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7 Vintage Toys We Wish Would Make a Comeback

7 Vintage Toys We Wish Would Make a Comeback

By Josh Sorokach

Few words evoke a fonder nostalgic feeling than the word toys. If you behaved, you were rewarded with a toy. If you were prone to mischief, you'd be punished by losing one. If you were SUPER prone to mischief and unsuccessfully attempted to mail your younger sibling to Abu Dhabi, you lost all your toys for the summer and were forced to write a very detailed apology to your mailman. Free tip: never solicit sibling pranking advice from an old episode of Garfield. For children of the 80s and 90's, toys were the internet before the internet was the internet. While action figures, Barbie dolls, and Legos remain popular, time hasn't been as kind to a few of our favorite toys from the past.

Here are 7 vintage toys that we wish would make a comeback.

01: Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots

Let's all take a moment to marvel at how amazing the name "Rock'em Sock'em Robots" sounds. You could add "Rock'em Sock'em" in front of almost anything and we'd be more inclined to give it a chance. "Rock'em Sock'em Algebra?" I'm skeptical yet intrigued. We're surprised more parents don't name their first born "Rock'em Sock'em." You really think Rock'em Sock'em Gallagher is going to be picked last for dodgeball? Unlikely.

How we'd update it: Let's add some robotic smack talk to transform a good game into a great game. We'd hire Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen to record 1000s of different robotic insults that we'd program to randomly play throughout the game. "My mom punches harder than that—and she's a vacuum cleaner!"

02: Talkboy Tape Recorder:

We vividly remember this popular commercial for the Talkboy. First seen in the movie Home Alone 2, this device was a must own for precarious children and practical joke enthusiasts. While the actual model didn't exactly live up to its commercial hype or functionality, the Talkboy was still a must own for all future trouble makers who secretly wanted their lives to resemble the plot to Home Alone 2.

How we'd update it: This was an ambitious toy for 1992, but fairly common for 2013. We've instead spent our time figuring out updated ways to "burglar proof" our homes for when we're inevitably asked to write the Home Alone reboot.

03: Giga Pets

Sometimes we like to imagine friendly aliens watching over us humans from a galaxy far far away. The first alien, Glamophone X, casually stuffs a whole pack of uncooked popcorn kernels in his mouth (aliens are both impatient AND hungry) while the second alien, Jeremy, looks down at the world in 1997 and says, "So the humans are pretending that those little toys are their REAL pets? What's wrong with them?"

"What?" Glamophone X idiotically grunts as he accidentally mistakes a painting of a sailboat for food. Jeremy sighs. "Never mind, Glamophone X. Never mind."

How we'd update it: An online dating app named "Puppy Luv" where you create virtual pets and swap them with potential love interests.

04: Teddy Ruxpin

Parents loved Teddy Ruxpin. "Honey, mommy doesn't want to read you a bedtime story, so this animatronic bear is going to do it, okay? Love you!" Our favorite Teddy Ruxpin memorywell favorite may not be the correct wordour most terrifying Teddy Ruxpin memory that we've unsuccessfully attempted to repress is when the batteries would start to die causing Teddy's voice to transform into a cross between a deranged clown and a slow motion serial killer.

How we'd update it: Six words that will translate into millions of dollars: Learn Stand-Up Comedy with Teddy Ruxpin.

05: Mr. Potato Head

If you ever find yourself upset regarding your "table for one" relationship status always remember that there's a Mrs. Potato Head. That's right; a potato man whose uniform (usually) consists of a silly hat and unflattering glasses found love, so hang in there, tiger! If you're ever jealous of Mr Potato Head—and trust us, we've all been there—always remember that he's just a potato, and YOU are a human. Humans outrank potatoes. That's just science 101.

How we'd update it: This may be unpopular, but how about a sexier version of Mr. Potato Head? Am I right everyone?! *Everybody awkwardly avoids eye contact and leaves the room.*

06: Pogs

The rules of the game are simple. You and your opponent stack an equal number of pogs face-down. Then, using a heavier variation of a pog known as a slammer, you and your opponent alternate turns throwing your slammer at the top of the stack. Any pog that "flips over" you get to keep. This wasn't how weary travelers entertained themselves while dodging typhoid outbreaks on the Oregon Trail, this was entertainment back in the not so distant mid-1990s.

How we'd update it: With an overabundance of unique designs, pogs were fun to collect; they just weren't very much fun to play. We'd remove the physical aspect of the game, ascribe points or traits to the pogs, and create an interactive role playing game.

07: Skip It

"Finally," children of the 80s and 90s said to themselves, "A toy that combines all the fun of stationary skipping with repeatedly falling down!" Skip Its were entertaining for the wrong reasons. You know who hasn't quite mastered the subtle intricacies of dexterity yet? Kids! You watched someone Skip It for the inherent danger involved since most Skip It sessions ended one of two ways: an argument about whose turn it was—which ended in tears, or someone wiping out—which also ended in tears. The common denominator? Tears.

How we'd update it: They already beat us to it, but if/when a Hunger Games-esque scenario happens, may we suggest adding a few Skip Its—or even the more absurdly dangerous pogo ballinto the mix?

What vintage toy do you wish would make a comeback?

Tags: toys, lists, vintage, 1980s, 1990s, rock em sock em robots

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About the Author
Josh Sorokach

Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in New York City. He's a former American Idol winner, three time Olympian, and habitual liar. Follow him on twitter @Joshsorokach.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.