There are a lot of toys that come out and make me say, "Man, I wish I had that when I was a kid." The truth though, while the newer toys are updated versions, in most instances, they're also just bad replicas. The kids of today don't even realize that they are getting slighted on so much awesomeness, because the toys of yesterday's past were the the jam! Here's a list of some of the best toys that remind me of the good ol' days!
1. TEDDY RUXPIN
He was no ordinary bear. No, Teddy Ruxpin might seem a little creepy to our adult peepers, but once upon a time this bear was the business! He was the first of his kind, with eyes and a mouth that were animatronic, mimicking, a cassette tape in his back (remember those). He became best friends with many kids, ranging from preschoolers to 10 years old. And by 1990, Teddy literally stole the show and became a bear with a net-worth in the billions. He may even be on his way back!
2. CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS
Believe it or not, but a 21-year old college student by the name of Xavier Roberts made fabric sculptures from a quilting technique called "needle molding." Strangely, that technique exploded into a line of dolls called, Cabbage Patch. Instead of purchasing them, you paid an adoption fee. It was a cute way for little girls everywhere to get their first taste of motherhood.
Hasbro first introduced Lite-Brite in 1967, but it didn't become popular until the 1980's. If you aren't familiar with this toy, it was a way for kids to be creative by using colored plastic pegs, a pegboard, and a light box to make a 3D design. The one negative was; if you happened to step on one of those pegs, you would be found crying because it hurt like a b..., well you get where I was going, right?
This one almost doesn't need explaining, but the original Nintendo was released in America in 1985, and was an instant success. What's more, it made two Italian plumbers instant celebrities. And, if anyone saw the 1989 movie, Wizard, you soon wanted the Power Glove to go with your Power Pad, along with the game, Super Mario Bros. 3. It was literally the beta testing for the WiiU's, or a little slice of the future.
5. SPEAK & SPELL
Watch out iPad, you got nothing on Speak & Spell! Okay, well that's actually a huge exaggeration, but hey, this was before everyone even had computers in their homes, let alone educational apps. Either way, when Texas Instrument came out with this gem in the late 1970s, it was a hit. It was even featured in Steven Spielberg's 1982 movie, E.T.
Originally released in the late 1990's, Furby's were a step up from Teddy Ruxpin in that it was animatronic, but didn't need a cassette tape. Creators Dave Hampton and Celeb Chung took eighteen months to design and fully develop, but to many it was worth the wait. A newly adopted furby, right out the box, only spoke furbish. However, over time he, or she would learn your language, whatever that might be, as Furby had the capabilities to learn 24 different languages.
7. TAMAGOTCHI PETS
Tamagotchi Pets is a handheld digital pet, and came out in Japan in 1996. It wasn't legal to sell in the United States until 1997. It was created for obvious reasons, by a woman named Maita Aki. She wanted to have a pet that didn't create a mess; and one that you can take anywhere.
8. EASY BAKE OVENS
Easy Bake Oven actually came out in 1963, but this one is the 1993 30th anniversary edition that included a snack center; whatever the hell that was. Here's the deal, every little girl wanted one. It wasn't until you eventually got one, burned yourself, and realized that everything made from this oven was utterly disgusting did you figure out that the real oven in the kitchen was the one to stick with. While this oven was induced into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006, it was coincidentally being recalled for severe burns. Ummm..., okay!
9. CREEPY CRAWLERS
Well, like the kids' faces on the box, this toy was epically fun, and intense, when you weren't burning yourself that is. The creepy crawlers, or power rangers that you could make out of this were awesome, but just like the Easy Bake Oven, it was one of the more dangerous toys to have. Unlike the Easy Bake, this wasn't recalled, but actually out of production for more than a decade for its danger rating. It's now back, but I hear its not as fun.
10. WWF WRESTLING BUDDIES
The WWF Wrestling buddies were designed by Stephanie Eskander in 1989. She had just left Hasbro and Playskool, and her first project at Tonka was to design a rough and tumble, soft figure for boys to wrestle, kick, punch, throw and hit each other the head with. Tonka had just received the licensing they needed from the WWF and so "soft figures," not dolls, were made in the likeness of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage the Macho King, Ted DiBiase the Million Dollar Man, the Big Boss Man, Jake the Snake, and the tag team, Legion of Doom. By Christmas of 1990, millions were sold, and there were even some toy store brawls between parents over the last ones on the shelves.
Now that I reminded you of all the fun we had as children playing with these toys, I want you to remember that our parents bought these before there was internet shopping. There was no Amazon prime, or next-day air. In order to make our Christmas wish come true they had to wait in long lines that wrapped around stores in most likely, horrible weather conditions. So, this holiday season, while you think of all that makes you thankful, give your parents a squeeze. While you remember the good ol'days, remind your family you appreciate them for it!