Friday Five: Toys!

Been a while. Christmas is upon us. I was shopping yesterday for Sal 11000 Beta as well as her various cousins and was thinking about some of my favorite toys as a kid. So about a Friday Five on that? What were you five favorite toys as a kid? Doesn’t have to be some expensive thing from Toys R’ Us. Could a be a bike, army men, refrigerator box, puppy. Anything that showed up under your Christmas tree or at a birthday and gave you years of joy.

My five?

Fisher Price Castle: They don’t make they anymore because the people are small and they’re worried kids could choke on them. But this was a fantastic toy, especially because the parapets were the perfect height for army men. My brother and I got years of enjoyment out of this.

Anything Star Wars: We had small die-cast vehicles and the action figures, of course, and a very awesome Hoth base that had falling ice bridges (also good for army men). I can close my eyes and hear us skittering the die cast models across the kitchen floor and a voice says, “You idiot! You realize what those would be worth now?”

Lincoln Logs Today’s Lincoln Log kits are, frankly, an abomination. They include about six long pieces and 407 little one-notch links. The sets call for building houses that consist mostly of towers of the little links with a few crossbars so they don’t fall apart unless breathed on incorrectly. Screw that. Give me a tub with 200 pieces and I’d be happy.

Lego ‘Nuff ced. Lego was so well made that even decades of marketing and management have yet to screw it up.

Cardboard Bricks My parents bought these when I was every young. They were basically sheets of cardboard with bricks drawn on. You folded them up into the correct shape and built stuff. My brother and I painted controls on them when we built spaceships and stacked them up for army men.

What were your five?

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  1. FPrefect89

    Hot Wheels – Would play with them for hours. Grew up in the desert south west so after setting up that orange track for the “perfect” layout, it would heat up and bend in some spots and just royally screw it all up.

    Wooden Blocks – Yep, had them as a hand me down. Loved playing with them and they were great for getting my sister away from me at the time.

    Models – Not the hot babes, but the plastic ones. We had this HUGE box of old model parts that I would take from and make all sorts of franken-cars, franken-planes, etc. Hours of fun, probably because of the glue and paints that were used!

    Star Wars – I still have my Millennium Falcon, A-Wing, B-Wing, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, and a Slave One.

    Evil Guns – My father started me shooting when I was 7 with a Red Rider BB gun. Christmas when I was 8 I got my first .22LR. Yet somehow I have not turned into a psychotic mass murderer.

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  2. Argive

    Playmobil train set. I used to set it up to run a ring around the Christmas tree. Very Norman Rockwell.
    Legos. I had three huge plastic tubs filled with the things.
    K’Nex. Hell yeah giant plastic Ferris wheels.
    Wooden blocks. I got a big box of them as a hand-me-down from my uncle when I was two years old. I imagine they helped my motor skills develop.
    My first dog. I had a crippling phobia of dogs as a kid. It was so bad I needed therapy, but what really helped cure me was when my parents got a Labrador retriever puppy (surely one of the most kid-friendly dogs). That dog was my buddy for many years. Sadly, he shuffled off the mortal coil a few months ago.

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  3. AlexInCT

    My first air rifle
    My first 30 odd 6.
    My various electronic labs
    My parents’ Sony Beta VCR I took apart and put back together (I was a teenager by then).
    Making Nitro in chem lab and then using it (that suspension was worth it!)

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  4. AlexInCT

    Seriously?

    Yes, Seriously. Nothing teaches you respect for fire arms like finding out how scary they can be at a very young age. I could have also discussed my Katana or other martial arts tools, too.

    Maybe I should have mentioned I also owned a Barbie. My GI Joes needed something to pass the time with when they were on shore leave :) That was a joke BTW, although I did have a friend that did that for real.

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  5. salinger

    Yes, Seriously. Nothing teaches you respect for fire arms like finding out how scary they can be at a very young age

    You think someone would have taught you correct name of the gun by now then.

    Thirty aught six

    I’ll return to ignoring you now – this was just to classic to pass up.

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  6. AlexInCT

    Thirty aught six

    I was 9 years old and called it my “30 odd 6″ because it was so freaking big for me. I know it is a 30/06 caliber. You did notice I prefaced the comment with the word “My”, right genius?

    I’ll return to ignoring you now – this was just to classic to pass up.

    Sorry to disappoint you then. And I do have to point out that your crush on me is touching douchebag.

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  7. bgeek

    NES – Doesn’t even need a description.

    Tool Set – Got a lot of misc. tools from a junk shop in second grade. Made my own wooden toolbox the next day out of scraps. Used mainly to fix my (and friends) bike and help my dad build a tree house.

    3″ folding Buck Knife – Same Christmas in second grade. Used mainly for whittling and gutting fish. Sits on my dresser now as I carry a Leatherman.

    Red Ryder BB Gun – Still have both eyes.

    Boombox with CD Player – Still use out in the garage with an MP3 player in the line in port when working outside.

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  8. Miguelito

    Legos are still fun. They’re a lot more complicated then when I was a kid though.

    I’m 39, and last christmas break, I spent some time building the Millenium Falcon kit. This year, I went huge and got both the Tyderium Shuttle and the Super Star Destroyer… we’re talking lego kits that will take a good week+ to build.

    As a kid, the toys..

    Intellivision – the first really cool home video game console we had. Sure the later Colecovision, NES, etc were better, but the Intellivision really got me into games. Several hour marathons on deceptively simple (yet complex) games like Tron Deadly discs. Ah, fun.

