I Was Milton Bradley’s Love Child (Part 2)

Hey, all you mid-to-late 40 year olds and early 50-year olds…this one’s for you.

Some of you youngsters will have NEVER heard of these toys. There’s a chance some of your oldsters won’t remember them either, but in case you do, here’s a little trip down Memory Lane….where Mattel, Milton Bradley and that radical gamer, Hasbro still live in quiet competition.

Except they all outsource of hell of a lot more. Mexico, Taiwan…even China, for Playskool’s sake. And as a result, we get great toys with paint that would deflect an X-ray!OK, enough with my rant.

Here are more toys and games from the 60’s that I’m sure you haven’t thought about in decades.Let’s get right to it, shall we?

One of my favorite things to play with was the Superball.


I don’t know how it worked, but the damn thing could bounce.!!! And over a house, too–just as the ad said it would. I don’t know how much I ever paid for a Superball, per se but I learned little later on that if you cut up a golf ball, you’d find a a little superball inside.

Why I cut up a golf ball is beyond me.


When I was five, all I wanted was a box of Flintstone Building Boulders.


They were Styrofoam and fit together in these interlocking male/female parts. Fragile as all hell, but fun to play with though! I think at the end of their life–they began to disintegrate.

My mother used the remnants as packing peanuts.

.This goes waaaaayyyyy back to the early sixties. I had Gaylord, the Bassett Hound. Cute face, but not very cuddly. He was made of this really hard plastic and I think he walked. He slowly plodded and skulked on the floor, actually.


MY GOD!!! I haven’t seen Gaylord or a photo of one anyway—in almost 44 years!! He had a leash with a red bulb like thing at the end. If you squeezed it, it made a squeaky barking sound. He had a piece of Velcro (thanks NASA!!) around his mouth and that enabled Gaylord to pick up a plastic bone which also had an Velcro attachment. FUN!!

Apparently there’s some debate about what exactly Gaylord is—either he was a Bassett Hound or a Blood Hound. Frankly, I think he looks more like perennial presidential candidate, Gary Bauer.



During the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France in 1968, Peggy Flemming took home the gold medal in Women’s Figure Skating. She was so elegant and graceful. I desperately wanted to try my hand at ice skating.

What did a little girl know from ice skating in South Central Texas in the late Sixites?? Not much. The closest thing we ever got to snow was when someone’s fridge needed defrosting and back in the 60’s, the closest ice skating rink was in Houston…almost four hours away.

So, I settled for roller skates and my imagination.

But not just any skates, there were SUPER SKATES. Metal wheels, completely keyless and adjusted to any shoe size with this new fangled technology for 1968—spring action. The skates tilted on an angle allowing the skater to turn left or right, but as was the case with so many of our toys back then, there were no breaks.

I used a wall….



Remember the game, Trouble with the self-contained Pop-O-Matic dice shaker upper????

trouble-pop-o-matic-small.jpg trouble.jpg


Mattel’s Little Kiddles. They were a HUGE craze in 1967-1968. Since I didn’t play with dolls as much as other toys, I had a few.


They all smelled like cologne or essence of something. Sometimes, they came in these plastic perfume bottles are in plastic lockets you could wear. Others were in blister packs.

I distinctly remember I owned this Kiddle below. Bathing Kiddle, I guess. Don’t know if that was the name, but it came with a gold footed bathtub.

Like this:


The bubbles seen above was actually a cotton ball.

Remember the Little Kiddles Klub House, ladies?????



OK, let’s talk dolls. I didn’t have that many. Only two come to mind.

One was Swingy.


She walked…or danced or shuffled. She moved–that’s all I know. She had skates she’d wear, too. Dig the mod mini dress. Very Marsha Brady.


My other doll was called Tippy Toes.


She walked or shuffled or moved on her toes. She had a bike that she could pedal…well, sort of. A toy horse she could ride and unless I did way too much acid in the 70’s, I think she had a walker, too.


Then came Wheelos. This was a toy that included–I swear– a bent coat hanger, a little wheel with two magnets on his side and it moved by virtue of some aspect of physics, wrist movement and the players sincere love of the monotonous. The photo here includes a later model.



