Jezebel had a "what was your favorite toy received at Christmas" post this week and so opened the flood-gates of toy memories from within. Here are a few toys from my past. Get to know me through my toys.
Spirograph - I had this exact set. It came with a piece of cardboard and a bunch of little pins. You had to pin the plastic circles in place on your paper in order to draw your trippy designs. In later years as a teen, it came in handy for Black Sabbath-inspired pentagrams (all done in black, of course).
Dawn Doll Beauty Pageant - I inherited this from my older cousin. She had the entire beauty pageant set-up with most of the evening gowns and dolls included. It was a Dawn Doll bonanza. It took some batteries to get this going and when the dolls "walked" they made this motorized sound: Rrrrrr Rrrrrrrr Rrrrrrrr Rrrrrrrr. Kind of took the romance out of the pageant. But the dresses were so very spark-a-leeee. I didn't have all this other stuff shown here in this promo, but keep watching to enter the groovy, über-feminine world of Dawn.
Crissy Doll's cousin, Velvet - Hair's the thing! We completely fetishized long hair in the 70s. There were even special products for girls with long hair. As if regular shampoo and conditioner weren't up to the task. I started growing out my hair in second grade and didn't cut it much until eighth grade. A big, heavy tangled mop, down to my butt. You KNOW that was attractive. I blame this doll. She was very cute but other than growing and shortening her hair, she didn't do much. I guess that was enough for the times.
Gnip Gnop - We were so easily entertained. In order to win this game you had to slam your hand down really hard on the buttons and it hurt like hell. The toy that punishes you for winning. It's been reissued and Jackson's cousins have it. It still hurts but entices all the same.
Ice Bird - I never wanted to eat shaved ice, even with flavor packets, but I loved this jingle so much. I still sing it from time to time. Apparently this toy barely worked, according to YouTube comments, so I'm glad the song didn't convince me to put it on my Christmas list. Shaved ice seems even worse in December.
SSP Racers Smash Up Derby - Having a little brother meant lots of boy toys to play with over the years. This was one of the best. We'd smash these in the kitchen over and over and hours later my mom would step on a tire while trying to make dinner. They must be a rare find now, due to the multitude of tiny, flying parts.
Endless Star Wars - My brother had a ton of this stuff. He had a different Star Wars T-shirt for each day of the week and he wore them for a year. We know this because all the photos we took of him that year feature his shirts throughout the seasons. George Lucas--working it.
Puffy-Fuzzi Shrinky Dinks - I had these and they really were puffy and fuzzy and toxic, but oh well. Other than chemical fumes, a great craft toy. "Take your Shrinky Dinks out of the oven. I have to make dinner now." - my mom.
By the time Jem, The Holograms and The Misfits came out, I was old enough to be in a band (and I think I was, if I'm remembering right), but that doesn't mean I couldn't appreciate their ridiculous presence in the parallel cartoon and toy universes. Here's a two-fer from the 80s. Truly outrageous!