Friday, February 21, 2014

30/30: My Favorite Toys

The 30/30 Vision Blog Challenge for this week is to write about my favorite childhood toy or toys. I have to confess up front that I am not going to do that. It would just be boring. You see, from the time I was about 6 my favorite toys were baseballs, footballs, basketballs, dodge balls, kick balls and for a period of time even golf balls and tennis balls. I was playing any kind of ball I could every moment that I could, and those were the "toys" that I really remember. But that's too easy. I also played superheroes a lot with my neighborhood friends as a child, but in those days that just meant tying a towel around your neck- so no real toys were involved. So instead, I will tell you about 2 "toys" that I had for a long time, and may have enjoyed more as a young adult than I did as a child. Ahhh,,,the classics!

First up is the all-time great toy, Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots! I do not remember at what age I first acquired this majestic masterpiece, but I do remember playing with friends from Little League baseball (ages 8-12 for me) and knocking each others blocks off!  I also remember that I played with them so much they broke, and there was a period of time during which I had no robots with which to battle. At some point, however, I was bequeathed a second chance with a new set of fighting robots, and the games began all over again. I remember one particular night in 8th grade when a couple of buddies slept over and we played into the wee hours, hitting the buttons so hard that heads were popping off just from the vibrations. We were laughing hysterically, and as I recall, someone actually rolled over on the toy and was in serious pain from crushing their own (Do NOT touch certain areas of your body, no matter how much they hurt!)...well, you get the picture. I do not remember what became of the replacement bots, but I would suppose they too were played with until their death. A great toy full of great memories.

The other memory I want to share is of a toy resurrection. Sometime in my childhood (I'm guessing I was around 10) I got a table hockey game much like the one pictured here for Christmas. I enjoyed the game for a number of years, but being an only child it was only fun when people stayed over and we weren't outside playing ball. Over those first years it would come out on occasion and then go back in the closet for long periods of time. I don't know if I even remembered it still existed during my high school years as it languished in the closet. But at some point in my early 20s it made its way out of my room at home and into the apartment I shared with Steve Semmler and Alan Brown. We began to play, and it seemed that this old school game was more fun than it had even been before. We played with such vigor that the metal rod controlling one of the right-wingers became bent, and to use that player you had to really crank the control. And so that team's right-winger became known as Joe Crank. We had tournaments, placed bets and just had a ball playing this low tech hockey game. The game became an all-time favorite.

As with the robots, I have no idea what finally became of the hockey game and Joe Crank. I just know that the hours of fun it provided some grown-up kids will never be forgotten. These may not have been my favorite toys as a child, but they sure hold a special place in my heart now. Thanks for remembering with me. I'll see you next Friday when the prompt is my Top 5 Movies of All-Time. I have no idea how to cut that list down to 5...


  1. Anonymous2/21/2014

    I'm almost embarrassed about the hours we spent playing that game. Almost. I seem to remember experimenting with lots of different pucks - marbles and a big ball bearing come to mind. And multiple pucks at the same time was awesome! -Steve

    1. Steve, the puck with the ball bearing was heavy and never quit moving, but the little wooden one was so light- you could take some wicked nasty slapshots with that sucker! Lots of fun, and you are so right- SO many hours!


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