Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, I’m all in on Christmas, and that means features like this. We’re going to look at a few things that really caught my eye while browsing through the 1991 Sears Christmas Wishbook.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
I’m going to kick things off with the main event…the SNES! As I’ll be describing in an upcoming feature, the SNES was all I wanted for Christmas in 1991. Being a Nintendo kid, seeing that an upgraded system with better graphics was coming out just kept me on the edge of excitement all through the fall. The 1991 Sears catalog didn’t have a very big spread for the SNES but I guess that was because it was so close to press time when it came out. At the bottom of the listing, it listed just a few games with a note that said more games would be available on Nov. 1st, but you had to call and inquire about those.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures
TMNT was the hot property in 1991. The catalog had a couple of pages of just the toys, but the book was filled from front to back with licensed Turtle merchandise. Pajamas, clocks, roller skates, skateboards, and just about anything else you could think of were available with the Turtles emblazoned on them. But I like these action figures. I had a couple of the main Turtles roster, but I was at that age where I was transitioning from playing with action figures to more “grown-up” toys, so I didn’t go all in on the line. Looking back now, I wish I had. The figures were just so vibrant, and the well was deep when it came to unique characters.
Nintendo Game Watches
As I said above, in 1991 I was in a transition period when it came to the things I was buying. These game watches are a great example of the kinds of things I was spending my money on at the time. A watch is a “grown up” thing, but being a game watch, they were also fun enough to still be a toy in a way. I don’t know how fun the Super Mario 3 watch could have been with the limited graphics and gameplay ability, but Tetris is a game that is perfectly suited to this kind of offering. Being the big fan of Tetris that I’ve always been, I’m surprised I never had the watch.
Baseball Card Collector Kit
1991 would have been right near the beginning of my obsession with trading cards. My friends and I spent every afternoon trading cards, and whole summer days were taken up with the hobby amongst us. A set like this would have been something I probably actually circled in the catalog back in the day. I mean, it comes with random cards, sleeves, 9-card pages, an album, and a price guide. What more could a budding collector ask for?
Canyon of Doom Slot Car Track
I was bin into slot car tracks from an early age. My older brother had them, and he and my dad used to race them as a way of spending time together. I had several tracks of my own through the years, but nothing quite like this Canyon of Doom track. It’s pretty much just a basic track with a corkscrew in it, but it’s the theme elements that make this one stand out. Racing across the rickety bridge and through the volcano is pretty badass. Not to mention racing behind the waterfall. My cousin Tim and I could have killed many an afternoon with this track.
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Toys
I was all in on the Robin Hood movie back in 1991. Hell, I’ve always loved the stories of Robin Hood in all their forms. So when these toys came out, I was almost compelled to revert back to the childhood ways that I was desperately trying to shake at this point in life just to play with these things. And it’s not really the action figures themselves that I salivate over today, it’s the playsets. The re-purposed Ewok village that is the “base” for the Merry Men, and the net launcher and boulder slinger really grab my attention. Especially since the net launcher and boulder thrower were re-purposed from the Bone Age toy line that I never had but always wanted.
Mini Golf Set
Oh man, this set of mini golf toys may look cheesy, but let me set the stage for you. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I was doing all kinds of stuff to mimic things I was seeing on TV. Like, I would see bowling on Wide World of Sports, and I would then go and make a “ball” out of Construx, set up empty soda bottles as pins in the hallways, and I would spend the rest of the afternoon bowling. Stuff like that. So to get a set like this that I could set up a 9-hole course through the house and play some mini golf would have been right up my alley.
As I mentioned earlier, I was overly into Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at this time in life, and as I just mentioned above, I was usually into re-creating stuff I was watching. So here comes this bow and arrow from Nerf that would just have made my playtime a whole lot easier. This Bow could easily make one of my lists of toys I always wanted but never had because I never did get my hands on one.
Days of Thunder Go Kart
Besides the Super Nintendo, this Days of Thunder Go Kart is the best thing I found browsing through the catalog. Days of Thunder was another movie that I was overly into back in the day, and I had a lot of merchandise surrounding the movie but I never had something as cool as this. While I would rather have a replica of the green and yellow City Chevrolet, I would still take this pink and white Superflo car. Do you realize how cool it would have been to cruise this thing up and down the road to trade cards with my friends instead of riding my bike? I would have been able to dazzle them so much I could have talked them into any trade I wanted.
Those are just a small snippet of highlights from the 1991 Sears Wish Book. Considering there are over 700 pages in that book, I could easily do a list of a hundred things I want from it, but we’re stopping at these nine. You can check out the full catalog, and many more, over at WishBookWeb.com. And if this kind of post is your thing, check out these other highlights posts here on Retro Ramblings: