I used to have a Lite-Brite. I loved that thing. It’s one of those toys that inspired a creative spark in my childhood. Though, if I were to be completely honest, I was never all that creative with it.
They sold all those pages with designs printed on them. They were those thick pieces of black construction paper that would completely block out the light inside the Lite-Brite. They were covered in those seemingly random letters that represented what color pegs would go in which spaces. When you punched those little plastic pegs into the paper, it suddenly came to life with a magical glow.
I say I wasn’t creative with it, but that’s only because I always followed the pattern. The wonderful people at Hasbro also sold blank “refills,” as they called them. These pages were the same thick black construction paper, but there was no premeditated design to them. This, in theory, gave kids the chance to be artistic with their many colorful pegs.
I never embraced that opportunity.
But I did take advantage of the many different themed refill pages. Though, I can’t really think of any that I actually had. I’m pretty sure I had some GI Joe pages. Possibly He-Man. Definitely Disney characters. We kept all of the pegs in this blue tin container. I don’t know what that container originally held in it, but I know it held hundreds of those plastic pieces.
Have you seen the Lite-Brite lately? It’s so not the same as it used to be. The latest model is called their flat screen model. Guess they’re going for a less bulky look than the gigantic white plastic thing with a 60-watt bulb inside. Thing got hot. Now it’s lit with tiny LED lights and powered by a few AA batteries.
I don’t know, though. Something about getting those 2nd degree burns in the name of art meant something to 7-year-old me.
Oh, there’s also an app for that. But only if you have an iPad.