Greetings all. It's been a few months now since I wrote an article but life has kept me busy as of late. Finally had some free time on my hands so I wanted try and to post something. This article comes to you courtesy of The Goldbergs. I'm not much of a tv watcher but my wife heard about the show and starting watching it and said I'd enjoy it. She was right. If you're not aware, The Goldbergs is a show about...the Goldbergs. It's set in the 80's and it's based on the memories of its creator, Adam F. Goldberg. And it's hilarious. What it has do with this article is that the thanksgiving episode from season 1 showed Adam and his brother Barry playing a game they made up called Ball Ball. It was a game the two invented in real life and they even made their own special cup for the champion.
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Anyhow it got me thinking about a game that I used to play with my family called Sqwish Ball. While I hadn't forgotten we used to play it I never thought about writing it for an article before. This is mainly because I have no pictures or video of us ever playing it and therefore I thought it wouldn't be so fun to talk about. I've rethought that idea and have decided to tell the story of how my family turned a couple of the stranger toys from the 90's to objects of surprisingly tense competition.

As children, we were introduced to toy balls of various kinds. Some bounced, some where dodged, some where thrown into baskets. But to this day I have never seen anything quite like a Sqwish Ball. It was made by Cap Toys and I'm not quite sure how I obtained one. I either found a voucher for a free one in magazine, or I got it by mailing in some Kool-Aid points. All I know is that when I was kid the prospect of a free anything was too great ignore. I believe we picked it up in Kay Bee toys in the Mall of Victor Valley.
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I realize the picture is tiny but it's the only picture of a Sqwish Ball I've been able to find online. The one I picked up was orange and green. It got it's name because it was just that; a squishy ball. It was filled with some type of gel and I'm still not quite sure what it's intended purpose was. You weren't supposed to bounce it and really hurt should you be unlucky enough to get hit by one. (It was heavier then it looks, trust me.) For some reason, my dad saw mine then decided to buy one for my sister. It was black and had stars and other shapes on it. For awhile they acted like a novelty toy that we tossed around once in a while. But then we found out something cool about our Sqwish balls. When they were rolled on the ground at a decent speed, they elongated and took on the shape of a wheel rather than orb-shape of a ball. It was cool to look at, although we still weren't quite sure what exactly to do with them other than show our friends. Until one fateful night, that is.

It was my dad who came up with the idea. One evening he grabbed both sqwish balls and then instructed my mom, sister and me to each sit in a corner of the living room. He had game for us to play and the object was simple; two people in opposite corners would each take a sqwish ball. Then we would roll them to the person next to us either clockwise or counterclockwise. It didn't matter as long as both balls were going the same direction. If you got stuck with both balls, you lost. I used Paint to draw a rough diagram of our living room at the time.
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The blue splotches give a rough example of where we would sit. Each position had it's cons. If you were stationed near the dining room or a hallway, you risked the ball flying past you. Since the other ball would keep coming, you then had to make a mad scramble to get your ball to the next player before the other ball reached you. If you were in the other half of the living room, there was the risk of being blocked by a coffee table leg, the ball getting stuck under an end table or sometimes even managing to sneak behind the couch. Throwing the ball was not allowed, it had to rolled for it to count. You were also not allowed to intentionally roll the ball out of the next person's way. However, since each of us were trying get somebody out, the balls were rolled off as we got them, which meant accuracy was second fiddle to getting the ball away from you. This is what made it a blast to play, since this eventually forced all of us to go diving and scrambling to recover sqwish balls that had gotten away from us. It would lead to incredibly close calls,spectacular saves and lots of raised voices. Over time, my sister and I introduced the game to some friends of ours and it proved to be a hit.

I don't know what happened to our Sqwish Balls. I remember putting a very small hole in mine to see what exactly was inside it and when I squeezed it some blue-ish gel came out. Not surprisingly, sqwish balls disappeared almost as soon as they showed up. If I remember right, my sister's friend's family tried to find some after we introduced the game to them but they couldn't find any. It's interesting because the game we played with them remains to this day the best and most enjoyable use of a sqwish ball that I can think of. Their weight and squishiness fit perfectly into being rolled across the floor. It's still on of the strangest toys I've ever owned, but it's also one that I have some of the fondest memories of. And that's that. Short and simple. Stay retro folks. Thanks for reading.