The kids are asleep, the house is a bleedin’ mess, there’s toys everywhere, and you’ve just crippled yourself after standing on yet another piece of camouflaged lego. Sigh, you think, it’s far from buckets of Lego we were raised. But it isn’t! Us 30-somethings were raised right smack bang in the middle of Lego, for donkeys’ years. And in fact, if you think about it, your kids are probably mostly playing with the same toys as you were, except now they come in primary colours and “girl“. But looking back to those glorious days, there’s a few items that filled the hours of our childhood that will remain in the annals of history, probably for a good reason. Do you remember any of these?…
1. Neighbours cards
The Australian soap was at the peak of success all through the eighties and the dogs in the street howled along to “suddenly I’m seeing you, just the way you are…” as Scott and Charlene walked up the aisle. For a few years, Neighbours trading cards were like gold bullion. You’d buy a pack of five with a stick of chewing gum in the wrapper and trade with your friends like a seasoned Wall Street broker. Everyone always had too many Jane’s…
2. HB ice cream sticks
Not exactly a toy but a huge feature in those hot, sweaty summers of the 80s – were they? were they really? – this ridiculously successful promotion from HB ice cream saw children across the country consume frightening amount of ice cream on sticks just to collect the damn stick. Because if you got 200, you could get a TV for free, or 100 for a ghettoblaster or something. Your stick would tell you how many you needed. Nobody ever got the TV. Of course such promotions have been banished to the kingdom of over-consumption in the name of sales but they were good times! You’d get excited if you found one on the ground, like.
Notepads and notepads of smelly paper sheets with faded images of puppies and strawberry shortcake on them. Do you remember? They were like commodities. You always wanted hers. Write on this paper at your peril.
Super Nintendo was like an evolutionary jump into computer awesomeness. We struggled on with cassette tapes and little triangles moving vertically up and down the screen trying to it a bouncing dot for years. But then WOW! SNES changed everything. Super Mario, MarioKart, my own personal favourite the Aladdin game. Hours disappeared. I wonder if our parents were in the other room whooping and getting locked?
5. Sega Game Gear
Before the GameBoy, there was the Sega Game Gear and Sonic the Hedgehog in our hands. No more waiting your turn on the SNES, Sonic was all yours.
6. Top Trumps
Top Trumps are still knocking around I know. But they’re terribly ironic now aren’t they? Back in the day, dinosaurs was where it was at. There were loads of different kinds but these were the ultimate because they were hard to say. The neighbourhood kids used to gather in packs and stare longingly in silence as they watch the chosen two bark categories and numbers back and forth at each other for seemingly hours.
A pink and white dog with a pink stamp for destroying your mother’s tablecloth. Sure where would you be going?
Lusted after by little girls to hide all their secrets in, and picked open by cackling little boys in two seconds, Keypers were the perfect blend of My Little Pony rubber animal heads and the most unreliable of plastic shells. You got a little lock to open them up and hide your deepest secrets in them. You could also brush their hair. I had the swan. She was awesome.
9. Lo-lo balls
Lo-lo balls or lo-lo hoppers, depending where you came from, were the cause of many the skinned ankle for the children of Ireland. A football with a plastic disc rammed into the middle of it, they looked like Saturn but you could stand on them and bounce, bounce, bounce. We had dance routines to music. And stunts from vertiginous heights.
The board game for little nerds. No word longer than five letters required. Luved it.
Playing keepsakes and bombsies with gullies and steelies. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!
What games to do you remember from the glory days?
This post first appeared on Parent.ie