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Classic Toys For Christmas?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the fourty-two-shopping-days-left dept.

Christmas Cheer 1085

waterwheel asks: "Christmas is coming, and it's time to start planning our online shopping list for future Slashdot readers. This year I'm having a look at some of the more classic toys - and am finding that not only are some of the classic toys still around - but they are still educational and fun. Two good examples of this are the Rubik's Cube and the time honored gyroscope. The cube has been around for about 20 years, the gyroscope it seems for almost a 100. Both will be under the tree this year. Both of these toys are able to compete with video games - a true test of staying power. This begs the question - what other classic toys do you remember from your youth that are still fun enough that kids will play with them today?"

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1085 comments

Dad, is that you!? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798809)

Now I know what's under the Christmas tree! Not to hurt your feelings, but I really do like the video games. When you're not looking, I'll just move the stickers on the Rubik's Cube.

Oh, and mom hates it when you use "begs the question" on Slashdot. It just starts a whole "that's not the meaning" discussion that no one cares about.

Re:Dad, is that you!? (1)

isepic (117674) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798914)

hehe I did this (moved the stickers on the cube)... eveyrone was AMAZED! Then I found out that if you did, the online java solutions wouldn't work.

Do this, move the stickers around, then mess it up again, and then get a "good cuber" to try and solve it... I guess if they're good, they'll know the stickers have been moved.. nevermind.

Extra $$ this Christmas? (0, Troll)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798813)

what other classic toys do you remember from your youth that are still fun enough that kids will play with them today?
Oh, I'm sure "Lincoln logs" would be my 8 year old's favorite toy. I'll just return the copy of Halo 2 I bought for him. Thanks Slashdot, for saving me money--good idea.

Re:Extra $$ this Christmas? (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798934)


Nah, LEGO!

Then your 8 year old can step on sharp blocks in the middle of the night just like you used to!

Capsela (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798957)

Damn hard to find, but kick Lego's ass anyday

http://www.discoverthis.com/capsela.html

Re:Extra $$ this Christmas? (4, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799001)

You know you can do both right? I've been a hardcore gamer since I was old enough to buttonmash (even though the C64 had only 1 button), but I still loved my legos and my gyroscopes when I was a kid.

A good solid metal gyroscope is a fun toy that won't break or obselesce. I loved mine.

Ones that are still big hits with the kids: anything with marbles. You can't go wrong with marbles. Pinball machines, chute kits, Fireball Island. While static boardgames might be a dead issue for kids, motile, kinetic boardgames like Crossbows and Catapults (unfortunately also a lawsuit magnet) have the novelty of actually having active, real world objects smashing into each other.

Personally, I want to make a simple real-world RTS game involving a punchclock and some wind-up toys.

Rubik's Magic (1)

kamelkev (114875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798814)

Anyone remember this game. The motto was "unlink the rings", I've been looking for one for about a decade, I can never seem to find a "good" one on ebay :/

Re:Rubik's Magic (1)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798904)


Loved it! I could link the rings in 7 seconds. I haven't touched one in almost 20 years (gasp!) but I can still solve it in my mind. I should get one off ebay and see if I really can still solve it.

Re:Rubik's Magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798933)

I loved that one. It became very easy to solve once you got the pattern down but was still enjoyable.

Re:Rubik's Magic (1)

teeker (623861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798939)

Yeah it was called Rubik's Magic Puzzle....it was a flat puzzle, with a handful of tiles connected with a funny grid of monofilament line. I had one many years ago. Not only was it an awesome puzzle, but it was also really cool to see how it was constructed so you could flip the tiles over.

Hard to describe if you've never played with one I guess. That was a great toy, thanks for reminding me of it.

Re:Rubik's Magic (2, Interesting)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798956)


I've seen them on ebay but they're not that cheap. Example [ebay.com]

We got a Simpson-themed one from somewhere not to long ago...

Re:Rubik's Magic (1)

ellocogato (143835) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798986)

Oh man, do I remember the Rubik's Magic. Hours and hours of entertainment. I could "unlink" the rings in less than 5 seconds. We also used to see how many different things we could make -- a chair, box with lid, etc -- with it.

One thing I always hated, though, was what we called "the fix". If you folded things wrong, you could get the thing in a state where it wouldn't fold out flat anymore. You'd pop a string if you tried to force it. We'd have that thing laying around in "the fix" for weeks before someone accidentally did something to get it back to normal.

I think I might even actually still own one of those.

Re:Rubik's Magic (2, Informative)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799010)

've been looking for one for about a decade, I can never seem to find a "good" one on ebay :/

Seven Towns still makes Rubik's toys [rubiks.com], though the current color scheme for the Magic puzzle isn't the same as the cooler original that Matchbox made. However, they now sell do-it-yourself kits that allow you to make your own Magic puzzles.

