Memory Lane: Toys You Had to Have

Image result for images of melvin the moon man

Before there were video games, there was Melvin the Moon Man.

Remco came out with this game in 1959, and to my 10-year-old mind, the commercials were devastatingly compelling. Had to have it! Had to! Look, ma, it’s got Tumblebum dice!

So we finally got it.

Y’know, there wasn’t much to that game. The big selling point was the dice inside this plastic hourglass thing that you spun, instead of rolling the dice on the game  board. And you moved these little flat plastic spacemen around, according to the roll of the dice, and collected Moon Bucks. It looked like such a blast on TV, but in real life, it didn’t even challenge my kid sister’s sense of strategy; and she was only four years old.

That may be because there was no strategy involved in it. You just went where the dice told you to go. No choices to make, no decisions. No thought at all.

I wonder why it hasn’t made a comeback.

3 comments on “Memory Lane: Toys You Had to Have

  1. I agree. If Joe Collidge stumbled onto a copy it would keep him busy for a long, long time. Even longer if he decide that the dice were transgender. 🙂

  2. Some of the toys we had when we were young are still very popular with the little ones. Some of my favorites have now become favorites of my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. Nona – that’s me (grandma in Italian) decided to get her a kaleidoscope, some paint with water books and some wind-up toys. She loves them all! She has some of the latest and greatest (including a tablet that she can operate better than I can my laptop lol), and the toys she always runs to are the old standbys 🙂 Next maybe I’ll get her a slinky and an etch-a-sketch and maybe some jumping beans!

    1. There’s no question in my mind that the old toys were a lot better for children than all of this new, high-tech, junque that they push these days.

      I had a kaleidoscope and, even though my graphic artistry was never much to shout about, I still enjoyed coloring books and paint with water, as well.

      There were comic books that were pretty kid friendly. Dennis the Menace snuck in lots of geography and a bit of insight into the human psyche. Some were more just for fun, but the object lessons of the stories were always positive and promoted decency. The problems were usually minor, the antagonists usually more ignorant than truly evil.

      I built model cars from roughly the age of six. In no time at all, In no time at all, I knew the anatomy of the automobile better than anything I could have learned from a book, because it was hands on, in 1/25 scale. I credit these plastic kits with a lot of the affinity I have more mechanical things and the engineering behind them.

      Of course, none of this would have happened unless loving adults in my life had provided these toys. When I look back at my childhood, there was always enough spare change to keep up on my comics, and to keep me stocked with interesting and wholesome projects.

      My parents weren’t perfect, but they truly did their best to provide a good environment for my formative years. Thanks mom & dad.

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