I just love the stuff they come up with over at RetroCrush, because—even though it makes me feel old, to read over there and laugh my butt off at the memories—I just mind being old less when I’m laughing about it. And there’s some very funny stuff over there.
So yesterday when I saw the RetroCrush Box of Glory Inaugural Inductees title, I was eager to read on, even though I wasn’t sure what I would find. But it turns out to just be a great compilation of greatest childhood toys (phew!) along with some hilarious commentary.
At first glance I thought the list contained all of the usual suspects—the Etch-a-Sketch, the Slinky, cap guns, Barbies, Legos, the Magic 8 Ball… it’s a long list, and most of the entries caused me to nod along in agreement. Some of them reminded me of things I hadn’t thought of in years; for example, I used to own the cloth Holly Hobby doll they show. (I wonder what happened to her.)
The list’s author, Robert Berry, claims at the end that you can write in with anything he’s missed, though it’s not clear whether he’ll add them to the list. And this, of course, got me thinking about what I, personally, would’ve added that I didn’t see there. (Several of the toys he did list either predate my childhood or I was just raised in a bubble. That milking cow looked like something I would’ve begged for as a kid, so I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before.)
Berry’s list tops over 60 entries; nevertheless, I submit that he overlooked the following:
- Barbie Fashion Head. These come in about a million varieties, nowadays, and I’ve even seen one with hands (which, frankly, frighten me) so that you can do their nails. But back in my day, there was but one Barbie Fashion Head. You could do her hair and make-up. And then when you got a little older, you and your brother could give her a mohawk.
- Jacks. Dude. You include jump ropes and the lemon twist but leave out jacks? Clearly you were never a girl at summer camp on a rainy day. Which I suppose is a good thing, seeing as how you’re a guy. Still. Jacks! They’re a classic.
- Sea monkeys. No room in the box of glory for brine shrimp? C’mon. Every kid I know had a coming-of-age moment when they realized that those little buggers did not, in fact, wear little pink crowns the way the ad in the back of the comic books always depicted them. It’s a sad right of passage, that.
- Walkie-talkies. I have a set of two-way radios that my kids sometimes play with, but they get bored with them easily… possibly because they work. The set that I grew up with sometimes worked, and sometimes just made a lot of static. That was part of the challenge. It made our Secret Agent games more exciting.
- Topps baseball cards. I didn’t even like baseball, and I collected these along with everyone else. Because that’s just what you did.
- Merlin. Yeah, I know he’s got Simon on there. Merlin was different, and equally (or more) popular. I always wanted a Merlin. I never got one, and had to keep using the one my best friend (who got everything she ever wanted) had. I’m still bitter.
What would go into your toy box of glory?