Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Happy Winter Solstice! It's almost that special day of the year - you know, the one where some folks celebrate the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus comes down the chimney bearing gifts. Isn't it an odd amalgamation of religions? Taking something that should be solemn and sacred, or maybe happy and cavorting, and turning it into a capitalistic free-for-all?

Anyway, I'm feeling a big nostalgic so I thought I'd list 13 toys that I played with as a child and remember having. They are not in any particular order.

1. Johnny West.I loved these things. They were made out of heavy plastic. I had them all, along with many of the accessories. Their horses were named Thunderbolt and Lightning. They had a covered wagon. Other characters included Chief Cherokee, Geronimo, and General Custer. These are no longer available. The picture is not mine; it came from this site if you want to know more about them.

2. Erector Set. This was my brother's, actually, but I really enjoyed playing with it. An erector set is used to build things, and they appealed to my creative side.

3. Legos. These were also my brother's (I think this might be a trend) and also something I enjoyed working with. Maybe I should have been a builder or an architect or something.

4. Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. I don't remember playing with these much, and yes, I think they were my brother's, but I think that's a cool name. You can still buy a version these, apparently, which surprises me.

5. My blue bicycle. I received my first bike when I was five years old. Santa brought it and left it under the tree for me. It was a blue girl's bicycle; I don't remember what brand.

6. That same year, Santa brought me a Batgirl doll. She was sitting on the bicycle seat. I remember being very impressed with that.

7. Paddle Ball. This was a ball on a stretchy string attached to a paddle. You whopped it. I spent many hours trying to do it numerous times in a row. Unfortunately, the string always broke, and the paddle was very good for getting hit on the behind with when you were bad. Maybe I shouldn't include this one.

8. Electric train set. Again, my brother's, but I love electric trains even today. I wish I had a place to set up one. I love those tiny models.

9. Slinky. This is like a paddle ball to me, something I did over and over. It walked down stairs! I actually have purchased one of these as an adult. They're kind of soothing to hold in your hand.

10. GI Joe. Also my brother's, but I played with them too. There were also figures called Action Jackson. We had many adventures with these dolls. Much more fun than holding a baby doll.

11. Board games. Candyland, Monopoly, Life, Careers. Those were fun games. There was no blood, either, unless some who lost had a fit and swung a fist.

12. Viewmaster. This was a terrific way to spend some time. The Viewmaster allowed you to move through a series of slides. You could see shows from TV, or visit foreign lands.

13. Rock polisher. Now this was cool stuff. You could put rocks in this thing and create jewelry, or just make a regular ol' rock look smooth and polished. We have a lot of quartz in our area, as well as colorful slag from the numerous iron furnaces that were around here long ago, and I remember creating some lovely polished stone with one of these things.

For more information on toys from my era (that is to say, old), check out this website: The People History.

To all my Thursday Thirteen readers (and everyone else, too!): Happy Holidays to you. I hope your weekend is blessed as you are surrounded by family, loved ones, and memories of previous years.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 221st time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I'm still a huge fan of board games. I play them as often as I can find someone to join me.
    Merry Christmas.

  2. I had several of these myself - or, rather, my brother did. ;) I never did develop enough patience for board games. To this day, the only one I'll play is Trivial Pursuit.

    Happy TT! Buon Natale!

  3. -Oh, and thanks for the publicity suggestion on my blog! I'll try to come up with something along those lines when I'm in the US again, if I can. :)


  4. I now know you are younger than me hahah

  5. I remember playing with an erector set at my grandmother's house. Quite fun, even for us girls. We have talked about getting a set for our grandsons, but they still seem to be enamored with Legos..

  6. I remember art supplies, a pink poodle skirt and a radio flyer sled I named Betsy.

    Here is the song link: Not your typical Christmas song but I love it for that.

  7. What a fun list. We loved Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. Our grandma had a nursery school in her basement with TONS of stuff for us to play with. That was all pre-plastic and pre-Legos, I guess. I had forgotten about the Viewmaster. No Barbies? We each had one instead of 100 like girls have now.

  8. I wouldn't mind having a rock tumbler even now as an adult :)

    happy tt

  9. My sisters and I had a few of these items. Lots of board games, View Masters, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys... And number seven? Yeah, our Mom had that same idea.

  10. I used to like board games, but most of my toys were books. Not much has changed there :)

    Happy Christmas

  11. I remember stepping on a lot of those with my own kids.

    Have a great day!

  12. How I loved my Viewmaster! It was delicious, that time between getting those discs at the store or under the tree, and popping into the viewer at home so I can check them out for myself.

    What a great list! Thanks for sharing.


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