Browsing: 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…

“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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Nicholas Kove, a Hungarian living in Britain, was making inflatable rubber toys. He called his company Airfix. In 1947, Airfix bought an…

The deceptively simple concept of Bally Midway’s Amazing Maze – released in 1976 – was this: You were on one side of a maze, and you had to get to…

American Girl magazine debuted in 1992 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest and most popular children’s magazines in the USA, particularly among those focused on girls. The…

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 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,…

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 practising…

Designed for use on model railway layouts, Arkitex sets (there were ten: five in O gauge and five in OO/HO gauge to match with Tri-ang railways and Spot-On cars) were…

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…

In the years after Star Wars (1977), anything involving outer space, zippy interstellar craft and dangerous battles was golden. Into this arena of sci-fi fantasy came Atari’s Asteroids, one of the…

Californian Nolan Bushnell created a game called Pong in 1971. The following year –  with $250 of his own money and a matching investment from partner Ted Dabney –  Bushnell created…

The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was a toy lab set produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, an American athlete, magician, toymaker, businessman and inventor of the well-known Erector Set. The…