Pieces of My Childhood

Toys, Toys, Toys.
April 27, 2011
We've heard it all. We've seen them all, but yet can we remember them all? I've seen a lot of articles pertaining to toys of the 70s, 80s, and 90s but yet not a whole lot is mentioned about what toys we had when the yesteryear of kindergarten, with paste and glitter stuck to our fingers; shirts covered in Spaghetti-O's and marker.

RetroJunkers, I'm back again with another installment:

My Favorite Toys when I was a Kid!

Ok...here we go. Before I do start though, I know I'm going to forget so many but these are just a few of what I played for a long time and couldn't bear to part with.I'll leave that up to you at the end to come with some great memories.
I'm starting in no particular order so whatever happens, happens.

Nintendo and Sega Genesis

Ok...who didn't have one of these? Who doesn't have fond memories of sitting in front of the tube playing mind-numbing, side scrolling fun with controllers that only had a few buttons. I love these systems. My brother owned the NES and would always let me go into his room for one hour a day and play his system. I think down the road he just let his door open because I would always ask to go in so I could play TMNT, Mario Bros., Marble Madness, Barbie. We must have had at least 30-50 different games stocked away in shoe boxes under his bed. With his room decorated in He-Man attire (bedsheets, pillows, curtains and toys galore). I loved to see him walk through the door when he got off the bus because at being 4 years old, it meant "NINTENDO!!" Soon, my brother got upset that he couldn't play with it anymore so he busted it by stomping on it from his bed, Asshole. A few years down the road though I got the Sega 16-bit Genesis with my first game, Sonic the Hedgehog. What I thought was a crummy game about a spinning hedgehog turned into an obsession. I would play until my mom made me go to bed at night. I soon added to my collection with Mortal Kombat, Sonic 2, Ecco the Dolphin (WTF?), MK2. Every Friday night my dad would take me to the local video store and rent as many games as I could ( I usually ended up with three for three nights for 3.99) From Friday night until Monday morning, I would play it. God, those days were so fun.

Polly Pocket
I can't believe I actually found this picture. I had this exact Polly Pocket play area. I would usually take it with me when I went swimming and let it float in the water (for what was 3 seconds). I played and played this little thing forever until Polly ended up drowning or falling into the drain. I had about at least 10-15 little shapes that held Polly's world; I would mix the people up and have big parties with all of these "kingdoms" together like they were on a neighborhood street. I still have that purple one somewhere in my parent's garage. I did find one when I was 16 while rummaging through to find some water wings for my nephew. Talk about a "woah!" moment! The thing with Polly is that she wouldn't fit entirely into the small little holes for her to stand; she even wasn't able to stand on her own, making her bend at the waist. I've tried to look EVERYWHERE for these and I can't find any. The boys use to have something similar to this but I can't remember the name (Damn you, CRS- Can't Remember Shit). Anyway, Polly Pocket was around when I was 10 with her yellow painted curly hair and very small beady eyes and mouth. I would love to be able to get my toys from the attic and just give them to my daughter and let her enjoy the memories I had when I was a kid.
Savenger Hunt anyone??

*pfffft*. That sound always reminds me of shoving the gooey sticky mess of Gak into it's case, forcing airbubbles and I would sit there and pretend I farted.*pfffttt* I was such a gullible child when I was young. I remember fondly of a smelly Gak that was sold for a short time. I got a pizza smelling gak and it sure did not smell like pizza. After you would get done playing with it, the smell would linger on your hands and it was god-awful!! I only had that one form of gak after my mom found it on the carpet when I left it out overnight. Talk about a bitch-out from your own mother. Everybody had it; we stuck it where ever we wanted. Our heads, hands, noses, cabinet doors, walls, chairs; anywhere so we can see the reaction of others who stumble across it. I think at school one time there was a kid who had gak smeared into his hair and came to school bald the next day. No, I didn't do it......but I came up with the idea. I was so vindictive as a kid!

Coloring Books
I'm going old school here. Looney Toons, Barbie, Matchbox, Barney; name it, I had the coloring book. I would spend hours on hours, when my brothers were home and taking up the NES or Sega, I would go into a world of color and imagination of what I could create with just the crayons I had. Given I didn't have a full set, I don't think anyone did, so I would mix red and blue crayons to get purple, or blue and yellow to make green. Admit it! You did too!! I still catch myself sometimes coloring with pens and pencils when I'm really bored. I think that my 25th birthday present should be a big 64 Crayola box full of crayons and a SUPER HUGE coloring and activity book; just so that I could have a slight flashback to the time period I would sit on my living room floor while my parents watched the news and I would take myself away into the world of color and Bugs Bunny. I remember an old drug store use to have coloring contests and you would win a HUGE (and I'm not kidding) bag of candy. I think they happened around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I think I won a contest because my mom framed a picture I colored. Soon kids, catched on and the younger you were, you would win the contest so I stopped entering.

I had a few of these around the house. They were filled with water and you had to press buttons, creating air bubbles to move these rings onto the spikes. They were hard too!!! Usually I just pressed the buttons to watch the colorful rings go in the air. I had a few of theses tumblers. I think I had 5 different ones. I distinctly remember one where it was yellow and involved a basket and balls or apples; something related to it. My mom was more into it than I was because I would come crying at 5 years old, wanting her to get the rings on the spikes. She couldn't do it either. In fact, no one could from what I remember. They sure were a lot of fun! Soon, my brother found out ways to get the water to leak and soon, I was found shaking the little toy violently trying to get the damn rings moving. Big Brothers can be so mean sometimes.

Soon I found a way to get back at my 2 older brothers, thanks to two words

Super Soakers
The ultimate revenge was at hand! Every younger sibling dreamed of owning a gun like this just to get back at your older brother or sister because they took the last pop tart or Squeeze-It from the fridge. This was my weapon of choice. Forget the thin plastic squirt guns they sold at general stores. Once my mom made a trip to the "Big Store in The Sky" and located my first Super Soaker, I was wide-eyed in absolute beauty of it all. The huge tank that held ice-cold water; the pump action that held pressure for the stream to go long distances or make a huge mess up close. I finally got my first taste of revenge when I was 8. My brother Nick decided to rip my Simba stuffed animal because I called him a "stupid-head." (fave word when I was growing up). I was mad and went to the garage filled the water tank with the coldest water I could get, and slowly walked up the stairs to his room pumping the water into the gun. I kicked his door and he opened it to a hard stream of water. He screamed like a girl as I dropped the gun and scooted down the stairs as fast as I could. He did catch up with me and gave me indian rug burns as a punishment. I still hate those things to this day. I had a lot of the Super Soaker types, ranging from extra storage for the water to the types of sprayers and distance it could go. Name the color, I had it possibly (I can't remember all of them). I just loved how I could be able to get back at my brothers and hear them complain to my mom and dad, but all they would get back is "Well, then you shouldn't have done what you did to get sprayed by your sister." I love you Mom and Dad!

Pee-Wee Herman
You know you watched the shows, because I sure did. Everyday around 4:30, it would be on channel 4. As soon as I heard the bird call and the choming of the wood from the gopher/badger, it was Pee-Wee time. I would be engrossed into that thing. My mom would say she wanted to watch Oprah but she knew that she lost the TV when she saw me planted on the floor in front of it. As I did grow older, I realized that he was more adult oriented as I found the 1981 production at the Roxy entitled "The Pee-Wee Herman Show." The shoe-mirrors when Ms. Yvonne came into the house and he and Captain Carl would stare at the mirrors. When I was 7, I just thought they were being goofy; they were and being very perverted. I had the Pee Wee doll that if you pulled his string in the back he would talk, saying a few of his known phrases like "I know you are but what am I?" and "Why don't you take a picture? It will last longer!" I wore the thing out until it sounded like he was drunk, due to the string being so frail and the battery was almost dead. I carried that thing everywhere I went in the house. I remember I got it for my birthday and almost took him swimming (I was born in August so I was always around a pool at this time) but my mom took him from me until I was ready to go to bed that night.

Author's Note: I'm really excited that Paul Reubens got back into the idea of Pee-Wee and went to Broadway with his show. I hope we get to see more of him and his crazy antics!

Lite Brite
Picture this if you will: You are in a dark room with a white little easel with a 40-60 watt lightbulb inside. You put a metal hole-like screen followed by a stensil. You have these colorful pegs in an old butter container. You put the colors in according to what the stencil has on there and after 15-20 mins of having the right color, you have a master piece of brightly colored pegs.

"The Colors, Duke! The Colors!"
I think my parents bought this back in the late 80s for my older brother Nick since he was a little artsy-fartsy (more on the fartsy). When I came into the family, my dad decided to show me how to work with pushing the peg in, getting excited watching it glow with pink, orange, yellow, blue, green, and purple. After a while, when I was 5, I would skip the stensil and just draw out the back of the house or a stick-figure family representing mine. One day, I had to give that thing up for an actual art easel that my parents bought me for Christmas. I ran through that thing that what I would with the Lite Brite. I learned then that negotiations with my parents would be impratical to try when I was 9. Maybe another 7 years, the negotiations were used....a lot to convience my parents to let me stay out late or go to the Midnight parade with a friend where I met my future husband!! WOW! Almost 8 years ago....anyways, on we go!

McDonald's Happy Meal Toys
I would be so excited to hear my mom say "What do you want to eat?" when we would do our shopping shenanigans. I would always say "McDonalds!!". Pulling up, I would look at the menu to see the toys they had available whether it was from a movie or cartoon characters. There were dozens made from My Little Pony

I had the actual My Little Pony at home but this just added to the collection.
My mom would order for me "Cheeseburger Happy Meal with a small Diet Coke." I don't understand why my mom would order the Diet but I went a ahead and drank it. The person over the intercom would ask if it was for a boy or a girl (Author's Note: They didn't start asking that until maybe I was 10 and I moved onto Big Macs. I told you guys I was a fat kid!). My favorite toy from McDonalds was when Hook (1991) came out on video and they had the floating toys!

I had a few of these, some of them were duplicates but my baths would always be fun with Ruffio, Captain Hook, and the mermaids splashing their fins. But....that wasn't the most specific thing at McDonalds. If anyone has eaten there when they were a kid, and I bet you most of you have, what was the main toys for boys and girls?

I had about 4 out of the 8 Barbies.
The Barbies for the girls and the Hot Wheels for the boys. When there was nothing special going on or any sponsoring of movies or whatever, these were always there for the Happy Meals. I did have a time where I got a Hot Wheel instead of a Barbie doll. My dad threw more of a fit than I did; it was cool to get a boy toy. I felt AWESOME!!

Fisher Price Kitchen Set

I had this thing when I was about 3. It had all the foods like Ice Cream, burgers, lettuce, cheese; you name it I had it. It was set up on our backporch where I had my little picnic area that my grandfather made for me when I was born. I had my "friends" around in the chairs with plates, forks, spoons and cups. I made dinner for them everynight and sometimes my dad would want something too. Usually I would "cook" him a hotdog and spaghetti. He said he loved my cooking (He's had real spaghetti cooked by me and he can't get enough of it.) Sooner or later the chalkboard would break apart, the side table would have blue marker with my name, mommy, daddy, bubby all over it. I love that thing so much that when there wasn't any food left, I would just use my imagination; kinda like off of Hook where Peter and the Lost Boys are sitting down for supper. God! I love this thing so much. I broke the table several times and it was always duct taped together to make it stand. The phone got lost, the doors ended up broken but I played with it until I was maybe 7 and realized I wanted nothing but "pretties" as my mom calls them; jewelry, barbies, clothes, make-up, nail polish. That playset will always have a good place in my heart!

Card Games!

Yeah, I was a nerd for having them. I had binders full of them when I was just barely 10 or 11. I had all the elements in one binder, organized by color; then I had all the first level characters like bulbasaur, charmander (fave), squirtle in the front their next evolution then final evolution into huge creatures. No, I didn't play them. I was taught how from my nephew but never really got into play them. I use to trade them all the time with a kid down the street named Dallas. He would try and persuade me to give up a specific card by candy, cookies, food, drinks, money (He offered $20 one time for my venusaur that he needed for a big battle; I said no.) I was stupid later when I sold my first edition, hollographic Charizard for a measly $50. After that I just gave away my cards.

Soon I got into Magic: The Gathering.

This was so my game. I started playing when I was 13 or 14 and from there turned into an obesssion.

This is pretty interesting but I was never this close to being obsessed with the game.

I had everything from Angel decks, "F-U deck (black and green), Fluffy (red deck), and plenty more. I was really proud of my Angel deck since it couldn't be beaten. No matter if you had a elder dragon deck that you spent hundreds of dollars perfecting it. I remember going to the Danger Room (a comic/card store) and playing for hours in tournaments (held on Friday nights), trading and buying, friendships and enemies; it was always a blast. I recently went in there and the thought of actually leaving even though I don't play anymore made me want to buy a new deck and play. With the newer rules and regulations, I gave up since I was tired of the changes. I usually trade with a former player and we have battles every once in a while. It's still good fun to play.

*head hits the desk* Oh! Sorry, fell asleep there. Well that was just a small collection of what toys I had when I was a kid. There's more, I'll tell you but those toys right there are a few I had troubles parting with when my mom threw annual garage sales. I should have collected them and then sold them on Ebay; oh well, I guess.
Ya know, as I was writing all of that, I kept getting more toys in my head. What do you guys think? Do you think I should have a continuence or a series of "Pieces of My Childhood?" What toys did everyone else have that you wanted? How did you feel when you got the toy you wanted in the Happy Meal? What stories do you have with super soakers or did you just use water balloons?

I've lead you down the road to Nostalgia, now it's your turn.
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