Let’s set the record straight: bohemian boomer won’t often get nostalgic; after all, being a bb is about looking forward, not back. But having said that, every once a while we’ll let ourselves reminisce about how cool it was to be a child in the 60s.
Long before the Wii, Xbox and Playstation, we had some of the greatest toys ever made. The baby boom meant a lot of money to American toymakers, and companies like Mattel, Hasbro, Kenner and Ideal were constantly churning out new toys and games to grab our attention – and market share.
Here is the boheman boomer’s list of the Greatest Toys for Booomers. How many do you remember? How many did you own?
1. Give-A-Show Projector – Kenner
In these days of Blu-ray, entertaining yourselves for hours with a slide show of Yogi Bear and The Flintstones may seem hokey…but this was state-of-the-art home entertainment at the time. The kid who had one of these things was the envy of the block.
Picture the pitch meeting for this one: “Okay, see we got this board game and its based on that wacky Allen Sherman song, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” and well, see the idea is kids have little rickety camp bus pieces that they move around the board and collect ‘ICKY’ rubber animals to try to be the first to get out of the rotten camp.”
How this ever got off the drawing board is a mystery to me – but I loved this game! Maybe it was the commercial that sucked me in:
.3 Original Barbie and G.I. Joe – Mattel & Hasbro
Okay, I have a guilty secret to reveal, one I have harbored for decades: My Barbie ditched Ken to date my brother’s G.I. Joe. I couldn’t help it; Ken was such a wuss and G.I. Joe was…let’s face it…a real man! He had a scar and everything!
Yes, I know they still make Barbie and G.I. Joe today. But we’ve forgotten what ground-breaking toys these were when they came on the market. We were the first little girls to get a doll that wasn’t a baby, and the first boys to be able to play with a doll that didn’t send mommy and daddy running to see what Dr. Spock’s book had to say about it.
4. Easy-Bake Oven – Kenner
Who knew that an ordinary light bulb could turn America’s little girls into Julia Child. Or at least Betty Crocker. Our eyes glazed over the minute we saw this in the store. We begged, pleaded and tried to convince parents to buy it, if for no other reason than to take some of the cooking burden off our poor, overworked homemaker moms. For the record, I never did get one; I had to play with it at my friend’s house and she was stingy with the cake mix – not that I’m bitter or anything.
Pity the daddies of the 60s who had to gulp down all those dry little bricks under the watchful eye of their proud little princesses. I wonder how many times Dad snuck off to the liquor cabinet to secretly wash down our culinary achievements?
#5 The Game of Tiger Island – Ideal
Now this one is pretty obscure; in fact, I haven’t found anyone besides myself who owned this game, and very few have ever heard of it. But this was the super coolest game ever! What’s not to love about a game featuring a huge plastic tiger who spins around and whacks your “island castaway” game piece with a two-by-four if you can’t flip a marble into his mouth quick enough???
There was actually some lame objective to this game about building a raft to get off the island, but my brother and I quickly resorted to just spinning the tiger, flipping marbles and whacking each other’s castaways on the head. Man, they just don’t make games like this anymore!
So, there you have it…the bohemian’s greatest boomer toys ever. Actually, the list is hardly complete – maybe we should consider this the first installment in a series. In that case, please click the Comments link below and tell us what you think were the greatest toys of the 60s. You know, the toy that made you think you would just die if it wasn’t under the tree on Christmas morning. The one you tossed away years ago that is selling for $1000 on eBay right now.