My sister Karol had a Vacu-Form set. Anybody remember this contraption?


You placed a plastic sheet above the mold. It them heated up to like 435 degrees F and then you’d pump air into the thing and then you’d get a car or a boat or whatever the hell mold you had. The only thing I remember making is a top hat. I also remember how it smelled once the plastic started to melt over the mold. God only knows what we were breathing!!!


Karol also had this doll house–for lack of a better word—called Mary Mag Power. It was a home built on a press board base which sat about two inches above the floor. You had these wands with magnets on the tips that you could run along the bottom of the base. Mary and her Mag Power family all had magnets under their “feet” and you manipulated them throughout the house with the magnetic wands.


Here’s a closer view:


It even had a Mag Mouse, that lived in a mag mouse hole.

Fun was rather limited with the Mary MagPower house. All you could do was make the characters move from one room to another. They didn’t bend..they were just magnets.

We got bored with the set rather quickly. Karol and I once found “Mary” holding up a grocery list on the refrigerator door.

Within weeks after that, the whole damn thing became “Mary Mag Trash”.


We played with Cooties, Kaboom and of course, a Barrel of Monkeys.







How about this one….Anybody remember the Frosty the Snow Man Snow Cone Maker?


You’d put a few ice cubes down the shoot in his head…cram it down with that red thing, while cranking the grinder (it was on his back) and out hos stomach would come shaved ice.

Frosty came with two flavors–“nasty” and “even nastier”. See the squeeze dispensers by his feet?

Frosty had a very short life span in the Kendrick household. We tried grating cheese with it once and Velveeta gunked up the blades. We ruined it.

Frosty soon joined Mary Mag Power in the trash.


Remember Time Bomb and Tip It?


I remember you wound up the fuse which I think was also the timer. Then I seem to remember you and your friends would stand in a circle and you’d throw TIME BOMB to each other and it would explode or something and it you were holding it at the time it blew up or whatever, you lose.

Lots of our toys blew up back in the day. Must’ve been Vietnam’s influence.

Tip It was just a big balancing act. My cousin Kaye had one. I played it once. Once was more than enough.


Veteran Broadway actor Stubby Kaye (think: a post modern Jack Black–though far more Jewish) hosted a TV show called Shenanigans. There was a board game of the same name.

I owned one.

I vaguely remember the show, the game and the theme song…sung by Stubby. I remember a “Pie In The Eye” segment that you tried to tiddly wink a “pie” through an eye-shaped hole in one of the game’s side panels.

There was Don’t Break The Ice, too!

That translated into “Don’t Have Any Fun”. Boring ass game.

shenanigansgame.jpg . dont-break-ice.jpg

And King of the Hill…


All I can remember with this game is that included the use of solid colored marbles and there were holes in the mountain.

‘Twas something of a metaphor for adulthood, was it not???


I think my older sister, Kathy had Go To The Head of The Class. Turn your head to see the box top.


I don’t remember playing this game…just its name.

Uncle Wiggily is an oldie but a goodie. I vaguely remember this one. My cousins, Stevie, Brian and Kyle had one. I remember watching them play it with my older sisters. I recall there being a big, gay looking rabbit on the box. Lo and behold, my memory was correct.



In my years as a school girl…namely in first and second grade, we had “seasons”. No, not in the same way female dogs do, I mean actual times during the school year in which toys and games were played. There was jump rope season for a few weeks. That would morph into jump rope season (the big industrial ropes that two of your friends turned for you–or you had the option of tying two individual jump ropes together but God forbid the two wooden handles tied together would clunk you on the head!!!). That would morph in to hopscotch season which then became JACKS SEASON!!


The ultimate test of pre-pubescent dexterity. No self respecting little girl..at least in the safe, domestic confines of Karnes City, Texas would be caught dead playing Jacks Onesies or Twosies… with the little red rubber ball that came with the jacks. Oh no no!! The discerning jacks player stole a golf ball from her father’s golf bag.

See this:


I kept my jacks in a pouch not unlike the one you see above.

