Winsome Wednesday: Retro Toys of My Youth

Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 203

I am working on clearing more clutter and my mental clutter took me on a tour of the retro toys I used to enjoy. Those thoughts, of course, made me wonder if any of them still existed.

The first thing that popped up was a product called Dip It Fantasy Film. The product came with wire, instructions, and cans of colorful liquid plastic. I made a lot of plastic flower arrangements with this gooey gunk. It was great fun. The only problem was that they were dust collectors. Also, after a while, because the wire was so malleable, the flowers could loose the tension a bit. I was quite surprised this was still available for purchase. (I also seem to remember it having some fumes associated with it.)

Then, who can forget Super Elastic Bubble Plastic? It came in a metal tube. You squeezed the plastic (a misnomer) on to your hand, inserted a straw and proceeded to blow large plastic bubbles. This product was taken off the market because it contained toxic materials. I think the product has been re-engineered and is again for sale, but maybe not with the same noxious fumes?

One of the toys I enjoyed the most was actually my brother’s. The Girder and Panel Building set allowed for the use of girders to build tall buildings. The kit contained snap on panels that looked like windows or doors. I loved building with it. My brother’s idea for fun was of course different. After building a sky scraper, he would take a model airplane with a detachable nose, fill it with marbles and then ‘bomb’ the building.

Then there was the Christmas our dad bought a family (questionable) game to play. It was an electric football game. The game was large, shaped like a football field with two opposing football teams. The football was a wad of tightly woven cotton. The players ran the field by vibration. The base was plugged in, causing the field to operate and the players to run and tackle simply by running into each other. Of course, there was nothing to keep them from turning and running backwards.

My last retro toy is of course my favorite — Chatty Cathy. I remember mine like it was yesterday. She wore a dress with a red velvet top and a white eyelet skirt, white socks and red shoes. She had freckles and her auburn (not red) hair was in ponytails. That was the first time I had ever heard the word ‘auburn’. The doll had a string at the back of her neck and when pulled, Chatty Cathy would talk. I remember very well every phrase and every inflection of her voice. The fabulous June Foray was the voice of Chatty Cathy. A few years back, my daughters bought me a vintage working Chatty Cathy and I also have a miniature Chatty Cathy talking Christmas tree ornament. And because she is my favorite toy, I am attaching a short documentary on the creation and history of my beloved doll. If you loved a Chatty Cathy doll, you will enjoy it.

That’s it for today’s trip down memory lane. What vintage toys did you enjoy as a child? Were they dangerous?