Re:Rubik's Magic (1)

rick-o (3591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799012)

Uh, you do know you can get a brand new one for ten bucks on rubiks.com, right?

Rubik's Cube (2, Insightful)

mr.henry (618818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798815)

Make sure you get the official Rubik's brand cube, or else you risk the Dept. of Homeland Security coming down on you [slashdot.org].

God Bless America.

Re:Rubik's Cube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798872)

Can't you leave your bitter sarcasm behind... even for one little post?

first? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798820)

first?

IT BEGS THE QUESTION! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798823)

I'M BEGGING YOU!

Legos (4, Insightful)

tech_guru5182 (577981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798824)

I remember playing with legos, and still see them on the market today.

Re:Legos (1)

SithLordOfLanc (683305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798936)

Too bad that all the lego sets are made to put something specific together. I remember when you could buy a firetruck that was made of all different sized rectangular blocks. There were very few "special" pieces. This made it very easy to turn that firetruck into a monster, or spaceship, or car. That versatility is what made Legos fun for me as a kid.

Also had Construx, anyone remember them?

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798970)

Amen to that!

I managed to keep my Lego set that I got as a kid when I was 5ish (and added onto until I was about 14ish.) Now that I have a little one of my own, gave it to her and she couldn't be happier. She loves legos themselves, and she's even more impressed that she's playing with Daddy's legos.

I had a blast playing with them as a kid, and they certainly hold up to the test of time.

Classic toy (4, Funny)

Indy Media Watch (823624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798825)

What other classic toys do you remember from your youth that are still fun enough that kids will play with them today?

Firearms.

Re:Classic toy (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798896)

Indeed! Get the kids BB guns when they're young, allow them a .22 when they demonstrate responsibility. Not exposing your kids to guns yourself (or having a responsible friend expose them) will just leave their first shooting experience to their peers, which can/does end poorly.

Re:Classic toy (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798963)

How true. My daughter (16) asked for her own .22 rifle this year and one of my sons (14) wants a new bow.

Considering both require parental supervision at their age, target practice is a great way for the whole family to get outside and do something together.

Or, were you being sarcastic?

Legos! (1)

Delusional (574271) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798826)

Need I say more?

Re:Legos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798907)

Robotic Legos!

Maybe not classic, but someday...

Re:Legos! (1)

Indy Media Watch (823624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798945)

No, you've said enough.

The word LEGO® is a brand name and is very special to all of us in the LEGO Group Companies. We would sincerely like your help in keeping it special.
Please always refer to our bricks as 'LEGO Bricks or Toys' and not 'LEGOS.' By doing so, you will be helping to protect and preserve a brand of which we are very proud and that stands for quality the world over. Thank you! Susan Williams, Consumer Services.


Source http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Lego [thefreedictionary.com]

mj (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798827)

Michael Jackson

Vintage Toys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798836)

Whatever happend to the yo-yo? big fad than dropped off.

Tonka, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nerf toys (1)

dealsites (746817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798837)

[plug] I have a self-updating toys page generated from Amazon with their new and sale [dealsites.net] toy items. [/plug]

From the list, some of the retro items are: Tonka Trucks, Rubiks Cube, Teenage Mutant Ninja Vehicle Truck, Nerf footballs, WWE Classic Superstars, etc...

Re:Tonka, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nerf toys (1)

tbase (666607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798910)

That's it, I'm leaving you negative feedback.

Slinky and Superball (3, Interesting)

akweboa164 (629425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798839)

The slinky was one of my favorite toys growing up.

Also, the superball was awesome as well. I usually could be found with a superball in my pocket all the time and would be constantly bouncing it off walls, annoying my parents and everyone around me in the process!!! LOL, good times.

Kids always like a good fight. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798841)

rock'em sock'em robots.

Re:Kids always like a good fight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798955)

"People inside me are askin' me to blow up city hall... 'Cause everyone is rock'em sock'em robots"

A kind message from pedants anonymous (3, Informative)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798842)

This doesn't beg the question, it raises the question. See here [wsu.edu].

Re:A kind message from pedants anonymous (4, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798982)

The cause you're fighting is every bit as noble as that for "hacker", and just as lost.

Legos (5, Insightful)

genkael (102983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798852)

You have to love Legos. Not only are they fun, but they teach creativity, mechanical engineering, and design. If you are playing with someone else, they teach teamwork and sharing. Not to mention you can build some cool guns and spaceships.

On this topic, I'm not a big fan of the premade Lego sets for Star Wars or Harry Potter or whatever. Kids need the generic box of bricks and plates.

Pre-Mades are OK (4, Informative)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798915)

Because, at least with my kids, the end in the huge box along with the other sets and are re-used with their own creations.

I've always just bought the packaged sets. I kinda wish they had those when I was a kid.

