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ABOUT KIDS STUFF THAT WAS BUILT COOL. GOT BEAT UP. GOT COOLER.

This site/blog is about retro toys that can still be fine for kids to play with now. So rather than buying new stuff (typically made from cheap plastic) and contributing to that consumer throw-away crap cycle, why not get your kids some retro cool stuff that’s still fun to play with and maybe a bit different. 

There’s a ton of garbage out there for sure, but there are some things that any kid would still get enjoyment from today, where they wouldn’t really care that it was second hand, in fact that might even add to the cool factor!

I’ve started by looking at Tonka Clutch Poppers, where this little project started, but will add some things as I come across them and if they pass the happy kid test:) So this isn’t about collecting vintage toys and putting them on display (although some of these do work that way too), but more about reusing old stuff and giving it another life with another generation. 

Also I think kids actually need way less toys than they get these days. I’m learning this from experience with my own kids, I don’t think more toys are really very helpful for them. If anything I think it can spread their attention to thinly across too many things . So I’m thinking some good, durable, hands on, engaging toys, that get a bit of creative thinking going, and of course are fun. Add to that the usual selection of arts and crafts stuff, household junk & you’re good to go! Now the thing is if you want to tick those boxes you don’t necessarily need to buy new, in fact arguably you don’t need to buy any toys at all! But that’s a bit grim, so here you will find some ideas for stuff that hopefully tick those boxes. Warning, it will be a bit car/vehicle/things with wheels focused to begin with, as that’s what I’m working with at the moment, but once that’s covered off I’ll add content on other stuff.

This road is already pretty well trodden, James May did a series on a similar tack called James May’s Toy Stories, looking at stuff like Meccano, Lego, Scalextric, Plasticine. Meccano can definitely be re-bought, as could Lego, not sure about plasticine though – but definitely cool stuff on the hands-on creative front.

I’ve found some of the good older stuff was made to a much higher durability standard than many of today’s toys, certainly from the likes of Tonka, and many are repairable, again not a common feature of many current products in the consumer space.

Here you’ll find out a bit about these ideas, a bit of history, some photo’s, model reference, maintenance information, links, blog posts (about these and any other other retro-cool toy stuff), and anything else I can think of to chuck on here.

A photograph of a Tonka Clutch Popper, Chevy Monza
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Monza

B A C K S T O R Y

Here’s a bit of context around both why the hell document this stuff, and a bit about the toy company’s that made the stuff.


M O D E L S

A list and some related info about models and rough year of manufacture, of the ones I know about.


M A I N T E N A N C E

How to take an old beat up model and give it a new life. The beat up ones can actually end up being the best, most satisfying to put back into service!


G A L L E R Y

A collection of photos and videos of various models and related stuff


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