"Ten Groovy Seventies Toys" by Renata Sancken Ah, the 70s. Great hair, great clothes, and great toys. Alright -- maybe the hair and clothes haven't all stood the test of time, but no one can deny that children of the 70s had some awesome toys. Some of these are still being manufactured and others have fallen to the wayside, existing only in attics and on the internet. Check out our picks for the top ten toy fads of the 70s. (Of course, we couldn't possibly judge these, so they are presented in chronological order.) 10. Nerf (1970) The very first Nerf product was billed as "the world's first official indoor ball." Think about that: before Nerf there were no balls that could be played with indoors. Advertising for the Nerf ball claimed, "Throw it indoors; you can't damage lamps or break windows. You can't hurt babies or old people." Of course, the 1980s saw the advent of Nerf guns, and the nation's babies and old people paid the price. 9. Weebles (1971) "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down." Is that the most challenging toy motto ever? Sure, maybe Weebles don't usually fall down, but what if you smash the bottom with a hammer? If you're curious, Wikipedia has a whole section about the physics of Weebles. If you're not curious, good for you! You probably have more pressing concerns, like whether or not they still sell Weebles. (Good news: they were re-launched in 2010.) http://epicwinftw.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/win-pictures-weebles.jpg?w=436&h=407 8. Atari (1972) Okay, so maybe Ataris aren't all that impressive compared to your Wiis and your Kinects and your what-have-yous. Maybe, in retrospect, Pong is actually moderately less fun than playing actual table tennis. But, you know what? You wouldn't have Legend of Zelda today if it weren't for Atari in 1972. 7. Baby Alive (1973) This doll creepily prepared little girls for successful careers as babysitters. You could feed it food from a little packet, press a button on its back, and it would eat it and poop it out with exactly the same consistency it started with. Just like a real baby! In the 90s Hasbro figured out how to make this doll even creepier: by making it talk. http://webdebris.com/70s/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/baby_alive.jpg 6. Shrinky Dinks (1973) It's hard to explain why plastic shapes that shrink in the oven are so satisfying to play with. They just are. Shrinky Dinks were invented by Betty Morris and Kathryn Bloomberg in what may be the most profitable Cub Scout project of all time. 5. Rubik's Cube (1974) Did you know: it's not spelled Rubix Cube, but rather Rubik's Cube. They are named for their Hungarian inventor, Ernoř Rubik, and that apostrophe means it belongs to him. You had better be prepared to return it to him. And he wants it solved. No, it doesn't count if you just have one green square out of place. Solve it or Mr. Rubik will send his enforcers after you. After the Rubik's Cube was invented, it took years to figure out a way to mass produce them. They didn't reach the United States until 1980, and there were not enough to meet demand. Can you imagine having a shortage of Rubik's Cubes? Imagine it. http://www.space-invaders.com/images/oeuvres2/florence_portrait.jpg (These people are crazy!) 4. Growing Up Skipper (1975) Skipper was introduced in 1964 as Barbie's younger sister. But in 1975, Skipper reached puberty. With the flip of her arm, Skipper grew taller and curvier. No, really. (NSFW?) She could just as easily be flipped back to childhood. Growing Up Skipper was taken off the market in 1977, possibly because she confused young girls about the true nature of puberty. Although, girls today have to deal with Bratz dolls, which are much more confusing. 3. Pet Rock (1975) The 70s were a complicated time. Not every kid wanted to figure out how Atari worked, where Skipper's new breasts came from, or why their neighbor's puppy made them break out into hives. Some kids just wanted a rock to play with. Luckily for those kids, there was the Pet Rock. The Pet Rock came with a 32-page manual entitled "The Care and Training of your Pet Rock." Unfortunately, most kids never read the manual, and most Pet Rocks starved to death. This is why Pet Rocks are so rare today. http://i-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/ny/petrock.jpg 2. Stretch Armstrong (1976) Get this. It's a super buff action figure, but it stretches. Plus, it gets its stretch from being full of corn syrup, so it doubles as emergency rations. Taylor Lautner is set to play Stretch Amstrong in an upcoming movie. Producer Brian Grazer said, "It's a story about a guy stretching -- if you will -- the limits of what is possible to become all that he can be." Awesome. 1. Star Wars Toys (1977) Before Jar Jar Binks and whiny baby Darth Vader ruined everything, there was the first "Star Wars" movie. Kenner had the rights to make "Star Wars" action figures, but were unprepared for their popularity. So for Christmas 1977, Kenner sold empty toy boxes with certificates kids could mail in for a toy in the new year, after production caught up with demand. Yes, the 70s were a simpler time, when Santa could leave kids an "IOU one Luke Skywalker" note and kids would accept it. ###
You have Renata Sancken to thank for this nostalgic list. Renata writes for Shirts.com, which is full of
awesome vintage t-shirts, but unfortunately, no pet rocks.
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