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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Vintage Toys & Games

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.

Classic Arcade Preservation

Tony Temple – arcade game historian, collector, and writer – divulges the ups and downs of arcade collecting and restoring.

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Battleship from Milton Bradley (1967)

Milton Bradley’s Battleship game pits two players against each other in an effort to decimate the opponent’s navy fleet before losing their own.

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Instant Replay Record Player from Mattel (1971)

In 1971, Mattel released Instant Replay Record Player, offering sports fans a new way to re-live the “agony and ecstasy” of famous play-by-play moments in sports.

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Banjo-Matic from Kenner (1962)

In 1962, Kenner released a toy musical instrument called the Banjo-Matic that allowed a child to “play real banjo music.”

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Ants in the Pants from Schaper (1969)

Released by Schaper in 1969, Ants in the Pants is a classic game that still endures with the preschool set, thanks to its simplicity and the fact that a parent can legitimately be beaten at the game by a three-year-old.

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Hands Down from Ideal (1964)

Released in 1964 by Ideal, Hands Down was a high-energy game that encouraged 3-4 active participants to get “slap happy.”

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Speak & Spell from Texas Instruments (1978)

Before helping E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial find his way home in 1982, the Speak & Spell from Texas Instruments (TI) made a splashy debut in June 1978 at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.

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Mr. Potato Head: He’s a Real Spud

Kids play with the food they don’t want to eat. George Lerner, an inventor who figured that vegetables and fruits with a little personality might have a better chance, created a set of silly face parts that could be stuck into produce. The result is a toy that would evolve to become a beloved object of play for generations.

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Probe from Parker Brothers (1964)

Originally released in 1964 by Parker Brothers, Probe is a Hangman-style word game fun for the whole family. Sets are still readily found in thrift shops and on eBay for an accessible price.

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