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November 15, 2005


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I recently had a longing for all the candies of my youth. Like atomic fireballs, candy cigarettes and Beeman's Gum. Found them online at carolscandycorner.com. Check it out.


Are you wearing a leopard print bathing suit? OMG! That's so adorable. You really were a stylin' 70's baby.


You and I are from the same generation. I remember all those things you listed. I have not thought of Encyclopedia Brown for ages. I hope to be able to share this stuff with my kid and I think you will be able to do the same. Green Machine was that the one witht the hand brakes so you could go real fast and pull the break and skid? I miss good Saturday morning cartoons.


I remember all you listed plus...Intelevision, Double Dutch being so-o cool, leg warmers, wearing 2 socks at one time that were a different color (probably a chic thing) and those cheap ass plastic skates that went over your shoes.

good times, good times!


I think you meant "Lite Brites" instead of "Brite Lites".

As I was checking online to make sure I wasn't going out on a limb by issuing the correction, I found an online version here: http://www.sfpg.com/animation/liteBrite.html#

So, that'll keep me entertained the rest of the day.


jg...YES! It WAS Lite-Brites. And that site you found? Awesome time-sucker. I just made a X-Mas tree and a snowman. Thanks!


Yeah, I have fond memories of Lite Brites and Encyclopedia Brown.

Other childhood faves: Pippi Longstocking, playing with jacks, Ramona books, collecting stickers.

You were a cute kid, MetroDad.


The kids in our cul-de-sac still play with Big Wheels and Play Doh.

My kids had Sea Monkeys, but only because I always wanted them when I was a kid. I never had enough allowance to pay for them.

Now I'm a grown up, I was very happy to see I could buy the biggest dang Sea Monkey setup in creation for just a couple of bucks, no problem.

Linda B

I like the leopard print. Even at a young age, you were metro.

Anyways, I think kids are more into the computer related things these days. Sadly, the etch-a-sketch and atari are things of the past.

I have a similar childhood memory of swimming in our little pool at home. We have a picture of my sister and I playing in the pool in the front yard. She is probably four and I am three years old. For some reason, my sister has her chubby hands around my neck and is choking me in the picture. My father is simply sitting in his lawn chair smoking. Those were some good times.


I loved those electronic Mattel games. But did you ever notice how football, soccer, basketball and car racing were all basically the same game? I found all of mine recently at my mom's house. Dug up some 9-vold batteries, plugged them in and had a blast.


I remember everything MD mentions (except the 50 States thing. I learned a song about the Canadian provinces and how to remember their order from East to West...and I still remember it). I was a typical Canadian kid because I liked Mr. Dressup, Fred Penner and Today's Special on the CBC. I'm fortunate that as an adult, I got to meet both Ernie Coombs (Mr. Dressup) and Fred Penner and tell them how much I loved them as a kid. Still do, actually.
I also remember thinking I was so cool in my velour shirts and wide-wale courdory pants, neon socks and stirrup pants. In the eighties, I also remember trying to get my bangs to stand up as high as they could and went through my allowance every week buying hairspray. Lip-synching was hot. So were Bonne Bell Lip Smackers and John Hughes movies.
I know we all wanted Lloyd Dobler to come sweep us off our feet (can I admit I still have a thing for John Cusack because of Say Anything?)


Seeing "Star Wars" 13 times in the theater. Army Men. Dungeons and Dragons. KISS posters. Hot Wheels. Choose Your Own Adventure Books. My Nerf soccer ball.


Just reading through the comments makes me glad I wasn't the only Encycopedia Brown fan - although I will admit, I could almost never figure out how E.B. KNEW!

I re-read one a few years back and it was painfully obvious so I must have been a stupid kid.

I read the whole Judy Blume set - my mom started to get a bit nervous when I'd ask her what a "period" was.

The Green Machine kicked the Big Wheel's ass!

I have a sad Sea Monkey tale - after putting them in a tupperware bowl to watch them hatch, my mom had a party (not to watch the Sea Monkey's hatch but that would have been a cool party). After the party, one of her friends helped clean up and unwittingly dumped the Sea Monkeys down the drain (Lots of crying ensued).

I never had leopard print bathing suit though. =)

Neal Patrick

Rockem-Sockem Robots. All the brutality of boxing in robot form.

Tinker Toys, or more specifically, the sound of tiny nuts & bolts being vacuumed up from my shag carpet.

PlayDoh being ground into said carpet, focing mom to give the carpet a "hair cut".

PayDay (the board game), a game which I suspect was never translated into Russian, but was probably the favorite of Republicans everywhere.

Mr. Big Dubya

The Mr. Turtle Pool/Will keep you nice and cool/On a hot day/It's fun to play/With Mr. Turtle Pool

In addition to the great list you've already made: Pong, Viewmaster Viewer (plain and with sound), Hippity-Hops, Sit-and-Spin (what's with getting dizzy? I think this is the true gateway drug), Hardy Boys, How to East Fried Worms, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, Caps (the red strips with the small little bubbles of gunpowder - great for little pistols or just for scraping), Spirographs, H.R. Pufnstuff, Sigmund and the Seamonsters, Land of the Lost....

