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Toys of My Very Own Wonder Years

March 19, 2010

Today I thought about sticky wickys. Did you ever have those when you were a kid? Now before your mind goes STRAIGHT into the gutter (oh wait…it’s already there isn’t it…I’m too late). Well anyways, for those of you who either didn’t have the pleasure of having this wonderous childhood item or don’t remember it, I am here to tell you exactly how great they were. They were these long pieces of string that were covered in wax. You would buy them in packs with something like 10 different colours. Then you would mold them into various pictures and stick them onto the wall or the fridge or window or whatever. Except your mom would usually get mad if you stuck them somewhere she didn’t want cause they left a weird residue behind. Anyways, I loved them. I’m so excited just thinking about what amazing creations I could make with them now that I am older and wiser. Okay, so I would probably end up making stick figures in various compromising positions. Yes, that is what wisdom and *cough cough* maturity have brought me.

Speaking of toys of the past…let me name a few of my other favourites. Well there was the Skip-it. That one’s a given. I don’t think there is a single girl born in the 80s who didn’t have one at some point. Unless they had horrible parents who denied them the best toys, and had to steal (I mean BORROW) their neighbor’s like me…but I digress. Girls would Skip-it everywhere. We would Skip-it down the block, around the playground, on the driveway, etc. I especially liked special Skip-its with the counters in them so that you could easily keep track of how many times you had hopped over it. Which lead to inevitable recess competitions to see who was the Skip-it champ. And then when you lost to that stupid girl with pink leggings, and you pushed her off the playground and had to sit on the bench for the rest of the time to think about what you’d done. I used this time to strategize for my next competition, usually. I’m surprised Skip-iting isn’t in the Olympics yet. If ice dancing is a sport, Skip-iting should definitely be a sport.

Another favourite of mine was the more modern pogo product (as in more modern than the stick), the pogo ball. These fun toys were like a ball with a plastic disc around it. You would stand on the disc part, with the ball part between your feet, and then hop around a bit until eventually you broke your ankle. Good times, good times. My little cousin actually bought one not too long ago. Apparently they are not meant for adults because I popped the ball. But don’t tell her it was me. She still thinks her mom drove over it…

Another fan favourite was the Zoom-ball. It was that football-shaped hard plastic ball that had two plastic strings running through the middle of it and handles on either ends of the strings. You flew your arms apart from each other (while holding the handles) and the ball would shoot across the cord with alarming speed at your partner (or opponent as I liked to think of them). I think the point of this game was some form of amusement via cooperation, however it always quickly developed into a game of chicken. How close would you let the zoom-ball come to your knuckles?? Who could zoom the ball the hardest, causing their parter/opponent to flinch in terror, possibly even dropping the handles? The game still scares me today. I think they even invented a version that had water balloons in it so if you zoomed it hard enough your partner would get soaked with water. This was probably a good idea as the water would hide the tears.

Finally I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for moon boots. Because of this rare toy I was the envy of all my friends. I was the only one who had them AND I had two pairs. They are most definitely what my mom would call “a hoot”. While wearing them is quite a different experience from, say, walking on the moon…they still provided endless amusement. Hopping around the basement with an added bounce to your step never gets boring. Even to this day, if friends come over and happen to look in the cupboard under the bar sink in my basement, they ALWAYS scream “OMG!! Moon boots!? Can I try these bad boys out!!!??” I always let them and there hasn’t been a single person yet who hasn’t attempted the stairs in them. Let me just forewarn the rest of you who may one day venture to my house, try on the moon boots and think the stairs are a good idea…they are not. I have a pile of bodies in my backyard to prove it. Eew was that over the line? I’m sorry.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this reflective look into my childhood toys as much as I have. They just don’t make ‘em like the used to anymore. Actually, I wonder if they have Zoom-ball for Wii now? Probably…

NOTE: Yes, the banner of this blog is made from Sticky Wickys!

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