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November 02, 2014

Sunday Blow-off Thread: Games From Our Childhood [Y-not]

There's something about this time of year that makes me very nostalgic, increasingly so as I've reached middle age. (Who are we kidding? Unless I live to be 105, I've passed middle age!) Although I'm not a fan of Halloween, I do like seeing the really little kids in their costumes trick or treating with their proud, young parents. It's heart-warming. And Thanksgiving was always a nice holiday in my house when I was a kid, as was Christmas. So November and December are pretty great as far as I'm concerned. My parents, especially my mom, did a great job giving us a stable, caring home life, particularly when we were youngsters.

So it was with a considerable amount of horror that I read some of the excerpts from Lena Dunham's biography in which she describes how she spent part of her childhood molesting her little sister. I can honestly say that at that age my main interests were playing in the yard (I liked to make mud pies on our metal slide, which was far too hot to use as a slide-slide in Maryland summers, believe me!), riding my bike, caring for assorted pets, and playing games with my family and friends.

(I think kids today are missing a lot with all of the electronica they have as toys, but that's not really the point of this post.)

Supposedly, "real" games and toys are making a comeback. Which got me thinking about my favorite games (loosely defined to include toys) when I was a kid. Let's see how many of you remember these and which ones were your favorites.


SILLY SAND

SillySand.jpg

Do any of you remember this? Some of my earliest memories are of playing with Silly Sand with my sister. My mom would set it up in the utility room area. I can remember sitting on the washer-dryer (I would've been 5 or 6, then) and making structures with the Silly Sand. There must've been some sort of messy accident involving the sand because I don't remember playing with it in our new house, to which we moved a couple of years later. I assume my mom threw it away before we moved.

I couldn't find an old TV or print ad for silly sand. But here's one for a different product that seems to be from the same era, Magic Sand:

This seems to be a more modern version.


MOUSE TRAP

Man, oh man - I loved this game! What a cool idea. And it really worked!

Apparently, I'm not the only one who really loved this game as a kid. Here's the video of some guy who found an old one and films setting it up and running it:

Dude may need a girlfriend.

Here's an old commercial for Mouse Trap:

Grooooovy man!

On a related subject, Purdue's football team may suck (it does), but its engineering students don't:


ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS

My sister and I had Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots... for a little while. We loved it, but got into a huge fight over it one time so my mom took it away from us and gave it to our cousins. Bummer.


BATTLE SHIP

I assume all of the morons played this game. We didn't own it, but a good friend of mine in 5th grade had it. Lots of fun.

Oh, and did you realize that Peter Brady is on the box cover?


Of course, there were a lot of other great games and toys from my childhood. At some point my dad got us a small, cheap-o Air Hockey table -- LOVED IT! And my mom and I spent a lot of fun afternoons playing Trouble when I got home from school. She passed away two decades ago, but the sound of a Pop-o-Matic always makes me think of her.

I always wanted a train set, but we didn't have that sort of dough (or space, frankly). And I really wanted a cotton candy machine. My best friend from second grade, Hazel (whose dad drove an Utz Potato Chip truck -- I remember this vividly), had one. I thought she was the luckiest kid in the world.

What were your favorite games and toys from your childhood?

For those of you who are parents, have any of your kids inherited some of your childhood treasures and do they love them as much as you did?

We don't have kids, but I am hoping that some day our youngest nephew shows an interest in D&D, 'cause Mr Y-not has quite the collection of books and modules.


Open thread for chit chat.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:58 PM

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