Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

September 30, 2012

HOPKINS: Toy nominees recall memories of childhood

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

The Magic 8-Ball is still fun. There was one at a previous job and we used to ask it questions about a co-worker just to annoy the heck out of her. That was fun. I was amazed to learn that it was introduced in 1946.

Four games are competing to join the exclusive list: Clue, Dominoes, Simon and Twister. I’ve played all of these. Twister and Clue rise to the top among these four for me.

My sister Margaret received Clue as a Christmas present one year. The game makes you think as you determine who’s responsible for a murder, and it allows for some good deceptive moves to win. It also led to some childish innuendo when you made your declarations on whodunnit.

We had a version of Twister called “Animal Twister” in which silhouettes of various animals replaced the traditional dots on the mat. It was a good game to help a child’s developing mind to recognize animals. I didn’t even know about the original Twister until I was eight or nine.

And, Dominoes. I played it a few times, but like most people it’s always been more fun to line them up and knock over the first one, causing the rest to fall. Thus the invention of a very popular social studies term: the Domino Effect (and Theory).

The rest of the list includes Fisher Price’s Corn Popper (who didn’t have one of these?), Lite Brite (”Lite Brite, making things with light. Outta sight, making things with Lite Brite,” went the jingle), Little Green Army Men, Sidewalk chalk and the tea set.

To me, Lite Brite is still a cool toy. I remember spending hours playing with the one in the Hopkins home. A case contaning a light, with a plastic pegboard on which a black sheet of paper was placed. You plugged in plastic “lights” for the corresponding holes to make pictures.

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