Nerdy Toys I had when I was a Kid

#1

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6so_o3Kues
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…….

8 Likes

#2

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.

6 Likes

#3

At my age we had to settle for Erector Sets.

8 Likes

#4

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

1 Like

#5

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

2 Likes

#6

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.
Tinkertoys
Capsela
Micronauts
Chemistry sets (with actual chemicals)
Electronic sets
Electronic project kits
Creepy Crawlers
Lincoln Logs
Ringa Majigs
Spectograph
The Power Shop (hand cranked woodworking machine, cut, punch, sand)

4 Likes

#7

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

3 Likes

#8

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.

7 Likes

#9

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.

4 Likes

#10

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.

2 Likes

#11

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.

2 Likes

#12

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.

1 Like

#13

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.)

2 Likes

#14

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

0 Likes

#15

and post a picture. I remember Creepy Crawlers.

1 Like

#16

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.

7 Likes

#17

Same with me.

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

0 Likes

#18

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.

5 Likes

#19

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.

2 Likes

#20

my all time favorite toy?

LEGO.

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:

3 Likes