Big Jim’s House

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(Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The National Toy Hall of Fame revealed the 12 finalists for its 2023 class, and once again my favorite childhood toy . . . illegal fireworks . . . was robbed.

The finalists this year are:  Baseball cards . . . the board game Battleship . . . Bingo . . . Bop-It . . . Cabbage Patch Kids . . . Choose Your Own Adventure game-books . . . Connect 4 . . . Mattel’s Ken (gee, I wonder if that’ll get in with the Barbie movie).


Anyone remember this commercial from 1981 for Connect 4?  (I’m still convinced she was cheating).

The Little Tykes Cozy Coupe (the classic red car with the yellow roof) . . . Nerf toys . . . slime . . . and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

**authors note: How are Nerf toys NOT in the hall? was there anything cooler than a Nerf hoop on the back of your door and playing hoops with your friends? Had to keep your dribble by moving the ball – and fouls were allowed. I may have broken a door in our apartment as a kid with a strong drive to the basket.**

The winners will be voted on by toy industry experts . . . plus public voting at throughout the next week.  Three of the 12 toys will wind up getting inducted.  They’ll be announced on November 9th.

Bingo and Nerf were also nominated LAST year, but they didn’t make the cut.  The three that DID make it in last year were:  Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, and the Top . . . the toy you spin.

(Museum of Play)

Screamin’ Scott put together an amazing list of Toys That Ruled The Seventies – I love how he started this list:

Favorite Toys By Year That Ruled The Seventies. It was a wonderful simpler time and fun for a kid.

In the 1970s, some advances in toy technology started with computerized games of Electronic Football and the Atari computer and home gaming system. Pop culture also continued to greatly influence many youngsters by being able to recreate their favorite movies or tv shows with matching action figures and dolls like the Six Million Dollar Man.

The 1970s were a time when parents kicked the kids out of the house and said go play outside. Kids spent their summer vacation going to the movies to see Jaws, then not going into the water rest of the year. Dress to impress with very high tube socks and shorts that were pretty small. We worshiped “The Fonz” from Happy Days and quoted catchphrases from Welcome Back Kotter and Saturday Night Live.

My hero was a late-night TV host named the Ghoul who showed really bad movies. We watched the Red WingsTigers, and Lions even though they were pretty average. The Toys we had could never be released today. Jarts is a toss game like horseshoes but with metal projectiles. Light bright-colored pieces of glass on a grid plugged into an outlet. These toys made a fork in the toaster not look so bad.

Toys That Ruled The Seventies

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