John, Cleveland, Ohio, 1950

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