One day I got thinking about all the toys I played with growing up in the 1970’s and early 80’s and thought it might be fun to put together a photo archive collection to reminisce (I must credit Ebay sellers for most of the pictures). Below is my toy list with a brief description. I did not include all the toys I ever owned, e.g., the Star Wars action figures, Hot Wheel and Matchbox cars and plastic army men, but these are the ones that really did give me tons of fun. Looking at the list, it appears I was a bit spoiled. There are still a few pictures I am looking for to complete the list (my yellow, banana seat, Schwinn bike and AFX slotted car track) and hope to find them soon. Enjoy.

Adventure People Parachute:
I probably spent more time retrieving the toy from trees, but boy did it work great. I would also use my other action figures (e.g., Han Solo) in place of the dare-devil figure.

Adventure People Parachute

Adventure People Parachute

Air Jammer:
This was a great concept toy.  It would get its power from compressed air that was injected into the air tank via a pump. It did have some go and it was very rugged. No matter how many times I drove it off a set of concrete stairs it never broke.

Air Jammer

Air Jammer

Mattel Big Wheel:
I think I got my first Big Wheel in about 1974 or 1975. This was the bomb; a boys tricycle on HGH. My friends and I had Big Wheel gangs and we would drive our neighbors on our block absolutely crazy racing up and down the sidewalk with those hollow plastic wheels. Of course the neighbors would have there revenge when the front wheel would go “flat” from one too many spin-outs.

Big Wheel

Big Wheel

Evel Knievel Dragster:
When Evel was at the height of his career, he had his own set of wind-up toys. Most kids, I recall, got the motorcycle, but for my 6th birthday in 1977 I got the dragster. Unlike the motorcycle that would typically wobble off the winder and crash a few feet from take-off (although this may have brought about a more realistic feel), I actually preferred the car to the motorcycle because of its stability. The chute was an added bonus, but mine would just get tangled up.

Evel Knievel Dragster

Evel Knievel Dragster

Erector Set:
I can unequivocally state that my tool skills were much improved by building these metal structures. What’s more, since this set had a motor, I was also introduced into the world of electrical engineering. I recall the windmill and car were my favorites to construct.

Erector Set

Erector Set

Lego Police Headquarters:
This was my first Lego set. I received it for Christmas one year and remember for the next hour following the step-by-step instructions putting this thing together. To be honest, I think that was the only time I made the headquarters. Thereafter, imagination took over.

Lego Police Headquarters

Lego Police Headquarters

Lincoln Logs:
Probably got these when I was about four and loved them. The roof was always the trickiest part as to not knock off the green planks, but undoubtedly, I would accidentally end up knocking over the whole thing. The logs would later become great for use with my Star Wars action figures – create a fortress, set the figures inside and have at it with rubber bands trying to either knock down Vader or the structure itself. Hours of fun!

Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs

LiteBright:
Was fun until all the paper templates were used up.

Lite Brite

Lite Brite

Football Toy Box:
This was where my toys were kept (it was also a great hiding place).

Football Toybox

Football Toy Box

Nerf Football:
Look Ma, no broken windows! The only drag about the Nerf is that it would take a day to dry out when landing in a puddle. A bonus is that the original was orange; Denver Broncos color.
Six Million Dollar Man Action Figure:
In his day, Steve Austin was the man!!! I think I got my first experience with anatomy by rolling up the skin on his arm to reveal the bionics. Other features were the glass eye and ratchet arm. The red jump suit had to be a turn-on for the Bionic Woman.

Six Million Dollar Man

Six Million Dollar Man

Darth Vader 12″ Action Figure:
I recall that I wanted the 12″ Han Solo figure for Christmas that year, but “Santa” was clean out, so I had to settle on Darth. The removable life sabre (which broke) and cloth cape (got lost) were an added bonus. The only problem with Darth (and R2, see below) is that they were not as portable as the 3″ action figures.
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R2D2 7.5″ Action Figure:
I think I got R2 D2 my birthday after I received the 12″ Darth (my birthday is in January). I liked R2 more than Darth (I mean who can hate a sassy robot) because he could roll, his head turned 360 degrees and he had a secret compartment holding the Death Star plans in back that would open by pressing a button on his front. Way cool!

7.5 inch R2 D2

7.5 inch R2 D2

Sucker Man:
Such a novelty toy, but would drive my mother crazy throwing it against the sliding glass door. Boy, would Sucker Man leave his mark.

Sucker Man

Sucker Man

Super Toe – Super Jock Football:
I can’t tell you how much fun I had with this toy. You pressed (or should I say, slammed) his head which made his leg thrust out. The idea was to kick the plastic footballs (hard plastic, mind you, so it was important to stand clear) though the goal post. It came with a spinner labeled with “yards” that corresponded to the measuring tape that was to be laid down for distance. So if you spun a 50, you had to set Super Toe next to the 50 “yard” mark and try to make the field goal. My friends and I would abandon the spinner and just see how far back we could make a goal. After about an hour of playing our hands would turn blue with pain.

Super Toe

Super Toe

Tinker Toys:
The analog version of the Erector Set. I am really surprised I didn’t become a structural engineer with all the building toys I had.

Tinker Toys

Tinker Toys

Tonka Dump Truck:
The best outside toy I had. Tough as nails and big enough for me to ride in.

Tonka Dump Truck

Tonka Dump Truck

Rough Rider Lunch Box:
I think most kids of my generation had a metal lunch box. This was mine.

Rough Riders Lunch Box

Rough Riders Lunch Box

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