June's stupid life, Pieces of Wisdom

Pieces of Wisdom Wednesday: Toys You Remember

It's Pieces of Wisdom Wednesday here at Bye Bye, Pie, and yesterday I asked you to tell me about toys from your childhood that now that you look back on them, you're all Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

For example, I had a monster-making machine that heated up to the temperature of Mars, and it had all sorts of nooks and crannies to pop your vulnerable child hand into and pull out a crispy stump.

My father emailed me about the toy, by the way, because he always emails me about my blog but never leaves a comment on here, so you probably think my father is Snufalupagus, which by the way, there is another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot from our childhood.

An elephant? That no one can see? Except Big Bird? Why?

Anyway, attached please find the monster maker from my childhood, which my father went out and located online after yesterday's post:

Toymax_Creepy_Crawlers

That delightfully colored orange and green oven is where you put a cube of inevitably toxic plastic, and then somehow it melted into a bug or a lizard or whatever. So, the part where I thought it was a monster? Yeah. But I really do not enjoy bugs and crawly things, so they are included in the "monster" category for me.

While I was looking for a bigger image of the Creepy Crawlers, I found this:

BoxHelloKitty
HELLO! HELLO, KITTY! You can make your own molds of Hello Kitty!?!? Dad, will you come over and help me?

Also too, I found this not-at-all-sexist ad:

Wow

What is she wearing on her head? Did she mold her own gaudy headband? Is she Mother Nature? Or posing for the Green Goddess salad dressing bottle? Otherwise, her loved ones need to tell her to ix-nay on the over-the-top eadbands-hay.

Anyway.

So many of you mentioned the Lemon Drop, which you saw as ludicrous, but at least it made us active.

Lemon

You put it around your ankle like you're Lindsay Lohan or some similarly tethered person, and them you WHIP that lemon around and around and jump over it.

Okay, it was on odd toy. Who THOUGHT of it? Did they accidentally drop one of those plastic lemons one day and have a eureka?

And of course, what trip down odd toy memory lane would be complete without a mention of those safe Jarts? Nothing is better for kids than sharp pointy objects that you throw. Yay!

Lawnarts_jarts_lawndart_survivor_tshirt-p2357156669990578363o3c_400

Someone has invented a "Jarts Survivor" shirt, and this is why I love people.

Fads_Clackers(Losangelesphilip)(180)

Clack on! Clack off!

I totally had these. So did many of you. So the glass could have broken and gotten shards in someone's eye. DID IT? Did it happen to you? No. You clacked, you hit your brother, no one got hurt, end of story.

Clack on, clack off. The Clacker.

So if you didn't get impaled by a Jart, or burned to death with the monster maker, or get the shards from your Clacker, how about you inhale some mysterious chemical-y plastic?

I had some SuperElastic Bubble Plastic, and if you watch this TV commercial, you know you bought it thinking you'd get balls this big. So to speak. But you did not. You did not get big balls. You got maybe a peach-size ball, made from some chemical that we are all going to die from inhaling, eventually.

A slow, mysterious chemical death. From Hasbro!

Someone in my comments yesterday said they loved the smell of Play-Doh and Colorforms, and as someone who loves to open new three-ring notebooks because they smell like a new doll, let me tell you a story.

They ("they." I love it when people say that) did a survey of people who were kids in the '40s and '50s, and asked them what smells reminded them of childhood. The majority said hay or new-mown grass (is "mown" a word?) or the sidewalk after it rains.

Kids who grew up in the '60s and '70s? Play-Doh. Crayola Crayons. New dolls. ALL OUR MEMORIES ARE FROM SYNTHETIC MATERIAL!

Depressing. Let me find Kitty Carryall and tell her my woes.

And speaking of my woes, so many of you RUBBED SALT in my WOUND, mentioning toys I was not allowed to have.

Malibou-barbie-head-11982-400
Like the Barbie head. Who you could make up and do her hair. Look, she was the first person to have extensions. Anyway, MOM said I'd get the pieces everywhere.

Dnd 4 lite brite
I also could not have a Lite-Brite. Because MOM said I'd get the pieces everywhere.

