Thursday, October 28, 2010

Easy-Bake Oven, cooking eggs by lightbulb since 1963

So, I lied—Oregon Trail will be done at a later time, when I can properly wrap my brain around why the hell I loved that game so much. I balked originally at changing up what this entry was supposed to be about, and then I realized, hey, this is my blog, I do what I want! So instead, I’m going to look at the Easy-Bake Oven.

(First of all, with the penchant toy companies have for giving their products ‘cute’ names, I’m shocked that it wasn’t called the EZ-Bake or even EZ-Bak Oven.)

Okay, so the Easy-Bake Oven wasn’t a toy just of the ‘90s, but as someone who consumed countless cooked-by-a-light-bulb cakes and cookies (and forced family members to join in the salmonella-y fun!) throughout my childhood, I would be remiss to leave it out. 

(None of my creations looked like any of these things, especially that chocolate cake with pink frosting—false advertising!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Say Hello to Your Friends (YOUR ONLY FRIENDS)--Baby-Sitter's Club

Ah, the Baby-Sitter’s Club. The (massive) book series that taught us that the pinnacle of cool was being 11-13 years old and spending all your time watching over little children. (Seriously, they had eleven year olds babysitting! Sometimes for ten year olds. Because that one year makes alllllll the difference.) And if you were from New York, or dressed like you grabbed random clothes in the dark, you were EXTRA COOL.

(The caption says: "How can a seven-year-old make Claudia feel so dumb?" Trust me, Claud--it ain't that hard.)

Basically, for those of you who didn’t own, oh, 50+ of these books, the Baby-Sitter’s Club revolved around a group of girls (the number ranged from four to seven at any given time), who, under their trusty leader Kristy, the ringleader of the cult…baby-sat. A lot. Like…all their spare time was spent either baby-sitting or planning some kind of festival or carnival or fair for their baby-sitting charges, all while dealing with the Serious Issue of the Week, such as racism, cancer, divorce, or Mary-Anne getting a hair cut without consulting her friends. And they did it all for low, low wages.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hey now kids, come rather 'round. See what just Skipped into town!

Skip-It is one of those toys that you can’t believe it took so long for toy manufacturers to think of. Or maybe it isn’t that it took them so long to think of it—maybe it took them until the late-80s/early-90s to decide that maybe, just maybe, this thing could actually sell.

Because on the surface, Skip-It sounds too simple to be a commercial success. A plastic loop goes around the ankle, attached to the ‘Skip-It’, which could best be described as resembling a ball and chain. You then moved your ankle in a circle to send the Skip-It around in a circle, which you then hopped over. It can best be described as a combination of jump rope and hula-hooping (you know, just for your ankle), and is just about as complicated.

The secret of Skip-It? It had a really catchy jingle.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Preparing the future 'Teen Mom's of the world--Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi, more than any of the other variations of electronic pets that came after it looking to capitalize on its success (GigaPet, NanoPet, etc.), was the one that had the most potential to be traumatizing—because of all the different models, Tamagotchi was the one that came the closest to Real Parenting.

By that, I mean that your Tamagotchi could die, you had to clean up its poo, and the game was never ending.