Re:Legos (1)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798971)

I'm with ya on the legos man. Legos teach kids so much, and even come in handy later in life (for ghetto casemods, propping up the short leg on the couch, or building usefull small containers.

I'm not a big fan of assembling those sets the way they are supposed to be, but don't let them stop you from buying it. Just steal the directions and tell the kid to build what he thinks he should build.

Re:Legos (1)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799003)

I agree. Classic Legos are best. Don't give your kids pre-made video game worlds - let them build their own worlds. It boosts imagination and creativity.

Cookie Counter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798854)

Cookie Counter taught me basic arithmetic when I was in kindergarten.

does a commodore 64 qualify (1)

isepic (117674) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798859)

does a commodore 64 qualify? I mean, you can emulate :) - that was my best childhood toy - I saw it (wrapped - but i peeked) sitting in the closet---thought I'd be able to "talk to it" (as in have a conversation, you know, like on Tron!).

Legos - timeless (1)

scupper (687418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798864)

I loved Legos. I never got the fancy themed ones, just made due with the basic sets. Made a tie fighter out of a service station set, and eventually managed to cobble together enough odd ball colored pieces to build the Galactica and a couple of BSG fighters. Legos are timeless.

Plain-Jane Lego, of course! (4, Insightful)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798873)

Don't forget your plain old Lego.

Ignore all that fancy "Harry Potter" type themed Legos that are 3 times the price of basic blocks. You can buy a huge tub of basic Lego for around 20 bucks at Toys R Us or any Lego Store.

You can get a MASSIVE amount of plain lego that's great for stimulating a kid's imagination at a fraction of the cost of some of that "themed" Lego junk.

If that's not "creative" enough, find some Technics Lego. That stuff is neat to play with, too!

I hate the cube (4, Interesting)

thered (256861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798874)

I've got a PhD in Mechanical Engineering - I can't do it, I can't stand it.

Sure there's a bunch of steps you can follow, but where's the challenge in that.

I can only stand in awe of anyone who independently is able to solve the Rubic's Cube.

Re:I hate the cube (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799007)

I used to find awe in people who could solve the Rubic's Cube quickly...until I found out that they come with instructions on how to solve most of the common patterns that appear. Apparently you don't need to be a genius to solve the cube quickly, you just need a lot of time on your hands.

Re:I hate the cube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10799014)

Do you stand in awe of someone who can spell "Rubik's" cube correctly, as well?

My 2 1/2 year old... (5, Interesting)

asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798875)

...will be getting some lincoln logs this year. He's already way ahead of the game thanks to educational TV, electronics, and two voracious readers as parents, so we're looking to give him something to inspire good old fasioned fine motor skills and 3d perception..

I never liked those big fat legos-- I'll wait until he can manipulate the "real" ones before I get him into legos...

Crossfiiiiiiiiii-yaaaaa!!! (4, Funny)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798877)

This game [x-entertainment.com] entertained me well into High School for no apparent reason. There's really no skill to it, but trash talk and rematches kept it going for hours on end.

Crossbows & Catapaults! (2, Informative)

jodonn (516010) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798880)

What a fantastic game. Blended the best between mindless destruction and strategic annihilation. You can still get copies off eBay.

Legos Legos Legos! (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798890)

I played with these every chance I got when I was a kid. And now my own kids can make literally anything out of legos. Currently their favorite creations are Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails!

Fridgets (3, Interesting)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798892)

I'll go with Fridgets [toymagnets.com]. I don't know if they're considered "classic" in terms of age (I'd never seen them before a few years ago), but I think of them as "classic" in the sense that they're simple, creative, low-tech and a lot of fun to play with. And all the rug-rats in my neighborhood love 'em.

for a 2 yr old, the box (4, Insightful)

esilva (196628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798893)

Depending on the age of your kid but as far as my 2 yr old is concerned, he still enjoys the big empty cardboard boxes. You can make castles, tunnels, houses.. And I like it this way ;)

Buy Yourself an Projection HDTV (5, Funny)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798900)

Give the kid the box. He'll make a fort and have hours of fun, and you get yours too.

In a word, LEGO. (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798903)

Still hard to beat.
Low threshold, no ceiling.
Go old school and just build, or get a Mindstorms kit and you can use all your existing LEGO and add anything else to it.

Gyroscopes don't last more than a day (3, Insightful)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798913)

I mean really, how many times can your re-wrap the string, yank it and hold it in your palm (i'm talking 'bout the gyroscope you perv)?

I'd rather have something that makes use of the stupid gyroscope. Where are all of the fun toys that use the gyroscope? Where's the home segway kit? Why doesn't someone make more toys that USE these classic toys instead of leaving someone uninspired and wanting more?

