My all-time favourite as a kid was LEGO and its generic cousins.
LEGO had several generic cousins, I remember, back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Ever heard of Playskool's "Brix Blox"? They came in a box or canister of 1000 or so pieces--bricks, wheels/gears, people, windows, and more bricks and large flat pieces as bases. These were the same size as the "real" LEGOs. That was our LEGO. Of course, we also had some "real" LEGOs mixed in, as well as some slightly larger LEGO-like bricks that had no name (these I got from my reading-readiness teacher back in 1982). Our large family (of 9 back then) got this big box of Playskool "Brix Blox" for Christmas back in 1980 or 1981. I was 5 or 6 back then! I still have them today!! As a kid, I always built tall buildings, and even one time, a "space camper" (an RV
-like vehicle crossed with a satellite for space camping, complete with solar-panel "wings")!
For my baby shower when I was adopted at 2, one of my gifts was a set of LEGO DUPLO bricks (including some wheeled platforms and people); DUPLO are the oversized LEGOs for smaller kids. I used to build Saturn V/Apollo moon rockets with these! Those are still around, along with my LEGOs/Brix Blox, at home in Fort Wayne, IN
Besides LEGO, I also played with the following:
*My piano! That's how I started on a life-long musical career!
*Several guitars around my house (they were my siblings' but I also strummed around on them, trying to figure them out)! (Now, I have a guitar of my own
*MATCHBOX cars in a compartmented carrying case
*Fisher-Price Little People (and their airplane, parking garage set, house, camper, cars, village set, etc)
*Of course, toy airplanes! From McDonald's Happy Meals in the 1980s, to my Cessna 206 floatplane I got at camp in 1984. That Cessna, my first toy airplane (and a very accurate one at that), is STILL with me today! Others include a TONKA airplane, two LEGO airplanes I built myself, etc.
*Model airplanes: In 1985, Dad and I built my first model--a Monogram Eastern L-1011. I still have it! More recently, I have built & custom-painted my own SMITH AIRWAYS 747.
*TONKA trucks--my first was a cherry-picker-style fire engine; also a black monster pickup truck with a jack to change the wheels, and others.
*Curious George and Snoopy, my two stuffed pals, were my idols back then. (I still have my dog-eared book, Curious George Goes to the Hospital
, given to me by a close friend back in 1982 during one of my first of many hospitalisations).
*My tricycles (both the vintage metal white-and-red style and a Big Wheel)
*My first bicycle--a black 1970s Schwinn Tornado with yellow fenders
*A Hoppity Hop (or Space Hopper); mine was a big, blue rubber ball with a ring at the top to hold onto as I hopped around my back drive on it
*My only video games (ever) were a Magnavox Odyssey 2, and later, an Atari 2600.
*At Christmas, I enjoyed our old large-scale Lionel and American Flyer train sets (from the 1950s, I think) which were set up around the base of the tree.
*Play-Plax--a bunch of translucent-coloured plastic notched squares that could be put together to make imaginative, colourful abstract sculptures
*Last, but not least--simple pencil and paper! I became an artist at a very young age, drawing everything from (accurate) Boeing 747s to bizarre aliens to even my (familiar) operating rooms!
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)