Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, December 7

Gapers Block

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anne / March 3, 2005 11:39 AM

Hungry Hungry Hippos! My parents sold it without telling me at a yard sale b/c it was "too noisy".

steven / March 3, 2005 11:48 AM

squirt guns

Michael / March 3, 2005 12:06 PM

Where do I start? Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots...Micronauts...G.I. Joe (the full-size action figure with the fuzzy hair and beard, and the kung fu grip)...Big Jim action figure (and friends)...the Six-Million Dollar Man action figure...Big Trakk...Evel Knievel w/ the motorcycle that you crank up on its base. I'm just getting started...

eep / March 3, 2005 12:18 PM

Miss? I still have 'em. (Thank God my mother is a pack rat.) I have my entire She-Ra collection in the basement right now!

Alice / March 3, 2005 12:20 PM

My Big Mouth Singers toy piano. This .pdf file of the instructions from the Hasbro site shows the modern version of the toy. My 1970s version was considerably less sleek looking. I remember the singers heads were literally held together with rubber bands -- something a toy company probably couldn't get away with today. But somehow I lived to tell the tale.

Cinnamon / March 3, 2005 12:36 PM

Mud pies. I really miss sitting in a pile of dirt and creating the perfect texture of mud to create the perfect mudpie. I even remember experimenting with making a layered mudpie because I got tired of them cracking as they dried. Worked great. I unmolded it and you could see the different layers.

Makes me think that making pasta might be the closest I'll get to this again.

jenny / March 3, 2005 12:36 PM

Blocks. My dad made them for me out of two-by-fours that he cut into shapes. Real high-tech.

karen / March 3, 2005 12:39 PM

i miss those fisher price roller skates... the ones that strapped onto your shoes. they had yellow wheels & an orange strap i think. i loved those things.

i also miss the pogo-ball... that giant rubber saturn-looking thing that you could jump up & down with. we used to play basketball while jumping on them.

those were the good ol days!!

Naz / March 3, 2005 1:00 PM

Lego. Of course they still make it and I have some Lego but nothing beats the boxes and boxes (I had maybe 10 boxes of the stuff as a kid) of it to have around. My dream is to one day have a room just like those little Lego playrooms for kids but for adults and build prototypes and toys of things. I've always thought that Lego is the best toy you could buy a child - it flexes the imagination and the mind.

I have a loose and small theory that kids who loved Lego as a kid somehoe ended up doing creative or engineering related work.

Ken / March 3, 2005 1:11 PM


Mike / March 3, 2005 1:23 PM

I miss those regular little green plastic soldiers, the ones you could buy giant packs of. Every Christmas, I'd get a pack and the following summer I would play "Hellish war zone" in the back yard, putting the troops on sheets of paper and setting it on fire.
By July, all I'd have left is a pile of green melted globs.

Robin / March 3, 2005 1:25 PM

kiddles. I still have them, but I collect them.

Roni / March 3, 2005 1:32 PM

Cinn - now don't get ahead of yourself. There's always Miss Ella who will need a good teacher or two on how to make mud pies.

My fave toy? JARTS. The old-school dangerous kind. Oh, yeah...hours of fun for a small yard.

Brandy / March 3, 2005 1:43 PM


Andrew / March 3, 2005 1:58 PM

I miss my GI Joe and Star Wars figures, and my super-cool chopper style Big Wheel.

I picked up an Atari 2600 on eBay a couple years ago.

pat / March 3, 2005 2:02 PM

Micronauts and Battlestar Galactica toys.

I still have a soft spot for the original Transformers as well.

Shasta MacNasty / March 3, 2005 2:07 PM

1. Lite Brite

2. Holly Hobby Oven. I'm SO mad that my mother and father got me a Holly Hobby Oven from Christmas, then never let me use it because they were afraid I was going to burn the house down.

With a light bulb.

They were AFRAID I was going to burn the house down...with a LIGHT BULB.

I'm so unbelieveably salty about that!

j3s / March 3, 2005 2:16 PM

Sit 'N Spin!

