Did you ever have one of Milton Bradley’s T.H.I.N.G.S.?
Me neither, but I always wanted one. T.H.I.N.G.S. stood for Totally Hilarious Incredibly Neat Games of Skill. They were little wind-up plastic games that came out in the late ’80s and had the same purposefully-outrageous vibe you’d find on Nickelodeon and in Saturday morning cartoons. They had bright colors, funny names (Astro-Nots, Eggzilla, Flip-o-potomus, Sir Rings-A-Lot, etc.), and outrageous premises. Just the kind of things, er, T.H.I.N.G.S., that 80s kids loved.
Each of the T.H.I.N.G.S. was a race against the clock. In one you had to assemble an egg around a dinosaur before he sprang from his perch, in another you had to rescue a group of astronauts before an alien got them, in still another you had to direct a knight as he grabbed rings.
Like so many things from that time, I never got to have, play, or even see any of the T.H.I.N.G.S. in real life. My only exposure to them was the TV commercial. And seeing the videos on YouTube, I probably would have been disappointed if I had gotten one. They seem quite noisy and they don’t seem to have much long-lasting entertainment value. I’d probably have gotten pretty tired of them pretty quickly, and if I did keep playing with them, it would be as a toy, not a game. Still, I wanted one badly back then, and to be honest, the little boy inside me who is infatuated with all purposefully-outrageous 80s things still wants one.