Operation-game
My cousins had Operation. I never did. Guess why. Pieces. Whenever I went to their house, I was not good at getting the wish bone out or whatever because I had no practice.

Had you not been so CONCERNED about getting your zigzag carpet messy, MOM, I'd be a top surgeon now! Do you hear me?

For a hippie, you were awfully tidy.

And yes, we really did have zigzag carpet. Black and white zigzag. Some day I will find you a photo.

Growskip3

Oddly, I was allowed to have Barbies and Skippers and Malibu Melanoma Barbie and so on. I say "oddly" because you'd think Free-to-Be-You-and-Me-Unless-Being-You-Involves-Toys-with-Lots-of-Parts mom would have objected to objectified Barbie. I wish I could have had bustin' out Skipper. Maybe mom was worried I'd leave her little white platforms everywhere.

But I'm not bitter.

At any rate, it's been a fun week of Pieces (but don't get the pieces everywhere) of Wisdom Wednesdays.

I have to go, because the timer just dinged and my Shrinky-Dinks are ready.

88 thoughts on “Pieces of Wisdom Wednesday: Toys You Remember”

  1. I skipped my heart out with the lemon drop. I cracked an ankle more times than I can count, too, because well…let’s just say my middle name is not Grace.
    When I was a kid, I loved the Weebles…I even had the treehouse. Oh, and Baby Alive…poop and all.

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  2. Dang it! No spell check.
    Alos, June? Did you ever see the pregnant Barbie? Her pregnant belly was magnetized. And there is a newborn baby that comes with her. Jan’s daughter liked to put Barbies legs up, bend her knees and make pushing noises. And she’s pop out the baby. Good times.

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  3. My sissy Jan is much younger than me. She used to love me to play Barbies with her. Once when she was about 6, she was playing Babrie and Ken had a date. At one point she has Barbie get real close to Ken, and says “Let’s go back to my placve, have a drink and make a little love…” I about died! Think Mom let her watch too much One Life To Live??

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  4. i got a real lemon twist, only after i made my own with some old garden hose and a plastic lemon juice squeeze bottle. didn’t work well, but from a distance…
    i had the thing that made pressed plastic squares with flowers in the middle. the box showed how you could make a purse if you made enough squares. but you could probably buy a prada bag for the price of all those refill kits.
    with crap like the super elastic bubble crap you have to blow out to make a ball, pixie sticks and pop rocks, did our generation have anything to do except turn to drugs? cuz they remind me a lot of meth (making a bubble at the end of the tube), pixie sticks laid out in lines like cocaine and pop rocks sure make a swell sub for crack.

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  5. I have ALWAYS wanted the Grow With Me Skipper. Always.
    The Lemon Drop/Skip Its are dangerous. I managed to smack myself in the head with one when I was younger, and refuse to go near them anymore.

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  6. My sister and I had the My Friend Mandy and Jenny dolls. I still have mine and my girls are currently playing with her.
    I loved this treehouse.The fold down steps, the pop up top, the faux wall paper and accessories and flooring. When we played the people who lived in the tree house were poor.
    http://www.fpclub.org/more.html

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  7. I though it was called “the Lemon Twist” and I was furious to find out my mother just threw it out one day. Thought I was done with it.

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  8. Oh these comments! This post! Heeelarious!
    I will say that I had the strawberry shortcake doll that blew strawberry kisses. Once, when my mom was napping I went in her room and thought it would be nice for her to have a sweet smelling kiss. I squeezed and blew doll air into her ear. She almost killed me.
    No, she just screamed.
    This story is lame. Sorry.
    Why was Oscar orange in the first season?

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  9. I still want a Lemon Drop. When I read the comments about it I didn’t realize THAT was what it was. They couldn’t have cost much…why did I never get one? I’m going to search ebay. I can just see my 44 year old self hopping around on one foot!
    How can you all remember those planet phrases? It took me awhile to figure out just what those phrases meant. Slow day for me. I must’ve flunked out on the planet test in school.
    It’s fun reading everyone’s memories. And I really hope we get to see Duffylou’s picture!
    I can’t wait till Toy Story 3 is on DVD! One of the few movies where each sequel gets better.

