I’m Convinced They Were Trying to Kill Us


I was reading @burghbaby’s post the other day about 80s toys and how they have led to many failures in life and my first thought was “I’m old”. No really. Because I didn’t have toys in the 80s – I had toys in the 70s When 80’s kids were playing with Strawberry Shortcake, we 70s kids were taking drinking beer in a barn somewhere. When 80s kids were playing with Cabbage Patch Dolls, we 70s kids were taking the SATs. When 80s kids were playing with Transformers, we 70s kids were researching birth control (by which I mean NOT researching birth control – teens are notoriously stupid). And while 80s toys may have caused failure, 70s toys were known to maim and kill. For instance:

Click-Clacks (or Clackers, Klackers, etc):

They were 2 hard acrylic balls on strings that you would hang on your finger. Then, you’d move your hand up & down and they would “clack” against each other loudly. It was quite fun until you hit yourself in the face with them and broke your orbital bone.


This one was only dangerous when you inevitably got it in the carpet and your mom lost her mind.

The Streaker:

This was one of my favorite toys as a child. It was two long nylon ropes threaded through a football-shaped hard plastic ball. At the four rope ends there were handles that each player would hold. You would spread your hands apart, which would send the ball “streaking” towards the other player, who would them send it back. The object of this game seemed to be to get that thing going as fast as possible and catch your opponent off-guard so it would slam against their hands and hopefully break some fingers.

Ice Bird:

This was a snow cone maker. You froze a block of ice and then used a bird with a scary ass grater on the bottom to shave the ice. I don’t know about you, but I have shaved off my knuckles a ton of time while grating cheese, etc. Cheese is soft, and this grater was strong enough to grate ice.

Suzy Homemaker Oven:

This was similar to the easy bake oven, but it was more awesome, because instead of sliding the cake in a slot, it opened up like a real oven. This meant you could cook whatever you wanted – not just those little bullshit easy-bake cakes. This toy wasn’t super dangerous in and of itself (other than the fact that an oven for children = burns, but it became dangerous when my friend Sue and I cooked up one too many nasty-assed concoctions and my grandma started making us eat them. That? Was deadly.

Creepy Crawlers:

Oh how I loved my Creepy Crawler maker (I had a thing for a lot of “boy toys” – I had about 5 slot car sets). This was a toy that allowed you to make your own rubber-like bugs, by pouring a liquid “goop” into die-cast molds. But see – the metal molds on this thing heated up to approximately 23 thousand degrees. I think I still bear scars from that toy.

Incredible Edibles:

These were the same as the creepy Crawlers, only you could eat them. Burns on the hands AND mouth.

Paddle Talk:

This was a plastic paddle that you took in the car. It had different messages that you could flip around and “talk” to other cars. The toy itself wasn’t dangerous, but showing the “Same to You Turkey!” or “Get Off My Tail” to the wrong person could get your ass kicked. Not to mention that the rest of them where in the “You’re Cute”/”Hot To Trot”/”Let’s Park” vein and could get you molested.

Super Elastic Bubble Plastic:

That shit had to be toxic.

Krazy Kar:

I loved this with a passion. You sat in the middle and “pedaled” with your arms. This definitely wasn’t as dangerous as some of the other toys I owned – it didn’t heat up, or explode, or shoot your eye out, but you sat so low to the ground that no car could ever see you. And it had no brakes, so riding it down a hill pulled your arms off and sent you crashing into the neighbor’s bushes. Not that I’d know anything about that.


It’s like they wanted us dead. Irwin Mainway would be proud.

But as dangerous as the 70s toys were, it was even worse for the 60s kids. My Aunt Cee, who is a few years older than me, got this for Christmas one year:

The Big Burger Grill

That, my friends is a real, working grill. To cook burgers on. Somehow my aunt managed not to get 3rd degree burns or set the house on fire. But that may have been because she never really “got” the toy. It was intended to be a Christmas present, but she went snooping and found it before Santa could put it under the tree. Then she proceeded to open it, head down to the fridge for some ground meat, and cook up a burger and eat it. Then, being a child, it never occurred to her to clean the thing before she put it back in the box. Needless to say, when Santa was doing the wrapping, he smelled the telltale smell of cooked meat and got suspicious. Strangely, the box never appeared under the tree.

