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Posted on Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Dave!Have I really gotten to that point?

Have I really gotten to the point where I've already blogged about everything?

Because today I was looking through the newspaper ad section and admiring all the freaky new toys that kids are playing with now-a-days. Most of them are very, very different from the toys I played with as a kid, and I thought that would be something fun to blog about. I could come up with 10 toys from my childhood I liked, then list them.

So I made my list, and every thing was fine. Until I was on Google hunting down the last image for my entry, and my search results included a photo from my own blog. A photo taken from an entry I wrote almost four years ago about 10 favorite toys from my childhood...

Dave Toys

I had no memory of writing the entry, and found it fascinating that most of my choices were the same.

But not all of them, here we go again...

Lego Space!
Photo taken from LUGNET

1) LEGO. What can I say? Lego was number one on both of my lists. It's hands-down my favorite toy of all time, and I love LEGO even to this day. When I started, there were pretty much just bricks. If you wanted a "LEGO person" you drew a smiley face on a brick. Now they've got LEGO people and much, much more. Still the coolest toy on earth.


Atari 2600
Photo taken from Museum of Play

2) Atari 2600 Video Game. Remarkably, also the same as four years ago. It revolutionized gaming for my generation. so it's really not surprising. When it came to actual games, I liked Superman, Adventure, Warlords, and Pitfall.


PayDay Board Game
Photo taken from Board Game Geek

3) Games. Somehow I missed this last time, but growing up I loved board games, card games, any kind of game, really. I had a few favorites, of course, but PayDay, Monopoly, The Game of Life, and The Great American Auction Card Game were probably played the most. I wish I had time to play games like I used to.


Microvision Game Box
Photo taken from

4) MicroVision. Four years ago I put Nintendo GameBoy on my list, but it really should have been MicroVision... it was the first portable gaming system with changeable game cartridges. And while all the games were pretty crappy, it was a pretty cool way to pass the time in a dentist office. Unfortunately, the game itself was also pretty crappy. I lost count of the number of times I had to tear it apart to glue the on/off switch back in place or fix something that had broken (usually the keypad). My favorite game (if you can call it that) was Star Trek Phaser Strike.


Acroyear Micronaut!
Photo taken from Microman Forever (though I turned him blue, because mine was blue)

5) Micronauts. Not only were they on my list last time, they were in the exact same spot. I collected all of them I could get my hands on, including the absurd "Mobile Lab" which could be reassembled in different configurations... all of them lame. But back then it was about the coolest game in town.


Big Trak Manual Cover
Photo taken from The Big Trak Page

6) Big Trak. This is an odd selection for two reasons... One, I forgot about it on my list four years ago, and Two, I never owned one, my brother did. But I played with it every chance I got. You could program it with a list of moves, turns, and fake laser blasts, and then press "GO" and it would carry out the list. In many ways, it was a very crude precursor to computer programming, and planted a seed that would serve me well later in life.


Vertibird Copter Toy
Photo taken from Retro Thing

7) Vertibird. Another new entry on my list. When you think about it, this is probably one of the most boring toys ever. A tiny helicopter on a stick goes around and round and you get to control its direction and height. The challenge came from trying to get the helicopter to use its hook to "rescue" a plastic man for some reason. And rescue him I did... over and over and over again.


Six Million Dollar Man Doll
Photo taken from Geek Orthodox

8) Six Million Dollar Man. Dropped five places from my previous list. Having your own personal Six Million Dollar Man with "bionic vision" and the ability to lift a tiny plastic motor is just about everything you want in a toy... isn't it?


Hot Wheels Poster
Photo taken from Mystery Island

9) Hot Wheels. Also from my past list, Hot Wheels were the "cool" alternative to MatchBox cars. I owned quite a few of them, including the Silhouette "Bubble Car" that's featured on the top of that cool ad I took from Mystery Island. Almost as good as the cars themselves were the freaky yellow-orange pieces of plastic "track" you could build into assorted shapes for racing. I spent untold hours running Hot Wheels on the dozens of racetracks I designed.


GI Joe Boxed Doll
Photo taken from Parry Game Preserve

10) GI Joe. And not just ANY GI Joe... the GI Joe with the "life-like hair and kung-fu grip!" Joe was an excuse to do a lot of exploring when I was a kid. Probably because video games hadn't been invented yet.


So there they are... toys I liked as a kid.

If I had to make a list of toys I like now as an adult, it would probably start with my iPhone.

Times they do change.

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Howard says:

    We never got a Microvision. We ended up with a Simon instead; however, we played Pay Day all the time.

  2. delmer says:

    While I’d forgotten its name, I thought Vertibird was awesome.

    I’d never heard of Microvision, Micronauts or Big Trak. Probably, as we always thought in Ohio, the west coast had all the cool toys.

  3. This was fun. Gender differences aside, we’re from the same era, so these are familiar 🙂

  4. My mom and dad still have our old Atari! About 10 or 12 years ago Dad somehow rigged it up so my not-allowed-to-play-video-games-because-their-parents-were-so-stringent kids could experience the fun of Astroids and Pac Man. They loved it. I loved the trip down memory lane : )

  5. Robin says:

    You forgot Intellivision. My brother STILL has that game console somewhere in the house….and the slip-on covers for the controls. 🙂

  6. I actually owned the Bionic Woman action figure and the Atari 2600 as well. I didn’t have PayDay though… I got the Game Of Life. I think my favorite had to have been my bike I got back when I was 11. Back then we could ride around a HUGE neighborhood with our friends and never have to worry about sex offenders or murderers. we just had fun.

    I miss that.

  7. Hilly says:

    I forgot all about PayDay until now! I just used to love love love that game.

  8. David says:

    Oh my God, Micronauts. I loved those. I must confess that I’d never heard of some of the other ones. Microvision never got on my radar, but then considering my utter disregard for all things video-game related, it’s not surprising. I remember the ads for Big Trak and the Vertibird. It seemed kind of dull to me. But then I was stealing my sister’s Dawn dolls to re-create Greek myths with my GI Joe action figures, so you do the math.

  9. Sybil Law says:

    Is Payday even around anymore? I loved that game; one of the few board games I liked, actually.
    This was a nice trip down memory lane. If I didn’t have all of them, my brother did, and I’d also play with his stuff. 🙂

  10. josh says:

    I lurrrve Game Boy! Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land was EPIC!

  11. Mik says:

    Only one on your list I played with was the G.I.Joe although they were called Action Man in the UK. I likes the fuzzy hair, kung-fu grip hands and moving eyes.

  12. Michelle M. says:

    I thought the illustration on Payday was pretty cool when I was little. We mostly played Battleship and Connect 4. Boy toys always seemed more fun – there’s only so many tines you can brush Barbie’s hair.

  13. kapgar says:

    Of course Lego is first on both lists… it’s AWESOME.

    Is that G.I. Joe or Avitable in camouflage?

  14. Jeff says:

    Did you ever play with Estes rockets? That had to have been my favorite toy as a kid.

    Also, like Delmer, I thought the Vertibird was way cool too.

  15. Jacob says:

    Lego, Big Trak, and Atari did it for me!
    But Lego is definitely a classic. My nephews love them and I can help them with the assembly without looking silly for my age!

  16. martymankins says:

    Holy shit, dude. Your list has so many toys I had growing up. Vertibird, Microvision, Big Trak (yep, I actually had one and owned it until around 1992), Hot Wheels, LEGO, 2600.

    Damn fine list. Now I can go off into memory lane.

  17. Good lord, I owned almost every single one of those toys. They all made it across the pond.

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