One more thing, you played with multi-colored metal jacks only. Plastic ones didn’t had the same feel. They didn’t “play” as well as metal jacks

Jacks season ended the minute your father was walking around the house barefoot and stepped on a stray one.

While the girls were “jacksing off”, the boys played with tops. Remember battling tops?


Do my eyes deceive me?? The price is 29 cents????


Yo Yo’s had seasons, too!



Remember those Yo Yo moves….”around the world”, “walking the dog” and “rock the baby”? I could never make the son of a bitch yo yo properly.

I think that’s what wrong with me as an adult.


I don’t remember the names of these things other than they were looms and my sisters and I (when I was VERY, VERY young) attempted to make really weak potholders out of this stretchy material…something akin to the modern day scrunchy. Only thinner and longer. Our mother’s would feign delight as we gave them to her for Mother’s Day. Then we’d encourage her to use them and she did…to remove the roast from the oven and in doing so, she also removed the first three layers of dermis.

“Happy Mother Day with Second Degree Burns, Mom!!!!!”

No one said these were quality potholders.

Anyone else remember these toy looms?



I’ve been looking forever for this next item and couldn’t remember the name of the motor you could attach to your bike to make it sound motorized. Our neighbor Ed, had Vrroooooom!!! on his bike. I remember it being loud.

Very loud.



My sister Karol and I and all of our friends had Jingle Jumps. You attached them to your ankle/foot and did this particular motion (I was reminded of the same move when trying to Ska dance while very drunk back in the early 90’s). Then you jumped over the string and attached ball and in a small box-like thing, there were jingle bells. I’m over simplifying this but I’ve grown bored with the tedium of trying to explain all of these goddamn toys.



And I owned this toy/game, too. Oh and one more thing??? 65, 688 different faces MY ASS!!!



This doesn’t count as a toy or game but I found this doing research for this post and HAD to include it. I had this exact lunch box…an homage to Mary Poppins. I remember it well.

All metal and probably rife with lead.


Remember how lunch rooms smelled? It was a rancid combination of the school meal du jour and baloney burp.

My mother was a stickler for her children having presentable meals….not so much for us, but how it would look to the teacher who pulled lunchroom monitor duty. My mother was all about appearances.

She’d make my sandwiches every morning. Ham and cheese with the crusts remove,–and cut into bite-size fours, thank you very much. She’d include a small bag of Frito’s and a nickel taped to the side for a desert fudge sickle. Napkins, a mint, a folded paper plate…all very proper. During the colder months, she’d sometimes, include a second thermos filled with Chicken Noodle soup or Spaghetti-O’s. A plastic spoon was included.

I remember sitting at the lunch table with some friends who came from more modest families. I noticed the difference between my lunches and theirs.

It seemed as though their sandwiches were slapped together–no napkins, not even cut in half and instead of a lunch box, they brought theirs to school in an old plastic bread bag tied in a knot at the top.

I remember becoming keenly aware of those who had and those who had not, at a very early age. That’s one of my most vivid memories of childhood.

It’s still a visceral one.



Before I learned to ride a two wheeler, I was styling in this pedal car…


I had this exact car except it was green. Had a radio too. Wind it up and it would play that classic 1964 hit “Hickory Dickory Dock”. I think the Beatles covered that tune a year later.

I took great pride in my car on the day when my father put my official mark on it….my little “Texas Laurie” license plate.


By early 1965, I mastered the bicycle. By the time I was eight, there was a new bike coming into vogue. I believe it was called different things–depending on where you live.

In Texas, we called this bike:


A Stingray…

Yeah, it was cool.

I knew kids in the Northeast that called it a Spyder.

Different name, same bike.

It had a front wheel that was slightly smaller. In the mid 60’s it had pedal breaks. By 1969, hand breaks were introduced….attached to what we always called “Butterfly Handlebars”.

“Stingrays” ALWAYS had the cool banana seats…big enough for one kid with a big ass… or two kids with normal hineys.



These were the toys of my youth; the ones I played with as a child. They helped shape my being.

And then I grew up…

And so did my toys….



By the time I turned 14 and became a Freshman in High School, my toys changed EXPONENTIALLY, man.


