Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TOP 10 TUESDAY: Childhood Toys

Have you ever thought about your favorites? Perhaps it's cars or movies, authors or vacation destinations.

Here's my Top 10 Childhood Toys:
  1. Matchbox cars and trucks. Hands down my most-played-with childhood toy. I still have the carrying case with many of the original vehicles. If only I had the little cardboard box they were in when you bought them. They would be worth much more.  As a big kid, I've continued with my collection and it numbers well over 300.
  2. Tinkertoy Construction Set. I spent hours creating one structure after another. Patterned after Ferris Wheel construction, Tinkertoys were originally made of wooden dowels and discs.
  3. Spiro-Graph. A birthday gift from an uncle, the Spiro-Graph was a series of plastic geared shapes with holes for colored ink pens.  You used the pen to push the shapes along the gears to create all kinds of patterns.
  4. Steam Engine. An actual table-top steam engine.  You put water in the boiler and then ignited a fuel disc to heat the water to the boiling point.  Once you had steam, you could open a valve to make it run. There were add on pieces that connected with drive belts, just like life-size versions.
  5. Ventriloquist Dummy. His name was Willie Talk. Maybe if I had stuck with it, I would have been another Jeff Dunham.
  6. Lionel Train Set. Every kids needs a train set. I was lucky the house where we lived had a large basement, so I had my train set up on a 4 x 8 ft. table.
  7. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. I never owned the Robots myself, but my cousin did.  We always played with the toy that allowed us to "Knock your Block Off."
  8. Drawing pads. Not much of a toy, but I think I went through a pad a week.  I used to like drawing house plans. Yeah, I was a junior architect! Maybe that's why I studied graphic arts in college.
  9. Snap-together Road set.  I don't know what else to call this, and it seems like a lame toy, but I used to build roads for my Matchbox cars all over the living room.
  10. My Bike. Of course, in the summer I used to ride my bike. My favorite was had a banana seat, chopper handle bars and a sissybar on the back.
When I look back on these toys, I see a theme: imagination and creation. Do kids today get that from their playthings?

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