Category: Toys Toys Toys

Looking Back at Electric Football

Electric Football

 

With the Superbowl coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a time before video game systems emulated the fun of football inside the home.  A time when you really had to work to set up your plays, and then hope that everything worked perfectly, and the little football players actually went where you wanted them to.  So here’s a look back at what “playing football” was like before things like Coleco Football, Tecmo Bowl, and Madden football games came along…..

Ever since enterprising toymakers hit on the gimmick of combining electricity and sports, many a fan has whiled his rainy-day hours away over miniaturized electric versions of his favorite outdoor games. Few U.S. sports are as popular as American football, so it came as no surprise when electric football became the king of this toy trend. These games have been popular for over five decades and continue to enjoy a fervent following today.

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Construx – One of the Best Toys of the 80’s

In 1983, Fisher-Price rolled out it’s newest toy creation.  It was called Construx, and was possibly the most versatile building/construction toy since the erector set.  It featured plastic beams in various lengths, multi directional connectors, plates, axles, wheels, pulleys, and much more.  What you could make with Construx was really only limited to your imagination.

 

Construx

 

Next to Lego, Construx was the greatest building toy that I ever laid hands on, and in some ways, it surpassed Lego. The size of the pieces and the way they were designed allowed for larger projects than Lego could handle, which allowed for such projects as bridges, buildings, and any other thing you could dream up. These were awesome if you had a fertile imagination…which my brother and I did, and we used our Construx to build goose neck trailers for our Tonka trucks to pull along, fork lifts to load those trailers, and a host of other equipment to be used with them.

 

Construx

 

The first set that I had was the Bridges and Tower set that came out in 1983. I remember it not being exactly easy to follow the directions and complete the build, but not so hard that I had to have help either. I just had to take a little longer than my older brother did to complete it. But when it was done, oh my was it ever a fun thing to play with. He and I ended up using those Construx bridges to enhance the fun in our G.I. Joe adventures. As a matter of fact, just about everything we built with the Construx were to play with some other toy line we had. Rarely did we build anything just for the sake of playing with the Construx. I would put together swords and ninja stars when I would watch a martial arts movie and then let my imagination run wild. I would use them to construct obstacle courses and run my G.I. Joe men through their paces trying to re-enact the latest episode of American Gladiators. We used them to build tunnels and other things to go along with our Hotwheels fun.

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Top 5: Favorite Action Figures

 

Each Tuesday I do a quick “Top 5” list, and instead of doing some kind of big write up, I do it in pictures instead.  I’d love to see others join in the fun as well and chime in on the same topic on your own site, social channel, Instagram, podcast, or wherever you share your opinions online.  I’ll be posting under the tag #Top 5, so if you do the same we can all see everyone else’s list.

This week, it’s my Top 5 Favorite Action Figures.  Let’s go to the list…..

 

Snow Job

Snow Job from the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Line

With the skis, Snow Job was one of the most played with action figures I owned.  I killed many a snow day out of school going on special missions with Snow Job.

 

Jitsu

Jitsu from Masters of the Universe

While others may have other MOTU figures they were more fond of, but there was just something about Jitsu that struck my fancy.  That deadly golden karate chopping right hand of his made for a fearsome foe for He-Man in my world.

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Top 5: Favorite Happy Meal Toys

 

Each Tuesday I do a quick “Top 5” list, and instead of doing some kind of big write up, I do it in pictures instead.  I’d love to see others join in the fun as well and chime in on the same topic on your own site, social channel, Instagram, podcast, or wherever you share your opinions online.  I’ll be posting under the tag #Top 5, so if you do the same we can all see everyone else’s list.

This week, it’s my Top 5 Favorite Happy Meal Toys.  Let’s go to the list…..

 

Dukes of Hazzard Happy Meal

Duke of Hazzard Vacuform Containers

These hit McDonald’s in 1982, and with their plastic bodies, the boxes were great for crashing into each other while re-creating scenes from the show.

 

Construx Happy Meal

Construx Action Building System

I absolutely loved Construx toys, and certainly didn’t miss out on the free sets when they were in the Happy Meals in 1986.

 

Berenstain Bears Happy Meal

Berenstain Bears Toys

In 1987, I was all in on the Berenstain Bear books and the cartoon that was on Saturday mornings at the time, so these were a natural fit for me.  These were probably the Happy Meal toys that I anticipated more than any other.

 

Halloween Happy Meal

Halloween Pails

These have been offered around Halloween on and off for years ever since 1987.  I loved using these things to collect my candy in while trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

 

Super Looney Tunes

I loved the idea of these things, as their costumes came off to reveal their alter egos.  Two toys in one!  The Tasmanian Devil/Flash was all kinds of cool.

Dave over at Banzai Retro Club is playing along again this week, so check out his Top 5 Happy Meal Toys as well!

 

So what about you? What were some of YOUR favorite Happy Meal toys?   If you don’t want to jump in fully on social media, then chime in in the comments section below.  I want to see what fads you were really into too!

 

The Mega Haul of Christmas 1986

 

Two weeks ago, I spent quite a bit of time working on, and posting the article, 1986:  The Year Santa Became Real, for the Christmas season here at Retro Ramblings. In it, I go into detail about how my Christmas experiences took a huge upturn in 1986, and mentioned several awesome toys that I got from Santa Claus that year. I didn’t have the space in the article to go into a lot of detail on each of those toys, so this whole article is dedicated to just that!

Cobra Terror Drome

The big one that Christmas morning in 1986 was the G.I. Joe Cobra Terror Drome. At that time in life, my world revolved around four toys. G.I Joe, Masters of the Universe, Construx, and Legos….with G.I. Joe being at the top of the list. Knowing this, it was no surprise to my parents that the biggest hit of the holiday season would be this huge G.I. Joe play set.

It had room for plenty of figures, so massive battles were a foregone conclusion. I stockpiled this sucker with every bad guy I had in my collection, and then began a full on assault with all of the good guys I could find. Even Bo & Luke Duke in their 3 3/4″ figure form and the General Lee got in on the action on the side of the Joes!

 

More Dukes of Hazzard:  Looking Back at Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise From the 80’s

 

 

Cobra Terror Drome

The initial battle was a stalemate, with Cobra barely able to hold off the tremendous might of the Joes, as they retreated back a little ways to regroup and plan for a second assault. Now of course this stalemate was only to ensure that the Terror Drome was intact to play with again the following day. I spent a while Christmas afternoon interacting with various parts of this set. The Cobra vehicles re-fueled at the re-fueling station built into it, while some of the top Cobra brass interrogated a captured Joe down in the holding cell area.

The shine of this toy didn’t wear off anytime soon, but I had gotten quite a few other new toys this Christmas that required my attention, so I had to let the action cool down a little so I could get on to some of the other stuff like…..

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