Jason / March 3, 2005 2:45 PM

I don't know what I miss more - the bucket of Legos or the seemingly endless supply of hours between the time the school bus dropped me off and dinner.

Laura Ingalls Wilder / March 3, 2005 2:59 PM

My dolly made from a dried corncob.

No... wait! The balloon made from pig guts when Pa slaughtered the sow! That ROCKED.

Overwrought Mind / March 3, 2005 3:06 PM

Barbie-I could spend hours in the same saga. I wasn't much for changing them or doing their hair, but I loved drama.

Old school Nintendo-It's probably the only thing my brother and I ever bonded over.

Peter / March 3, 2005 3:25 PM

I'm with Andrew. I miss my big wheel.

I also miss my matches

jen / March 3, 2005 3:31 PM

i had this stuffed monkey when i was 4 or 5 years old. dragged the thing all over the house. then suddenly, i couldn't find it. some time passed when i saw my mom digging around in her closet - and that's when i spotted my missing monkey on the top shelf.

naturally, i screamed. her excuse - it shed. apparently i was dragging monkey hair all over the house to her disliking.

i haven't completely gotten over it.

Mike / March 3, 2005 3:44 PM

Those Tron Light Cycles, with the rip cord. You can get them and everything else on this list on ebay. I gat an Atari 2600 a couple years ago for $15.

Leelah / March 3, 2005 3:48 PM

Intellivision... especially Burger Time. I loved that game!

I'm also a big fan of Battleship. I have a secret strategy that NOBODY has ever figured out... I always win.

christy / March 3, 2005 3:50 PM

legos! I had a big box, with tons of different shapes sorted into piles and one large square lego piece that was a motor. This collection was no tiny box with one little "project -- just a huge pile of random legos to build into anything I dreamed.

Alex / March 3, 2005 4:08 PM

Fashion Plates! It's how I developed my fashion sense.

Mike / March 3, 2005 4:39 PM


I totally forgot about Lite Brites. My neighbor had one and I would endure her sisters putting make-up on me just so I could play with her toys. Lite Brite, the Ewok Village from Star Wars, a tramoline...she had it all.

Scott / March 3, 2005 4:42 PM

Two great ones...

Stratego (Risk was for nerds)
Run Yourself Ragged (Think ball-bearing and an obstacle course. A poor man's Pitfall.)

robin.. / March 3, 2005 4:43 PM

hmm. summer vacation. free time. a worldview unclouded with fear and rage. these are the toys of my childhood i would most like back.

and lincoln logs. man, do i love lincoln logs. they were the less-sharp-edged lego! i also love legos.

Perch / March 3, 2005 4:53 PM

Construx! Way underappreciated...

Kelly / March 3, 2005 4:58 PM

I miss wooden Fisher Price "Little People", the ones with the holes in the bottom?! The mom had a blue body and plastic, yellow hair. The house was great too; it opened in the center and the "decor" was painted one, one dimensionally. I distinctly remember exposed red brick in one of the rooms.

amanda / March 3, 2005 5:09 PM

you're not the only one who likes little people: This Old Toy has lots of little people stuff. these are collector's items now.

i remember having the sesame street set myself as a child.

miss ellen / March 3, 2005 5:15 PM

YES, i knew someone else had to kick one up for lincoln logs. legos were rad, too, but i loved me some lincoln logs.

i also had this little techno carrying case for my legos, but it's still at my p's house.

and, tada, shrinky dinks. loved them. and, lite brite, spirograph, and big fan of JEM for awhile.

miss ellen / March 3, 2005 5:16 PM

hmm, meant to say, "bet it's still at my p's"; i'd have to investigate.

also, just remembered weebles. those were great early on.

Alex / March 3, 2005 5:37 PM

Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down.

Have you seen the new ones? They're awful! They have arms for Pete's sake.