And uh…this, too!!!



You should see what I considered “toys” in the 80’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Did you like “I Was Milton Bradley’s Love Child Part 2”? If so, there’s a Part 1 DYING for you to read it. Click here to be immediately taken there.

And here’s the newest entry..“I Was Milton Bradley’s Love Child-Part 3”

And for a nostalgic look at Laurie in High School (God help us all), click here.


  1. Laurie,
    I used to look forward to Friday night 10:30 for Project Terror in SA.
    Fun times, Thanks for your blogs, I enjoy reading it daily!

  2. That’s great. I remember playing with one of those Gyro Wheel things…and figuring out how fast I could get it to go before it flew off and across the room. Good times.

    Don’t Break the Ice: one of those cheap games we got and played together about three times. We decided it was more fun to hit each other with the hammers than the blocks.

    When we moved I came across my Fort Apache playset – the cavalry and indians play set, in politically correct red and blue color scheme, a box of Tinker Toys, and some rusty Tonka trucks. Someday, if I ever have kids, I’m going to make sure they have a chance to play with something that will give them splinters or at least a chance of needing a tetanus shot. Nerf…meh.

  3. We had a bike like the Stingray. It was called the Raleigh Chopper. Very similar with the raised handlebars, banana seat and small front wheel. It looked cool but the downside was that if you pedaled hard the front wheel came off the ground and you couldn’t steer the damn thing. A bit scary.

  4. holy shit batman!
    wheelo! superballs!
    the excitement these wrought upon our young impressinable minds.
    i miss this stuff and wish i could share a lot of it with my daughter. oh wait. i did.

    except the roach clip. she’s gotta find that shit on her own.
    like we all did. after all what’s higher education for anyway?

  5. Whaddya know, Captain Gus is now working here in Vegas.

    At a leather bar called, ironically, “The Poop Deck.”

  6. Ha…so i’m gone for a few weeks and trying to catch up on some reading…and holy shit that was a long post. Good thing i have a few redbulls at my side!

    funny shit as usual…the super skates were like death on wheels. then again any product named after someone (in this case Steven) is destined for ruin. Steven Super Skates are like Maury’s Wigs in goodfellas…great idea at first, until you put it to the test.

    oh and i think king of the hill may have led to marble madness for nintendo…looks like the same design and everything.

    looking forward to your trip to the nyc…i’ll hit you up on “email” to discuss details!

  7. Oh, wow. In the storage room of my parents house sits a bag of those elasticy loops, used to make the “potholders”.

    I think I made about fifty of those damn things one summer, and I’m pretty sure my mom threw them all away once school started back up.

  8. I’m Rudy of Los #3 Dinners. We’re a rock group that perform songs about living in San Antonio. That’s how I came across your site.

    I was researching Shock and Project Terror(which is also our pet name for the band).

    We started playing guitars when we went Jefferson, Class of 69. So, I can relate to all the fun stuff you have/had and brought back many woderful moments.

    Of course, I didn’t have dolls, except G.I. Joes that only moved in a couple of places, but some of the other stuff you mentioned crossed my path.

    I think many people who came of age during that time have a special spark that keeps things interesting. One of the guys in the band was told by his daughter(who’s going to college now) “I wish I lived in your time.” He told her, “Everybody does.”

    Your site reminded me how great that time was. We’re still playing almost every weekend and people ask us why? Our standard answer is, “You have to grow old, but you don’t have to grow up.” It’s just our way of being forever young.

    Your site, for me, is an example of staying young at heart and mind. Or better put, keeping the memories and ideas of our youthful spirit formed so long ago and building on them.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS: We still look good.

  9. I always thought Karnes City was a place on the way to the beach from San Antonio. I had no idea it was such a treasure of culture! Thanks for the memories of Capt Gus and Project Terror. Keep up the good work.

  10. Captain Gus! I was on his show when I was five years old. Biggest thrill..back then, besides meeting Jody and Buffy from the Family Affair.

    He was my favorite when I was young..

  11. I LOVED Capt. Gus! Remember watching the old Popeye cartoons and Gumby with the Blockheads?

    Project Terror was great! I used to be so afraid of that atom thingie and the alarm sound they used to show, right before saying, “Project Terror, where the scientific and the terrifying merge!”

