1970s and 80s TOY SHELF - PART 2

by Ham

Part 2 of 3
Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 3

Once upon a time there was a book shelf in my parent's house that had been turned into a toy shelf for my brother and myself in the late 1970s. This shelf has since been moved into their garage and has not been touched in more than 10 years. Most of the toys that were important to us (Star Wars stuff, for example) have been removed from this toy shelf and put away for safe keeping. So, what is left are the toys that we didn't feel like "saving" for one reason or another and random things that my parents have placed on this shelf.

So, I thought it would be fun to find out what exactly is left on this shelf. I've had this idea for awhile but kept putting off actually going into the garage and taking pictures of all of these things. First, the garage is not heated so I could not do this in winter. Second, all of the dust and cobwebs have made me sort of reluctant to start this project. Third (last reason, I swear), I knew it would be a large, time-consuming project. So what I'm going to do is turn this project into three pages on this site. I will cover two shelves on each page. Ok, I guess that's enough of an introduction.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in buying any of these items please send an e-mail to projectabsurd@hotmail.com. We may be willing to make a deal. Please don't write and offer $1 or something ridiculous either. That just wouldn't be worth the time it would take to go get the item and package it up and stuff. Also, please note the quality of some of these items. The boxes for most of these items are very damaged.

Now, on to the middle two shelves.

Starting from left to right on the top shelf we have:

Master Caster, copyright 1979, gave kids the opportunity to melt plastic, pour it into a mold and make their own little cars. I guess Mattel was thinking that this would be the "boys version" of The Easy Bake Oven or something. I remember this was kind of cool. I liked the idea of making stuff, but I think it just took way to long to heat up the plastic gunk and then even longer for it to harden into a car shape. I must've gotten bored with this fairly quickly. I only made four cars out of the 12 pack of molds that were included in the package.

Next on the shelf was this box:

What do you think the chances are of this box containing peaches?

Dammit! Just some rusty old tools!

This next item, while obviously not a toy to most people, might be a bit of a collector's item to some folks.

It's an official Miller Brewery warehouse hard hat from a factory in Fulton, NY that closed in the early 1990s. I wonder why the Miller folks went with this lovely shade of blue instead of the normal hard hat-yellow. I also enjoy the V-shape pattern on top of the hat. It looks a bit like something a super hero might wear (which, strangely enough, is a popular answer on the $25,000 Pyramid).

Next, of course, is the:

Now, I can't include a picture of every little thing on the shelves because this little project would be 10 pages long. So, I've omitted some of the more "boring" items. This was one of the pictures I almost omitted until I looked at that picture a little closer. Do you notice anything odd? If the Terry Cloth Folding Chair Cover is so wonderful, why is she sitting IN THE DIRT?!

Sorry about that. Ahh, what's this?

Some Kid Power Steel Shank Action Footwear, eh? That fat kid can sure lift a lot of weight! I look forward to seeing what classic Kid Power Footwear looked like. Oh, wait a minute. This is one of those "Carolina Peaches" tricks again, isn't it? There aren't really some old shoes in that box, are there?

Damn! Just a box of football cards from the 1970s and early 80s. Also, in case we couldn't figure that out, someone (me? my brother?) was kind enough to include a blue index card labeled "Football Cards". Thank goodness for that!

Next up is something I don't remember too much of at all:

From 1981, it's Dyna-Mites Construction Site Playset. Looks a bit like a generic Erector Set to me.

Next up is something I definitely remember using quite a bit:

 

Crossbows and Catapults, copyright 1983, was quite an awesome game. If you have any doubts about it, just look at the photos on the bottom of the box! You build castles, and then try to knock over your friend's castle by using a "mighty catapult"! I'm sure there was some sort of "game play" and other rules involved, but we didn't care about that. We just tried to knock over each others stuff. The picture on the cover is quite historically accurate too, eh? We all know that "enemy kingdoms" from the "Dark Ages" used brightly colored Checkers to battle one another.