Mike-TS / March 3, 2005 6:59 PM

Early childhood: Lincoln Logs and Toggle Blocks (like Lego's, but larger), when I was playing alone, but Matchboxes and electric trains when my neighborhood buds or my cousins came over. Then we'd re-enact whatever we saw on some Hawaii Five-O or Starsky & Hutch car chase/crash and put the Toggle Block car on the tracks to make the train derail into the Lincoln Log house. (Matchbox cars caused too much arcing, and even as a ten year old I was smart enough to know when is enough). What magnificient bastards were we.

But when I was twelve, for Christmas I got this Prominent nine band shortwave radio that was the ultimate present of all time. When you're twelve, you're just starting to wake up to the fact that there is a world out there, and more to the newspaper than the funnies, so talk about perfect timing. I got CB, airplane transmissions, VHF telphone conversations, some radio stations just under the CB band, NOAA weather, and of course the full menu of the world at large. Pulling in everything from Radio Moscow's crop reports, Radio Havana, Radio Free Europe, the Beeb, Vatican Radio (kind of a kick for this Catholic), ham conversations, and even what I later knew are called "numbers stations." Before the Internet, this was the best way to get a look at the world view of things. Of course, public admittance of this SW addiction crowns me as the uberdork, and the reward of a dateless existence from now on. All I need is a pocket protector, and glasses to put tape on the bridge of.

ted danyluk / March 3, 2005 7:15 PM


Emerson Dameron / March 3, 2005 7:49 PM

I miss Intellivision, my ghetto Atari, if not the fistfights I'd get into with my brother after we'd played it for hours. I never had a Rubix Cube or a Lite Brite, so both fascinated me. I miss the hours with my friend Jessica's Lite Brite and my friend Ethan's Rubix Cube. Hi, Jessica. Hi, Ethan. My girlfriend says her parents wouldn't let her have squirtguns; I can't imagine my childhood without them. I mean, you can load them with ANY LIQUID YOU WANT. Good times.

waleeta / March 3, 2005 7:56 PM

popples, hungry hungry hippo, and my she-ra castle. *sigh*

Nick / March 3, 2005 8:14 PM

My fucking glock.

Leah / March 3, 2005 10:01 PM

charm necklace--made of a million pieces of plastic. The girl across the alley's collection of dress up clothes. And access to my dad's tools. When I was home sick with the flu, I would build boxes and birdhouses.

Onid / March 3, 2005 11:16 PM

Stretch Armstrong.

Ray / March 4, 2005 1:20 AM

Intellivision rocked, and I had a great collection of Micronauts. But I really miss my Space 1999 Eagle, the big one (it was like two and a half feet long). A friend had one too, and we would both "fly" them in formation around the house.

I would also say my legos (which I credit for putting thought processes in my brain that were compatible with computers before computers were available to kids), but I still have them in a box in the attic.

Race Roberts / March 4, 2005 6:16 AM

A few years ago at a toy fair in Kane County, I picked up a late 1970's Sears Xmas Wish Book. Soon it fueled rampant eBaying of Wish Books from other years.

I highly recommend picking at least ONE up. Aside from the toys, there's great fashion and hair tips.

Sometimes the wish fufillment wasn't as satisfying as the long wait; browsing for weeks through glossy pages of kids playing with things you want, lives not lived...

Toy I miss? Maybe the Monster Maker. Think Fashion Plates for boys.

Lor / March 4, 2005 6:41 AM

My Little Pony!!! Wow, those things were frickin' awesome.

Tim / March 4, 2005 8:08 AM

Ganip - Ganop.

daruma / March 4, 2005 8:40 AM

OMG - Spirograph, I forgot about that. I would do it with one of those 4-in-1 click-it colored pens and switch it up.
Legos could keep me occupied for hours.
Lite Brite was good too.
Shrinky Dinks and these make your own melting stained glass kits that you put in the oven (Make It and Bake It?) were HUGE in my circle.
But my all time favorite is demolition derby with my incredible collection of Hot Wheels (not Matchbox).

