Hey, we had our high-tech toys way back when, and they were really cool. 'Way cooler than mind-numbing video games. Here are my Top 3:
1. Mattel's Vac-u-Form. Can't touch this, na-na-na-na. You put something on the hot plate, stick a piece of colored plastic in the slot, slam it over the item on the hot plate, then pump-pump-pump the little vacuum handle and create all sorts of neat-o molds of stuff. And the smell! Well! I think we got this fine toy the Christmas of - what? - 1963 or 64, maybe. Hey - You can tell it's Mattel . . . It's swell!
2. Kenner's Give-a-Show Projector. Imagine. You're own little slide projector! This was big, big stuff. I remember I got upset because Mother bought this for one of our cousins for Christmas, so I figured we weren't going to get one. Surprise! We did. We had the Flintstones one. Eat your hearts out, all you potential AV Club-types!
3. Spirograph. OK, this isn't technically technical, but it kinda is, so I'm throwing it in. As long as you had a good set of colored pens, you could entertain yourself for hours. But I'm thinking anyone who indulged in too much Spirograph-ing as a kid, probably suffered from drug problems later. Can't prove it - just a hunch. Still, a very cool toy.
Got any favorite high-tech, low-tech toys? Or are you still trying to recover from the smell of your Vac-u-Form?