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  10. Old, Used-Up Barbie (aka Pam Anderson). Dying!
    I had this Tiffany Taylor doll, it was just like the Barbie one above, but you rotated her scalp around and she went from a blond to a brunette. CREEPY! I can still remember the song from the commercial and how in second grade I got TEASED mercilessly during recess, and then sobbing hysterically in the bathroom. Thanks, June, for this lovely trip down memory lane. Now I have something ELSE to discuss in therapy this week. What, are you getting kickbacks or something?

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  11. OMG, I am dying here – Tracie’s literal dad peeing on Tracie’s fire about the growing doll, June’s hippie-neat-freak mother, pet rocks with fur, Duffie’s scarring school photos, all so funny. Real childhoods, not these Dick and Jane childhoods I keep reading about on to many mommy blogs and scrapbook sites. I feel right at home.

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  12. That Lemon Drop thing looks like a kid could hang herself on it. Did it get banned like Jarts? I won’t hold it against you anymore, Pal, but I wish you could remember that June did not have a Barbie from me or her grandparents. If she had one, I don’t know where it came from.

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  13. I’m with you, Anita. Pixar movies rock. I cried all over myself in Toy Story 3 & Up, though. Ken was the BEST character in that movie.

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  14. LOVE me the lemon drop! I have a newer model now that counts the rotations but is a boring ball shape. I’m only good with it on my right ankle. Also, I melted my Barbie Head’s hair, thought I could use my curling iron on her… oops.

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  15. OHHH I just remembered something!! I had a Strawberry Shortcake doll, and if you squeezed her tummy, she blew sweet, strawberry-scented breath out at you. I LOVED IT. I miss that smell.
    Also: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. I think my mom must have taught me that. She’d rather be educated than eager.

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  16. Tressie! I think her name was Tressie (for tresses of great big hair). She couldn’t always play with Barbie because her head was so big (to store all that dang hair) so she looked a little too wonky to be Barbie’s friend.

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  17. My Dad gave me a creepy crawler set! Boy was I ever excited until I realized he had other plans. He moved in on me and started making fishing lures and tried to get me all excited about it. Kill joy.

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  18. Yeah, my sister got the Pull Out Hair Chrissy Doll and I got her sister Pull Out Hair Velvet Doll.
    Did anyone have the cute “Cutie” doll with blond hair wearing pink pjs with white polka dots. Again, it was my SISTER’S doll..but it was cute! 🙂

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  19. Yeah, my sister got the Pull Out Hair Chrissy Doll and I got her sister Pull Out Hair Velvet Doll.
    Did anyone have the cute “Cutie” doll with blond hair wearing pink pjs with white polka dots. Again, it was my SISTER’S doll..but it was cute! 🙂

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  20. Yeah, my sister got the Pull Out Hair Chrissy Doll and I got her sister Pull Out Hair Velvet Doll.
    Did anyone have the cute “Cutie” doll with blond hair wearing pink pjs with white polka dots. Again, it was my SISTER’S doll..but it was cute! 🙂

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  21. I totally ROCKED the “Lemon Twist” back in the day! I think I even had a terry cloth romper outfit that matched it. I know if I tried it today I would totally bust my …you know what. As I have gotten older I think I have exponentially lost co-ordination.
    Your post reminded me of this totally creepy doll I had. I think her name was “Hello Chrissy” or something like that. You pressed her nude colored, flower shaped belly button, then you could pull more hair out of the middle of her head. Euuughhh! She had this reverse mullet thing going – short everywhere except the middle of her head where this long ponytail came out in relation to how hard you pushed her belly button. I am laughing out loud right now, just thinking about it. 🙂 Thanks!

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  22. D’oh! It was a Lemon TWIST, folks! That’s why I have previously failed to find one.

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  23. I confess that I ordered a Shrinky-Dink Halloween tree for me, a Christmas one for my mom, and the Deluxe Shrinky-Dink set for my niece for the holidays. I just love saying it!
    And June, I also was ordered outside on a daily basis, only to go climb a tree and read my book. Freakish how we both ended up in the glamorous editing profession, no?