    Star Wars toys – Yeah, me too. I had a pretty large X-Wing and a Tie Fighter which had wings that popped off. Man those things would be worth a mint today.

    Legos – as a kid too of course. I tended to make my own things then vs doing kits. The one thing that sucked about them: Stepping on ones on the floor in your bare feet. Damn they would get you just right.

    Electronics kit – I don’t remember what it was called but it was a relatively simple breadboard electronics kit with parts and plans so that you could build a few things like a crystal radio and stuff. Was very cool and part of what fueled me into always wanting to know how things work, take things apart, eventually leading to being into computers.

    Computer – Speaking of computers, our first computer. Well, first my grandparents (a block away) had an Apple //c and I used to go up and use it all the time. When we finally got our own x86 based system (AT&T PC6300) I was hooked. Eventually lead to a well-paid career too, so you can’t beat that.

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  9. Thrill

    All GI Joe vehicles were awesome.

    Favorites were the old G1 Transformers. Wish I still had some of them around for my kids (Yes, for my kids. Truly). Back when they were good, solid die-cast metal, you know?

    Agree on Lincoln Logs and NES games.

    Electric. Race. Car. Tracks.

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  10. Mississippi Yankee

    My parents always did a little more for me because of the Xmas/birthday thing.

    Howdy Doody rocking chair – It was for my 3rd Christmas and he was my favorite TV star, although there wasn’t a lot of competition back then. Always wanted to save it for my own kids but somehow it got discarded, too bad it would be worth it’s weight in gold now.

    Red plastic building blocks – I think they may have been the forerunner of Legos. Built stuff with them for years. Went quite well with my next gift.

    Lionel train set – Build lots of towns over the years for it even managed to pass it on to my eldest. He has a nine year old and so it has become a family heirloom.

    Over-under 22/410 – I had enjoyed my BB gun but this beauty sounded like a gun. Many critters ran from that sound :)

    Various wives and girl-friends have graced my with delightful gifts too but this neither the time or place for that discussion.

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  11. Santino

    Tonka Truck – While other neighbourhood kids were riding their Big Wheels, I was ambering along a-la Flintstones on my truck.

    Atari – Space Invaders, Combat, Berzerk, Pacman. And I thought my friend’s Pong was cool.

    First baseball glove.

    First bike.

    Desk – I could pretend that I was in school like my big sister. I loved sitting at that desk, it made me feel like such a big boy.

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  12. HARLEY

    Legos…. God i loved building things with those…. just ordered my boys a small 400 piece set..

    STAR WARS.. oh god i wish i still had them toys, i would still play with them!

    GI Joe ..GO JOE!

    BATTLE STAR GALACTICA Cylon Raider and Colonial Viper..

    Ruger 10/22 at 10… My Very own gun..So id leave my Dads Marlin 22 and Ruger Security six 357 mag alone… ahahh . i eventually shot the rifling out of that 10/22…… still got the rest of it with a new barrel.

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  13. Miguelito

    BATTLE STAR GALACTICA Cylon Raider and Colonial Viper..

    I knew someone that had those. They were pretty awesome. I remember the Cylon Raider wings popped “open” and IIRC it had plastic “laser bullets” that were spring loaded and fired from it.

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  14. Mississippi Yankee

    Ruger 10/22 at 10… My Very own gun.

    HARLEY I watched “The Red Baron” the other night and it showed as a kid he had what appeared to be a ‘side-by-side’ 410/22. Definately a rifle/shotgun combination. It’s right at the beginning of the movie.
    Oh and Lena Hedley is in it too.

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  15. Section8

    Star Wars stuff — Darth Vader was banging the Princess well before Spaceballs came out. I can tell you that much.

    Atari — Hours of 2 bit goodness. Bought the console the other day with the built in games. Holy crap it’s not how I remembered it. That stuff was state of the art back then.

    Hot Wheels

    Tinker Toys when I was real young.

    It’s not a toy I suppose and they didn’t sell them at Christmas, but fireworks. Man did I love blowing shit up when I was a kid. CA had “safe and sane” fireworks back then. Of course the fun was trying to convert them to behave otherwise.

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  16. Mississippi Yankee

    Section8,

    In both Louisiana and Mississippi, and maybe other states,fireworks are sold legally for the 2 weeks before New Years and of course the 2 weeks before the 4th of July.

    The year I spent in Louisiana with a broken neck I sold fireworks and found that the Christmas/New Year sale were about a third better than the sales for the 4th. Firecrackers themselves are a huge New Years Eve custom in Louisiana with people setting off entire bricks at one time.

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  17. HARLEY

    HARLEY I watched “The Red Baron” the other night and it showed as a kid he had what appeared to be a ‘side-by-side’ 410/22. Definately a rifle/shotgun combination. It’s right at the beginning of the movie.
    Oh and Lena Hedley is in it too.

    Yeah! i really need to get around to watching that movie… Double Guns were fairly common in Europe at teh time, given the Authoritarian gunlaws many nations had, a double gun filled the Shotgun and rifle needs in one firearm.

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  18. HARLEY

    I knew someone that had those. They were pretty awesome. I remember the Cylon Raider wings popped “open” and IIRC it had plastic “laser bullets” that were spring loaded and fired from it.

    yeah i loved them, and wish i still had those too.

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  19. HARLEY

    I’m 39, and last christmas break, I spent some time building the Millenium Falcon kit. This year, I went huge and got both the Tyderium Shuttle and the Super Star Destroyer… we’re talking lego kits that will take a good week+ to build.

    I was on Amazon, shopping for Legos and i found the super star destroyer…………i almost hit the in cart button….. almost.

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