Before video games were widely available
I remember when I was a little kid growing up in the 1970’s, Christmas and Birthdays had such anticipation. Since we didn’t have iPads and iPods, and didn’t even have Cable TV or a VCR for that matter, we had to rely on toys, and interaction with our friends to pass the time.
In my case, my birthday is in mid October, and Christmas came a few months later, so I was loaded down pretty good with stuff, but by summer time, I was bored and spent most of my time playing ball OUTSIDE with my friends, a novel concept huh?
I do remember being completely infatuated with Star Wars though, I had to have all the action figures, it was the first big screen movie I ever witnessed, and I was completely infatuated, pretty sure Carrie Fisher was my first crush too.
My Mom took me to the old Court Theater in downtown Hamilton Ohio, that was when downtown Hamilton, a town of around 60,000 wasn’t a ghost town like it is today, a victim of good blue collar manufacturing jobs disappearing the last 30 years.
George Lucas knew how to market a movie, it sure worked on me.
Of course that following birthday and Christmas I had to have all the Star Wars toys, that George Lucas, he knew what he was doing. Lucas almost over did it though with the new 21st century Star Wars Marketing. OK, he did over do it.
I get the biggest kick out of my 3-year-old son seeing that Sasquatch dude on them beef jerky commercials and saying “that’s Chewbacca!” I don’t even want tell you how much he likes the Ewoks.
I am still in awe of the prices the vintage star wars action figures bring, especially if they happened to by unopened, and still in the original packaging.
I don’t know of too many kids who didn’t rip open their toys as soon as they received them, we wanted to play with them. I knew quite a few action figures being eaten by our dogs or set on fire or being blown up on the Fourth of July or something?
The last thing I was going to do was place an unopened Star Wars figure on a shelf to look at. I would have to wait until much later, when I became a geek in my mid-30’s to do that.
Jaws: I fondly remember this vintage game
When I was growing up, two movies stand out in particular as films that could have scarred me for life, The William Friedkin film The Exorcist, and the Steven Spielberg classic Jaws. If I remember correctly, I actually had the toy before seeing the movie.
The pictured Jaws game was one of those silly interaction games where you have to remove debris until someone causes Jaws to bight down on your unsuspecting hook.
I remember playing this game with friends a bit, all the way into the early 80’s I believe. I even remember that original box, you really had to keep the box to store the game inside it. I do remember a few friends of mine though who ended up with just a zip lock bag to keep their game in.
I do remember the Jaws game being very worn out, eventually when I became old enough to care about the Masters of the Universe in the early 80’s, and now good old Jaws is well, “sleeping with the other fishes”. I only hope this Jaws’ fate was better than the real Jaws and Luca Brasi’s fate was?
Evel Knievel: What boy didn’t want to be him in the 70’s?
I grew up in a small town 30 miles north of Cincinnati, back in the mid to late 70’s the Reds baseball team were the talk of the sporting world, players like Pete Rose and Johnny Bench were national media stars, could you imagine if Twitter were around back then?
I am now a huge baseball fan, but back then even as late as 1979, I was not really conscious of baseball much, I don’t have any recollection of the Big Red Machine, or even following the team at all until the 1979 season. I would have been 7 years old during that year.
I may have been oblivious as a 4 or 5-year-old to the Reds, but I sure wasn’t to Evel Knievel, he was easily my first hero, everything was to have his likeness on it. If I had my way, cups, shirts, pennants, cars, trucks, and motorcycles of course, would have Evel’s image.
I am amazed at the market out there for vintage Evel Knievel toys at the present, really anything from Kiss memorabilia to classic TV show items, can be easily found online these days.
Vintage board games
It’s amazing how many board games have stood the test of time, Monopoly and the Game of Life always stood out to me, I think it had to do with the making money aspects of the game more than anything else. I also liked Risk when I got a little older, when I had a working knowledge of world history.
I never was much of a Clue, or Sorry fan, I did like Candy Land when I was a little guy. My own little guy is just now at that age for him to start learning these games, though he hasn’t quite learned the virtue of patience. We might have to stick to the simpler matching card games and stuff for now.
Today I suppose it’s more computer oriented with full-fledged video games for X Box and Play Station, and of course apps for the tablet. It’s hard to match the aesthetic of touching and feeling the game pieces and paper of the board or game pieces, the games just do not have the same sensory experience on the PC.
It is fun looking back at those things that you played with when you was a kid, especially if you were raised in a household without much disposable income. You really had to make due with what you did get, and because of that lasting attachment, it brings back a flood of memories from your childhood, at least it does for me.
Vintage Jaws Toy Photos Credit:
Permission granted by eBay seller steveincarson.
All other photos courtesy of Amazon.com or my own.
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Jason Sositko, a freelance writer and entrepreneur is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I also use services such as Viglink and Skimlinks to earn income via links placed inside articles.