Coke or Pepsi? Definitely Coke. Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars? I don’t know the difference. I had both and consider them the same. The orange tracks they show in the video? Yeah I had that, with a cool upside down loop.
On my own, I could never make anything that was illuminatingly picturesque . But when they had the sheets with the color key, then I made wonders!
This wasn’t sold in stores. It was not available for purchase anywhere. This is because my daddy built this Hollywood Square frame just for me!
Before I was old enough to go to school, I would watch The Hollywood Squares on daytime TV with my mom and grandma. I had seen it enough times to start “playing Hollywood Squares”. I would line up my stuffed animals on the steps; the first step was the bottom row, the second step the middle and so on. I apparently had so much fun with this that my dad built me this frame.
To this day, I look at the picture and I know who certain toys represent. The clown in the middle is Paul Lynde. The duck on the bottom left is Charlie Weaver. Next to him, the blue baby, is Pearl Bailey. Next to her, the stuffed bear, is George Gobel. I swear to you that I hardly know what these Hollywood people did in show business, nor do I remember what they looked like. But when I see this photo, I know Charlie Weaver is a duck and the elephant in the top middle row is Rose Marie. Next to her to the left is Humpty Dumpty. I couldn’t remember his Hollywood Squares alias, but I knew he was a fat man with black curly hair. After research, I saw that he was Marty Allen.
Note the three little people on the floor. These are Fisher Price people. The host of Hollywood Squares is in the middle, the contestants on either side.
Now this game wasn’t just about mimicking what they did on the TV show. I had a plastic gun that shot plastic balls. After I finished playing “The Hollywood Squares story” (whatever that was), the stuffed celebrities then became objects in a shooting gallery!
I had two big wheels. When friends came over to do some serious kid-riding, we always fought over who got to use the Green Machine. That was to be expected. It was the most awesome of the awesome in the world of big wheels!
I was never able to build anything impressive with these things! Still, I loved them! I had them at home but our school had them as well. One kid in our class made some kind of “ooo and ahhh” setup. It stayed up in the classroom for several days. He even had a sign that said “If you touch this you will be kiled” He could build great log houses, but he couldn’t spell very well.
Just like the kids in the video, I played with my Adventure People sets outdoors, more so than with other action figures. I guess the ads worked: these toy characters wanted “adventure,” and there is more adventure outside in tall grass and gardens than indoors.
I had a few sets. Sea, medical, but what I most remember is the Safari Adventure People set. Lions, tigers, zebras, cages, jeep and safari dude. Way cool! When digging up a garden in the yard of my childhood home, one or two “Adventure People” were rescued from their soil imprisonment. What years of “adventure” they had under the grass!
I had several sets of Colorforms. My favorite was Batman.
At the age of 4, I had to be hospitalized for convulsions. Whenever I had a high fever, my eyes would roll back, I would lose consciousness, and scare the crap out of my poor parents and sisters. So into the hospital I went, where I was placed in a crib with steel bars that kind of resembled a cage.
My family came with gifts. There was some plastic pinball machine, books, and other things. My favorite gift: The Batman Colorforms. It had some kind of nighttime, urban background. The Colorforms were of Batman (of course) and all these bad guys!
My mom would say, “What do you want to play with Danny?” My answer was always the same: “Batman Colorforms!”
“Again?? You were just playing with those. How about this toy, or that toy?”
No, no and no. I just wanted the Colorforms. I remember taking the Colorforms and sticking them to the steel bars of the crib.
Not only did I have hundreds of these plastic soldiers, but I had jeeps and tanks that shot little plastic (mortars? bullets?). I had enough men and machinery to play war with a partner. My guys lined up against his guys. My tanks against his.
Now the soldiers I had were of different ranks. I had several of what were obviously generals. So my friend suggested that because they were very important, they should be lying on their bellies so that they would be very difficult for a plastic mortar to hit. I pointed out that they would be impossible to hit. His solution: we could shoot pretend missiles as well. So whenever it was my turn, I just ignored the tanks and used my finger to launch an imaginary projectile that always hit one of his prone generals right in the ass. He started to get pissed and said this was unfair. Hey, it was his rules.
He had wheels on his feet. He shot missiles from his fingers. He had a removable headpiece. I don’t remember what it did, but hey, it was removable! And he had a plastic red sword that fit either in his hand or on a pouch at his side. Mazinga! (With the red chest guard in the video) What an awesome Showgun Warrior he was!
Well, my pachinko game didn’t look exactly like this. The video shows a professional gambling machine. Mine was smaller, a toy, but I think better. It had better depictions of space objects (suns, moons, etc.) My dad bought me this while he was on a business trip to Japan.
When I thought I had enough of this game, I tried to sell it at our yard toy sale for 50 cents. Thankfully, my dad stopped me and let me know if was worth a lot more. So I kept it. For awhile. Sadly, I don’t have it anymore. I cannot recall what happened to it. It was unique.