Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #40 "The Deluxe Edition": Toys/games That I Had As A Kid

Thirteen toys/games that I had as a kid

You know how movie studios release movies on DVD and then at some point in the future, rerelease them with bonus features? Well this week I've used the same concept for my T13. The only difference being is that unlike the movie studios, I'm not going to charge you anything.

Back in June of last year, I listed some of my favorite childhood toys/games for my first T13. Since I was new to the T13 game, I just provided the names of the toys/games. This week I decided to jazz up my T13 debut by adding a little commentary for each entry and photos as well. I hope you enjoy it.

1. Bank Shot- I was working on becoming a junior Willie Moscone when we had this electronic pool game in the late 70s/early 80s.

2. Connect Four- I could be "pretty sneaky" when playing this game.

3. Evel Kneivel action figure and motorcycle- I remember setting up mulitiple obstacles for Evel to jump over. Although his outfit was cheap, the motorcycle and the action figure were pretty durable.

4. Fonzie/Happy Days Pinball Machine- I believe that this was one of my Christmas gifts for 1979. I'm still kicking myself in the ass for ever getting rid of this one.

5. Girder and Panel Building Set- We used to spend hours constructing skyscrapers, bridges, and all other sorts of buildings and fixtures. You could even put a working elevator (controlled by a string/pulley) in the buildings!

6. Green Machine- I recall doing some wicked spinouts in my driveway that seemed so much bigger through my 8 year old eyes. Although the picture below isn't the exact model that I had, it's the same concept.

7. Merlin- Although it looks like a primitive cell phone, Merlin allowed you to play not one, but six games! They were: Tic Tac Toe, Music Machine, Echo (similar to Simon), Blackjack 13, Magic Square, and Mindbender (similar to Mastermind).

8. Mini Frogger- Considering it's size, I remember that the mini-version of Frogger was a pretty good simulation of the full-size arcade game. Although I was fairly good, my skills were not even close to those of George Costanza.

9. Play-Doh Fun Factory- Besides me, who else can still remember the unique taste of Play-Doh? Come on admit it, if you had Play-Doh or knew someone who did, you know you tried it at least once.

10. Quiz Wiz- This was a multiple choice quiz game that I had around 6th/7th grade. I remember that you could buy various cartridges for categories such as sports, history, entertainment, etc.

11. Six Million Dollar Man action figure- The SMDM (aka Steve Austin) action figure had a bionic eye, a bionic arm with pop out bionic modules and roll back elastic skin. Steve took the term "action figure" to a whole new level because he eventually started shacking up with my sister's Barbie doll.

12. Talking View Master- Since it was a talking model, this bad boy had volume control and an optional earphone jack. The two sets that I had were Pinocchio and Scooby-Doo in "That's Snow Ghost" (I recall that Mr. Greenway was the villain busted by those meddling kids). I remember that one of the discs for Pinocchio started to skip, so it would say "Dogfish dogfish sleeps with his mouth open. Come on Geppetto."

13. Tomytronic Tennis- Even though I couldn't play the real game worth a lick, I had a lot of fun playing this handheld version.

What were some of your favorite childhood toys/games?

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pjazzypar said...

Of course I am a fan of Connect Four. I remember Brian having the Bionic Man action figure with the bionic eye and bionic mechanics in one arm. I bet you are kicking yourself about the pinball machine, it would be worth something today. Kind of like my original Barbie and Ken doll. I get ill just thinking about it.

Holly said...

Okay, I admit it ....I know the taste of Play Doh....

Hmmm, my favorite toy was an Easy Bake oven.

Hey - Malcolm - I mention you in my TT-13!



Chelle Y. said...

Merlin! I forgot about him! I loved that toy!

I did not have the "Green Machine," but I did have a "Big Wheel."

I also had a "Speak and Spell." Plus, a few different types of Barbies. My cousins had the Evel Kneivel toy.

Ornery's Wife said...

The only one I recognize is connect four. I think you must be a lot younger than me! :-) I remember several of the characters, but about all I can remember playing with was Barbie dolls. My TT is up, too!
Happy TT!

The Gal Herself said...

First and most important -- I BEAT YOU AGAIN THIS WEEK!

Now, for your TT -- yes, I indulged in Play Doh. There's a website called Perpetual Kid that used to sell a fragrance fashioned after Play Doh, too. And I loved View Master, too.