Thurston / March 4, 2005 8:41 AM

Go-Bots, the broke ass predecessor to Transformers. Also, ThunderCats.

daruma / March 4, 2005 8:42 AM

Fashion Plates just reminded me of another one - COLORFORMS! They were like sticky vinyl pieces where you could change the clothes of various characters. Hmmm, doesn't sound exciting but somehow it was.

michael / March 4, 2005 8:45 AM

Can anyone remember the animal?

It was this crazy toy truck, battery powered of course, and it would tool along the floor until it encountered resistance in the form of strategically stacked readers digests (or dad's past issues of "jugs") then it would go animal and theses claws would emerge from inside the wheels and it would claw its way over things. Man, that was great. Donít even get me started on the theme song.Maybe it was all just a dream--but I don't think so cause there are usually Unicorns in my dreams. It probably got pulled from the market after it had to be cut loose from a sisterís hair for the 100th time.

Time to kill? Check out this sweet collection of 80's
commercials. I always wondered where my mandibula was!!!

Maggie / March 4, 2005 8:49 AM

My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Dolls (I still have Geralda), and Cheetarah (sp) from Thundercats. She was such a badass - and my hero.

Donna / March 4, 2005 9:34 AM

Lemon Twist, Slime, and Dawn dolls.

amyc / March 4, 2005 10:04 AM

I miss our old sofa, which had the best fort-making cushions. And the boxes my mom got when she sold Avon, which made perfect desks for my dolls when we played school. Oh -- and the white-and-silver roller skates with the glow-in-the-dark wheels. Those were awesome.

Mostly I miss being small enough to jump on the bed with abandon. Man, I loved jumping on the bed! As soon as I got tall enough to hit my head on the ceiling, it stopped being so much fun.

Flynn / March 4, 2005 11:29 AM

Merlin and Dark Tower.

Dutch 101 / March 4, 2005 11:59 AM

Go Bots. They were sort of dorkier than Transformers, but I liked 'em because they didn't have as many detachable parts to lose. Plus, one time, when I lost the machine gun for the jeep, my mom helped me write a letter to the company and they sent me a whole new one!! Sweet.

da<e / March 4, 2005 12:07 PM

Big Track!

doooo dee do dee do do

amyk / March 4, 2005 12:32 PM

Fashion Plates!!! Oh - those were great.

Rubik's Race...

And my all time favorite - My Fisher Price Record Player. It went all over Homewood with me.

Sarah / March 4, 2005 1:55 PM

Jarts (or yard darts) -- they took away all the "dangerous" toys now!! I played with all kinds of sharp stuff and I'm still alive! Oh...and Metal Slinkys too...but most of all i miss my Atari.

roderick / March 4, 2005 4:13 PM

Commodore 64.

joe / March 4, 2005 4:42 PM

My Big Wheel, which I ruined by going down the sidewalk as fast as I could and suddenly stopping the pedals, skidding to a stop. In the small town I grew up in, we used to have Big Wheel races that were sanctioned by drunk adults on the Fourth of July. Twenty kids on twenty Big Wheels crammed on a makeshift track, which was built with traffic cones on a tennis court. The winner got a dollar and everyone else got into a fight. Man, that was great.

I miss my Red Ryder bb gun too. It was amazing that no one ever found out who shot out all the porch lights in the neighborhood.

I don't miss my Legos. I still have them and play with them whenever my nieces and nephews come over. One of my sisters asked me if her kids could have them because I'm "too old for Legos." I couldn't believe the gall of that slut. Like I'd let her kids reach my skill level of spaceship-building.

Jen / March 4, 2005 4:52 PM

Sit and spin.
Slip and Slide.
Knockers. (Yes, that's what they were called.)

Tara / March 4, 2005 5:30 PM

E.T. Shrinkydinks, anything JEM, and my Fame-themed child-sized plastic "electric" guitar with pictures of the (movie) cast all over it.