Never start one of these posts again or I will just go on and on and on and on.


Sour Keys, Lemonheads, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, Keds, Betty Crocker EZBake Oven, Star Wars action figures, Silly Putty, Slinky, Shrinky Dinks, Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Sock Monkeys...

I love remembering all this. You ROCK, MD!


Nobody said Finger Paints or Mr. Potatoe Head! I love those things...I told POW's kid the other day that we'll be playing with them soon!


Just wanted you to know my kids have a Lite Bright, a couple of new, reissued Encyclopedia Brown books, Mad Libs, "Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing" (and other Judy Blume books), Play-Doh (my carpet just loves it - HA!), and shrinky dinks. I also put a Schoolhouse Rock dvd on my wish list over at Amazon. I'm sure my kids could care less but that one - I want!

Daddy L

We were a poor immigrant family back when I was a boy, so we didn't have a lot of toys (Green Machine = Pipe Dream). But I'll always remember my Jack-in-the-Box. It was second hand, and when you cranked the handle it only played about a third of the song. After a few more silent turns of the handle the lid popped open and out came... a... spring. That's right a spring, no clown, no puppet, just a spring. I loved my JITB, played with it for hours at a time. Imagine my surprise years later watching my friend's baby brother play with his, "Hey, a clown is supposed to pop out?!?"

Mr. Big Dubya

Heidi -- in all honesty, I have six...SIX...Mr. Potato Heads right next to my desk here at work - in full view of everyone that comes in. They sit next to my Slinky and Magic 8-Ball - I might just have to take a picture of t hem and post them to my own site later.


even if they don't make some of that stuff anymore, everything you played with as a kid, and more, will always be available on eBay. I wouldn't sweat it.


I remember my Spirograph and Spirotot sets, my Kreskin's ESP Game and my Trixie Belden collection. I also remember my Jackie Stewart race track that I got for Christmas. I didn't ask for it. I wanted the blue jeans with apples on them, but whatever.


Rock candy, The Muppet Show, pink Spalding balls, Sno-cones, Operation, Magic 8-Ball...all fond memories for me. Dutch is right. You can get anything off E-Bay these days!


No gnews is good gnews with Gary Gnu! Great Space Coasters, get on board on the great space coaster...

i also know every flippin word of FREE2BUNME! My dog is a plumber/he must be a boy...

in that babymetro pic you are kinda rockin the same pose as in your silhouette. muy interesante, MD.


Pixie sticks
Rockem Sockem Robots
Winky-Dink And You
Davey and Goliath
Banana Splits (the show, not the dessert)
Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators
Smiley-face t-shirts
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Banana-seat bikes
Saturday Creature Feature
Station wagons

ozone ferd

lincoln logs, original 12 inch GI Joes, little green army men, building tank models and lighting them on fire, Cooties, Mouse Trap, aggravation, tinker toys, comic books, electric football (Cowboys and Steelers), slip and slide.


God, I used to want Sea Monkeys so bad! I remember my Brite Lite--I played with it all the time. Mad Libs, Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High books; anything by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Lois Duncan. Mr. Potato Head. The Wonderful World of Disney, the original Star Wars movies, Schoolhouse Rock. Matchbox cars, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pound Puppies. Kool-Aid, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Chuck-E-Cheese. Atari 2600--I rocked at Frogger. Galaga, Spy Hunter, Ms. Pac-Man. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, MD.

BTW--that pic is priceless. Too cute.

Ed Bacchus

Ice Cream Trucks
roller skates
White Castle hamburgers
pac man
Ms pac man (of course)
The first Halloween Movie
Candy Stores
Fishing with Dad
Sleeping until noon on the weekends

Those are some of my memories......

Queen of Ass

I don't remember much, actually. Except the 80s hits. And Love Songs at Night on Mix102.9.

It was a slow decade...

Beth C.

Too funny, Metro. Got to love the fact that the blogging world's most metrosexual daddy has a photo of himself in a leopard bathing suit. And are those Gucci sunglasses? I love it. What a absolutely adorable photo. Priceless!


"Stickball bats made out of broomhandles"

As Marv Albert used to say, "YESSS!" I'm about the same age as you, MD. And growing up in New York City, we played stickball all the time. Kids these days? They've never even HEARD of stickball. I tried to show my nephews how to play a few months ago and they looked at me like I was crazy...and then went back inside to play video games. So sad.

Maybe we can start a 35 and over league?


From the pic it looks like you were suburbo-boy. We have the schoolhouse rock dvd and cds. The songs are great 70s funk in a good way and some of the lyrics are very clever. We still like them and our boy does too.


Could you even play defense on those Mattel games? I prefered the really loud electric ones that vibrated and made the players move around the board.