Not the Drinking Bird! (1)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798920)

I have been on the lookout for several years for a robust version of the classic Drinking Bird I remember seeing as a kid in the '60s -- http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1169 [stevespanglerscience.com] -- but every version I've found lately is made of incredibly fragile, thin glass too easily breakable; the pivoting mechanism hangs and (metaphorically) sputters as the thing tries to work.

What this country needs is a good $10 Drinking Bird!
nn

Rubik's Cube... (4, Informative)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798925)

"The cube has been around for about 20 years"

Actually, the cube has been around exactly 30 years [wikipedia.org] (this year)...i have one sitting in my cube (no pun intended) as we speak...

LEGOs (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798932)

I still have a box somewhere that I'll pull out for my kids when I have 'em. I would follow practice of building the intentioned model and then figuring what similar things I could make followed by something with no resemblance and then followed by something completely different with no resemblance. After that stage, the blocks joined the pile. I remember building bridges that spanned my living room and at one point I think I built a Ghostbusters pack, though that may have been with Constructs.
I still have the RotJ Endor speeder bike that I built (about 6" long) on my desk at home.
Man, I can't wait 'til I get to see what my kids will create.

Playmobile (4, Interesting)

Phixxr (794883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798935)

I'm going to have to say Playmobil. Just simply action figures and such, but so very very detailed. Expensive, as those european toys always are, but well worth it in my opinion. http://www.playmobil.com/ [playmobil.com]

-Phixxr

My favorites (5, Interesting)

acvh (120205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798940)

Tinkertoys - I got one of my creations published in the Tinkertoy magazine.

Lego - the rectangular block kind. None of this Star Wars/Pirate/Bionicle nonsense.

Anything else that fosters imaginative thinking: PlayDoh, Etch-a-sketch, and the like.

My first toy (2)

ajiva (156759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798944)

When my family moved to the United States the first toy my parents bought me and my brother were a set of *metal* Tonka Trucks! Those things were industructable! We would smash them, throw them, hit them with hammers, basically do kid things with them. And those trucks still held on...

physics toy! (2, Interesting)

Chronoch (750034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798952)

I remember when I was little my parents bought me a radiometer, not really a toy but a cool gadget nonetheless.

It's a physics device: four squares attached to a vane in a bulb of glass rotate when placed in the sun. I still have it with me in my college dorm room on a window sill.

If your child likes science it's a neat little gift. :)

The box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798953)

I usually just play with the box.

And if it has a cellophane front, that's a bonus.

Yo-yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798954)

Talk about staying power. Yo-yo!

Rock-em Sock-em Robots (1)

itsnotthenetwork (634970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798959)

I think those robot wars TV shows were based on this....

Re:Rock-em Sock-em Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10799016)

Not to unlike Gnip Gnop with the ping pong balls.

My brothers and sisters got so sick of that thing that if we wanted to play it, we had to take it to the attic.

Matchbox Cars (1)

north.coaster (136450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798962)

I spent many, many hours playing with Matchbox Cars. They were cheaper than Hot Wheels, and less prone to problems if you played with them outside in the dirt.

Harry Potter's 12 inch Magic Wangd (2, Funny)

Japong (793982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798976)

It's not a classic, but the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 [amazon.com] is a fun toy for younger children, and surprisingly for a lot of older girls (13-18) as well. Just straddle the broom's comfortable girth, activate the magic vibrating switch, and away you go for blissful sessions (about 15-35 minutes, varies) of fantasy fun!

anything remote controlled (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798985)

remote control cars. boats too. or a kit for building them. or even just model kits and a model paint set. they are definately a classic.

add some rechargeable batteries too. I loved having rechargeable batteries as an 8 year old. I thought they were the coolest things :) Sure, 18 years ago rechargeable didn't hold their charge very long in remote control cars, but they were still neat.

as I am an american (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10798994)

im buying my kids handguns.

Obligatory Monty Python Joke (5, Funny)

Eviljay (764249) | more than 9 years ago | (#10798995)

Can't..... resist..... desire... too... strong

When i was a kid all i got for christmas was a lump of coal and a kick up the arse. Then for dinner our mother and our father would kill us with a breadknife and dance on our graves singing Hallelujah.

You tell that to kids today and they won't believe you

And what about Stratego? (5, Interesting)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10799000)

Stratego was (and still is) a fun game to play that doesn't require the sometimes hours and hours it takes to play Risk.

Easy enough for a kid to learn, but strategies are so varied, it's hard to ever master it against another good player...

As an aside, I loved throwing a few Major and Colonels at the front with all my scouts and a couple of Miners and decimating my opponents' lower ranks... that gambit usually only works once or twice on them... unless they're slow to adapt.

Erector Sets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10799019)

I don't know if ou can still get them, I haven't seem them around for a while, but I absolutely loved my erector set. And now I'm an engineer....coincidence?
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