Retro Toys

Retro Toys

You bought them, you re-homed them to your closet, now we remind you of the flash in the pan wonders of yesteryear. Try telling your teacher your pet rock ate your homework… the nostalgia alone may get you off the hook.

Sea monkeys

“Congratulations on becoming the owner of the most fantastic pets to ever live and breathe!” That’s an actual quote from the pamphlet. You could spend hours watching the squirming white specks swim around their tank but that’s about all they do. “For shy sea monkeys afraid of marriage” you can buy mating powder for “a quick trip to the altar!” These brine shrimp may not be able to substantiate the incredible claim but the accompanying manual more than makes up for it.

Moon boots

No, not the thermal accessories that resemble Ugg boots, but plastic footwear that you strap on your feet to bounce around the garden. Like pogo sticks and hula hoops you can have fun while you exercise and look ridiculous at the same time.


Much to the detriment to your sleep and coursework you’ve kept the pixilated creature alive for weeks and watched it grow and learn. You ignored friends, missed the bus and no longer hear the constant beeping. Now your pet has either died, or grown up and spawned a youngster; either way, it’s time to start the whole process again.


Collectable plastic disks. Buy them, trade them, play some sort of game and win them. Look at the pretty pictures but for god’s sake don’t put them in your mouth – no matter how bored you are.

Magic Sand

This is a new product out there and as I was won over by the bright packaging and brain washing advert I thought I would warn you too. Whilst the sand really does turn dry as you take it out of the water it does not go back into the bottle. This is, in fact, impossible. As you try to decant the sand, droplets of water run in with it. No matter how painstakingly you try you will never totally separate the two and I feel sorry for any parents stuck with the task. Watching the commercia,l you might think it would all be worth it to make breathtaking under water sculptures; even the most basic of shapes eluded me. Good luck to the recommended age group.

Rubik’s cube

Six faces, six colours, countless hours of trying to solve the infuriating toy. In a moment of frustration you may have picked off the stickers and re-arranged them to make yourself look clever. Whenever I pick up a Rubik’s cube I remember why I put it down in the first place.

Singing trout

It moves, it sings and after the first rendition the bass flounders to tumultuous applause. You start to get tired of the fish and after everyone who comes through the front door has pushed the button to hear the music you’re ready to rip its scaly head off. You remove the batteries from the offending trout but there’s still a medley of other musical sea creatures warbling on shop walls to avoid.

For some reason the Billy Bass turns up at our local fair every year. If you’re tempted to buy anything that sings make sure it has a short battery life.


This inanimate object defies the laws of reason as it swoops down the stairs. The slinky is available in a rainbow of colours or classic steel – the possibilities are endless. Soon you’ll tire of pushing the slinky down the stairs and when it comes to unknotting the tangled springs you’d rather take a tumble yourself.


Turn the dial to draw lines in aluminium powder. Fantastic etch-a-sketch art has been produced but for the rest of us mere mortals it’s best to stick to illegible writing and shaky-looking houses. The temptation to turn the toy as you’re working on it is immense but once you do you’ll have lost your angular masterpiece.

Easy bake oven

Had the easy bake oven really worked I might have been a professional chef by now. Perhaps it’s too much to expect an eight year old not to eat half the ingredients and most of the batter before the cupcake has finished cooking. Maybe a tinfoil cover and light bulb just aren’t enough to create culinary delights. Only being able to cook one or two little cakes at a time means the whole undertaking will you get you gritting your teeth rather than licking your lips.