Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Toys of Christmas' (and maybe one or two birthdays) Past: Part 1

Since December is officially now here I can start thinking about Christmas. And when I officially start thinking about Christmas I naturally think of Christmas' of the past. And who can't think of Christmas' past without letting their mind drift back to the warm, treasured memories of time spent with family and friends. And who can't think of famili....... oh, forget it... LET'S LOOK AT OLD PICTURES OF TOYS!!!

First up: GNIP GNOP. You heard me correctly... GNIP GNOP!

December 25th , 1971. Apparently there's been a bit of a resurgence of this reversely named wonder recently, but this is the last one I ever saw. It seems my thirteen year old uncle and opponent in mortal Gnip combat had been forewarned of my Christmas gift and decided to dress colour appropriately. Also note cotton batting placed strategically on neighbouring houses to approximate that classic winter look that the people seemed to like so much back then.

December 25th, 1972. Well, one year later and it seems that the age-old rivalry between uncle and ten-year younger nephew hasn't let up one bit. This time though, the gloves have come off. Well... since the Rock'Em Sock 'Em Robots pictured below didn't really need gloves to pugilistically pummel each other's iron housings I guess they never had gloves to begin with. But you get the drift.
Note the thumb-based or "Belotserkovsky" grip used by my uncle, in contrast to the "Whittington" palm style of play I was incorporating at the time. I soon came to realize it's weaknesses in European tournament play though and moved on to the more widely accepted (but since discredited in that notorious 1979 "Rock'em - Shock'em" electrification scandal) "Flurtlepharver" stance.

Flashing forward two years to December 25th 1974 finds me all prepared for a Partridge Family Christmas. Unfortunately it wasn't that Partridge Family - but the Herbert & Ethel Partridge's who lived four houses down. I was quickly ushered back home with Mr. P muttering something about "If they locked him in this wouldn't keep happening!" mixed in my memory to the soundtrack of snow crunching beneath my the soles of my stylin' Eaton's "Young Set" Oxford's with extra vinyl-reinforced uppers.

Big Jim's Sports Camper, however, was to be found under the tree at my house. So we later find me happily inspecting the quality 1970s workmanship of this fine recreational vehicle and accompanying fishing boat. Pretend bathtub fish, watch out!

Which, for no particular reason, leads us back to 1970 and my favourite toy of all time! The one that has served me best for nigh on these past 37 or 38 years of satisfaction and accomplishment. The object that has allowed me to express who I am and which has made me what I am today...

That plastic cup in the lower left.

On the next episode of Glennie's Toy Time: Car jumping horses! (Although the word "and" should probably be in there somewhere).


Todd Franklin said...

Fun snaps! My brother and I had some epic Rock'Em Sock'Em Robot bouts back in the day. My parents hated that toy since we were always so loud when we played with it.

A couple of years ago I gave a new Gnip Gnop to my nephews and they loved it.

Wishbook said...

Here's a picture of my Big Jim Rescue Rig on December 25th, 1974. Still mint in box.

And here it is again, not-mint-and-out-of-box, a couple hours later. ;)