Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aerosmith – "Toys in the Attic" (1975)

Toys, toys, toys
In the attic

Did you ever own “The Game of Cootie”?

If you did, check your mother's attic the next time you visit her – it might still be up there.

The Game of Cootie
I hadn’t thought about The Game of Cootie in at least 50 years.  But then I stumbled across a piece of clickbait titled “What Was The Most Popular Toy The Year You Were Born?”

The Game of Cootie was invented in 1949.  In 1950, only about 5600 units were sold, but sales jumped to a million-plus in 1952 – the year i was born.  By 2005, sales of The Game of Cootie totaled 50 million units.

The Game of Cootie's game pieces
To win The Game of Cootie, you have be the first player to assemble the game pieces required to build a complete “cootie” – a body, a head, two antennae, two eyes, a proboscis, and six legs – by rolling certain numbers with a die.

I remember exactly what the cootie’s proboscis looked like:

Three proboscises
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“What Was The Most Popular Toy The Year You Were Born?” can be found on the Dusty Old Things website.

Dusty Old Things is one of a number of websites that belongs to Great Life Publishing, which sees the glass as half full, not half empty:

At Great Life, our goal is to focus on the stories that remind us that life is in fact great.  You won’t find negativity.  You won’t find divisiveness.  You won’t find gloom, doom or fear.  We proudly serve up nothing but daily inspiration.  After all . . . LIFE IS GREAT!

A year ago, I might have dismissed that mission statement as hopelessly corny and naive.  But after a year of seeking shelter from the storm of vituperation that’s been generated by the zillions of people who lost their everlovin’ minds over Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Great Life sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

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“What Was The Most Popular Toy The Year You Were Born?” covers 1930 to 1980.  (I don’t think that title is strictly accurate.  I have a feeling that the title should be “What Was The Most Popular Toy That Was Invented In The Year You Were Born?” because some of the listed toys – like The Game of Cootie – were not immediate best-sellers.)

I was born in 1952, which was the year that “Mr. Potato Head” was introduced.

Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television.  Over a million units of the toy – which contained hands, feet, ears, eyes, mouths, noses, hats, eyeglasses and a pipe, and retailed for 98 cents – were sold in 1952.  Later versions of the toy came with plastic bodies, but the original Mr. Potato Head required you to use a real potato.

The most popular toy of 1953 was the Wiffle ball, which is still popular.  I have to believe that every male baby boomer in the United States owned a Wiffle ball and the skinny yellow plastic bat that was sold with it.

The big seller in 1954 was the Mattel “Shootin’ Shell” cap pistol, which also fired small plastic bullets.  I would have traded a kidney for one of those bad boys when I was a kid.

Here’s a TV commercial for the Shootin’ Shell pistol, which would be viewed by modern bureaucrats and parents alike as horribly dangerous:  

Here’s what Dusty Old Things says were the most popular toys from 1955 to 1964:

1955 – Betsy Wetsy doll
1956 – Play-Doh
1957 – Silly Putty
1958 – Colorforms
1959 – Barbie doll
1960 – Legos
1961 – Etch-A-Sketch
1962 – Lincoln Logs
1963 – Duncan Yo-Yos
1964 – G.I. Joe

I’ll stop there because I turned 12 years old in 1964, and stopped paying much attention to toys.

Click here to read “What Was The Most Popular Toy The Year You Were Born?” in its entirety.  It’s may be clickbait, but it’s worthwhile clickbait.

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Aerosmith’s third studio album, Toys in the Attic, was released in 1975.  I played it a lot when I was in law school.

Toys in the Attic sold over eight million copies, and included the band’s two most famous singles – “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion.”  Its title track isn’t quite as good as those two songs, but it comes pretty close.

Here’s “Toys in the Attic”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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