May 16, 2016

Two retro toys you can still find on shelves

It seems like these two toys that I played with during my youth are popping up all over the place..

Remember these little guys that could magically move and come to life?    If you don't quite recall how these things worked, here's a commercial to jog your memory..

I had a love hate relationship with these beady eyed caterpillars.  I loved the way they looked, and thought they were a cool toy.. but hated that I could never master making them look like they were really alive.  My two daughters on the other hand have figured out the secret to bringing them to life, and own a crap load of them!  It says a lot for a simple toy that was popular in the 70's, to be able to entertain the average 21st century kid for any amount of time.

These sticky little octopi are now called Wacky Wally's.. but I remember them as "Wacky Wall Walkers".  I remember being able to get them for a limited time as an inbox prize from Corn Pops cereal, but they were also widely available in stores.

These guys did exactly what they were made to do.. walk down walls.  In fact.. they did a stellar job of walking down just about any surface like doors, refrigerators, mirrors, windows, etc.  During their vertical journeys however, their tentacles would pick up hitchhikers along the way, all the while making them less and less sticky.  Dust, lint, dirt, and animal hair served as these sticky octopus's kryptonite, eventually rendering them useless.  Fortunately, all you had to do was give them a quick bath in soapy water and let them air dry for about ten minutes. They were then good as new and you could carry on freaking out your siblings, and making your Mom mad with the "octopi trails" that would dirty up her mirrors and windows.

If I remember correctly, the Squirmels were originally only available through television offers, but it wasn't long until you could buy them everywhere.  As for those who didn't want to spend as much money, there were an abundant amount of knock-off's available, even in 25 cent bubble gum machines.  It was pretty much the same story with the wall walkers as well.

One things for sure.. I never paid the $2.99 price tag that's on them now.  In this day and age however.. a $2.99 toy that can keep kids entertained for hours is a steal.

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