Friday, 9 December 2011

Toys from 1976

An artist has uploaded the entire contents of an Argos catalogue from 1976. Let’s explore the toys...and prices!

Electric Washer and Cash Register

I love the description of this cash register: ‘Decimal currency price flags raised by 13 button control.’

Thirteen button control!  My friend had one of these. It was great fun pushing those thirteen buttons, I seem to recall. What a shame it didn't come with real money.

I am gutted I didn’t have the washing machine. I could have played The Game of the Missing Sock and Who Dyed My White Shirt Red?

Toy Electric Washer. Tumble washes and spins. Operated by batteries. £3.45
Cash Register. Spring release drawer and paper reel. £2.75

Scooter and Bike

This was my scooter. There were no brakes. You just held on for dear life when going down a slope – in fact, I don’t think its wheels could cope with slopes. I seem to remember I always fell off, usually because I was attempting An Ill-Advised Stunt.

I may have also had this bike, which is described as a ‘Pony’ Pavement Cycle. Pony is British slang for rubbish... but I liked my bike! It was certainly not rubbish. It got me from A (the school driveway) to B (the alley behind my house) by way of C (the brook). ‘C’ wasn’t meant to happen. I was cycling down a slope which led to the brook and wondered what would happen if I cycled with my eyes shut. The result of my experiment was my 8-year old self went straight into the brook, and then the bike fell on my head.

Bantel 3-wheel scooter. £4.25
'Pony' Pavement Cycle. Detachable stabilizers. Front wheel cable brake. £17.95

Kojak board game

I didn’t have the Kojak game with its ‘Beretta’ type plastic gun. (Yikes!) Nor did my brother, which was probably a good thing as I just know those sucker darts would not have been aimed at that board.

Chad Valley 'Kojak' Target Game. 'Beretta' type plastic gun and sucker darts. £1.99

Tiny Tears doll
I did have Tiny Tears, the doll that wouldn’t stop weeing. You fed the doll water and then it would drip out of the other end, so to speak. Everywhere you put the doll would be damp. If only I had the washing machine toy. Missed opportunity there, mum.

Casdon 'Bernie and Bath' set. Soft vinyl doll with rooted hair and accessories. £2.99
Palitoy 'Tiny Tears' Baby Doll. Drinks, cries and wets her nappy. £4.75 

The entire catalogue can be found by following this link


Laura S. said...

Heehee, these are so fun! Except for that doll, haha. My siblings and I had a cash register toy in the '80s. I think it was Fisher-Price. My sister had a little washer and dryer set for her Barbies. We'd stuff it with Barbie clothes and were fascinated to just watch it spin round and round. So easily entertained!

Melody Valadez said...

Haha, I laughed out loud at you wondering what would happen if you cycled with your eyes closed! :)

Old Kitty said...

OH I did see this story splashed across metro this morning How fabulous!! Love the Tiny Tears! LOL!!

Take care

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a great slice of memorablia. You can write a story from those toys!

Amie Borst said...

OMIGOSH! i had the tiny tears doll! sure brings back memories.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm sure we had that cash register at my nursery. Funny how we're fascinated with money at such an early age. My three-year-old is the same!

Fran Hill said...

I had the cash register. And I remember a 'vending machine' that used to take pennies and then a mini chocolate would come out.

snafu said...

How does one get hold of a thirty-five year old Argos catalogue?
‘Pony and trap’ = the abbreviated version of the name of a well known flush loo manufacturer, but a pony also means 25 quid, so your Pony cycle was a snip at £17.95

Maggie May said...

Tiny tears used to live here when my daughter was small & I knitted her masses of things. We thought she was such a lovely doll in spite of her weeing everywhere but now there are so many better & more realistic ones.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for the fun trip down Memory Lane! Lots of warm fuzzes!

Ann Summerville said...

Oh my! I used to have a scooter like that. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Dolly said...

Oh this was a brilliant post and brought back lots of memories, though I was not a child in 1976! In fact, that was the first year I was in London. Seems so long ago.

The cash register made me giggle. One of the first pubs I ever worked in(an Irish pub in Camden Town) actually had a (real) till with those sorts of buttons on it!

So, not only did you need to calculate the round as you poured the drinks (pre computer days I could actually manage to do this!) but you had to press a series of buttons to arrive at the total at the end of the round to ring it in.

A nice trip down memory lane! X

Tanya Reimer said...

Way too cool! Thanks for sharing this.

D.J. Kirkby said...

Gasp! I had a tiny tears doll! Oh the memories this post prompted...