1970s and 80s TOY SHELF - PART 3

by Ham

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

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 bottom two shelves.

First off is a game from 1972 that looks vaguely familiar.

Hmmm... Tetris, anyone? Not only is it the exact same idea, I believe those are the exact same shapes and colors as Tetris as well. I don't think Hexed quite caught on like it's Nintendo counterpart though. I wonder if the mysterious "computer" from the box cover (that confirmed that there were 2339 ways to fit the shapes into a rectangle) was the one that figured out how to make these shapes rotate and fall rapidly.

Next we have another Etch-A-Sketch Action Pack.

I wonder why this got separated from the other Action Packs (they were on a previous shelf). The front of this package reminds me that I hate the way "Prix" in the phrase "Grand Prix" is pronounced. If it was pronounced the way it's spelled it would make for much funnier racing commentary.

Next up is a couple of dope glasses.

I don't know why, but it was fun to drink beverages out of these glasses.

Oh snap! The Ghost Gun (copyright 1974) ruled! You could shoot freaking ghosts on the wall! Ghosts! On the wall! What?!

Let's see what's inside this box now. I've been finding some odd things in some of these boxes.

Well, along with the Ghost Gun, I see a wacky electronic phaser-gun and uhhhh..., some other stuff.

I need a closer look at some of this stuff.

This looks to be some sort of odd calendar-bank combo. Odd these never really caught on with "the kids".

Ok, let's see what other friends the Ghost Gun has gathered. There's an American flag, a styrofoam "popper", an orange golf ball (and why not?), some twine, a toy truck, a glowing orange marble, and a plastic "Fuel" can. If I'm remembering correctly, we would fill that can up with water and put it in another toy vehicle we had, which would somehow make that vehicle run. I don't know how that would work, but I swear that's what happened.

Oh yeah, also in this box was a very, very 70s plastic kite.

If I stare at that too long it hurts my eyeballs.

Damn! I found the other Walkie-Talkie (remember, the other one was on a previous shelf?)! I should've just talked into the first one and I would've found this one sooner. That is, if it still has working batteries in it.

20 year old batteries are yummy!

Ok, what's next on the shelf that's going to prove what a cool kid I was?

What? All the cool kids played Dungeons & Dragons, right? This set is copyright 1980, so I think it was one of the first releases. My friends and I never got past this first set though. I think as soon as Atari came along, we completely forgot about D&D. I didn't revisit the world of wacky dice until Star Wars put out a role playing game in the early 90s.

So, what do you think the chances are of there being other things in this box besides D&D stuff?

I'm not quite sure how some old wrestling pictures ended up in a Dungeons & Dragons box. It looks like most of these pictures are from the early 80s. I see Dusty Rhodes, Jimmy Snuka, Blackjack Mulligan Jr., Andre The Giant and Pat Patterson.

This next item may be a bit of a collector's item for WWF fans.

It's "On The Mat", a flyer for the September 3, 1982 WWF show at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, NY. That night, WWF Champion Bob Backlund was set to defend his title against Bob Orton. It was to be "one whale of a contest", according to the flyer. Pedro Morales will defend his Inter-Continental Title against Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. Playboy Buddy Rose was set to make his first area appearance. Some of the other "grapplers on the bill" included Salvatore Bellomo, Tony Garea, Special Delivery Jones and The Destroyer. I remember we actually met Bob Backlund at this show and got his autograph. This, of course, was before he turned "Bad Guy" many years later and would require someone to list all of the U.S. Presidents in a row before he would give someone his autograph (I'm not kidding). I loved this era of professional wrestling - the early 80s before "Hulkamania" ran wild. Brother.

Next up on the shelf we have Speed Buggy, copyright 1973:

When I first looked at this box, I thought these were the characters from Scooby Doo. I guess the makers of Speed Buggy didn't think we'd notice the difference if they put them in front of a car with eyeballs.

Here's what the inside of Scooby Buggy looked like:

Next up is another board game based on a popular television series.

Yes, it's 1974's the Emergency! game. I remember this show existing, but don't remember ever watching it. I don't really remember playing this game, either, but it seems like a typical board game from the 1970s.

From 1980, we have the Jr. Woodworkers Toy Factory.

I don't really remember playing with this one, either, and one look inside the box seems to prove that fact.

Stickers, wood, paint and stuff.

So, what's next?

Aww, yeah! Spirograph's evil cousin, Twirlopaint! Where Spirograph would produce neat little pen-drawn shapes, kids could really make a glorious mess with Twirlopaint (which I assume came out in the 70s). Dig if you will this picture - kids place a piece of paper in a pot and squirt a bunch of paint on it while it's spinning around at top speed! Awesome! I want to go there.

And, finally, we have another one of my favorite games from the 70s:

Pivot Pool! Pivot f'n Pool! You can see how much the happy sweater family enjoy it! And that's not all!

It's Lucille Ball's favorite family game! How could we not buy it?! I also love how she's peeking into the frame on the box cover. Too funny!

Ok, that's it for my 1970s and 80s Toy Shelf. I hope you enjoyed looked through this stuff as much as I did!

And if you thought there couldn't possibly be any more stuff stuffed (haha... stuff stuffed) into the garage, wait until I try and go through this pile:


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

(Posted 7/2009)