Robin said...

Connect Four is still popular today. My 7 year old son likes it too.

I remember Merlin - so hi tech at the time. You left off my favorite though - the Magic 8 Ball!

Nicholas said...

I always used to enjoy Connect Four. Still do, actually!

anthonynorth said...

It was Action Man when I was a kid. Loved it.

Candy Minx said...

Terrific idea for TT list Malcolm!

You sound a little like me, loving games...I figure a lot of Canadians play board and card games because of the long cold winters.

Some of the pictures you posted are really cool too.

My TT list week is some of my favourite condiments...kinda nerdy I know...but I love food...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nope, can't say I ate the Play-Doh. Maybe I did when I was too young to remember, but really. I don't remember doing it. I remember being in kindergarten and wondering why ANYONE would EVER like the taste of paste. Or be curious enough to try it.

You had better toys than I did. I'd like to state that for the record.

Laura said...

Well didn't get much better than the Play Dough Fun Factory... :)

Open Grove Claudia said...

There's a bar up the street where you can still play most of those games. We go to play connect four. You should see people - they get so into it!

Happy TT, Malcolm

SandyCarlson said...

2 and 9 were to die for! A talking View-Master? How'd I miss that?

The Happy Housewife said...

I wanted a green machine so bad! One of the neighbor kids had one... little show off!
My favorite toy by far as a kid was Barbies. I think I had every thing they ever made, and if they didn't make it my dad built it for me. Now I won't let my girls near them!

Mad Hatter said...

I remember most of those toys, im surprised that you don't have Stretch Armstrong, the jelly in that was good, might be why im crazy now ???

Hazel Nut said...

I'm another big fan of Connect Four, now I have it in a little hand held electronic version. The best games keep coming back over and over again.

Nap Warden said...

Oh man...The Green Machine! Do they still make that?!? My Bro had The Green Machine, and I was a Big Wheel girl...Great list!

Journeywoman said...

Oh man I LOVED Merlin.

And Connect Four.

DAMN!!! This was a trip down memory lane.

BookMama said...

This is a great TT Malcolm! I didn't have many of those toys (oh, I was so deprived, LOL) but I loved Connect Four and Play Doh. I like to play Play Doh with my kids now, and you should see the amount of toys (shapers, fun factory, etc) that my kids have. And I admit that not only did I taste Play Doh as a kid, I tasted it once after I started playing with BB.

Lori said...

I had a few of those myself:) I dont remember the first one though. Great list...and hey, we survived without cell phones too!! Happy TT.

Adelle said...

I don't think I had any of those toys. My memory of being a child is terrible. I think I remember ripping the legs off of Barbie's LOL Happy T13!

Malcolm said...

Pjazzy: I didn't know that Brian had a SMDM action figure too! I seem to remember that my pinball machine suffered water damage and that is why it ended up going into the trash. Even if this isn't what happened, it makes the loss of the pinball machine go down easier.

Holly: My sister still has her Easy Bake Oven! I remember the chocolate cakes she used to make with that thing... man were they good! Btw, thanks for the mention in your T13.

Chelle: You had some pretty cool toys! Although I didn't have a Speak and Spell, somebody I knew (friend or relative) had one.

Ornery's Wife: Why is your husband so ornery? Is it because you beat him at Connect Four?

The Gal Herself: OK, I see that I have to put an end to your streak because you're getting a little cocky. :-)

Thanks for telling me about the Perpetual Kid site. I bookmarked it.

Robin: I saw some kids playing Connect Four not too long ago.
Although I knew someone who had a Magic 8 Ball, I never owned one myself.

Nicholas: It's nice to see that in this hi-tech world that a game like Connect Four has stood the test of time.

Anthony: Thanks for visiting. Since you had Action Man as a kid, I take it that you grew up in either the U.K. or Australia.

Candy: Thank you! Yes, I have always enjoyed board/card games. Although we played year round, it did help make the winters a little easier.

I was worried that I might not be able to find pics for all of the toys and games. It just goes to show you that you can find damn near anything on the Internet.

Susan: I knew kids in pre-K/kindergarten who ate paste too! That's one delicacy I can say I never tried.

Laura: Not only was it fun, but it was tasty too!

Open Grove C: I wish that there was a place around here where I could play games like Connect Four.

