Toys & Games

Crossfire

Crossfire was heavily promoted in 1971 on television, but never really lived up to expectations. It was advertised as “The fastest rapid-fire action game ever”, and was based on the concepts involved in Ice Hockey and Curling.  

Dandy, The

One of the most popular children’s comics of all time, and the oldest still in publication, The Dandy was launched on 4 December 1937 by DC Thomson of Dundee, Scotland – a family firm of Victorian values and presbyterian morality. For 2d, you got a free gift, adventure stories and cartoon strips with speech bubbles – all(…)

Darci

Kenner dipped its foot iInto the dark, monopolised waters of the late 70s toys-for-girls market with Darci. She was a bit taller and a bit more poseable than Barbie, thanks to bendable arms and the ability to perform gymnast-like splits. Blonde, brunette and redhead Darcis were available, and Princess ‘D’ had two close friends to(…)

Dawn Dolls

Dawn was essentially a poor man’s Barbie . . . but sexier, funkier and a bit hipper! Released by Topper Toys in 1970, she was six and a half inches tall, her blonde hair and dark eyelashes were rooted, and her hand-painted makeup was, by all accounts, pretty fantastic. A hundred different poses were possible, Topper(…)

Dinky Toys

In 1931, British toy maker Frank Hornby – already a household name with his pre-war invention ‘Mechanics Made Easy’ sets (later and more commonly known as Meccano) – introduced a range of lead figures to accompany their Hornby series railway layouts. They were initially called ‘Modelled Miniatures’ and included station figures and road vehicles, and(…)

Dolls

Angel Babies Annie Baby Alive Baby Sweet Dreams Baby Tenderlove Baby That-A-Way – had a switch on her back and when you switched her on she would crawl Barbie Superstar Barbie Bionic Woman doll Talking Bozo Doll Buffy (not the vampire slayer!) Cabbage Patch Kids Candi Care Bears Chatty Cathy Crissy Daisy Dolls – In(…)

Dolly Pops

Knickerbocker introduced Dolly Pops in the late 70s. There were blonde and a brunette dolls, three inches tall, with very long hair and, in their natural state, nothing but white bloomers. But each doll came with two snap-on outfits, thank goodness, and that’s where the fun began. There were four outfit groupings to choose from:(…)

Don’t Break the Ice

Through the 1960’s, toy company Schaper had a number of games to their credit: Don’t Break the Ice, Don’t Spill the Beans, Ants in the Pants, Cootie and Voodoo among them. Some have since fallen by the wayside, but Don’t Break the Ice, now over thirty years old, can still be found on toy shop shelves today.(…)

Don’t Spill The Beans

Don’t Spill The Beans was popular during the late 60s and came from a games company called Schaper. The game was all about filling the bean pot one by one in order to get rid of your beans. But like many games, if you added too many, the game was over! Came with a stand,(…)

Double Dragon

Double Dragon

In the near future, with half the world ravaged by a nuclear war and violence ruling the streets in America, Marian is kidnapped by a violent street gang known as The Black Warriors. Brothers, Jimmy and Billy Lee (AKA ‘Double Dragon’) must now fight their way through the gang and defeat Big Boss Willy to save her.(…)

Dungeons & Dragons

By the late 1970s, Dungeons & Dragons had become a favourite pastime of certain types of too-smart-for-their-own-good, socially awkward adolescents who preferred to think of themselves as Chaotically Good Elves in a mystic realm rather than as the Chaotically Dressed Geeks they actually were in real life. If you played this back in the early(…)

Eagle

Eagle had good-quality paper, full colour photogravure, excellent artwork and front-page hero Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, the greatest astronaut of all time (by Frank Hampson) doing battle against the bald green alien Mekon. Up until this time comics had been aimed at both boys and girls, but a definite gender split began with the Eagle –(…)

Easy-Bake Oven

The Easy-Bake oven was introduced in 1963. Powered by a 60-watt bulb, the oven came with a couple of different mixes and cake pan options. The pastry-chef-in-training would stir together the mixing powder and water, pour the result into one of the pans (about four inches wide), and let the light bulb work its magic.(…)

Erector Sets

There are toys that every kid can understand – trucks, toy guns – and then there are the Erector sets of the world. Some young brains were perfectly wired for Erector sets – give them enough girders, and they’ll build you a rocket to the moon. Sure, they weren’t for everybody (some kids were lucky(…)

Ertl Die-cast Toys

When toy collectors think ‘farm toys’, they think Ertl. Since the mid-1940s, the Ertl Toy company has established itself as the finest farm-toy maker in the die-cast toy world, creating miniaturised vehicles that present a high level realistic detail at a small size. These toys became a great success and allowed Ertl to expand into(…)