Ron / March 4, 2005 5:32 PM

SSP Racers

ROSE / March 4, 2005 9:34 PM

i miss my star wars toys and my little people. sometimes i miss my speak & spell or the other ones speak & read there was one more i had too

chris / March 4, 2005 11:50 PM

Playdoh, clay and Leggo Blocks.

michele / March 5, 2005 1:59 AM

Dr Drill and was this HUGE head that opened very wide at the mouth. It came with teeth molds, play dough and plastic drills. All the accessories needed to play dentist. You would mold the teeth first and then place them in the mouth. Then came the fun part of drilling the teeth and filling the cavaties. Anyone else remember this?

steven / March 5, 2005 11:08 AM

reading through some of these posts, i can't believe i left out my Green Machine big wheel. the baddest ass on the driveway.

Ruthie / March 5, 2005 12:21 PM

I miss dangerous playground toys, like real teeter-totters and those giant spinny wheel things that would fling kids off if they got going too fast.

chris / March 5, 2005 12:32 PM

my Real Ghostbusters action figures

Tony Redunzo / March 5, 2005 6:06 PM

Testor's Airplane Glue. Definitely.

Kev / March 5, 2005 6:19 PM

We always used to get those rubber baseballs from the hardware store. They didn't hurt if you got beaned, and they didn't go through windows no matter how hard you hit it.

Mac / March 5, 2005 10:45 PM

A set of Bongos I sold at a garage sale as a kid.

Brian / March 6, 2005 4:44 AM

I miss my big metal sharp-edged Tonka trucks. Safety be damned! I also miss my legos, my lincoln logs, and my big wheel (it was the fastest one on Campbell Ave!) But I don't miss my Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Nope. Not one bit. Because I still have them. All 357 of them. :)

Elizabeth / March 6, 2005 11:32 AM

I am so with the other posters on the GoBots and spirograph tip... does anyone remember Fashion Plates? I loved playing with that... funny thing is I am soooo not a "fashionista" now.

Brandy / March 6, 2005 7:27 PM

amyc- word on making forts w/couch cushions! And that made me remember that my dad made a great toy - a set of PVC plumbing elbows (2-way and 3-way) and wooden dowels that fit them for fort making. Our own archectural tinker toys - just add blankets!

Marcy / March 7, 2005 9:01 AM

Oh yeah!

Did anyone mention Tinker-Toys? All those creativity inducing staples (lite-brite, color-forms, spirograph, shrinky-dinks, fashion plates, play-doh, legos, lincoln logs) had to make future artists out of many.

And 3 cheers for all the things that made us spin, bounce, skid and speed (sit'n spin, pogo-balls, slip'n slide, big wheels etc). Now-a-days kids just aren't encouraged to get dizzy or messed up a little.

I'm not sure anyone mentioned all the fab board games we had--operation, mouse trap, chutes and ladders, sorry, pictionary, candy land...boy if I could stroll past the gum drops and peanut brittle of yore once more...

e_five / March 7, 2005 9:49 AM

I cherished my bowl and gruel spoon, and I used to love to play with broken glass in the alley.

JimK / March 15, 2005 11:13 AM

I remember Toggle Blocks too! (See 03.03.05, 06:59 PM ó Mike-TS said:, above) I've never seen them mentioned anywhere else. I was starting to think I had imagined them.

They were pretty cool. More of a starter Erector Set than Legos (IMHO). You didn't have to bolt them together. The set came with blocks, rods, pins, wheels and axels, gears, and I vaguely remember a wind-up motorized block that you could use to make "working" cars, cranes, etc. Each block had a hinged panel so you could make things with moving parts. I used to spend hours building with these and using them to make buildings and "scenery" for my other figures.

steph / July 10, 2006 1:26 PM

my she-ra collection i loved to play with all day lon and pretend i was one of them

michelle / March 16, 2007 7:28 AM

I miss my Farrah Fawcett giant doll head. That is how I learned how to braid hair. I also miss my Green Machine! I want to get one for my kids. I'm searching for one. Even a picture will do :)

Frank / September 13, 2007 12:59 AM

I would kill to find Toggle Blocks again..If anyone knows..let me know...
Micronauts, Vertibird, Which Witch, Duke the Action just goes on.

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