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  24. Poor Mother. I have scarred her for life now with my making fun of her Utube reference!
    And, certainly, I would never ask ME about remember anything from our childhoods. June has been my savior in remembering any details from the time I was 2 until 6! I don’t remember much except for the magician at my birthday party, our Ug-Ugs, matching outfits, my house and yard, your house and yard and a birthday party of June’s when we played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Oh, and the trauma of when my parents had Santa “surprise” me on Christmas Eve. Scarred for life. May as well have been a murderous clown. Still hate the fake Santas. (shudder)
    June has had to fill in the rest of the blanks for me!
    Please forgive me, Mother! I couldn’t resist!

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  25. Freakin’ A! I just got pissed off!
    As I am reviewing your list of Toys of the Past…particularly the ones you, June, wanted but couldn’t have..I am realizing that MY SISTER GOT EVERY STINKING ONE OF THOSE TOYS…which I, too, coveted but never got. Today, my sister will tell you that I was the favored child. Hah! She got ALL of the cool toys and cool clothes while I wore miniature versions of my mom’s polyester pantsuits and played with sucky toys. And I am the older child!
    I just got depressed! She even got the “smells so good” Barbie Airplane! I loved the way it smelled every time we opened it up.
    Oh, well…I ended up with a great life so I guess it all evens out in the wash (mixing my euphemisms, I know).
    Happy Wednesday! 🙂

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  26. Freakin’ A! I just got pissed off!
    As I am reviewing your list of Toys of the Past…particularly the ones you, June, wanted but couldn’t have..I am realizing that MY SISTER GOT EVERY STINKING ONE OF THOSE TOYS…which I, too, coveted but never got. Today, my sister will tell you that I was the favored child. Hah! She got ALL of the cool toys and cool clothes while I wore miniature versions of my mom’s polyester pantsuits and played with sucky toys. And I am the older child!
    I just got depressed! She even got the “smells so good” Barbie Airplane! I loved the way it smelled every time we opened it up.
    Oh, well…I ended up with a great life so I guess it all evens out in the wash (mixing my euphemisms, I know).
    Happy Wednesday! 🙂

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  27. Freakin’ A! I just got pissed off!
    As I am reviewing your list of Toys of the Past…particularly the ones you, June, wanted but couldn’t have..I am realizing that MY SISTER GOT EVERY STINKING ONE OF THOSE TOYS…which I, too, coveted but never got. Today, my sister will tell you that I was the favored child. Hah! She got ALL of the cool toys and cool clothes while I wore miniature versions of my mom’s polyester pantsuits and played with sucky toys. And I am the older child!
    I just got depressed! She even got the “smells so good” Barbie Airplane! I loved the way it smelled every time we opened it up.
    Oh, well…I ended up with a great life so I guess it all evens out in the wash (mixing my euphemisms, I know).
    Happy Wednesday! 🙂

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  28. Mom, in fact I DID have a Barbie, and she had a blue sparkly dress that I hearted. I think she was not new, though, so someone may have given me their old, used-up Barbie. Which by the way would make a great new Barbie Brand. Old, Used-Up Barbie (aka Pam Anderson)! From Mattel. Anyway, I also had a blue Barbie case and once I was drunk in Seattle and I passed a vintage store that had that same case in the window, and I screeched on my brakes even though I was walking, because I had forgotten ALL ABOUT that case. I do not know why I had to mention I was drunk, other than to irk mom.

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  29. What about Sea-Monkeys? Xray vision glasses? Hulk, two Tonka dumptrucks, tied with rope to your feet also made great rollerskates.

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  30. Speaking of planets, we learned it as, Mary’s velvet eyes make johnny stay up nights plenty. Kind of suggestive for little kids to learn, isn’t it? Also, it still makes sense if you eliminate plenty/pluto too. By the way, you never had a Barbie June. I didn’t like them for the reason you stated. Ask Pal. Maybe she’ll remember, but I don’t trust her any more.

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  31. To appease your curiosity June I put a request on my Facebook page to any of my classmates that would have been in my third grade class to see if any of them might have our class picture.
    Our school use to take the individual pictures and place them on a sheet instead of a group pic. I hope someone has it because this would be a far more expedient way to get the pic.
    What I won’t do to embarrass myself for this blog.