Sandy: You would have loved the Talking View Master. There are even some available for purchase on eBay.

The Happy Housewife: It sounds like you had enough Barbie merchandise to fill up a room. Not to mention a handy father to build stuff for you.

Mad Hatter: Sorry, but I never owned a Stretch Armstrong. Did eating the jelly lead to your blog username?

Hazelnut: I didn't know they made an electronic version of Connect Four. However, it makes perfect sense. I might have to look for one of those.

Nap Warden: Thanks! I was a bit surprised to find out that they still make the Green Machine. They sell for about $100! I'm wondering what the hell it's made out of because I know the one I had didn't cost nearly that much.

Journeyman: It seems like a lot of us either had or played Merlin and Connect Four. If you wanna go further down memory lane here is the link to an old commercial for Merlin:

Bookmama: Thank you very much! If you have any, I would love to see photos of you and your kids having fun with Play Doh.

By the way, you had me laughing my ass off with your admission to eating Play Doh not only as a kid, but as an adult too. I don't think I'll go near it, because I'm afraid my habit will start all over again.

Lori: I don't think Bank Shot was around all that long. Can you imagine if we were magically transported back 30 years? Although it might take awhile, I think that our generation and those older would be OK w/o cell phones, cable TV, etc. Those 25 and under might not be so adaptable.

Adelle: Damn, you were hardcore, lol. If the Steve Austin action figure was around to see you causing harm to Barbie, he might have had to use his bionic grip to keep you in line. :-)

shaunesay said...

oh awesome, I had that Merlin game and had totally forgotten about that until I saw the picture! I loved that thing!

I had the Playdoh fun factory too! ;) and played Connect Four at school!

I had a pinball machine too, i don't think it was themed though. Then my dad got ahold of it and thought it would be neat to enhance it with lights... yeah, it would have been, if he'd ever finished it! And there went my pinball days! it sat in the basement half finished for many years.

marcia said...

Games are so fun I could play scrabble all day

Dane Bramage said...

I see you are a bit younger than me. The Viewmaster I had operated on coal.

I did have a girder and panel set but I was always building space bases and star planes.

Well it is #75 for me as I celebrate three years of blogging. 13 Favorite Thursday Thirteens From Last Year Stop by if you get a chance!

onangelwings said...

Wow, I had that huge talking viewmaster. So funny to see it again. Oh and the Bionic man with the eye, so cool. Had that too.

Jay said...

I had a lot of those too. I loved my Merlin!

I also had these little hand held basketball and football games that were nothing but little blips on the screen and made different little noises for different things that happened. They were pretty entertaining.

SJ Reidhead said...

You make me feel ancient. My Viewmaster was hand powered with no sound.

The Pink Flamingo

Bethany said...

I played a ton of Connect Four while living in Austria. We had a Play-Doh fun set, of many hours of enjoyment with that.I didn't ever have a talking view master, though!!!!

kay said...

We were pretty good with Connect Four at my house. Fun list. Thanks for the vsit. Happy TT

Denise Patrick said...

I remember the Quiz Whiz. I had one and loved it - even as an adult. And, no, I never tasted the PlayDoh, but maybe that was because it didn't appear until I was in my teens. (Yes, I'm dating myself.)

Like Holly, my favorite toy as a kid was my Easy Bake Oven. I had one of the earliest ones.

Alice Audrey said...

I had the Green Machine! I Lurved that thing!

Winter said...

I loved Merlin! Heh. I didn't have one but a friend did. I was a Lego Queen. I loved those things. Happy TT!

Zenmomma said...

What other parts of Steve Austin were bionic I wonder? Hmmmmmm....

pussreboots said...

I played with a number of those as a kid. Aw memories. Happy TT.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I had a mini pac man and a mini asteroids! I think pac man still works and is in the basement :) I had pac man fever! Remember that album?

Malcolm said...

Shaunesay: That's one reason I love the Internet: you can find photos/info etc. of so many things from our childhood like Merlin. That's too bad about the fate of your pinball machine. It sounds like you at least can laugh about it now.

Marcia: Scrabble's a game I haven't played in quite some time. I used to hate it when I would be all set to get a lot of points with a word and the player in front of me would screw things up my spelling something like dog or cat.

