Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Last week, my mom bought my son some Silly Putty, and I was so happy to see that he could derive enjoyment from such a simple toy. The Silly Putty didn’t talk to him, it didn’t move around the room, and it didn’t teach him how to count or spell. All he needed to have fun was a little imagination. I suddenly became nostalgic for other toys from my own childhood. Below are some of my favorites.

I may not be so great at spin class, but I was amazing at Mousercize. I loved putting on this record and dancing along to all of the songs. I think you can still purchase these songs in iTunes, but what’s the point if you don’t have the helpful guide book that came with the record to show you how to do all of the groovy moves?

Garbage Pail Kids
It’s wonderful how so many characters and toys created for children nowadays impart all sorts of valuable lessons about individuality, tolerance, and feelings. Garbage Pail Kids did the exact opposite and I collected them all. The best part was that every pack came with a stale, sugary piece of chewing gum that would help to loosen any teeth I had not yet lost.

Cabbage Patch Dolls
I’m pretty sure that Garbage Pail Kids were made to parody these dolls, although they really didn’t need much help to make them look disturbing. Each doll came with a birth certificate with the name of your doll. I think mine was named Cissy. I recently visited the American Girl store, and those are some beautiful dolls. Cabbage Patch Dolls? Not so much. But I still loved mine, which I guess you could say taught a valuable lesson in loving something no matter what it looks like.

All of the children’s apps I buy for my son have some sort of mathematical, verbal or cultural lesson incorporated into the game (or at least I tell myself that to justify the purchase). As far as I can remember, all of the Atari games involved hitting balls, eating dots, or digging holes. I didn’t learn a single thing from any of them, and they were all amazing. Joust, Centipede, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, Asteroids, I loved them all.

I wasn’t the most artistically inclined child, so I mainly used those little plastic choking hazards to spell my name over and over again in bright lights. Apparently, they now make a Lite-Brite app for your iPhone. Lazy!

Speak & Spell
I think the voice from Speak & Spell was Siri’s grandfather, because they really sound alike. Seriously, is anyone else surprised that with all of the advances we have made in technology, we have made no improvements when it comes to creepy computerized voices?

What old school toys are you most nostalgic for?

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