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Opinion

Vintage commercials trigger childhood memories

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October 21, 2010

I was lucky enough to have the experience of watching an old Disney movie taped on VHS the other night. The movie was delightful, yes, but the best part for me personally was the 3 minute commercial blocks and seeing things I absolutely adored as a kid.  As these ads would flash before my eyes, my mind would sputter off on countless tangents of being a kid again.

Of course, this led to a solid hour on YouTube searching for other commercials of toys and such that brought the biggest smile to my face, and honestly still do. I, as many of you, should thank my parents so much more often for not only letting me have many of these toys, but for putting up with a lot of the noise, clutter and mess they made, some obviously worse than others.  I would like to share with you some of the toys and games I stumbled on that maybe you too also enjoyed at one point and time.

Creepy Crawlers

Ah, yes! Honestly, if I were a parent, this would be my worst nightmare, but man, I loved these things. Creepy Crawlers actually came around in the mid 1960s and stuck around in to the late 1970s. After not being around for over a decade, they resurfaced at the perfect time: 1992. I remember having every tray and “formula” laid all across the countertop with my mom standing behind me biting her nails in worry that I was either going to hurt myself or absolutely destroy her kitchen. What made the Creepy Crawlers of my childhood even more “epic” if I may was that I remember having both Power Ranger and The Mask molds; so awesome.

Forbidden Bridge

This is a game that I remember opening up on Christmas morning, and my dad did his fatherly sigh of “Oh boy, something with a ton of small pieces that I get to put together.” He was always okay with constructing these kinds of games, because he of course got to play too. Forbidden bridge is a pretty simple game; cross the bridge, get the jewels and try and make it back. After watching the 30 second commercial online, I remember now what sold me on the game was the voice over in the deepest voice imaginable yelling “FORBIDDEN” over and over again. Truth be told, we would often times just put the pieces on the bridge, and shake them through to the bottom rather than play the “right” way.

13 Dead End Drive

Now, this isn’t really a “kids” game per se, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this game on eBay, and how it’s taken every ounce of willpower not to break down and shovel out the usual 30-40 dollar bid price. I mean, just one more time I want to throw someone down the stairs, or tilt someone off of the ladder leaning on the bookshelf. After analyzing the “point” of the game, I guess I’m a little sketchy as to if one should be playing it as young as I did. I mean, the game basically is summarized as kill whoever you can and try and can get the deceased owner’s money. Eesh. Not to mention, the gardener always did creep me out.

Guess Who

“Can you ‘Guess Who,’ do you have a clue?!” This is the sort of game that I remember logging countless hours on with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas and of course, mom and dad. When I walked into my buddy’s new apartment last year and he had this game sitting on his shelf, I almost did a back flip (almost). Because of this game, I’ll be able to greatly detail someone’s facial features/attributes if I ever, for some reason, need to. That’s right, crooks, don’t show your face to me, or I’ll be able to tell the Po Po exactly what type and color mustache you had (assuming all crooks have mustaches).

Super Soaker

The name says it all. I don’t even have to go into more detail.

It From The Pit

Okay, I couldn’t believe that when I mentioned this to my friends the other day, none of them knew what I was talking about. Is there anyone out there that loved the hell out of this game like I did? Simple enough, you have a few pieces (people) and your job is to get around the circle/pit. There is a huge electronic spinning monster in the middle that pulls you into the pit. If you lose your pieces, you’re done. If you’re like me, you took other action figures/trinkets from around the house and would have them meet their demise from “It,” too. 

Now, I could go on, and on…and on. There are so many amazing games and toys that we had growing up. I could have named dozens of “Nerf” products, or even touched on games like “Chutes and Ladders,” and or even the very badass “Crossfire.” I know we’re all insanely busy with school, but give in to the nostalgia and relive some of these memories. While you’re doing that, I’m going to take a half hour myself and maybe go watch some “Legends of the Hidden Temple” or “Doug.”