Nerdy Toys I had when I was a Kid


Over on the Discussion of March 2019 Update @bwente talked about the Big Trak. A cool toy I had and it made me think about other toys from my childhood. Something that came to mind were the ScienceFair Electronics kits (I.e. 150-in-1 Electronics Kit) and I spent countless hours playing with them. I had a couple different ones.
Anyone else remember them or other nerdy stuff you had? They paved the path for my continued play today with the Glowforge, 3-D printer, CNC…….



I had a big trak with the dump trailer… but my nerdiest awesome thing was that I had a huge assortment of Capsela.

Man Capsela was the bomb.



At my age we had to settle for Erector Sets.



I had to look up photos of Capsela. Now I want to play with them too. :slight_smile:

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My older brothers had an erector set. I couldn’t play with them. Probably because I would have ate the nuts.



My favorite toys were the ones I could make more toys with.

Lego Bricks (back then there just assorted blocks, no models)
Erector set, with a motor.
Chemistry sets (with actual chemicals)
Electronic sets
Electronic project kits
Creepy Crawlers
Lincoln Logs
Ringa Majigs
The Power Shop (hand cranked woodworking machine, cut, punch, sand)



And with the Glowforge you haven’t strayed too far from your childhood either.



Yeah had the Erector set. Also had the Gilbert Chemistry Set. Many of the chemicals were of course poison and if you mixed them wrong terrible things could happen. A couple years ago someone brought one of the vintage Gilbert Chemistry sets to the local landfill. All hell broke loose. Cops and a Hazmat unit quarantined the area. Apparently a few of the chemicals could get quite volatile with age.

Helmets with bikes? Seatbelts? Hah! Natural selection was in full force at the time.



Still have a Wham-O Air Blaster. It was later banned. Kids kept shooting their friends in the side of the head blowing their ear drums out. Was a fun toy though.



i had that one, too. and that motor was a beast. the whole thing came in a huge metal hinged lid box. they don’t make stuff like that any more.



I did things that in retrospect were kind of dangerous. I would use electrolysis to liberate Hydrogen gas in a test tube and light it. That wasn’t too bad because I couldn’t make too much but I do remember having another test tube fill with yellow gas that I am pretty sure was chlorine. I was kind of concerned about that one.



My brother got the Erector set and I got a wood burning kit. I don’t think the wood burning kit would pass the safety tests for today’s toys. Little did I know that so many years later I would be back to burning wood for fun.

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I have a Creepy Crawlers kit. (Ebay a few years back. The Goop is getting a little tacky, I guess I ought to go ahead and make something with it.)



My wife says the smell of the wood out of Glowforge takes her back to her childhood woodburning days.



and post a picture. I remember Creepy Crawlers.

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200-in-1 was like my favorite thing for a long time. I didn’t really understand how a lot of the circuits worked, but it started a lifelong desire to get there.

Let’s see, what else… Armatron! I wish I’d held on to that thing.

Walkie-talkies seemed so cool, even though they worked like crap in the 80s. Ditto metal detectors… at least the cheap one I had.

One funny story is I remember telling my science teacher that I’d like someday to own a triple-beam balance, and I will never forget her answer: “Only drug dealers have a triple-beam balance at home.” I’m still a science nerd and I’m sure my basement could be mistaken for a meth lab, but I never did get that balance. Maybe I should just to prove Mrs. Gritsavage wrong.



Same with me.

Get it. I’ve bought a few things in adulthood that I wanted as a kid. i.e. Stereo Microscope.



We actually have what we call constructive time when the gkids are here for a few days, we bring out some old tinker toys and Lincoln log sets and build things with them you would be suprised how quick the cell phones are forgot about. I have even heard I’ll look at it later when a message comes in.



I had a chemistry set in I think it was third or fourth grade. The only thing I remember doing with it was melting the sulfur on a penny to make an impression. Oh, and checking the pH of everything with litmus paper. This was in the 60’s so no doubt the unused chemicals ended up in a landfill—bummer.



my all time favorite toy?


Chemistry chemicals used to be able to buy them out of a rack like model paint.

oh ya, and I have set of JARTS. :slight_smile: