You’ll shoot your eye out!

Remember how the only thing that Ralphie wants for Christmas is “an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock.” Remember how important things like that were when you were a kid? Well in honor of that materialistic obsession, I am now going to give you the list of Christmas gifts I always wanted as a kid but never got. (I know! This is probably one of the roots of all my current problems – I was so deprived!)

Okay, first off, one of the gifts I most wanted – wanted really badly – but never got was the Vincent Price Head Shrinker Kit.  Yes, I was a morbid child, you all know of my Halloween obsession, still – I didn’t INVENT the thing, I just wanted one for Christmas. I guess my parents didn’t see the value in a kit that allowed you to create shrunken heads. Later, I heard that it wasn’t as fun as it looked. Still, I’ve never really recovered from my disappointment that Christmas.

Another gift I wanted and never got was the Frosty Snowcone maker. Oh how I longed for this. This photo doesn’t show it, but it came with a little shovel that you would scoop the chipped ice into cups with.  The ice cubes went into his hat and got all crushed and came out his stomach. Then you had some sugary flavorings in the yellow tubes that you would add to the crushed ice. Adorable!

My friend Teresa had the Barbie Country Camper. I always coveted it. I guess it was lucky that I got to play with hers since I never got one of my own. *sniff*

Instead of Barbie, my sister and I got the Sunshine Family . . . damn hippies.

Things I really, really wanted but my mom did not want to buy me because they had too many pieces:

Things I really, really wanted but my mom would not buy because they would make too big of a mess:

I know you’ve already seen this one, but again, look how cute he was . . . and too big of a mess.

Things I really really wanted and I don’t know why I never got one:

My aunt had one of these and I would spend HOURS looking at those slides. Remember how they made everything look like a fantastic little 3D world? I would just concentrate, concentrate, trying to will myself into the little scenes (like this one with Huckleberry Hound)

Wanted this. Never got it.

Did get these . . .

They looked a lot more fun than they were. Heavy glass balls that you were supposed to smack together. This was before video games, obviously, when children’s entertainment expectations were WAY lower.

OH, and I remember getting one of these:

Did you ever “play” with one of these? I remember that it sucked. Mainly because I burned the crap out of myself on the tip the first time I used it. I never could get the project to look like the one on the box and then my mom put it up and I never saw it again.  Another children’s toy that could have used more research and development before release.


  1. Sandra on December 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Guess which snowcone maker I wanted: “It’s yum-yum fun that’s cool and clean, and its name is the…”
    I think it’s really amusing that you didn’t have the ubiquitous Fisher Price castle, or the LiteBrite, or a viewmaster, for goodness’ sake, but you had crazy stuff like that marble nunchuk thing and the woodBURNING “toy.”
    The main thing I can remember wanting hopelessly as a kid was anything made of gold lamé. Shoes, clothes…it was the 70’s, after all. Even today I have a visceral attraction to clothing made with gold lamé but sadly, now that I can get it if I want, gold lamé usually does not love me back. Especially at American Apparel.

  2. Matthew on December 17, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Ah, when toys were cool. Here’s all the ones above that my brother and I had:

    1) Lite Brite (your mom was right: we found LB pegs in our carpet long after the box was broken)
    2) Viewmaster (What child of the 70’s didn’t have a Viewmaster?! I am very sorry that you were denied a staple toy of our childhood!)
    3) Fisher Price castle – the absolulte coolest thing about this was the trapdoor in the tower that you could use to dump “evil” peg people into the moat. We *may* have gotten this second hand at a garage sale, because I’m not certain that we had all the many tiny pieces.
    4) Magic Window – Whoa, very trippy. However, while we were fascinated by the Magic Window for a long time, after a few years, you do get insanely curious about what it would be like if the sand was NO LONGER IN THE WINDOW. Inevitably, we used a screwdriver to pry apart a corner, and it was all over. Literally. Don’t even ask what we did to our Stretch Armstrong. Also: What the hell is microdium?!
    5) A woodburning TOY? I think we could call that “Emergency-Room-Visit-in-a-box” now. I did have a woodburner, but I was 12 or 13 when I was given one, and I never actually used it for woodburning. Soldering, yes; woodburning, no. And, it made a crappy soldering iron, if I recall.

    The one toy that I wanted when I was a kid that I never got: a Green Machine. This was much like the Big Wheel, but much cooler. You could turn & slide out in the Green Machine, but you did eventually wear holes in the wheel because that was how you braked. Oh, MAN, how I wanted one. I believe this was one of the things that I threw a temper tantrum over when I was told that I would not get one, but I may be misremembering that…

  3. Elizabeth Holcombe on December 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I totally had Clackers. They were orange. My brother threw them into a tree and would you believe they stayed up there for over ten years before falling back to earth!~~~XXOO, Beth

  4. B-Movie Star on December 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Sandra: Gold Lame. I’m filing that away for future reference.

    Matthew: I love all the bits of insight you’ve given to me about the toys I wanted. I’m kind of jealous of you now. And yeah, what the hell IS Microdium. (Did Captain Kirk guard a shipment of it with the Enterprise?)

    Beth: That is an awesome childhood memory! Thanks for stopping by!