EW.com has a great Pop Watch Confessional today asking about the pop-culture items from our youth we wish we still had. Reading the comments has been like taking a walk through my childhood; I've been reminded of Snoopy Sno Cone machines (wanted, but never got), Cher dolls, Fashion Plates (LOVED those), Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and the like. Gosh, we had a lot of crap in the 80s.
It got me thinking about my favorite toys from he 70s and 80s. And all the campy jingles we listened to for these toys during Saturday morning cartoons ("You put some ice cubes in, you get a snow cone out...Yum Yum fun is what it's all about!")
Here are some things I really wish I had kept from my childhood:
1. My Bionic Woman doll. Now that the new series is coming out, it would be soooo cool. She had little flaps that popped up on her arms and legs to let you see the bionics at work, and I think she hooked up to some kind of machine that spat out a fake EKG or something. Until the paper ran out, and then you were SOL.
2. This one game that I think was called Perfection. You wound up the timer on the side, and then you had to race against the clock to put all these differently-shaped pieces on this tray before it popped up, spraying plastic parts everywhere. As it got closer to the time of the pop-up, the timer started clicking faster, and you knew you were in for it. I startled even easier as a kid than I do now, and I would get really worked up and nervous about not having all the pieces in before this thing would catch me all unawares and pop up in my face. If you got all the pieces in before the timer went off, you could at least prepare for the big jump. It was truly frightening and exhilarating for me, and is probably the reason why I've had to be treated for anxiety more than once in my life.
3. My own Michael Jackson Thriller jacket, which looked just like the one he wore in the video, but was made of some plastic material only slightly thicker than a Hefty bag, and which I had torn the arms off of inside of a week. But man, it was fun while it lasted.
4. My Star Wars figures.
5. My "Gizmo" stuffed animal, which said, "Mogwai!" just like the one in the Gremlins movie when you pressed his belly, and squeaked adorably when you shook him.
6. My E.T. lamp. If I still had it, I really think I could make some serious money off of eBay for it. It was truly wonderful and tacky and terrifying all at the same time. My mom's friend was into ceramics and had her own workshop where she painted her own stuff and taught lessons and fired everthing herself. She made me this lamp that was an 18-inch tall E.T. with a lightbulb inside of him to highlight the transparent red stomach, blue glass eyes, and, of course, red jewel finger. Then you could a put regular light bulb and shade on top of his head. He was my bedside lamp for a couple of years until I repainted and redecorated my room and outgrew him. I can still remember listening to the radio in my room, and when Neil Diamond's "Heartlight" would come on, turning on his inside bulb and singing to my very own glowing E.T. Good times, good times.
7. And the kicker: Though not a toy, I most wish I had a copy of the Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians' Special that aired on HBO in the mid-80s and which my parents let me watch even though I was probably too young for the adult language. There was a comedian on there named Bob Nelson, and he did this hee-larious football player sketch that used to make me cry and that I can quote in full to this day ("I never play without my protective gear...like my helmet, and them shoulder-m-pads.") Not having a VCR at that point, I held a tape recorder up to that show and taped it and shared it with all my friends. Sam Kinison and Bob Saget were on there too, I believe. Years later, I say something that is a quote from the Bob Nelson sketch while hanging out with my friend Cindy in college, and she gasps and starts quoting back, and before long we've recited the whole dang thing. She tells me she has a VHS copy of that show at her house, and she asks her mom to find it and mail to her. A few days later, the tape has arrived, and I've just turned 21, so we gather in her dorm room to knock back my first legal purchase and laugh our asses off. But her brother has taped over the show with something called, "Live From Death Row." We could have cried. One of the biggest disappointments of my entire life.
But I digress. What toys or pop-culture items from your childhood would you most like to find at a garage sale? What treasures are still lurking in your attics and basements?