Nostalgia is one of those things that keeps us older folks from going bat crazy when the rest of the world seems to want to fossilize everyone over the age of 30. It goes beyond the good ol’ days when “music was still good” and people wore their pants up around their waists. Toys were different, too. No doubt some of them were safety hazards and probably had levels of asbestos and lead that could cripple a rhino, but that was our era and we loved them.
Something has to be said about the classic appeal some of them had to warrant the resurgence of interest in classic toys we’ve seen during the past few years. Everything from Star Wars to Jem and the Holograms has been revisited. Though the latter wasn’t much of a barn burner. No shade to Jem and her crew.
The journey back into the golden age of toys (at least for us) hasn’t slowed a bit as more of the classics have been reborn to make our kids squeeze money out of us just as we did to our parents. I’ve found a few toys that you may have forgotten about that the kids in your life will soon be hounding you for.
Price: Starts at $25.00
If you’re too old to be a part of Team Millennial, you’ve got to remember the 80’s Care Bears craze. They were the cute and viciously happy creatures that used super powers from their bellies to bring joy to everyone. Next year will mark the 35th anniversary of Care Bears and they’ve hooked up with the Build-A-Bear Workshop for a re-release.
The first of the year starts off with the two most popular bears of the bunch and will expand throughout the year to include the whole gang. Care Bear adopters get the chance to stuff, clothe and accessorize with the same options as all the other Build-A-Bears along with exclusive pajamas, tutus and bedding. The new bears also have scented fur, hearts that thump when you hug them and can play the Care Bears theme song when you squeeze their hands.
Price: Starts at $149.99
I can’t think of anyone who didn’t want a toy race track as a kid. If you were lucky enough, you landed a set that could be put together into a partially raised figure-eight. The problem though, was keeping the cars on the track. Squeeze the trigger controller too hard and every car would fly off like a Kiki Sheard wig. Anki Overdrive remedies that issue with technology that keep the vehicles on track no matter how fast they’re going. I was happy enough with that, but Anki cars can also be programmed to perform stunts and fire virtual weapons like system scramblers and missiles.
Price: Starts at $5.99
Stickers are cool but once they’re on, they’re on for good. Colorforms were a way to play with stickers without the pressure of commitment. That’s a lot for a kid to handle at that age. Colorforms made a return with sets that come in sizes from a travel pack to a giant wall version. They’re the same Colorforms you remember from the TV shows and movies you love, just updated to include Despicable Me (those yellow Minions you see everywhere), Frozen, The Avengers and others. Your move Shrinky Dinks, let’s see what you got!
If you really think about it, the iconic red and orange device was way ahead of its time. The Viewmaster dazzled kids with 3D images way back in the 80’s and has been pushing the boundaries of visual technology since the 30’s. Following that same trend is the redesigned Viewmaster. Part toy, part mobile phone accessory, the new Viewmaster ditches the white discs from yesteryear in favor of virtual reality. Instead of looking at beautiful photos, you can now feel like you’re actually there. Kids have it so good these days!