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Old 12-20-2013, 08:53 AM   #21
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Mine was a subscription to The American Basic Science Club when I was 11. Every month for a year I got a kit that taught basic electronics, magnetism, and optics. They still exist today but I suspect they no longer include kits that use 120V AC power.

Edit: I thought the club still existed but after further checking I guess they don't.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:12 AM   #22
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A few standouts include:
  1. first bicycle, a 20" Schwinn, ~1962
  2. Lionel train set (actually two, since my older brother and I each got one)
  3. Football uniform
  4. Chemistry set (again, two...)
  5. Weight set
  6. Pool table (family gift)
  7. And these, vintage 1967...

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Old 12-20-2013, 09:13 AM   #23
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Another one for the Erector set crowd, especially the kit with the motor in it. I made a windmill that in hindsight was probably capable of amputating fingers.

Other favorites were the American Flyer train set (wow, the coal in the coal car looked real!). My younger sister got upset when I tied one of her small dolls to the tracks as in "Perils of Pauline". Who says TV doesn't inspire violence in kids?

A Tick Tock Clock similar to this one but with a pendulum that could be adjusted.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #24
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The exact set... wow...
Ten years later, took the engine apart, and put a race car body on the base. That train must have gone thousands of miles on the oval track that was under the Christmas tree every year until I went to college
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #25
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The xmas gifts I was the most excited about getting:

- electric football game. My younger bro always argued if the pass was complete with the little felt "football".

- Hockey game - where you controlled each player. If I remember correctly, the teams were the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians - we played this for many years.

- electric racing cars - basic figure 8 track. Got bored with this pretty quickly.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:50 AM   #26
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This is my second favorite Christmas toy . I really wanted to be a telephone operator when I was little .
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #27
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A tabletop hockey game. Slots were cut so your player could "skate" and then you turned the spindle to make them "shoot". Got it back when there were only the six original teams. Hundreds of hours spent playing this. Had it for probably close to 50 years before giving it to neighbor kids in Texas. They had no idea what it was, but once they learned they loved it.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #28
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A tabletop hockey game. Slots were cut so your player could "skate" and then you turned the spindle to make them "shoot". Got it back when there were only the six original teams. Hundreds of hours spent playing this. Had it for probably close to 50 years before giving it to neighbor kids in Texas. They had no idea what it was, but once they learned they loved it.
That was a great game! I enjoyed mine too growing.. Electric football was always frustrating to me as they never did much but go in circles, though occasionally one would be a straight line streaker. Super Jock was another one I enjoyed. You banged his head and his leg would kick a football toward a miniature goal post. The harder you smacked his head, the further the ball would be kicked. My hand still hurts from banging that head for "50 yard" field goals.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #29
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Ah, memories! My little sister always got the best Christmas gifts, but she let me play with hers. My favorites were Spirograph and Lite-Brite. I just Googled both of those, and to my amazement, they still exist. (Although it appears that Lite-Brite has gone digital, since it's available as an app. That can't possibly compare with the satisfaction I got making designs with the little plastic colored pegs.)
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #30
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Since I picked the wrong toy for Rewahoo I thought I would try again
For NW-Bound
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:28 PM   #31
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Lots of votes here for electric football and tabletop hockey.
For real violence though, nothing could beat the Rock-em Sock-em robots game. Two players each controlled one of a pair of boxing robots, with the object of knocking the other one's head off.
Good times.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:58 AM   #32
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Quote:
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A tabletop hockey game. Slots were cut so your player could "skate" and then you turned the spindle to make them "shoot". Got it back when there were only the six original teams. Hundreds of hours spent playing this. Had it for probably close to 50 years before giving it to neighbor kids in Texas. They had no idea what it was, but once they learned they loved it.
That was a good one. I forgot about getting one of those. Problem is......I can't remember when I received some of the presents. My first set of golf clubs would have to be my best present ever since I still play the game today, but I know I got that on my birthday. Others like the hockey game or a bicycle may have been b'day gifts.

When I think back on all the nice presents I received, I can't believe how fortunate I was because we were barely a lower-middle class family. Dad just didn't make a lot of money. Of course some of the gifts were from my grandparents and a close aunt.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:03 AM   #33
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For real violence though, nothing could beat the Rock-em Sock-em robots game. Two players each controlled one of a pair of boxing robots, with the object of knocking the other one's head off.
Good times.
That was a fun one too. Only thing, I wasn't a kid when I played with that. I actually gave one of these to my nephews for a b'day gift. They were born a week a part so I killed two birds with one stone with this one.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:32 AM   #34
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A brick and an 8 color box of crayons.

Kids today are too soft
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:11 PM   #35
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Dad gave me mercury to play with about '65. Greatest Christmas ever. We'd sit for hours rolling it around our hands.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #36
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A brown-haired, brown-eyed Ginny doll that my mother special ordered for me dressed in a cowgirl outfit. I loved Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and when I was 4 or 5 I wore a cowgirl outfit quite a bit. Most of the dolls were blue-eyed blondes and my mother wanted me to have a doll that looked more like me in coloring. I still have it.

My maternal grandmother used to give the grandkids one of the old silver dollars on our birthdays and for Christmas. I saved all of mine and still have them, too.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:17 PM   #37
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Probably my all time favorite was my Cub Scout uniform when I was 8. But the Estes Big Bertha rocket kit when I was 10 when a close competitor. I suspect they wanted me to become an astronaut, but it was actually the start of a lifetime of blowing things up.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:11 PM   #38
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First set of new skis (no more hand-me-downs!).

Rock'em Sock'em Robots a close second
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #39
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Dad gave me mercury to play with about '65. Greatest Christmas ever. We'd sit for hours rolling it around our hands.
MRG
My sisters and I had mercury too, and Dad added a kit that used molten lead to make fishing sinkers and toys with. Neat stuff!

Then I got a pump rifle that shot round corks about 5/16" in diameter. My younger sisters hated that gun as I used them for target practice.

Anybody know the maker of that cork rifle?
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #40
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That tabletop hockey was also one of my favs, but am surprized about all the mentions of an electric football game if it was the same game that I had. Mine vibrated to move the players and many of them just went in circles; very disappointing.
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