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  32. That’s why my mother named me Siren. I swear I’m not making this up.
    You know what this means, right?
    It means you’re thinking just like a mother. HA.

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  33. Aw, can we at least have an artist’s impression Duffylou?
    Anita – Loved Toy Story 3, Ken’s fashion show was the best!

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  34. “Crispy stumps!” You sure know how to make a girl laugh…which I totally need today. Oh and the Shrinky Dinks, my kids love them. We all gather in front of the oven to watch the spectacle.

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  35. Ok June. Meanie. I did look. My sister has the family photo albums. I will ask her if she can locate the one(s) with my hideous school pictures in them. I seem to only have 2nd,4th,5th and senior pics here. K,1 and all the other grades are missing.

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  36. I don’t really care about the bulbs. What I do care about is the dry-erase board with the little magnets. What happened to the dry-erase board? I thought it was for Wedgie Wednesdays. I miss the dry-erase board.

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  37. No, Tracie-don’t you remember?? Every time Big Bird wanted to have Snuffy meet one of the adults, Snuffy would disappear. All the adults just thought Snuffy was Big Bird’s imaginary friend.
    How sad am I? Really?

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  38. First, Anita should get comment of the week. Ken was/is a douche.
    B) I want a set of jarts. I’m going to search all knowing internet after I’m done leaving this comment. We have a large field across from our house and these would be awesome.
    III) We had some girlie toys growing up, but my dad refused to let my sisters and me grow up without Tonka trucks and a big dirt pile in the backyard to play in. We spent many hours moving dirt around with our dump trucks and grader.

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  39. Aww c’mon June. Not fair. You were all cute and towhead-y when you were little. I was a dark haired freckly bucked toothed monster with a razor cut that year.
    People see your pictures they ooh and ahh. They look at mine and say damn! Where did you keep her cage?

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  40. No one can see Snufalupagus? I remember seeing him on the show. This is confusing.
    I had the clacker….played with that thing all the time. How my mom didn’t go crazy hearing that noise all day, I’ll never know.
    Maybe she put up with it due to her guilt….because just like your mom, my mother denied me Lite Brite and Operation because I would get the pieces everywhere. I don’t think I have quite forgiven her for that.
    There was this doll that grew. She got taller and grew teeth and her hair got longer. I don’t remember the name-but probably something like Gretchen Grows A Lot. Anydoll, I wanted that doll so bad, I spent three months begging for her for Christmas. Two days before Christmas my dad took me to the toy store and pulled one off the shelf. He opened up the box, popped the doll open (I am not making this mess up!) and showed me how the doll wasn’t really growing it was just a bunch of gears. Then he asked me if I felt like saying she “grew” was a lie, and how it would be wrong to reward their lie by purchasing one. THAT has definitely not been forgotten!

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  41. Wow! Your parents bought you toys? I was the 3rd/last child so I didn’t get toys much. I played with homemade stilts that I made out of old coffee cans and strings.
    Oh, and I also remember my grandparents buying me these “Pet Rocks” from the flea market that were actual rocks with rabbit fur glued to it. For some reason, I had a ball with those pet rocks!
    Ahh, I loved the 80’s! So simplistic!

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  42. My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles.
    Pluto isn’t a planet anymore.
    This is me talking in my Steven Hawking mechanical voice like Jonah did in “Knocked Up”.

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  43. Hulk, my next-cubicle neighbor, Jane West, just relayed this pertinent info to me. I accused her of being Steven Hawking, knowing that Mars was farther from the sun than we are. I FORGOT, okay? But My Very Eager Mother Just Shelled Us Nine Peanuts. Look. Mars/Mother is after Earth/Eager. And thank you, Mr. Maisano from high school, for teaching me that.

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  44. It is colder than Earth…it is further from the Sun.
    I am with you, Chief. Can’t believe someone (Furry) didn’t call Junie on this…
    Hey-how’d the bulb thing…nah, forget it. I don’t really care.

