JOE's Top 20 Childhood Toys
In honour of the childhood toy come to life in Seth MacFarlane's Ted, we at JOE decided to slap on our rose-tinted glasses and decided to rank our favourite toy of all time from 20-1.
20. M.A.S.K. Boulder Hill
Probably the greatest playset of the 1980s, Boulder Hill was the secret base of the M.A.S.K gang in a cartoon that was basically a mish-mash of Transformers and GI Joe, with an R2-D2 lookalike thrown into the mix.
Rather than a transforming action figure, here an entire bloody boulder and petrol station transformed. Good work from the toy masters at Kenner.
19. Nerf Super Soaker
The bane of unlucky sisters and irritating cousins everywhere, the Nerf Super Soaker has the ability to completely ruin someone's day and make them cry within seconds. The king of water pistols.
18. Optimus Prime action figure
Although there are probably a variety of reasons to explain how the front of an 18 wheeler can transform into the leader of the Autobots, we reckon that this toy's genius is actually down to magic and/or witchcraft.
17. Pass The Pigs
No long train journey is complete without Pass The Pigs, a game in which players toss two plastic pigs and earn points depending on their landing positions.
A double razorback (two pigs lying on their backs) is impressive, but has anyone ever scored a double leaning jowler (staying upright via its left ear)? We sincerely doubt it.
Whiny, irritating blighters that would soil themselves on the hour, Tamagotchis were the enemies of primary school teachers everywhere in the 1990s, yet we still miss our loving bond with them all the same.
Sure, it took about two hours to actually set up and play, yet Mouse Trap is one of the most fun board games around purely by virtue of the fact that it features a suspended net high above the game. Can't argue with that logic.
14. Top Trumps
Top Trumps is a game so enjoyable that you could buy packs related to ancient steam engines and contemporary trucks (which do exist) and still have an absolute blast.
Granted, Twister is a game which depending on the attractiveness of the other players, can be just as fun as ever. Either way, no matter your age it's a game people bend over backwards to play.
12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Turtle Party Wagon"
Yes, the Technodrome playset was fun but nothing in the collection of TMNT toys compares to the "Turtle Party Wagon", especially with its fantastic gritted teeth grille.
More tense than watching The Hurt Locker for the first time, Jenga is a panic-inducing, sweat-filled ordeal that is nonetheless riveting to play at any age.
A board game so enjoyable that it somehow inspired a $200 million blockbuster starring Rihanna and Liam Neeson, Battleship is so simple that you could probably play it with a pen and paper. For us though, nothing beats the VTech version with its variety of satisfying special effects.
9. Eagle-Eyes Action Man
When is an action figure more than just an action figure? When toymakers stumble upon ideas that shouldn't work but are spectacular in practice.
Take Eagle-Eyes Action Man, which made the hero's pupils operational via a manual switch. Granted, this made Action Man seem surprisingly apprehensive with his eyes darting about the place all the time but it was also pretty damn cool.
8. Rubik's Cube
In the 1980s the Rubik's Cube was bigger than lowering your sunglasses to express an interest in a female. It's no surprise to see why; the cube remains as addictive and tough to master as ever.
OK, so we can't actually remember a Scalextric race lasting more than ten seconds without one of the vehicles becoming dislodged from the track but that's not the point. The point is that Scalextric is fast, furious and a lot of fun.
Before there were FIFA video games, we spent our days flicking painted figures towards a giant football. Sure, it was a slow, arduous game yet it inspired incredible fandom, to the point where if you were crazy enough, you could also purchase a realistic stadium to play your Subbuteo match-ups. Usually alone, to be fair...
Though its simplicity means that the Frisbee is up there with childhood toys such as the "ball" and "stick", throwing a Frisbee is a pleasure that never dies, even if certain weirdos do take it a little too seriously when practicing their skills down at the beach.
4. Nintendo Game Boy
The console was absolutely massive for a "handheld" and the graphics were yellow and green, yet the Game Boy is still one of the most revered toys of all time. We put that down to its iconic launch title, Tetris, and the many, many hours we spent with the two.
3. Connect Four
It's hardly Chess or even Draughts yet the satisfaction of besting your friend via the abstract thinking of Connect Four can't be beat - especially if you're playing on one of the 4ft high versions too.
2. Star Wars Lightsaber
If women didn't exist and we didn't always try so hard to pretend to be grown ups to impress them, we'd wager that every single man in Ireland would own a Lightsaber toy. Hell, the new ones have the hum sound AND are accompanied by music from the film saga too - you're telling me you wouldn't want to buy one of those "for your kid"?
The genius of LEGO can be summed up in the fact that it is a toy which allows you to create new toys. Oh, and invent new swear words if you manage to accidentally stand on an upturned piece.
Yet despite the pain of stepping on a block or two, we can safely say that even 50 years from now, LEGO's legacy (LEGOcy?) is all but assured.
Honourable Mentions: Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Screwball Scramble, Hornby train sets, Play-doh, Yo-Yos, Micro Machines, Space hoppers, Operation, Troll dolls and Stretch Armstrong.
Ted hits Irish cinemas on August 1.