Do you remember?

Last weekend the Hawaii State Farm Fair was held on the grounds of the Bishop Museum in Kalihi.  I actually didn’t have the time to go but it did get me reminiscing about the good ol’ days when it was held at McKinley High School.  Back then admission was practically free.  I remember we could give our old Pepsi cans or Milk cartons in exchange for admission.  Sadly, I couldn’t find any vintage old photos online of the fair 😦

But amongst friends this weekend, while reminiscing about the rides, the petting zoo and the food…we got to talking about all those inexpensive but memorable prizes you could win along with others toys and knickknacks from the 80’s.  You remember those right? Those priceless (literally) toys that fascinated us for no reason other than they were cheap, time consuming and/or borderline cool?  You could get them at the manapua truck, the carnival, Chuckie Cheese/Showbiz Pizza, Woolworth, Arakawa’s or in that little treasure chest at Fisherman’s Wharf and the old Ranch House in Aina Haina.  Ring a bell?  Yeah, I know I got your memory jogging now.  Well, here’s a few I remember, maybe you can add to the list.

Switchblade combs. You’re mom hated it, your dad laughed and your friends all wanted one for their own. Better yet, it combed your hair…that is…if your elementary school teacher didn’t catch you sporting one first.

Switchblade combs.

Presto Magic. You bought them in a little pack that had a background setting and you used a coin or pencil to rub the decals on to create your own story.  They were like little temporary tattoos.  I have to say I must’ve spend hours on this stuff. My mom would buy like 10 of ’em from Woolworth and it would keep me occupied for the entire day! That is….before Nintendo came along…

Presto Magic!

Underoos. Those things were so damn comfortable I must’ve had a few pairs.  Everything from Spiderman, Scooby Doo and Batman.  Heck, if I could fit them I’d still probably be wearing them now.

Underoos came in an assortment of superhero costumes.

Parachute Toy Soldier. A quarter at the manapua man could get you one of these guys. They didn’t work so well but damn the concept was cool.  At first you tried throwing him up in the air and realized that you needed to get higher.  So you climbed up on a chair and threw him but he still didn’t float down like you envisioned.  So this time around you went to the second story of your elementary school and threw him down only to find out that it sorta worked but that was the last time you spend a quarter on one of these guys when you coulda bought that gum that came in a cigarette shaped box where it was wrapped in paper that made it look like cigarettes….you could even puff smoke….

Parachute Toy Soldier.

Chinese paper yoyos. After each and every time you played that frog game (where you sling shot those little white balls into his mouth) at Chuckie Cheese or what use to be Showbiz Pizza, you’d get a load of tickets to redeem for prizes.  Of course the first thing you got was the switchblade comb but if you had any extra tickets you always went for the Chinese paper yoyos. After awhile,  your parents banned you from getting them after you’d use them as weapons and go to Chinese paper yoyo war with them.

Chinese paper yoyos.

The growing dinosaur novelty toy. Just add water.  Pointless but you still did it anyway just to see how big you could get that buggah.

Growing dinasaur novelty toy.

Wacky WallWalker. Back in the mid-eighties you couldn’t get enough of these guys.  They were cheap entertainment.  You’d whip ’em at your friends or at the wall and watch them walk down.  Stupid but fascinating at the same time.  If anyone remembers, these things felt really greasy and over time, were better at picking up dust and dirt from under the couch.  I’d put that chameleon thing w/ the tongue that could grab things here but I can’t find a picture of the particular version that they sold here locally.

Wacky WallWalkers. These look a little different from the ones I remember.

Well, there are so many more things I could add to this post but honestly the photos are so hard to come by since they are so outdated or as some of the younger generation would say now, that’s so 80’s. Here are a few other inexpensive toys from those good ol’ days.  Remember, these were the cheap stuff, not the things you had to save up for like Light Bright or Transformers.  Maybe you know more and can add to the “honorable mention” list:
Duncan Yoyo’s!
Pop Pops
Plastic samurai swords
Garbage Pail Kids (not exactly a toy but my money was wasted on them anyway)
That plastic gun that shoots those little plastic discs.
Nerf Boomerang
Ninja Stars from the swap meet

blah blah blah blah


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mel on July 30, 2010 at 4:37 am

    OMG, one of our sons just had the parachute army man. I think I threw it away.


  2. So funny! My friends used to take the parachute guys to the UH football games and launch them from the windy corners to see how far they would go!


  3. I don’t remember switchblade combs or presto magic at all.

    But my oldest recently brought home one of those yo yos =)


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