Do you remember how to play?
Not cassettes, CD’s or any other form of media (or with yourself) but instead a game, something simple that didn’t involve technology? As I grew up, companies regularly bought out things to play with that didn’t rely on anything bar the child’s imagination or physical energy.
Here are a few games that I’d genuinely love to play with once more or even share with my child (should I ever have one).
One Christmas my two brothers and I received three similarly sized boxes and to out surprise, they were similar presents. Each of us had been purchased a hand puppet known as a Boglin, a latex monster toy highly popular through the 90’s.
Of course we didn’t keep them boxed, that destroys the point of having a toy. They were played with but I feel I was more attached than the other two. Over the coming years I then collected baby Boglins followed by Mini Boglins. By far the largest collection was that of the Mini Boglins with a lot of my friends also collecting too. There was nothing more exciting than finding a glow in the dark Boglin!
All toys eventually come to an end and my collection was sold at a car boot sale, the money was very exciting for a preteen to have!
Pog’s and Tazo’s
How much fun can circular bits of cardboard with print on them be? Truck loads apparently by the amount sold in the UK.
Pog’s were popular in the playground and living rooms of all my primary school friends with trades of duplicates taking place most days. The only thing we never traded was the slammer, a solid plastic disc that we used to flip the other Pog’s when thrown hard downwards.
Tazo’s didn’t really excite me but seeing they were about the same time as Pog’s I might as well mention them. Basically Tazo’s were more cardboard discs but they could be clipped together thanks to notches cut in to them.
One incredibly hot summer at the family shop, Mum treated me to one of the best water pistols I ever had. We weren’t a super soaker family so regularly relied on the hose for water fights at home but when at the shop, this wasn’t possible. A quick trip to the St Albans Tesco (when it used to have an upstairs and was also the first to have a toy department and clothing) resulted in me rushing back to shop to try out Spit Balls.
It’s amazing how much fun you can have with one of these and a bucket of cold water. The more I think about it, maybe we did have the double pack and Roland had the other character.
Yes, these were technological but they still required the users to run around and sweat. Not always being able to get over to Hemel Hempstead for Quasar which curiously has changed very little in recent years, meant we needed someway of recreating the experience; the Bennett family came to the rescue by purchasing two sets of Sega Lock-ons.
Homes were sadly too small a playing field for these beasts so straight to Greenwood Park and the woods we went. I can’t remember if there were two or four sets but that doesn’t matter, what does is that we ran around exercising but playing all the same.
One of few toys I still own is my Tomy train, this shall not be sold or touched by anyone but my potential future family. Toy train was simple, it was a toy train set that could be easily assembled and disassembled as required. More importantly, it was battery powered which prevented the electrocution fears of having a real train set.
My collection grew and grew and soon expanded across two large toy boxes with a variety of trains and carriages; a track I built once extended through our kitchen and in to our living room. The original train (shown in the picture) still works with the battery allegedly expiring in 1998. I spent hours and whenever possible my set travelled with me to the shop or grandparents to continue my enjoyment.
Playmobil, Army Men, Marbles, Magic Worms just to name a few have been missed from my list; I’ll revisit this at some point and enlighten you some more. For those of you who are interested in looking back, check out the following site:
Yep, that’s right. Someone has scanned old Argos catalogues and put them online. The memories of reading these at Christmas and making my Santa’s list solely using the toy section, makes me smile.