Getting Nostalgic With Toy Trains, Dolls and Electric Football

WHEELING — It’s Thanksgiving Day, and we all have plenty of blessings to count in what otherwise has been anything but an ordinary year.

If you’re gathering today with family — either in-person or via a virtual platform — we ask, at least for a little while, that you to put aside talk of COVID-19, politics and all the rest that infiltrates our thoughts and instead allow yourself to be whisked back to your childhood, and to remember all the great toys you enjoyed then (and may still get a kick out of now).

When you think back to the toys that you loved, what comes to mind? Is it a big, loud electric train circling the Christmas tree? A special doll that you took everywhere, making sure her hair and outfit were just right? Is it that loud, annoying electric football game that kids everywhere would spend hours setting up in the basement, simply to watch electrified chaos take place? Did you set up elaborate battles with your plastic army men, or your knights? Were you a builder, spending hours with your Erector set creating engineering wonders? Or were you like Ralphie, and just wanted that Red Ryder BB gun?

Join with us today as we deliver our latest edition of Nostalgia, focusing on “The Toys We Loved.” The special section is located inside today’s newspaper.

Executive Editor Mike Myer recalls his travails with his Daisy BB gun, and how his antics, similar to Ralphie’s, led to his mom and dad choosing not to replace the gun after Myer had taken it apart.

Editor John McCabe’s walk down memory lane included his father’s train set, his cousins’ castle set that would occupy him for hours and also, most curiously, the “Super Toe” field goal kicker from the 1970s that led to some interesting encounters with his family members and a plastic football launched from across the room.

For Scott McCloskey, the memorable toys included the electric football game, Hot Wheels cars and a Huffy Dragster bicycle complete with a banana saddle seat and extended “sissy” bar.

Jennifer Compston-Strough recalls how she received a new doll from Santa under the Christmas tree each year, while Eric Ayres travels back in time to an era “long, long ago” when he was fascinated with the “Star Wars” universe.

So today, we ask that you set aside the table talk and, instead, enjoy a conversation with your children and your grandchildren about the memorable toys of your youth, and just what made them so special.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving with our Nostalgia publication, we would ask you to “wax nostalgic” with your family this year and recall the items that brought us joy as children.


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