I could go on forever listing these – like the one I can’t remember the name of which was a silly-putty like substance in bright colors that you would throw against the wall and it would stick. My family was dangerous with that stuff – things got broken, people got beamed in the head. Good times.

But not all of the 70s toys were dangerous. I also have many fond memories of toys like Fidget:

And Shaker Makers:

And Fuzzy Wuzzy soap:

Tell me – what was your favorite 60s-70s toy? And was it dangerous?


About sugarmag

Forty-sdjhfkjsdhfkjsdh year old mom of 2 - a 18 year old boy and a 11 year old girl. I love them very much, but they drive me crazy. I'm married and work full-time. I'm not sure which of these is the most exhausting, but probably the husband. I'm opinionated. I'm outspoken. I'm loud. I'm an over-sharer. I think Tom Cruise is a jackass. I like to say jackass. I like to swear, period. Fuckers. I love to read. I struggle with my weight. I love my job. I dress my pets up and ridicule them regularly. I am not afraid to cut my hair and I don't understand people who are. I hate getting old. I love to laugh. Make me laugh, OK?

16 responses »

  1. a friend has a wine bottling party up near erie every year. after everyone is hammered the jarts come out. three sets for a tournament. exhilarating! i used to love that toxic plastic bubble stuff! that explains some things about me…

  2. Creepy Crawlers! Yes! with PlastiGoop! I made bazillions of those! This would be a '60s toy; I had it in elementary school, which ended in the '69-70 school year.Jarts! I also took a Jart in the back in college. And it stuck! I'd been up all night… was so numb I was only dimly aware that some sorority girl had so entirely missed the target she was throwing at that it landed in my back instead.

  3. I Creepy Crawlers AND Flower Power an Mini Dragons. Yeah, that was cool. And remember the shrinking machine, that you would use to decorate a piece of plastic, and then shrink it down on the hot plate? Yeah, cool stuff.And don't forget the glow in the dark goop for the creepy crawlers!

  4. I remember most of these! I adored Creepy Crawlers. I had a friend that had one and we used to make a whole mess of those and I'd chase my mom around the house with them. Which is probably why I didn't have one of my own.I only got to play Jarts a few times before they got banned. But why are horseshoes still legal? You may not get pierced, but you can still get some serious dain bramage from getting clonked in the melon by one of those iron horseshoes.

  5. I do not want to own up to hpw many of these I Recognize (not all…but omg-too many) What about Evil Kneivel figure on his motorcycle with a ramp/jump (and the female counterpart Daring Derry)

  6. OMG! Klackers and Slime!!! I loved those! I had an Easy Bake Oven, but my favourite was the toy we made ourselves with my mom's pantyhose and an Indian rubber ball. We would stand against a wall and swing the pantyhose-encased ball on either side and "invite" people to jump in beside you.

  7. Loved Jarts! We played with them at my Grandparent's house, young kids + dogs + in ground pool. It's a wonder none of us were killed. We used to try and get the Jarts to stick into the wooden decking around the outside of the pool. I forgot all about clackers. I had a metal kitchen set, all of the edges were sharp. And the oven door would slam shut if you let go of it. Lots of pinched limbs and cuts. Thanks for the fun childhood memories!

  8. Daring Derry!she was Evil knievel’s female counter part…she had a motorcycle and a ramp for jumping. There was also a doll named Chrissie…she was a large! Baby (2 feet?.?) not a standing baby. And she had hair that could be short or long. Red hair. And speaking of change,……Growing up Skipper barbie doll…that grew, um, boobs. LOVED her!

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