My Toy Flashback
There’s a special joy that comes from seeing your own kids playing with and enjoying the games and toys you played with as a kid. My husband has a Millennium Falcon and an R2-D2 that the kids have liked, and a few of my games and toys surprisingly survived the 1970s, too. Whenever we visit my parents’ house, which is my childhood home, my kids love playing with them. Here are a few favorites that are dragged out of storage every visit. Some have modern-day equivalents, but others have been forgotten by their manufacturers. Many of the manufaturers are not around any more, either. So glad we still have some of them so my kids can also enjoy the toys and games we loved from a time before video games and iPads:
7Up Bottle Neck
I have never seen anything like this game, except ours. It’s so fun and simple! A plastic 7Up bottle sits in the middle of four humped plastic shoots. Each person has 7 plastic rings of their color. You place them one at a time (or, as we learned from my son, two at a time) on the shoot, then flick it up the slide to try to get it to land on the bottle. Sometimes, you get it on first try, but most of the time, it takes ages! Rings are flying everywhere, you are grabbing them back, flicking them up, and laughing the whole time! My son is the master, despite my years of experience.
This game’s base is a clear plastic thin tower with small white arms that swing back and forth inside. You drop plastic marbles in, which either land on the white arms or tip the arms to swing the other direction to drop the marbles that are sitting on top of them. There are different games you can play, including trying to collect a certain number of marbles of each color, or trying to get rid of all your marbles. Once again, my son is the master of this game, once again, despite my years of experience.
Step Lively Shuffleboard
I know I’ve seen modern versions of this game, but nothing beats the original! It’s basically shuffleboard. You hold up the yellow plastic flexible slide as high or as low as you want it. Then you place your "scooter shooter" (a metal ball with a plastic ring around it--to be honest, I always just called them rollieballs, and only just learned their real name by reading the box in the picture above!) on the slide so it rolls down onto the board, hopefully landing on a section with point values, or knocking your opponent down to the zero-point section.
My daughter has the newer version because I couldn’t resist it when we were toy shopping when she was younger! But she actually prefers my 70’s version with their bellbottom pants and ruffled shirts. (I do, too!) She (ok, I’ll admit, we) could spend hours making clothing choices, doing a rubbing of them, rubbing a pattern onto them, and coloring them! My daughter loves asking me to pick a place for her person to go so she can design her “fancy” or “casual” person. I love adding props to them, and making them look especially goofy.
I'm sure most people had Lite Brite, and I also got the new version for my kids at our house. But there is something pretty neat about pulling it out of the old box, seeing the pre-made designs they had on the papers, and plugging in the old cord and hoping that it doesn't cause a fire. Do you like the modern character my daughter made on my old Lite-Brite? (with fire extinguisher close at hand, of course)
Fisher Price home, barn, camper, and Little People
Who in our generation didn’t have these things? Ok, but who STILL has them? I do! Bet you are jealous! Definitely fun memories! My kids kind of roll their eyes a bit when my sister and I get together and reminisce about the cities we used to make, and how we’d have the Little People spread all around the living room floor to get picked up by the school bus, then return home to their Lego apartment building. It is pretty neat to see the predecessors of the plastic Little People that they played with when they were young.
Which of these toys and games did you have? Which do you still have?