Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Presents of Christmas Past

I don't usually post about toys or games on my blog but as it's Christmas I'll make an exception for once. Sorting through various stuff today I found a box of some of my Christmas presents of long ago - from the 1960s when life was full of optimism and promise. Happy days. Anyway - I thought I'd take a few photos to show you.

Above is the Dan Dare Radio Station. This originally came out in the 1950s I think. I had mine for Christmas 1969 or 1970. The box design was looking dated even by then but it was an enjoyable toy. Kids today would be unimpressed with its 'walkie talkies' connected by 25 feet of wire and a 'radio station' that just buzzed or did morse code with a tap key and low watt bulb but kids of my time must have loved it as it was around for so long.

Next - Mouse Trap Game! Christmas 1969 I think. The original design. No I'm not setting it up for a photo. 

Cluedo. Again late sixties. Box design has changed considerably since. Loved this game.

Stingray jigsaw. Released around 1964/65. I'll probably sell this soon but I'll have to find time to put it together first to make sure all the pieces are there. (And I've never been too keen on jigsaws.)

Doctor Who Give-A-Show Projector. Christmas 1965. I still vividly remember protecting the comic-strip slide shows onto a big white sheet my mum and dad had hung up. (We had floral wallpaper back then. 1960s eh?)

Wild West City. Like most kids in the sixties I had a lot of those small plastic figures that Timpo made (soldiers / knights / cowboys). So when they released this Western town that clipped together it was a must-have. The Timpo figures in their own 'city'! I must have played with this for countless hours back then. Again this is from the late sixties.

Haunted House. This is from around 1970/71. A three dimensional board game. You build the 'house' (four rooms) with clip together walls and have to avoid the traps that are triggered by a ball bearing being dropped down the chimney. The ball could fall into any one of the four rooms and trigger a trap that hits the player's piece. Great fun.

Wartime edition of Monopoly. Someone gave me this second hand when I was a child. It's the Monopoly game that was released under wartime restrictions in World War 2 so the components are basically made of cheap card with wooden hotels and houses. Unfortunately by the time I received it it was even more of a cut-down version as the board and one of the pieces was missing but it still fascinated me all the same. (I had a contemporary version of the game in 1970 so I played that instead.)

As you can see - most of the items are still in very good condition. One of the benefits of being an only child perhaps in that there wasn't anyone to fight with over the toys and games and pull them apart. Also I was always taught to look after things as money was tight. Wise advice as it means these games will fetch more when I eventually sell them. At present though they bring back a lot of good memories of very happy Christmases of times past. 


Smurfswacker said...

I remember longing for a similar "radio station" (USA version without Dan Dare). I never got one but I did get a cool talking robot powered by twisting a handle on the end of a cable--so I was happy. These are great stuff. Was "Cluedo" a re-named version of Parker Bros. "Clue" or was it "inspired by"?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, Cluedo and Clue are the same game. Cluedo has been around since 1949, created by Waddingtons in the UK.

Phil Rushton said...

How on earth did you keep those toys in such immaculate condition Lew? My own version of the Dan Dare Radio Station was played with to destruction long ago!

Lew Stringer said...

Not having siblings to fight with over stuff helped. I was always taught to look after my stuff and I knew money was tight. By the late sixties my dad was on the sick and my mum was doing cleaning jobs to pay the rent so it was a case of cherishing what I had because I didn't know if I'd get anything else. Mum always made sure I had a good Christmas though.

Sounds quite Dickensian I know, but true. :-)

Christopher Nevell said...

Have a very Merry Christmas Lew

Manic Man said...

Cluedo is the correct name. it as meant to be based on the classic game ludo (but I could never see how).. when they released it in the US, they didn't have Ludo (or it wasn't well known) so they decided to rename it clue, to remove the Ludo refrence..

pointless but good film ^_^ can't really compare it to the old UK gameshow 'Cluedo' cause they are two different things but both great.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Christopher. You too.

Thanks for the info Manicman.

Smurfswacker said...

Manic Man, thanks for explaining the origin of Cluedo/Clue. I'd no clue (ha ha) that the game had started out in England. I take it the name is pronounced "clued-oh" rather than "clue-doo"?

Lew Stringer said...

That's right.

I.M Fletcher said...

Good stuff :)

I still have the blue Star Wars 'Give-A-Show' projector, although not in its original box.

Lew Stringer said...

So they were still around in the late seventies? That's quite a long run for a toy. Thanks for the info.

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