    Let’s not forget Ker-Knockers. I think that’s what they were called. They were those two hard plastic balls that dangled off pieces of string. You would try to get them to bang against each other on top and bottom. Once you got them going, the sound they made was deafening. And, if you messed up and missed, the hard balls would hit your arms causing the biggest bruises. I think they were banned because kids were actually breaking their arms and going blind because of them.

    Oh yes, good times. Those were the days, my friend.

  12. Sure happy I found a picture of the jingle jump. I was beginning to think I imagined this toy. Noone remembered this toy. I had one 1964-65 in Philadelphia. Jax and jingle jump. Maybe that explains the callus on the side of my right hand.

  13. Merely in my early 40’s, alas, but I remember almost all the toys in this post. Grew up in San Antonio, so I also remember Captain Gus, Project Terror, and yo-yo season. Hell, I even remember Los #3 Dinners.

    By the way, didn’t everybody cut up a golfball as a kid?

  14. My sister got the Mary Magpower house/family for her 10th or 11th birthday (she’s now 51 and I’m 56). When we think back on all the stupid stuff we entertained ourselves with back then, Mary Magpower always finds it’s way into our conversation. Of course, our humor is a little twisted, so we would make the people crash into the walls or make the dad chase the mom. You could get ‘mother magnet’ to pick up a tiny iron, except instead of making her iron with it, we’d make her chase the kids and trying to hit them with it. I really like this website, actually I was searching for a Mary Magpower to purchase, but now it for our grandkids. Maybe they’d let us play with it … or we’ll threaten to hit them with an iron.

  15. I have been looking for a Mary Mag-powr for years. I fell off the bed on top of my sisters christmas gift, and broke the corner off of it on christmas day. Dad glued it, and later when my sister became older, I got to play with it. We would make the mouse chase the grapefruit. Yes there were grapefruit, and an iron, pots and pans, people ect. I loved the game, and we always played with the roof off. I wish someone would come out with nostalgia toys. I know that I would buy one of these.

  16. I found this site looking for the Flintstone Building Boulders, and I remember almost every one of these toys/games. SOOO much better than the constant barrage nowadays of merchandized crap from China.
    What’s missing–
    Easy Bake Ovens, with the light bulb that burns your hand when you take it out of the oven;
    Woodburners to create “art pieces”, I still have my sled with my name burned into it, and a scar from dropping it on my skin;
    Slip ‘n Slide, banned ’cause of all those kids who stopped short when they hit the grass and broke their arms;
    Mr. Wiggly, attached to your hose spraying water everywhere, also banned, because they broke noses or something when they came at your face too fast;
    and Kick-Klacks, banned because they shattered and put out eyes, but made a sound I will remember always! Klick klick klick klick…

  17. I had a water wiggle–was that the same as Mr. Wiggly? But I loved my Creepy Crawlers…the satisfying hiss as the hot metal plate hit the water…the smell of the plasti-goop…and mine had a bonus. There was a short to the metal case, so I got a shock every time I touched it. Sigh…good times.

  18. Oh…Project Terror freaked me out, too. My Mom would stay up and watch it on Friday nights, and I would try to cover my ears with a pillow to block out that awful “wa-a-a-a-a wa-a–a-a wa-a-a-a” sound with the creepy moving atom. Was that just a San Antonio/South Texas thing?

  19. Project Terror was awesome! I wish I had those old movies on DVD…the one that really freaked me out was the one where the statue came alive and started killing people.

    I had the pleasure of being on the Captain Gus show in 1974. Another great experience.

  20. This brought back some great memories!! I came across your site while looking for Mary Magpower, I kind of thought I had imagined it. Thanks again for the “blast from the past”

  21. A Beautiful Collection of good memories!!!! I’m sorry to see that you didn’t enjoy Mary Magpower that much — we had that and my sisters and I had hours of fun with that — yes! The Mice!!!! Was there only one? There may have been a cat too — in fact there must have been because that’s how we got the most fun — Racing those tiny creatures around the house — inside and out. I remember many “ambushes” — the cat hiding behind a door or a wall or something — In fact it might have been one of the longest living toy we had — seems like we played with it with howls of laughter — for months!!