My own favorites:
Big League Chew
Kroft Super-Show (with Dr. Shrinker)
Hot Wheels tracks you could make loop-de-loops out of
Army men with real parachutes on their backs
Adventure People
Losing all the guns to my Star Wars figures
Sock monkeys
planting beans in class and watching them grow on the window sill
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Fonzie t-shirts
Lawrence Welk (my parents were nerds)
Catching mantis' and keeping them in jars
Capture the flag
swimming lessons
Little Golden Books
Hungry-Hungry Hippos
Those inflatable balls with a handle on them that you could bounce on like a pogo stick
The prizes in Happy Meals
The prizes in Cracker Jacks
The Jerry Lewis telethon
Star Trek reruns after school
John Travolta as "The Boy in the Bubble"

Hey, did you hear how Mikey from the Life commercial died because he at Pop Rocks and Coke?


Klackers, Hacky Sac, old-school scooters.


I have to say that when I read the title of this post, I thought, "what came between? MetroTeen? MetroGent?"

All those and more (can I just say that I was once made fun of by a total stranger in my public library for SQUEEEEing that a new Encyclopedia Brown book had come in?). And Etch-a-Sketch lives on, although perhaps only in miniature form--my kids have two.


Listening to music on my older brother's 8-track machine. Remember how big those things were?


Etch-a-sketch is totally still in. The 3 year old twins across the street own one, and they also have a Mr. Potato Head. Wow, good times reminiscing. I won't even start or this post will be endless...



I actually did the package design for those bad boys...before the safety freaks pulled 'em off the market. I still have the original artwork in my basement.

Anne Glamore

In a fit of nostalgia, I bought my boys a Lite Brite for Christmas one year. After I stepped on those sharp pegs a few times, I understood why my parents always cussed when we left the toy out and the pegs got buried in our green shag carpet.


I just bought 6 Mad-Libs for a party. I found them at Borders. They actually make ones for pre-schoolers now too. With colors and numbers and shit, my daughter loves them. I remember a ton of the stuff you mentioned. But I also want to add Silly Putty and Pick-Up-Sticks. I loved both of those. My kid has a Light Bright, and she never plays with it. Come to think of it, I didn't play with mine either, it was scattered to the wind. By the way - cute picture.


I remember...
Atari 2600, Slip N Slide, some rubber gorilla, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Etch-a-Sketch, Star Wars action figures, Grape Ape the 40 foot gorillallillla, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, Winnie The Pooh, and driving my parent's car into the garage door when I was 3.


WOW, what flashbacks!
We were poor and things didn't come easy...we played all sorts of card games, Monopoly (which comes in all flavas these dayz) Uno, Marbles, Erector Sets (way before Kinex), the list is endless. There was a time when you had to wait for Saturday to see cartoons...BugsBunny & Daffy or Elmer; RoadRunner & Wyle-E; Fred & Barney; The Jetsons...basically I watched anything HannaBarbera or WarnersBros. I can still recite some of those songs today! Now they have their own Network! My mom would tell me to go outside; "the sun's shinin' on BOTH sides of the street"...whatever that meant..we hung out on the phone and she would say.."go to the park"...now kids don't even talk verbally to each other; it's text and IM.

The world, it is a changin...

Thanks for the memory jog!


I'll be checking in Big D!


This was great! Your post brought back so many fond memories. Loved reading people's comments about memories from their childhood too. Thanks for the nostalgia trip!


Gnip-Gnop, Romper Stompers, Ants in Your Pants, and Kick the Can. Thanks for the memories MD.


How about "The Day After," "Land of the Lost" and "Stranger Danger!" Ah, the warm memories of childhood.


There is very little stuff that I had as a kid that you still can't get today, at about 5 times the price. My family was into science toys, so we had:
erector sets
lincoln logs
make your own perfume sets
chemestry sets (lots of them)
paper dolls
play dough
pottery wheel
the blocks that were the precurso to Legos
Barbie and Ken (god rest his soul)
troll dolls
magic 8 ball

and I have to admit, we take trips up to Yummies in Maine to get wholesale amounts of atomic fireballs, pixie stix, laffy taffy, lemon heads, smarties (yum!) and a lot of other retro candies. YOu can order all of this online at www.yummies.com. They'll send you their Survival Guide and you can order to your heart's content. Cheap, too!


Encyclopedia Brown and anything by Roald Dahl r0x0rs my s0xors! =D


Too cute, MD...those sunglasses are a nice touch! Very Man-Paris (un)Hilton of you!

Those gigantic Old Maid cards (ahem)
Lite Brite
The weekly book/poster-ordering forms that we got at school
The day leather nikes came out (4th grade for me) and the raging debate between red and blue striped swooshes (I was blue)
Those cameras that had the circular discs that you loaded in and watched still shot "movies"
Scooby Doo
EZ Bake Oven
Clifford the Big Red Dog
The Judy Blume box set
Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew mysteries
After School specials
Schoolhouse Rock
Electric Company

Watch this - a friend showed me this over the weekend...still makes me laugh to this day!


Very sassy in your


jeez typepad, cut me off why don't you!
encyclopedia brown - thanks for bringin that back for me!

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