Toys & Games


The 2-XL was a "robot with a personality" manufactured and released by Mego Corp. in 1978. This small 'talking' robot came complete with an 8-track cartridge and a voice that sounded like Lou Costello. On the box, 2-XL was described as "The talking robot that will Tell Jokes, Ask you True-False Questions, Ask you multiple-choice questions, Tell you if(...)


“Skate or Die!” With its funky circular joystick and boom box cabinet, there was no mistaking 720° in your local arcade. Starring a brightly-attired slacker and his favourite board, the Atari game remains a testament to an era when skateboarding was king and Jams were the fashion of choice. Game play started in a small(...)

Action Figures

What??? A boy playing with a doll??? Are you insane? These weren't dolls, they were 'Action Figures'. There's a big difference . . . Dolls are for girls, action figures are for boys, okay? Action Jackson Action Man Big Jim Bionic Woman Bonanza action figures Captain Action Colorform Aliens Evel Knievel G.I. Joe Six Million Dollar(...)

Action Jackson

The Mego company got its start as an importer of toys and household novelties but in the early 1970s, they began production on an action figure that was meant as a low-cost alternative to the incredibly popular G.I. Joe. This first doll’s name was Fighting Yank, and when the Yank didn’t do so well, Mego(...)

Action Man

Action Man was another product from America, where he was launched under the name GI Joe by Hasbro in 1964. The backlash against the Vietnam War at the end of the decade led to that character being discontinued. The 1/6th scale Action Man "doll" hit the stores in 1966 (manufactured under license by Palitoy) and(...)


Beginning in 1960, Aggravation managed to bring young and old together around the board for a classic marble race. Each player's task was to take four marbles from Base to Home, but the journey was fraught with peril. This was a game of every marble for itself, and no space was big enough for two(...)

Air Blaster Gun

Was there ever a toy gun as cool as Wham-O's Air Blaster? Not only did the thing look like a spaceman disintegration ray, it actually fired a blast. A blast of air, yes, but that was as close to a spaceman disintegration ray as most kids were going to get. And maybe a good deal(...)

Air Hockey

Ice hockey enthusiast Bob Lemieux dreamed up this popular table game for billiards manufacturers Brunswick back in 1972. Almost instantly, the craze spread across the country, and eventually to the world. Every family with a rumpus room or play room had it. The really cool amusement places had them under black lights with playing pieces(...)


Arcade game designers have always been a creative bunch, generally willing to try any idea (no matter how strange it may seem) if they think it can be transformed into an arcade hit. As a result, arcades have seen many games over the years that have been built on strange ideas. Some of these are(...)


Amazing Maze

The deceptively simple concept of Amazing Maze was this: You were on one side of a maze, and you had to get to another. It sounded no different from what you might find in any puzzle book, except for one thing: Amazing Maze was competitive. It’s one thing to find your way out of a(...)

Ant Farm

In the mid-1950's, Milton Levine was enjoying Fourth of July festivities in Southern California's San Fernando Valley, when the ant minions that he was watching jogged his memory back to the days he spent on his uncle's farm as a boy. He liked to watch the ant colonies do their thing back then, and now,(...)

Ants In The Pants

The folks at the Schaper company were definitely the kings of the insect games. They first hit it big in 1949 with the delightful construct-a-bug game, Cootie. In the 1960s, they followed up that deathless hit with Ants In The Pants, another game that included plenty of creepy-crawlies. Like Cootie, it became a hit with(...)

Arcade Games

Early 1950s fore-runners of arcade games included photo booths which became a national craze and shuffle games which moved beyond bowling with Deluxe Shuffle Targette. Meanwhile, Auto Test let practicing drivers learn the rules of the road, and Two-Player Basketball put a new one-on-one spin on the old Basketball Champ formula. And for the smallest(...)

Army Men

Toy trends come and go, but old soldiers never die. In times of war, in times of peace, those valiant fighters we call Army Men have stood valiantly in place (probably because their feet are moulded to plastic bases, but who are we to question their heroism?). Whether they come in a bag, a bucket or(...)

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