Welcome back to Bloganuary, the daily encouragement from WordPress for bloggers to post something each day. If you want to participate in Bloganuary, just click here! Today’s prompt asks the question: What was your favorite toy as a child?
Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I was a child?!
I had plenty of toys as a kid. I’d never claim that I had everything I ever wanted or asked my parents for, but I had enough to know I was never really in need. That said, I’m not sure I can pick just one favorite. So here are a few that come to mind…
This was an amazing yet simple device that was basically just a light box. There was a standard 60 watt bulb inside and a grid where you would place a piece of black construction paper. The paper had patterns printed on them, with letters corresponding to the different colored pegs that you would use to punch through the paper to stick into the grid. Of course, once the translucent peg pierced the paper, the bulb inside caused the peg to glow. We kept all of our colored pegs inside this fancy looking blue tin that I’m sure held some other product when it was originally purchased. The thing about the Lite-Brite was that once you used up the pattern sheets, they were done… so you’d have to buy new ones. And I always loved finding new sheets depicting the Muppets or GI Joe or even Rainbow Brite. I really wasn’t picky. And there was always something super satisfying about clearing off the grid once I was done with a picture. Man… now I want a Lite-Brite again.
This was a neat little device that would let you draw on the screen, like an original Etch-a-Sketch, but you could save up to 10 different pictures, then animate them into a homemade cartoon. That sounds a lot more impressive than it was. The screen was tiny, way smaller than the original Etch-a-Sketch, but it was all electronic, so you didn’t have to shake it to erase it. And the knobs were a lot more precise when moving the cursor across the screen. It was a lot of fun animating images. And yes, my Animator eventually became that dirty and was never properly cleaned after my grubby little hands pushed all those buttons hundreds of times.
Is everyone familiar with Simon? It’s an electronic game that is kind of like Simon Says, but you don’t get penalized if you do something without listening out for someone to say “Simon Says.” I always thought Simon looked like a big plastic tire… It’s round, with four large light-up buttons. The buttons are red, blue, yellow, and green. Not only are the buttons color coded, but they have a different tone for each color. So if you push the red, it plays a certain note. If you press blue, it plays another note, and so on. The purpose of the game is to follow what Simon does. You turn it on, the game lights up red and plays that tone. You respond by pressing the red button. Then the game lights up red then blue. You respond by pressing red then blue. Each round adds another button to push and the sequences were never the same. Eventually, it start speeding up the pattern as well, so you had to pay super close attention to keep things straight. And if you pushed a button out of sequence or took too long to remember what came next, Simon would buzz you and it was game over. I think I beat Simon once, though I have no idea how long the winning sequence was. I just remember the thing going crazy when I got the last one correct… like it was congratulating me.
Over the years, there were several different action figures I collected. Okay… I didn’t collect action figures, the way people do these days. You know, where they buy them and never take them out of the box because they need to keep them in mint condition so they can sell them on eBay in 25 years. Whatever… I played with my action figures, y’all. I went through phases with He-Man, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And I didn’t care that these action figures were incompatible with one another. I didn’t care that they existed on different cartoon shows in different realities. I created a Multiverse of Madness long before Marvel ever thought it would make for a good sequel to Doctor Strange. He-Man and Lion-O regularly teamed up against the evil forces of Cobra Commander and Destro. The Ninja Turtles had no problem going after Skeletor at the gates of Castle Greyskull. Worlds collided and it was awesome.
I’m sure there were lots of other toys that I was able to get my hands on that were always tons of fun. But I’m sure all of that was ruined with the introduction of the Nintendo…