Back when times were simpler some of the toys below were coveted by Santa’s worst customers, so I heard. I can’t remember the last time I saw any of the below at Christmas time, or for that matter, at all, or ever. I don’t even see them in stores, do they still sell these? We didn’t need an “X Box” or bullcrap, our minds were challenged by our own imagination, not a computer simulator. I remember these, do you?
Lincoln Logs are somewhat challenging, somewhat, but the great thing about them is they go together so neatly. The bad part is that if you build something and decide to add something else to your creation you pretty much have to take apart the whole thing and start again. Ofcourse back then it was not a traumatic event for a child like it would be today. Also it seemed like I never had enough pieces to complete what I started. Something else today’s child would need therapy to get over.
The Erector set was for the smarter set, which I guess would explain why I never had one. Quite honestly I really can’t even remember ever playing with one. No smart friends either I suppose. This was like for kids that had engineering in their future, or their present. The projects took a bit of time to put together and at the same time were a bit cumbersome, nuts, bolts, gears and the like. I bet a lot of Dads just bought one for themselves under the guise that it was for the boy. I bet.
Ahh the Etch-O-Sketch. It was a magical box that drew pictures with the turn of a couple knobs. I don’t think out of all the times I picked one of these up I ever drew anything that was worth a crap. I one time tried to clear the entire screen off and see what was inside and how it worked but as soon as I could see inside somewhat that ended that experiment. Hand eye coordination and patients were the secret. And remember, a circle is damn near impossible.
Holy cow walkie talkies! You could talk to your buddies that were out of sight. Of course you could never think of anything to say except “can you hear me” over and over. And static, holy smokes you can’t imagine! I guess these were the pre-curser to the cell phone, except most kids went outside to play and use them, which is something we don’t do today. The instructions always said ” for use up to a 1/4 mile” hell mine wouldn’t pick up down to the corner. But it was fun trying. I still got em.
God my brother loved this. He bothered the crap out of me whenever he was around to play hockey. Of course he was much older, loved hockey and beating me was double time fun for him. This was true hand eye coordination along with a bit of strategy. Now a days kids would no longer play hockey on a set like this than go outside and play. Hockey now is probably played with a joy stick from a laid back position on the couch against a computer, not a live brother.
The was the coop-da-gracie of gifts. Never had one, probably only rode one or two ever, but was always in awe when up close to one. It was like being next to an idol. This was for the well off kids, which I was not. This bike was about the coolest thing going. Big ole stick shifter, five speeds, shock absorbers. Hell what’s not to love? They all had cool names as well. The orange bike was the “Orange Krate”, the yellow bike was the “Lemon Krate”, red bike was the “Apple Krate” etc etc etc. It always seemed like those who had them didn’t appreciate what they had and that pissed me off all the more. If you didn’t have a Schwinn you didn’t have crap, everything else was an also ran. I had an also ran.