    Also remember fondly — “Cootie” and “Tippy Toes” (“fondly” if only because I remember it at all!
    Thank you for this stuff!!!!

  22. loved your pictorial down memory lane…I’ve been obsessed with a jingle jump since my Mom wouldn’t buy me one in 4th grade cir. 1965…I finally found one on ebay a couple of years ago…It went with me to my high school reunion and several tried to play with it and ended up either needing cpr or at least a bandaid…ha ha

    I’m sure my mother heard me cussing her too…all the way from heaven…the thing cost a dollar in 1965…I had to sign over my house for the one purchased a couple of years ago!

    Thanks for shaking up the memories!

  23. Ah, Frosty the Snow Man snow cone maker. I wanted one sooo bad. When if finally appeared in my house, the first thing I did was drop the ice cubes in the head, push down on the red hat plunger and bend the metal basket ice grating thing in it’s belly and totally ruin it. How was I to know that you must start turning the crank before pushing the ice down?? Not one snow cone was ever produced.
    Yes, good times…

  24. I have looked every where for the Mary Magpower house! I would try to tell my kids about it but could never really get it across to them. I have tried to find one on ebay, to no avail. I had to leave mine behind when I moved from Michigan to California in 1969. I LOVED that house!
    We would make the cat chase the dog and the mouse chase the cat. We would also make the eggs (yes there were magnetic cooked eggs) chase everyone! Thank you for this site

  25. I love going back in time. i don’t remember but my mom said i had tippy toes when i was 2.
    also i had go to the head of the class game. i still remember once my dad couldn’t get out of kindergarten and we still tease him about that.

  26. My sister and I loved playing with the Mag-power house. I remember that it had lots of details in the furniture and pieces that one could use like plates, cups, saucers, eggs, grapefruits, frying pan and pots. There was a complete kitchen. There was a letter that went into the mailbox and a cat and dog and mouse. The man and woman could be skillfully manipulated with the magnetic wands to pick up and move about with all of the accessories, which were many. We played with the skill of real artists as we created scenarios for the mag power family. We would have run-on stories that would go on for days. How I’d love to have it now. My mother threw it out one year in the mid seventies after a bad smoky disaster with the oil burner. We had the first year mag-power house, the best. The detail was just so exceptional.

  27. I have often talked of my Mary Mag Power doll house with my daughters (now ages 29 and 26) and wish I had a picture to show them. Now that I found your aritcle, I can. Boy, did they laugh about that toy I had!!! I remember that this was the only toy I wanted for Christmas and was thrilled beyond belief that I did get. My best friend and I would play with it for hours and loved going and picking up the mail in the mail box and having the cat chase the mouse down the mouse hole! I regret my mother throwing it out!!!! Brings back many memories for me of fun in the old neighborhood. No video games for us in the 60’s lots of fun with our imaginations!! Glad I found your article.

  28. I got the Mary Mag Power play house for Christmas. I must have been 10. My brother stepped on the edge of the house and it was bent. I was wrecked, but was still able to play with it. It was one of my favorite toys ever. I also loved my Chatty Cathy and Thumbalina dolls. OMG! Am I old or what??? LOL

  29. I could NEVER get the jingle jump out of my mind and on a whim decided to google it- thank you!!! Loved reading/seeing it- my old friend!!! And other’s comments. I was born in Phila, 1959.

  30. Um—that should read “site”….I did not come across your “sire”, Milton Bradley—-HA!–Thanks again

  31. I really enjoyed the walk down memory lane, BUT i would have to disagree with your opinion on Mary Mag Power Dollhouse, I was 5 and it still is my best memory of a toy i ever had, besides my ‘Kissy’ doll. My family didn’t have much and my sister and i thought it was the best present ever, we would play with our imaginations for hours.
    My sister passed away this year and i would give anything to get my hands on one. So if anyone has a Mary Mag Power Doll house they would like to get rid of please let me know.
    Thanks again for great memories!

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