Toys I Coveted As A Kid (and still kind of want)


Up until a few years ago, this list would have only been one item long: BUBBALOONS. You know, that toy wherein you stick a wad of plastic goo on a straw and blow it up to create an unpoppable quasi-balloon made of plastic. My parents always vetoed them and apparently I complained about this well into my adulthood, because one Christmas, about five of my friends independently bought them for me. Swoon.

Here are a few other childhood trinkets I always wanted but never received:

Shrinky Dinks: Back then, I would have used them to make butterfly and rainbow sun catchers. Now I just want 'em to draw pixellated characters from my favorite Atari games to shrink into earrings. You can stop falling in love with me now.

Treasure Candles: Remember those pyramid candles that, as they burned, revealed little baubles and gems? Oh you do remember them? That's funny -- I don't, because my parents ruled me too young to play with fire until well after they'd gone off the market. Maybe if you melt one down you'll find shards of my broken heart. Or a pretty piece of quartz. Win/win.

Nickelodeon shadow freezer: The internet tells me I may have made this up, but as I recall, the premise was simple: a glow in the dark board that you mounted on a wall; then you would turn out the lights, stand in front of the board, flash a strong light, and your shadow would be burned onto the board. We had a commercial for this toy on one of our VHS tapes and I would rewind to watch the commercial dozens of times in a row. Six or seven years later, I saw pictures of Hiroshima for the first time, and wondered why it looked strangely familiar...

Easy Bake Oven: My sister had one of these; I received a Creepy Crawler Maker. And yet somehow my parents were confused the day I came home from the sixth grade and told them gender was on a continuum. Now that I bake for one, though, I could seriously use a micro-oven. Built-in portion control!

Rock Tumbler: Because a secret part of my still hopes that broken chunks of cement outside my apartment are really exquisite jade just waiting to be discovered.

What retro goodies remain on your inner child's wishlist? And seriously, I didn't make that Nickelodeon shadow board thing up, did I? Anyone? Anyone?!

Posted by TKOG from Not That Kind Of Girl.

19 comments:

Diana said...

The shadow freezer is real, although I don't remember what it was called. It was a screen that you could hang on your wall. I used to love to make shadow puppets with mine as a kid.

ally said...

I got screwed out of an easy bake oven as a child too. You're not alone.

Amy said...

i got an easy bake oven as a present, but my parents refused to let me use it! (they were freaked out about the preservatives, artificial flavors, etc.)

as a little girl i always pined for an american girl doll. i contented myself with staring at the huge glossy catalog for hours. one part of me plans to still get one, one day. another part of me thinks that is sad evidence that i have not and never will really grow up.

Jen D. said...

I miss my Snoopy Sno Cone machine!

Law Girl said...

I had an American Girl doll - Kirsten, the pioneer girl. I wanted all of the accessories and clothes that came with her but alas my parents seemed to think that $30 for a doll dress was too much. I loved the doll though and my grandma made dresses for her all the time.

Greta said...

I always wanted one of those make-up doll heads, you could do their hair and doll them up with sticky crayon-like lipsticks. My parents wouldn't let me near one, though. Stupid feminists. Although I must admit, I am one of them now - I would NEVER let my children have one of those. Wow, I've become my mom. Creepy.

That Kind Of Girl said...

@Greta: Yikes, now that I think of it, keeping the severed head of a beautiful woman in a drawer in order to dress her up into more societally acceptable appearances and trends ... that's pretty much the most unfeminist thing I've ever heard of! I really wanted one of those when I was a kid too, though. I can't shake the feeling that, had I been allowed to get one, I'd have a much surer hand with my own make-up now!

Marie said...

I always wanted a Teddy Ruxpin, and looking at them now they are kind of creepy.
This post completely distracted me from work and got me looking at toys from the 80's instead.

Chelcie said...

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/12/top_10_toys.html

check the last one. ;) you're not crazy. i remember the shadow maker, too. i *think* the children's museum around here actually has something very similar...

i always wanted that sand that you could mold under water; i think my mom's objection was that it was too messy... also, YES to teddy ruxpin! we had family friends who had one and i was so jealous.

Whitters said...

i had a shadow freezer! We hung it up in the bathroom because that was the only place dark enough for it to work. It was awesome! I always wanted a Doodle Bear.

Danielle said...

Shadow freezers are common at museums like the Exploratorium in San Francisco and maybe the San Jose Tech Museum. I used to frequent them all the time as a kid :)

Anonymous said...

http://www.trendtimes.com/uncle-milton-shadow-magic-set.html

Los Schoenys said...

The shadow freezer!! I LOVED that thing!! Loved because it was actually the ONLY toy we ever got. My siblings and I got screwed over on everything else. I'm still pretty bitter about the Lite-Brite I was never allowed to have cuz my mom thought that if it was left on overnight, it would spark and start a fire.

Cafe Fashionista said...

I'm still coveting an Easy-Bake Oven, as well. I see it as a great way to abide by portion control in terms of dessert!! :)

Anonymous said...

I admit, I was a very spoiled only child. I had the easy bake oven, teddy ruxbin & co, my little pony and popples galore- but my parents would NOT let me have a pair of jelly shoes! Man, I'm still bitter about that. Off to find jelly shoes for adults...

Erin said...

A bed tent.

And guess what I just saw in JCPenney a couple weeks ago? A BED TENT. I was tempted to buy it.

dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dee said...

Those treasure candles are totally overrated. I had a friend who's dad owned some Hallmark stores, and she gave me a couple for...some reason. I don't remember. Anyway, they were cool for like half a second, and then you get the first gem and it's kind of like, ok, what do I do with this piece of junk? You didn't miss anything, trust me.

Kylee said...

I also was a spoiled child I had everything I wanted, except the full size barbie. I only wanted her so I could wear the clothes she came with. OH and also I wanted nickelodeon moon boots for ever birthday until I was like 13.

I was at toys r us the other day and almost bought a baby alive. I had like 3 growing up, all my friends are pregnant and I feel like a baby alive is the only commitment Im really ready for at this time.

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