Games and Toys

Source: Top Ten Toys of Yesterday: 1970’s
1. Atari VCS 2600
Known as the first true video gaming system, Atari's star fell as quickly as it rose.
Founded in 1972, Atari Inc. was a pioneer in arcade games, home video games and computers. The company's
work defined the computer gaming industry during its first two decades. Their work opened the way for the more
advanced home video game systems we now know.
Nolan Bushnell sold Atari Inc. to Warner Brothers where their popular Pong games led to the creation of a home
video game system with interchangeable video game cartridges. The Atari VCS 2600 is the video game system
people think of when Atari is mentioned. Atari VCS 2600 was released in 1977 for $199. The first year, there
were nine game cartridges available.
When the year 1982 began, Atari was making two billion dollars a year. Because of over-licensing and
competition from Nintendo (which was just released in Japan), Atari's sales had plummeted so much that in
1983, the company sent thousands of cartridges to Texas to be used as landfill.
I remember telling my parents that all I wanted for Christmas was a SIMON game. SIMON was the first
electronic game of its kind. The lights would pop on in a pattern and you had to repeat the pattern. Each time
you got it correct, a new and longer pattern would begin. I can still hear the sound it made when you missed. I
did that a lot.
SIMON was the brainchild of Howard Morrison and Ralph Baer who placed a microcomputer inside the game,
which was what controlled the game and kept it competitive.
SIMON has always been around, but seems to be making a return. With all the hundreds of electronic games
out there, SIMON has proven to deliver a challenge not found elsewhere.
5. Dungeons & Dragons
Ugh! Dungeons and Dragons. I remember so many boys from high school were into this game and they talked
about it all the time. There was even an after school club. This game was the bane of many a high school girls'
life. Oh, but I know that there are millions of Dungeons & Dragons fans out there, especially since this game has
been making a comeback.
The game invented by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax opened the door to a two hundred and fifty thousand
dollar market - fantasy and adventure toys and games.
6. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hungry Hippos was created in 1978 by Milton Bradley . The game was designed for smaller children in
order to reach that market. The Hippos would eat marbles which would fly across the board. The child would
operate their Hippo through the use of an oversized lever, perfect for smaller hands.
Because of its design and fun factor, Hungry Hungry Hippos is still a favorite of young children.
7. Connect Four
remember playing this game in middle school math class. There is some mathematical lesson to this game, and
it is even featured on mathematic educational websites.
Created in 1974 by Milton Bradley, Connect Four is a vertical board game where two people take turns dropping
checker-like pieces into one of six vertical slots. There were six horizontal rows, and the object of the game was
to get four of your colored
pieces in a row - vertical, horizontal or diagonally. Strategy played a key role in winning.

Magna Doodle
The inside of a Magna Doodle drawing board looks similar to a honeycomb. Each cell is filed with a liquid
substance filled with magnetic particles. The liquid allows for the magnetic particles to rise in response to a
magnetic force, but not but be affected by gravity. The pen and shapes
are magnetized and create the magnetic force required to lift the particles through the liquid, resulting in the
display seen on the drawing board.
Magna Doodle is still very popular and was given a toy of the year award in 2003.