Dane: If I had been taking a drink, I might have spit it out from laughter after reading your comment about your View Master. It sounds like you had a different girder and panel set than I, because I couldn't build space bases or star planes. I would have liked to have seen pics of your finished product.

Orangelwings: Although it didn't seem like it at the time, that View Master was rather huge. Thanks for stopping by.

Jay: I recall playing those handheld sports games with the little blips too. When we were in junior high, a lot of the kids would pull them out to play during lunch. Some would even try playing them during class.

SJ: I remember the model of View Master you had. One thing you can say is that it was a lot easier to carry around than the talking model.

Bethany: It's cool to learn that many of these toys/games have worldwide appeal. Thanks for commenting.

Kay: Thanks for returning favor. I'm glad you enjoyed the list.

Denise: Yes... if you were a teen when it came out, you had passed the cut-off age for eating Play Doh. I think it even said on the can "Not to be consumed by anyone over the age of 8".

Alice: I don't know about you, but I ended up breaking one of the steering controls. Probably from spinning out excessively.

Winter: I was a big Lego fan too! We used to build all sorts of things. One thing I hated was stepping on a Lego barefoot... ouch!

Zenmomma: I wish my sister's Barbie was still around because then we could ask her about Steve's bionic parts.

Pussreboots: Thanks for visiting.

Mistress of the D: I would have loved to have had a Mini Pac-Man. I actually heard "Pac-Man Fever" on satellite radio a couple of years ago! Although I didn't have the "Pac-Man Fever" album, I remember it. The entire LP was devoted to songs about video games. It wasn't a big surprise that they never had another hit.

Jenn said...

I dreamed of owning the Green Machine when I was a kid !!!

Toni said...

Okay loved Merlin and had totally forgotten about Quiz Whiz loved it. I didn't know a talking view finder existed!!!

Thank for a great TT


. . . Dallas Meow . . . . >^^< . . . said...

I want that girder and panel buidling set NOW!
And I still play with playdough, we all do, silly putty too!
Never had a viewmaster though, much less a talking one - wow!

Holly Smith said...

Connect Four is one of my favorite games. I like to think that I'm pretty good at it, but I have been known to get beaten by 3rd graders (sometimes they would challenge me at recess when I was teaching).

We had the Girder and Panel building set, but since it was a hand-me-down from my dad's friend's son, we never knew what it was called!

My son just received a little Play Doh set similar to the Fun Factory as a present from his Occup. Therapist (since she won't be seeing him anymore). Honestly I can't wait to open it up and play with it. Just one whiff of Play Doh makes you feel five years old again!

Eve said...

I can tell by your toys that we are not the same generation. I played with cap guns and Betsy Wetsy. Our favorite games were Chinese Checkers, Chutes and Ladders, and Aggravation. No electronic toys for us. Those showed up about the time my daughter was born.

Laura said...

The only one of those I have any experience with is Connect Four...and I was always on the receiving end of the sneakiness...from my brothers..

Great list! Happy T-13!

It's All Good! said...

Connect Four for me. And of course classic Monopoly. Yes, I think I remember Playdoh tasting quite salty? Still love the smell!
Thanks for stopping by!
Brenda :)

Calliope said...

Wow. I'd totally forgotten about Merlin. I remember having a "Kissing Barbie," A Jenny Doll (my sister had Mandy), a Cabbage Patch Preemie, Uno, and the game Perfection. We used Perfection to play "Bomb" instead. Oh! And a Speak and Spell.


Kelly said...

Great list! and yes I'll admit I've tasted Play Doh (and now it's my kids turn to do so!)

Cindy Swanson said...

Great list, Malcolm! Some of those remind me of my younger brother...he was a huge fan of the Six Million dollar man.

My own favorite toys were pretty prosaic...I loved baby dolls and Barbies. But I also loved Slinkies and Etch-a-Sketch...and I had the most fun with a tape recorder that I would talk into, pretending to be a DJ and interviewing people. Turned out to be prophetic!

Chris said...

I didn't have any of these - we only got to play with matches and have relay races with scissors. Happy TT!

Firefly mom said...

I remember these! I loved Merlin! I didn't have the Green Machine, though, I had a Big Wheel. Oh, and the smell of Play Doh ;)

Great TT!