After looking in this box, I realized that I completely forgot about the "Crossbows" part of this game. We probably only used the "Catapults" because of the carpeting in my parent's house. The "Crossbow" would sit on the floor and shoot an object directly at your friend's castle. This wouldn't work so well on shag carpeting. I'm sure the enemy kingdoms from the Dark Ages had the same problems.

Ok, what's next on the shelf?

I don't know why one would want to jack their shorty.

Next?

Yes! Family Feud! Or, I mean, "FAMILY FEUD". Good answer, good answer! Released by Milton Bradley in 1977, this game features Richard Dawson's bum on the box cover. I remember this game was pretty fun to play, unless you were the bastard that had to be in "control" of the board. Then you weren't really playing the game, you were just pulling out those silly yellow tabs and revealing the answers. If two or more kids were playing, then a parent would be a good person to fill this role. Back to the box cover - it looks like Green Jacket Boy on the losing team has to use the toilet. That's what he gets for not knowing boy's names that start with "R". Stupid!

 

I really don't have a memory of playing Easy Money (copyright 1974). It looks to me to be a bit of a Monopoly rip-off though.

Moving right along...

Cool! It looks like I'm batting 50/50 with this shelf. Is that a proper baseball analogy? Probably not.

Anyway, Parker Brothers released The Muppet Show Game in 1977. I can't quite remember how the game was played but, judging by the picture on the bottom of the box, you must have to choose your favorite Muppet Show character and move him across the board. I'm sure some wacky high jinks occur along the way.

The cool thing about going through these boxes is not knowing exactly what you're going to find. Inside this box were several cards given to me for my fifth birthday (I'm guessing I received the game as a present that year as well).

 

Next we have Domino Rally, copyright 1981:

Parents love the mess that can possibly be made with this game. Also, this game totally sucks if you want to play a game of traditional Dominos.

Next is my favorite Egyptian themed three dimensional board game released in 1978:

While I don't remember Pyramid Power at all, I'm proud to know that it was "The Strategy Game of the Pharaohs".

What do you think the chances are that this box contains personalized checks?

None! A random collection of stamp pads and sea shells. I recognize some Mr. Magoo characters, but I have no idea who the guys with the big hair is on the left side.

I guess if someone was upset that they couldn't play a game of traditional Dominos earlier they got a little closer to their goal with Catch 21 (copyright 1978).

The folks at Hi-Q not only made two-faced solitaire challenges, they also made strategy puzzlers for two!

Take 5, copyright 1977, looks a bit like a horizontal version of Connect Four. Yes, it was quite easy to amuse children in the 70s.

Next is another game from the Hi-Q company:

Wait a minute! Hi-Q was not only a creator of games, but a game itself! Brilliant! Hi-Q (copyright 1975) is now seen, under a different name, at all Cracker Barrel restaurants.

Wow! I don't even remember these at all. Who knew they made Etch-A-Sketch Action Packs (copyright 1981)? The Preschool and Games & Puzzles sets look rather boring, but The Dukes Of Hazzard set looks pretty cool. I think one could sip on some of Uncle Jessie's moonshine and enjoy the action from the Action Pack for hours on end. Ok, minutes.

Yeah, I would say it's about time for an electronic game. Knock-Em Out Boxing, copyright 1979, featured realistic looking boxers fighting a realistic looking battle. And by "realistic" I mean not realistic at all. But, it was 1979. So, I'll cut the folks at Bambino a little slack. However, the "True-to-Life Boxing Action" phrase written on the box just might be a bit of an exaggeration.

Next up are a few old cups obtained from fast food restaurants:

Uuuhh. I can't quite think of anything clever to say about these. Sorry.

And, now, the last item on the middle two shelves:

Now this is quite a little collector's item. There's no copyright date posted on The Enchanted Forest Treasure House Savings Bank, but we must've purchased this in the late 70s. Just what is this Enchanted Forest in Old Forge, NY, you ask? Well, click here to see our very own article about this theme park.

1970s and 80s Toy Shelf
Part 2 of 3
Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 3

(Posted 5/2009)

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