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Toddler Talk: Vintage Toys

Some toys from our childhoods are perennial favorites (hello, Slinky, how I wish I had invented you!). But other, awesome toys we loved as kids are no longer being manufactured (Glamour Gals, how I miss thee). Wanting to pass the old-school joy onto my own kids, I took to eBay and Etsy to see what playtime treasures I could discover.

1. Mattel's He-Man, She-Ra and Castle Greyskull

Though marketed for boys, I still say Castle Greyskull is a great toy for all kids. At least, my She-Ra, Evil-Lyn, Glamour Gals and Barbies regularly invaded my brother's He-Man stronghold. Though in retrospect the skull-design on the entryway is a bit creepy, I wasn't fazed in the slightest as a child. And I wasn't even a Goth eight-year-old. Castle Greyskull is is big, sturdy, and perfect for letting your child's imagination run wild.

2. Kenner Family Tree House Featuring the Tree Tots

As a child, I was entranced with the idea of living in a treehouse, à la the Swiss Family Robinson. Of course, at the time I was unaware of termites and how important indoor plumbing is. But this 1975 Kenner toy would have made me the happiest treehugger on the block. Featuring "your friends from the magic forest," it has a happy family, their dog and cat, and a tree elevator (naturally). Not to mention a catchy commercial jingle. Okay, I'm getting my credit card out right now.

3. Kenner Sea Wees

Kenner manufactured these terrific tub-friendly toys from 1979 to the mid-1980s. They originally were sold as single mermaids with hair as long as their bodies. Kenner then packaged them as mama mermaids alongside their two-inch babies and floating sponge-lily pads. The next evolution featured babies and pets. (Such is life!) Still, these little dolls made bathtime so much fun.

4. Cabbage Patch Kids Koosas

In the '80s, every little girl in my neighborhood had (or desperately wanted) a Cabbage Patch kid. But my younger brother wasn't as into adopting a baby as I was. That's when my parents gave him the Cabbage Patch Koosa. Koosas were the Cabbage Patch animal counterparts, and you could adopt a dog, cat, or lion. They came with I.D. badges and, if you believe this commercial, magical powers!

5. Wham-O's Fun Fountain (a.k.a. Clown Head Sprinkler)

This outdoor water toy featured an only-slightly-scary clown head that attached to your garden hose. The water would force the clown's hat up, up, up into the air...and it was up to you as a kid to run through the water stream quickly, so that said hat wouldn't come crashing down on your head. I would love to get this clown toy for my kids; I'm hoping it would inspire less a fear of clowns, and more a respect for gravity.

From Star Wars to Sit 'N Spins, what childhood toys do you wish you could pass on to your kids?

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