Cool Classic Toys 
There's something cool about the games and toys of decades past. It seems things were made of higher quality materials and weren't as complicated as they are today. Nowadays, everything is made cheap of plastic and they are full of complicated electronics. Even the toys when I was a kid were pretty crappy (it was during the 80's after all).

There are many good classic toys and games that have survived through the years and it's likely that most folks are familiar with them (e.g. Frisbee, Slinky, hula-hoop, etc.). However, there are a few gems out there that are much more obscure, but still worth attention.

Here are some that I have happened upon that are pretty neat and might even appeal to adults.

Shoot the Moon

Shoot the Moon is a game that poses a seemingly impossible challenge. The toy has apparently been around since the 1920s. The game player must make a steel ball roll uphill along two rails that can only be adjusted left and right. If you can roll all the way to the top, you have "shot the moon" and gain the maximum points. It's quite a challenge, but very rewarding once you get good at it. Follow one of the links below to see a picture. The basic strategy is to open the two rails such that the ball almost falls through. When you do that the ball will roll towards you just slightly. Then you must squeeze the rails together to keep the ball from falling. You must continue this process in one smooth motion and the ball will accelerate up hill. If you do it perfectly you will be rewarded with the ball smacking the backstop. Shoot the Moon might make a good executive gift for keeping on a desk at work. I loved this one as a kid too (a hand-me-down from my Dad's childhood toys). ... B00000ISFG


According to my Dad, this was the toy that every little boy had back in the 50's. Really, a peashooter is just a small blowgun designed to shoot dried peas. Back before Nerf was making all the exotic dart/missle launchers that you can buy today, kids sufficed with a cheap straw and a mouthful of peas.

Kids would fill their cheeks with dried peas like chipmunks, use their tongue to load the peashooter, and then blow to fire. With enough practice, one could shoot like a machine gun.

Johnny Astro Moon Lander

The Johnny Astro Moon Lander came out just before astronauts first landed on the moon. This is an ingenious toy that challenges the game player to navigate a moon lander through the air to a landing pad. The lander is actually a balloon with some landing gear and ballast attached, but it isn't lighter than air. Instead, the game player controls the balloon with a fan. The fan control relies on Bernoulli's Principle to contain the balloon within the column of moving air. One must adjust the angle of the fan as well as fan power to move the balloon and carefully land it. I've never gotten to try one of these and I cannot find anywhere that sells them, but it sounds like you can build your own without too much trouble.

Water Weenie

The Water Weenie is about the simplest water gun one can imagine. It's just a length of surgical tubing or inner tube tied off on one end and a nozzle on the other. The Water Weenie relies on water pressure from an outdoor water faucet to fill the tube and stretch the rubber to store energy for shooting the water. I haven't owned this toy myself, but I like its simplicity (especially in contrast with water guns like the Super Soakers). I have seen someone accidentally create a Water Weenie in my high school chemistry class. The amount of water launched all over the classroom was quite impressive, but that's a story for another time. :) ... iennie.php

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