Mine's up if you want to check it out - it's on fashion of the 80's.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Oh, wow! Thanks for doing this one. It was a great blast to the past. I had ~ and loved ~ so many of these games/toys. Merlin, Quiz Whiz, Connect Four... Great list!

Hey, I did one of those lists you said you wished I'd do. 13 Famous People I've Met

Anonymous said...

I have not thought about Quiz Wiz in ... um ... decades. That's when my fascination with useless trivia began. Great TT!

Thanks for stopping by my Do a Little Dance edition.

maggie said...

Wow, some serious memory lane for me there. I had Connect Four, played with Evil Kneivil somewhere (my aunt's house maybe?), was tormented by a kid who drove a Green Machine, played Merlin somewhere (but owned Mastermind), played with Play Doh but don't think I had the fun factory, and I had a Viewmaster but the quiet version.

The game that intrigued me but that I never owned and always wanted was Mousetrap.

The Rock Chick said...

Merlin was one of my favorite toys ever! I played with mine all the time. Probably seems pretty lame compared to today's toys, but I loved it!

I'm also a Connect Four fan! I still love to play that game with the kids

X. Dell said...

I didn't have the talking View Master, just the regular one. I also had a mini pinball machine, although it wasn't the Fonzie one. Otherwise, I had none of the toys you had. I now feel kinda deprived.

Jessica said...

I'm really enjoying your blog! The only toy I had out of these is Connect Four. A talking view master-wow. Didn't know such a thing existed.

Malcolm said...

Jenn: So I take it that dream never came true. :-(

Toni: I'm glad you liked this T13. I didn't realize the Talking View Master was such a well-kept secret.

Dallas Meow: Although I don't play with Play-Doh anymore, that's not to say that I'm too old to do so.

Holly: Until I read the comments of you and others, I didn't realize that Connect Four was still popular. Good call on the smell of Play-Doh! The taste and smell of it are so unique.

Eve: Although the toys you mentioned are from the Baby Boomer generation, all of them (except for Betsy Wetsy) were still around when I was a kid. I had forgotten that I had a cap gun until I read your comments.

Laura: Even though I could be sneaky in Connect Four, I had relatives who could match me in that trait.

It's All Good: Play-Doh sure was salty. It was like the makers of the stuff wanted kids to eat it, lol.

Calliope: We used to play Uno a lot in the 80s. While in college, me and my friends played Killer Uno. This is where we would combine at least 2 decks of Uno cards and play. You can just imagine the number of cards we sometimes had to draw because of the amount of "Draw Fours" and "Draw Twos" in the deck.

Kelly: Just make sure that your kids wash down that Play Doh with a glass of milk or O.J.

Cindy: That's a funny story about the tape recorder. I never had an Etch-A-Sketch, but I played with them when I was a kid. I still have a Slinky. It's on my desk at work. I sometimes play with it to help me think.

Chris: I'll bet that the doctor bills your parents had were a bitch, lol.

Firefly Mom: To paraphrase a line said by Robert Duvall's character in the film "Apocalypse Now", "I love the smell of Play Doh in the morning".

Mrs. Brownstone: Some of my classmates frowned on Quiz Wiz. I guess it reminded them too much of school.

Cajunvegan: That was probably around the time that my love of trivia started too. It was either this or watching game shows like "The Joker's Wild" or "Tic Tac Dough".

Maggie: Mastermind was another game that we had and enjoyed. I forgot all about it. Man, I wanted Mouse Trap too. I think the closest I ever got to playing was seeing the commercials for it.

The Rock Chick: Merlin would definitely struggle to compete with today's hi-tech toys. Still, it might be fun to play for nostalgia's sake.

X. Dell: A mini-pinball would have been fun to have. At least one could take it with them on long trips in the car.

Jessica: I think a lot of these games might have been before your time, lol. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you on here again!

Pop Art Diva! said...

I really see the difference in decades here!
You grew up in the 70s and I grew up in the 50s where I had hula hoops, aluminum slinkys, one of the original Barbies, an Easy Bake Oven, a Betsy Wetsy and Silly Putty!
We did have Playdoh too, but we also had this oily modeling clay that was a favorite of mine, Paint by Number sets and the 64 box of Crayola Crayons. I'll bet you had Etch-A-Sketch, Filo Polymer Clays and Crayola Markers!
What a difference a generation makes!
Pop Art Diva

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