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  45. My evidence of owning a Thingmaker is forever noted for all to see.
    In my third grade school pictures I am wearing a Thingmaker flower with a smiley face button in the center. Pretty. Ack!
    What was my Mother thinking? Although she was one of those moms that did exactly what the picture forms said NOT to do. Do not try any new hairstyles on your children for pictures. This is a time to let them look like themselves. Ya right. I have horrendous school pictures with my hair pointing east, south and skyward.

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  46. Because I know someone is going to say it eventually, so it might as well be me … Mars isn’t hot.
    I do envy you your monster maker though. If I had heard of such a thing as a child, I surely would have wanted it. We did have some sort of Scooby-Doo character maker but it was not nearly as cool.

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  47. My neighbor Joe and I both had the Thingmaker toys. I had the fun flowers and he had the creepy crawlers, we would trade goop colors and I would make flesh and blood colored daisys and he would make pink and green bugs. Yes, we burned our hands and our moms reaction was to tell us to be more careful, not to sue Mattel. Good times.
    PS June I bought a Lite Brite for myself as an adult and you can too.

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  48. Did you guys know WHY Sesame Street finally let all the adults “see” Snufalupagus?
    They wanted to show kids that adults would beLIEVE them when they told them something…
    “Mommy, that stranger just tried to grab me and shove me in his car!”
    “Oh c’mon, Suzy. I don’t believe you, you little lying sack of sh*t. Oh wait. I can see Snuffy?? You MUST be telling the truth, Suzy. POLICE!!”

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  49. Heehee ‘Thanks for the memories Grandpa – and for throwing caution, and government recalls to the wind for us!’ – love it Kim!

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  50. June, maybe your Mom pre-empted the fact that you would veer towards hypochondriacinismyish and knew that Operation would just exasperate your future hypochondriacismshmism? Just a thought… Although I NEVER realised that only Big Bird could see Snufalupagus so I may be wrong. BUZZZZ. I fear that I may have been a slow child, and nobody even bothered to tell me. I blame over-exposure to play-doh fumes.

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  51. I grew up in the 80’s where, sadly, many of these toys had already been recalled. However! Jarts! My family loved playing them every summer when we’d go to the beach, and my grandfather REFUSED to get rid of them. Oh, my mom and aunt begged him to, but us kids, and grandpa, we loved jarts. I think I can still make out a jarts scar on my foot from a rogue throw. Thanks for the memories Grandpa – and for throwing caution, and government recalls to the wind for us!

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  52. I had those metal skates…we’d play hockey in them and they would get all dented up and not fit on your shoes anymore…
    Or you would take off trying to go as fast as you could, and one of them would slip off and you’d durf your face into the sidewalk.
    Good times…
    Hulkette has a TV in her room, a DS, a Wii…and all she likes to do is climb in the crabapple tree out front and play with sticks.
    Man, I love that kid…

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  53. Can’t wait to hear your mom defend herself. I laughed out loud at the “for a hippie, you were awfully tidy” comment. (But I’m always laughing out loud at this blog, so why am I surprised?)
    I had those clacker things. They could leave a nasty bruise if they got out of control.
    Also had a Bell Hop, which I loved.
    Did anyone else have the metal roller skates you clamped onto your shoes? I put a lot of miles on those.

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  54. I forgot about the Lemon Drop and the click-clack ball thingys. I had both. My toys, especially ones that either made noise or I made noise with, always mysteriously disappeared. Where did my Barbie townhouse go??? What about my Barbie RV??? And my Sunshine Family dolls and nursery set???

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  55. My parents locked me outside 15 minutes a day. Because all I wanted to do, after Pal from MA moved away, was sit in the basement and read. Apparently this concerned them, hence the 15 minutes. So Id take my book to the hammock and read there. You people who played all day and got dirty and such? Cannot identify. Those of you who ended your day with paper cuts and tired eyes? That was me.

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  56. I did not have the Lemon Drop, but I had 2 similar ones called Skip It and Bell Hop. I guess I liked to jump over things. I know I wore that dang Bell Hop out!
    And the Hula Hoop!!! How much did I love my Hula Hoop! And the tether ball. Plus my awesome metallic blue bike with the low sissy bar and super groovy silver sparkle banana seat. Can you tell our mom booted us outside at dawn? We were always outside.

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