Archive for the ‘toy’ Category

Visionaries and Holograms


For those of us who were kids in the 1980’s, especially if you are male, you may remember the TV series/Toy Line called Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Though the story and design were par for the course in the 80’s, their main selling feature as toys was the “magical” holograms on their chests and staves. Here is a nice site recording their history and brief existence.

It’s funny how many things had holograms in the 80’s and just how often we as kids were taken to believe that they were somehow really high tech. I am surprised that cell-phones or ipods haven’t been modded with holograms integrated into their designs yet.

  • There were the rather similar Supernaturals, who had torsos made of holograms and perhaps a shield to match. With names like Mr. Lucky and Weird Cat, you know the designers phoned it in on that one.
  • There were the BAT figures from GI Joe.
  • Countless stickers such as this A-Team Lazer Blazers collection.
  • I am certain Trapper Keepers had holograms to some extent.
  • Here’s a wonderful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cearal box with hologram.
  • And let us not forget the hologram glasses still in use for poker tournaments.

Whether you like them or not, holograms made hundreds of children believe that the future of entertainment was to be found in the illusion of depth via an overproduced likeness of something real. And they ended up with Britney Spears. Okay, so they were right.



Skip It

Before childhood obesity crippled our nation, toy companies began to release semi-innovative ways to perform average childhood actions. One such invention was a toy called Skip-It.

Add together the dynamics of a leg fastened tether ball, the potentiial for harm of a medieval mace, and some glitter,(and later a counting mechanism) and you have the next new toy craze for 1990’s America. Or so it seemed.

Granted this “toy concept” had been around since the 1960’s, this new “space age” design got parents to buy it for their kids.

I always was a bit frightened of the immediate threat of a being cracked in the shins by an overzealous young girl and my getting to close to the Skip-It. Thanks for the broken ankle Tiger Toys!

Here’s a commercial for the “new and improved” Skip-It from 1994.

The most entertaining piece of this puzzle comes via the Wikipedia entry for this toy:

Marshall Swails of Irmo, SC won the 1995 World Skip-It Open at the 1995 Toy Congress in Wolfsburg, Germany. He skipped 300,546 times on his custom glitter filled Skip-It. What was remarkable about this achievement was that nobody cared. He worse(sic) simple white, canvas Keds and a pair of skin tight BIKE bicycle shorts with his name on the side. He did not wear a shirt.