Classic Toys revisited

I love toys! From simple die-cast cars to nifty electronic gadgets. Toys are just cool. As I’m no longer technically of toy-playing age, I focus more and more on the supercool toys of my youth. Many times I’ve picked up an old toy in a thrift store or a garage sale so that I could take it home (usually I have to repair it first which satisfies the adult in me) and relive a little bit of yesteryear. Unfortunately these days, the toys I get the biggest kick out of are referred to as “vintage”. The really polite folks call them “retro”. I’m not sure which is worse.

I notice that the Nerf toy line has really exploded over the last few years. Computer geeks (like myself) the world over are packing soft-tipped heat around the office just waiting for those jerks in S.A.L.E.S. to start some crap. Kind of like the guys in the link below.

The Great Office War

The more enthralled I get with Nerf toys, the more I remember my first Nerf goodies. All of this, of course, was back in the days when Nerf (Non-Expanding Recreational Foam for those of you who are curious) was used for less destructive purposes. Nerf started out in 1969 with the plain ‘ol yellow softball sized Nerf balls that we all spent so much time tossing around. It was heralded as the world’s first indoor ball. There’s marketing at it’s finest! How many of us don’t remember the Nerf soccer ball, or football? I recall spending a fair amount of time in the driveway cruising my Nerfmobile through puddles until it had soaked up enough water that it wouldn’t roll right anymore. I remember spending time at a friends house tossing Nerfman, the world’s only Nerf superhero back and forth across the yard and seeing if he would fly faster than my Nerf Glider. I could not begin to count how much time I spent launching Nerf Rockets across the house (Until the family dog had finally eaten all of the rockets AND the launcher. Those babies were a prelude to Nerf products to come that’s for sure. Gooood times.

Nerf stuff was fun, safe, and best of all, cheap. It didn’t take too much begging to get your hands on Nerf toys.

Nerf toy ad from the Tri-City Herald circa 1973

For those of you who fondly remember those times, or don’t have any clue what I’m talking about at all I thought I would provide you with a little peek inside my head. I found some Nerf info over at after a fair amount of searching. Here are some cool archive photos from the 1976 Nerf toy catalog.

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