Paul’s Peg > The Toy Aisle That Time Forgot!

In the Northwoods of Wisconsin there is a toy aisle hidden in a hardware store that time has forgotten. Most of the toys for sale there date back to the early 1990s and a some are even older than that. This hardware store in question is located in a town neighboring the one where I grew up, the population of which is only about four hundred people. In my youth, the store had more than one toy aisle, but as the stuff sells, they seem to be reordering less. It’s a surreal experience that I just had to share. Now let’s check this stuff out:

hardwarestorethattimeforgot06

It’s a toy oven sporting a Care Bear on it. Yeah, I know. I’m guessing its from the 1980s, since that’s an old school styled Care Bear.

That Colorblaster is also friggen old, judging by the hot pink flamingos on the box that just scream horrid 90s art style. My wife has also informed me that she got one of these for her 11th birthday and she just turned 27 this week. I’ll let you do the math.

hardwarestorethattimeforgot05

I love this slot car set. I can’t say I’m an expert, but I believe those cars are 80s style Ford Thunderbirds just before they got a little bit slimmer in the early 90s. By the way, I’m one of the few people that cares about the stylings of a car that wasn’t popular since the ’50s.

hardwarestorethattimeforgot03

Here’s a copy of “Yahoo Buckaroo”, a board game from 1991. I seem to remember there being some sort of silly commercial that went along with it, but I can’t find it on Youtube. Does anyone else remember this game?

hardwarestorethattimeforgot04

I’m no Barbie expert, but based on all of the other items in the aisle I’m just going to date these as old ass old.

hardwarestorethattimeforgot07

I’m just going to venture a guess that the device that these meant to refill hasn’t been sold in the United States since the first Iraq war.

hardwarestorethattimeforgot02

The oldest item that we could find a date on was a score pad for the a game called Tri-ominos. The date? 1979, a year after I was born. Now we can’t say that was the oldest item for sure, though. There were some flashcards that looked ancient there that had no date on them. I can’t confirm it, but they looked so old that they may have even meant to be used by dinosaurs. Dinosaurs that struggle with long division.

hardwarestorethattimeforgot08

Look! Pog knock offs!

hardwarestorethattimeforgot09

My favorite find by far were these Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation figures. It’s almost impossible to believe that two Dr. Beverly Crushers and a Klingon female by the name of Ambassador K’hleyr could have hung unsold for sixteen years. I ended up buying the figures, mostly for the joy it brought in being able to do so. I realize that I’m kind of ruining the whole point of the Toy Aisle That Time Forgot, but if someone had to do it I’d prefer it to be me.

I hope you enjoyed this brief journey into the unreal. If you’d like to own your own piece of history, head on over to Toy Bender.com and enter a contest to win a Dr. Beverly Crusher of your own!

Comments now closed (15)

  • Wow. That's pretty surreal. My wife may be vaguely interested in that Care Bear oven. Any details on that, Paul?

  • Man that's awesome. Would love to go into a store and see all the old stuff. Even with pricetags. No one does pricetags anymore.

    I often reminisce about the old WoolWorths stores because they would always have figures that were out of date. I remember finding New Adventures of He-Man stuff there LONG past the time He-Man was even relevant.

    And they'd have Inhumanoids toys and coloring books and stuff.

    That's one of the things I miss about K*B, the random old crap.

  • I've often thought of building a time machine to go back and visit toy aisles and pick up brand new vintage figures!

  • this reminded me of a toy store i visited in a place called Darling Harbour here in Sydney. it was a toy store i remember since i was a kid, where i bought stuff there i couldnt buy anywhere else, i mean it was a treasuretrove of stuff that i was desperate to own as a child but couldnot. It was the kind of place that had giant-sized old fashion toys as decoration. It's kidney shaped, and as you got further into the store, the more cluttered it got and you really couldnt tell where you were, which was the enterance and exit. i think the other end of the store was another exit and cashier that they blocked off with shelves. a friend and I visited a little while ago, and it was a freakish experience. the store was staffed by Asian twin girls. once we got the furthest away from the counter, round the corner, I found toys that went out of style like two years ago, not as old as the stuff you found, but stuff that other stores had taken off the shelves long before we got there, the Lego section was almost bare and what was left was a few halloween costumes on some hooks in one corner. as i was marveling at the age of these things, my friend noted that it had gotten really quiet. we looked around and the two other customers there had dissapeared. the place, with all the fake toy-soldier decor, the ominous cyborg statues and halloween costumes, the wigs and the masks hanging like severed heads, it became really freaky. like, there was no music, nothing. me and my friend had to get the hell out of there as fast as we could, and on the way out we noticed that the asian twins at the register had disapeared as well. Me and my friend were really quiet afterwards

  • I had a kitchen playset similar to the Care Bear one… it had a sink with a little window decal, a stove, and a fridge/cubboard. It was made out of that fiber/particle board. Got a lot of mileage out of that! 😉

  • @PrfktTear: Let me know when you go, there are some GI Joes I need to pick up. Oh and that time I passed on the WWF Andre figure and never forgave myself.

  • There used to be dolls that grew hair. "Chrissy" dolls from the early 1970s set the trend on that, I think, and Barbies followed soon afterward.

  • One time I gave my My Buddy doll a hair cut… too bad his never grew back. I don't think that was as bad as the time I accidentally burnt some of his hair on a candle.

    Nothing could ever beat those old play-doh sets with the little dome shaped cylinders that you packed a ton of play-doh into and then put it on the barber's chair which magically made it grew.

    The presses were fun too, which you could use the shaped holes to squeeze out stuff like spaghetti or hearts!

  • How cool! Well, except for the fact that the oldest toy you found was issued when I was in my late teens, which worries me. I belong in a disused toy factory, not in a forgotten aisle? Or maybe I belong in a museum.

  • Pingback Toy Bender » Blog Archive » Taking Care of Business

IntenseDebate supports the following HTML tags: <a> <b> <i> <u> <em> <p> <blockquote> <br> <strong> <strike> <img>