Today's Friday and as I began an article on the idiocies of our current government, I decided against it. Friday is a day for celebration as it's the end of the work week (sorry, retail workers and servers) and I'm headed to Las Vegas tonight. Instead, I'm going to go the maturest of routes and tell you about my favorite toys of my childhood. Let's DO IT.
My love for Legos has never gone away. Although I don't play with them as much anymore, they still hold a special place in my heart and always will. I would always build them the way the instructions had them once and then proceed to throw those pieces into a large tub with other Legos. These would then usually be turned into some four foot tall contraption of some maniacal architectural design. The structure would always function however and almost always rolled in some way. Among all of the sets they would sell, one of my favorites was the Adventures sets. More specifically, the ancient Egyptian ones.
The opposable nature of these toys are what made these action figures so great. I used to build walls out of Legos and have epic battles between these guys where every more sent a corps character through a wall. I still become giddy with excitement when I see one of these figures at an estate sale, garage sale, thrift store, or wherever else they may be hiding.
3. Power Rangers
I had this entire set when I was a kid. These as far as I know, were some of the first Power Ranger toys to ever come out. They were a bit odd since the figure always had the suit on, but they would have this cool lever to flip between their face and their head with a mask on. I actively look for these every time I'm out toy shopping, but have yet to find them as a set within a reasonable price range.
4. V.R. Troopers
If you're scratching your head wondering who or what VR Troopers is and why it looks so much like the Power Rangers, it's because they're almost the same thing. After the success of PR, VR Trooper was created as more or less a rip-off. As impressionable as I was at that age, it worked.
I had all of the VR Trooper figures. I was recently in Houston actually at an antique village-type place and stumbled upon a booth with old VR toys, but since none of them were the main characters I cared about, I passed on them. It was still an exciting find though.
5. Sticky Hands
Every person in America in the 90's had a sticky hand at one point or another. For 25-50 cents you could dirty your parent's car windows and slap your brother or sister in the face. These squishy toys were built for unlimited playtime! (Until they inevitably got dirt all over them within five minutes of owning them.)
I thought I was going to be a professional yo-yo-er, no lie. I was rockin' those cradles harder and longer than anyone, but like my dream to be a professional figure skater and professional mini golfer, this dream has since faded. I still own a few though if you want to battle, son!
This somewhat obscure 90's toy came from an educational toy company called Discovery Toys. My mother was a distributor for them and in turn, I had a ton of different toys to play with. My favorite above all from this company was Marble Works. I loved to build my own crazy contraptions with which a marble could follow within my design. So many late nights...I love you Marble Works. R.I.P.
8. Mighty Max
Mighty Max was the toy world's answer to Polly Pocket in the best way possible (although I had a Polly Pocket too and I would mix the characters. Your gender-based toys mean nothing to me!) I've since lost track of these, but would for sure pick them up if seen at an estate sale or thrift store.
9. Hot Wheels and Tracks
Unlike number 8, I know where all of my old Hot Wheels are. I still have some in the original packaging. When I was a kid, my two favorite bins to dive into were the POGs bin at MJ Designs and the Hot Wheels bin at Walmart. Every week I would bring home one new Hot Wheel to enter into the ultimate contest.
My contest consisted of setting up an elaborate track with mix and match track pieces and seeing which car could go the furthest. All cars were let go from the same height and part of the top of the track. The only sad part about this is that although I still have my cars, I've lost track of my tracks (pun intended).
10. Carnegie Safari Dinosaurs
I still own a few of these bad boys. This toy line is probably the best made figures on this list when it comes to toughness. They were made out of some kind of super hard rubber and gave you facts about each particular species on certain characters. I learned more about dinosaurs from these toys than I did in my religious science classes growing up.
11. Surprise! There's a number 11: Exosquad
The Exosquad toys (or rather toy) made a huge impact on me. The story begins with my cousin Amy giving me the one in the center of this photo when I was about 7 or 8. It quickly became my favorite toy. About a year after I received it however, the toy disappeared. Was it stolen? Was it thrown away? Did it become sentient and decide to leave me?
Whatever happened, I couldn't remember what series this toy was from until while writing this article I stumbled upon it. I was instantly thrown into the past and a flood of memories came back to me. The one I found online though was missing parts. I sent the details over to my friend Tanner and in about 5 minutes, he found one used, but with all parts intact. Exciting, right? Well kind of.
I didn't have the funds for it. BUT WAIT. In comes a hero from across my office. My friend Ruben decides to hook me up with it as an early birthday present. End of story, it's on it's way in the mail as I type this and I couldn't be more thankful. I LOVE YOU, RUBEN.
Hacky Sacks and POGs
Another two toys I thought I would become a professional with. I suppose I'm thankful I didn't pursue the Professional POG route.