So, I was reminiscing some more about my childhood – don’t worry, I’m not having a mid-life crisis … at least I don’t think I am. Anyway, I found this really cool website about all things 1980’s, and it has an entire section on toys from the 1980’s. It’s called inthe80s.com. I did some searches on some of my favorite (and least favorite) toys:
1. Mr. Quarterback – here is the description of the toy: The device used like a catapult so that you could catch your own football. Just cock the arm back, set the timer, and run a few feet forward.
Literally, that’s all you could do, run about 5 feet forward, and catch this plastic football. Of course, they made the commercial sound so cool, and Roger Staubach even endorsed it. I remember them saying that Mr. Quarterback could throw the ball up to 25-yards. What a load of crap – the only way this could happen is if it was throwing the ball down hill, and you allowed the football to bounce.
2. The Green Machine - A lime-green variant of the big wheel did without handlebars and front-wheel steering in favor of two levers attached by metal rods to a pivoting rear axle. By pulling one lever all the way back and slamming the other forward, you could spin the green machine out--impossible on a big wheel. There was also a variant of the green machine called the "Blue Max."
Oh my god – this was the king of big wheels. I wanted one of these so bad, and my parents never let me get one. I had that stupid orange one … it was like a pinto compared to the Green Machines that both my cousins got.
3. Barrel O’ Monkeys – Little plastic monkeys that hooked together at the elbow
Much like army-men, these plastic apes came in, you guessed it, a barrel. There really wasn’t anything really exotic about them, but it seemed like all kids had them.
4. Crossbows and Catapults - You had a place mat with an emblem of treasure. You had to build a castle around the treasure using little plastic bricks. Each team had a crossbow, or a catapault that launched these coin-looking things at the opponent's castle. The first team to land their team's coin inside of the castle won.
My friends and I played this for hours. I remember wanting this so badly for Christmas, and there were some news stations that compared the popularity of this to the Cabbage Patch Kids … but somehow, my mom (or Santa) got this game for me … one of my favorite games of all time as a kid.
5. Magic Rock Garden - Put these little rocks into an old mayonaise jar and add water. Little stalagtites and stalagmites would grow from the top and bottom of the jar.
My mom never let me get these … I always loved the commercials for it.