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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top 9 Childhood Toys

In a previous post, I discussed a Top 20 list of toys circa 1910-2010 that was compiled as part of a poll conducted by the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (CMI). I vehemently quibbled with the results. But instead of trying to correct the errors of 24,000 poll takers, I will compile my own list--this one, as is my wont, a Top 9 roster. It excludes board games, as that seems to me to be a separate subject.

Laura's Top 9 List of Toys from her Childhood :

   1. Barbie: 'Nuf said.  

2. Canadian Hockey Table Top Game: I'm not talking Air Hockey, nor a table masquerading as a hockey game. Instead, what my older brother and I lovingly called "Game-da-Plink" measured about two and a half feet long and 18 inches across. The skaters were tin Flat Stanley Mikitas, posted on metal sticks that slid between specific slits in the "ice" (allowing for limited, albeit 360 degree, movement). Players had to maneuver each skater by hand-operated rods. Therefore, the game took a great deal of manual dexterity, as each person was responsible for five skaters, plus the goalie. This game was old school--no  newfangled innovations (at the time) like the overhead puck dropper or an electronic scoreboard. Although our little tin men were Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, most were anonymous, except for the wing man we called Badly Injured. Poor Badly Injured--he was constantly toppling off his post. The play-by-play from the era  (narrated by whoever didn't have Badly Injured that day) went like this: "Badly Injured gets the pass, he turns, he shoots, he topples over."  (I should mention that perhaps it was this early experience that propelled me toward a college sportscasting career doing play-by-play for minor league baseball, women's basketball, and synchronized swimming).

Oh shoot the puck, fond memories of Badly Injured and multiple victories over my older brother have caused me to drastically digress. Let's get back to my Top 9 list.

3. Ping-Pong Basketball: By which I mean the one complete with spring-loaded levers to pop the ball out of the hole and into the hoop. Not to be confused with the Thai version. And, parenthetically, if these sporting games sound archaic, please note they belonged to my much, much older sibling.

4. Skate Boards
5. Model Trains
6. Little Kiddles
7. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head
   8. Etch-a-Sketch

   And last, but not least:
9. Ken. Poor Ken. Such a second fiddle, yet such a trailblazer. Back in my childhood days, he was simply before his time. Now, my particular Ken had bendable (and shaved) legs, so I could never get his pants on. Still, this didn't cause major problems in the Barbie bedroom, as the couple slept on bunk beds formed by placing the Barbie wardrobe case on its side at night. By day, Ken perused said wardrobe, and was particularly fond of Barbie's Trans World outfit.  (Apologies for the different type--apparently, Blogger thinks Ken requires an alternative font style.) 

Which toys make your list? And if you were to choose among board games, how would Candy Land and MONOPOLY, as named in the CMI poll, stack up against Operation, Trivial Pursuit, or the Game of Life? Don't toy with me. Just leave your thoughts.

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