Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 25, 2013

Toys I Wish I Still Had

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic for toys I had when I was a kid and wish that my mom had saved them but she always gave my stuff away if I wasn't actively playing with it.  In other cases, the toy may have worn out or felt apart or got lost.

These Magic Wigglees are apparently still available.  It comes with a clear bit of fishing line you tie to the nose and work with one hand to make it look like the wigglee is moving and snaking around your hand or fingers.  I had one in the 70s.  I never mastered making it move, but it was really cute and I played with it a lot.

This was a cool toy/craft I got one year for my birthday.  It was called Chip Away, and I had the animal one.  I remember the horse.  It was basically a block of plastic with a toy chisel and mallet, and you chipped the plastic away to reveal the toy inside.  The ad makes it sound like you are actually sculpting the figurine inside but you just revealed it. I remember my dad helping me to attach the vise to the table and then I worked really hard to get that plastic block off and it was very, very hard to do and required a lot of pounding.  

I had a set of these in about 1970, but they were clear plastic.  Same colours as these, but clear.  I loved them, especially the pink, orange and yellow together.  As much as I loved this set, I don't remember having it for very long.

I enjoyed this game too.  I always thought it odd that my parents gave me, an only child, games.  Who was I going to play with?  Sometimes I could get one of them to consent to a game, or when the occasional friend came over.  I'm fairly certain I took all the marbles from this game and added them to my marble collection.

My aunt & uncle in Yonkers gave this to me, and it was called Dip-It.  They lived across from my grandmother and I remember making the leaves and flower petals on the landing just outside their apartment, because it required good ventilation, and the back door was screened and open because it was summer.  After the petals for the flowers were shaped out of the wire, they were dipped into the quick-drying plastic and then wrapped together with green florists' tape into a flower shape with the leaves.  I really loved this and got pretty good at it.  Unfortunately, over time, the plastic coating often ripped or pulled away from the wire.  If this kit is still available, I'd buy it in a heartbeat as I'd like to try again.  

I looooooved Fuzzy Felt Jungle.  The last time I remember seeing and playing with it was the summer of 76.  I had gotten a very bad case of poison ivy, which got into my bloodstream.  I had to stay out of the sun for weeks due to the medication I was on, so I spent a lot of time indoors.  I wish I could find this set again.

I also had these interlocking flowers that I kept in a Gold Rush gum bag and used to play with them in the bathtub, building stuff in the water.  

Lite Brite is still around; it's a classic game/craft.  I loved sitting in the dark diningroom or kitchen, sticking the pegs into the screen, following the design which was on paper behind the screen, with the colour initials in a pattern.  You just stuck a blue peg where you saw B, green with G, etc.  I used to put the warmed pegs in my mouth too (I was 7 or 8, not a toddler!!).  
OK this one really breaks my heart that I don't have it.  I had this amazing yo yo.  It was clear, and filled with stars, moons & glitter. I loved it....and of course I had to try digging the glitter out of it.  The last time I remember seeing this around my room and stuff was junior high.  I don't know if it broke or I really did a ton of damage to it and it got thrown away or what.  I sure wish I had it now.  It's very rare and one recently went at auction for $150.  It may be in one of my old memory boxes but somehow I think it's gone.  

Toss Across was a tick tack toe game with beanbags, and it took some skill and good aim to turn the Xs and Os over.

Oh how I wish I still had my German wooden villages and animals.

I had so many of them.

I had this green fence that I used with my wooden villages and small plastic zoo and farm animals that I had, too.

I used to have quite a few of these pink plastic piggies.

And I had zoo animals that were very similar to these.

In the early 70s, Sharon, Diane & I always got one of these unusual large, flat Crayola boxes at the beginning of the summer, along with thick activity/colouring books and a new package of construction paper.  Seeing this box reminds me of rainy days at  my aunt's house, us kids sitting around the diningroom or kitchen table and colouring.  The below set actually belongs to my former, and favourite, babysitter.  She still has it!!!  I know she's saving it for her grandbabies, or else I would have offered to buy it from her.  

I always seemed to get a set of these around Easter each year.  I keep hoping that Bic will re-release them someday.

There were more toys and crafts that I had (Easy Bake Oven, Crissy Doll, Baby Tenderlove, Hot Wheels cars), but these are the ones that really stuck with me over the years.  Now if only I can locate one of those glitter yo yos......


  1. That's awesome JoJo! I had DipIt too and LOVED it! I can still remember bending those wire petals "just so" to make them look real. I love all the arts and crafts toys you had... Probably explains your artistic nature now!

    My Dad taught me a lot about art as he is very talented artistically; I used to love the time we spent together drawing, painting, sculpting...

    I hope one day you find your YoYo!

  2. I still have some dim hope that the yoyo is in one of my old memory boxes which is inside a sealed storage box in the back room, but I truly think it got tossed. :( I was always given craft kits as a kid b/c there wasn't anything else for me to do, esp w/o siblings or neighbourhood kids.

  3. Since I moved far away from where I grew up, I don't have anything from my childhood toys. My mom saved high school annuals, and some music paraphanalia, but otherwise, it's all gone.

    Hubs has a teddy bear, and little else, because his parents always gave his toys away too. They gave away a Lionel train and Big Little books, which do have value now. Parents should always ask, I mentioned this in a post about a year ago. Don't keep everything, just the special ones.

    I would just look for similar ones, JoJo, which you may find in an antique store. I've saved my kids' best toys, the ones they liked the most.

    Good luck in your search, especially for that YOYO.

  4. Great post JoJo. I love seeing all these things. I have a Good Old Days board over at Pinterest to collect things I had or remember. I had many of the same things you did. I loved making those Dip-it flowers too! I was also an only child who had a closet full of board games. Luckily I had many kids in my neighborhood to play with.

  5. Don't think any of these crossed the pond (except yoyos, of course, which are constantly making comebacks) but I did find two of my dolls in an antique shop once, where the poor family my mother had given them to had obviously later profited from them :(

  6. Hi JoJo,

    You have brought back some fond recollections of when I lived in Vancouver and I recall the ads for many of those toys.

    I go back a bit further than the toys you mention. Now where did I put my Gumby and Pokey toys :)

    A peaceful Sunday to you.


  7. So many wonderful memories of toys gone by. Today's kids would be bored silly with them, much is the shame. :( My own grandkids, could not be bothered with sitting down and putting a jig saw puzzle together.

    Hope you do still have that Duncan YoYo. :)

  8. I didn't have all of the same toys in my childhood, but some of them we had there too. Like those interconnecting shapes and flowers. Buy yo yo... it looks fab! Try to find it :)

  9. What a great ride down memory lane. I played so many of those games I enjoyed seeing them again. Thanks for sharing.
    Everyday Inspired

  10. Oh man, these are good! I forgot about those wiggly things!