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Classic Toys for Kids

Updated on May 5, 2015
Robots beating each other up. It was all good.
Robots beating each other up. It was all good. | Source

Toys

Toys have been along for a long time. As a child, they were a source of entertainment that television could not provide and it was an additional distraction from certain obligations. Like school. Also, since most forms of musical entertainment were not suited for children at younger ages, toys were an alternative that children use their ears to listen for the words. Toys were essentially a source of mental stimulation for younger ages, and some readers of this article might have use one or two examples being mentioned in this article. These were toys that could be simple, toys that could challenge the mind, and toys that indicated that the time thy were originally made may have been lax on child safety. Some of these toys have been referenced on television or have barely changed their aesthetics since their creation, some of these toys have undergone numerous alterations over the years so that children would still get excited about buying new versions of said toy, and these were toys that have been referenced in animated or live-action content for various reasons. Having a toy meant potentially having something awesome and entertaining for more than one version, and these were some examples.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Created in 1964, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots was a toy that had two people control two robotic looking figures while they punched each other. The winner was the one who was able to make the opponent's head pop off. Fortunately, this toy's robots had elongated heads, so the players did not have to worry about getting hurt by heads flying out. This toy was simple, the controls were easy enough that young children could easily understand how to properly play with this toy, and it had robots fighting, which surely appealed to the male demographic that this toy was most like made for.

Three incarnations of the game Bop It. The third version just made the second version more colorful and surreal.
Three incarnations of the game Bop It. The third version just made the second version more colorful and surreal.

Bop It

Toys were made to be mentally engaging. Essentially the child who played with certain toys were able to learn certain skills without having to use dull alternatives. For instance, the 1996 toy Bop It the user basically played a game of Simon Says with a kind of rod with certain mechanisms that the user had to move whenever the toy said to use a certain part. The game began with the machine giving its orders slowly, but soon the pace became steadily higher. If the user could not keep up with the commands, the game was over. This was a game that helped a lot of kids learn better hand-eye coordination skills.

People playing a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.
People playing a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. | Source

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hippos are actually dangerous animals. But as a toy, they can be a source of a lot of fun. Take the 1978 game Hungry Hungry Hippos. Basically four players controlled four colorful hippos into eating the balls that were scattered throughout a plastic field. Whoever cleared the field of balls first was the winner. It was short, it was fun, it was colorful, and it was able to stand the test of time due to its simplicity. Of course, there have been some hilarious parodies to this game. In one short by the cartoon Robot Chicken, the viewer got to see one of the hippos literally barf out all f the balls it ate due to overeating. Strangely, one of the other hippos thought that it was not weird to eat one of the balls that were barfed out. Seeing as how a new game used these same balls after a previous round, that sentiment makes sense. In a gross manner.

Sock 'em Boppers

Sometimes kids will find violence through use of different toys. Created in the late 1990s, Sock 'em Boppers were essentially cushioned blow-up punching gloves children could put over their hands and engage in safe fistfights. Of course, like all things awesome aimed for children, parents started a controversy about how this toy could encourage even more fistfights to occur. This sentiment was something similar to how parents felt about the game Mortal Kombat, as detailed in Mortal Kombat Fatalities: Progress. However, since Sock 'em Boppers had actual safety measures which prevented serious injuries from occurring, nothing major happened to affect its distribution. Plus, this toy was useful in aerobic exercise.

Because kids will punch each other in the face. Best make it safe at the very least.
Because kids will punch each other in the face. Best make it safe at the very least. | Source

Hot Wheels

Cars have been a source of entertainment for a long time. In 1968 an attempt to get children into enjoying the vehicle that was the car resulted in the brand Hot Wheels. Basically, the appeal that this toy had with kids was that there were these collectable metallic cars that were able to move by itself for a small distance via pushing the car in a certain direction. However, in addition to the different cars, there were plastic tracks that the someone could assemble to make actual tracks for the Hot Wheels cars to race around. There were even options to make the cars do certain stunts with certain tracks. Basically a more exciting collectible for children.

The currently official logo for Hot Wheels. Hasn't undergone many changes.
The currently official logo for Hot Wheels. Hasn't undergone many changes. | Source

Mr. Potato Head

Not a lot of people are aware that Mr. Potato Head was around for a long time. I was not aware that Mr. Potato Head has been around for a long time. Long before he became one of the main characters in the Toy Story series, Mr. Potato Head was created as a children's toy in the 1960's that had more than just body parts. He, and Mrs. Potato Head, also came with vehicles to drive in. But one major difference that the classic version of this toy was that actual vegetables were used for the body, rather than a plastic potato. Which was somewhat questionable marketing to be honest.

The most recent version of Mr. Potato as he appeared in the movie Toy Story.
The most recent version of Mr. Potato as he appeared in the movie Toy Story. | Source

Innovation

Toys have changed over the years. Today's toys were all technologically advanced with all sorts of gizmos and gadgets attached. But some of the more classical toys were fun in their own ways. And while some of these old toys have received cosmetic changes over the years, some basic aesthetics managed to remain. Like Mr. Potato Head. At first, the buyer could use actual fruits and vegetables for the body of both Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head. But since the price for food has increased in recent years, Mr. Potato Head decided to have a plastic body to stick all of his body parts on. Which was a good idea in the long run.

Comments

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great toys. For my money, the Bopit is my favorite.

    • Lynn Savitsky profile image

      Lynn Savitzky 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Aww, Mr. Potato Head! I had a couple of those growing up. Also, does anyone remember Couch Potatoes? They were big plush potatoes, kinda a rough but not too-rough fabric.

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