This morning I went to my dad’s house to help clean out the cubby underneath the stairs. There were several boxes and containers full of my and my siblings’ old toys, and Dad decided that the time has come to decide what to do with them. I voted for the incinerator, but apparently my brother and sisters have some say.

It had been a very long time since I’d been under the stairs, as evidenced by how difficult it was to maneuver in the cubby–used to be that all four of us could sit comfortably in small chairs and use it as a club house. Also, I’d forgotten that my sisters had scrawled “NKOTB” all over the cubby walls, which puts us back in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Among the artifacts found:

A functional Lite-Brite, with bulbs and paper. A massive red Lego suitcase full of Legos. A plastic mini-foot locker full of magic tricks. A trick multicolored handkerchief. Two frisbees. A plastic football with the plastic laces torn off. A green plastic mini-football. Mini-soccer balls. Penny banks full of pennies and dice. Hot Wheels cars. A navy blue pinewood derby car with “Bears” and “#34″ painted in orange on the side, no wheels.

An intact “Operation” board game. Jenga. A Choose Your Own Adventure book. A Be an Interplanetary Spy (”Better than a video game!”) book. A “Pac-Man” board game. A “Donkey Kong” board game. A math game. Garfield pick-up sticks. A “Mastermind” game. A “Concentration” game.

Two foamcore science project backboards, including the one from my senior year which doesn’t seem to have any “Results” section. A ViewMaster. My sister’s diary. Magnetic letters. A small schooldesk. Transformers. Gobots, which were the lame version of Transformers. Voltron–the lions version, not the car/plane/whatever version.

A plastic toy chest shaped like an elephant, full of stuffed animals. A plastic toy chest shaped like a huge yellow Ike head, also full of stuffed animals. Rabbit dolls. Dolls holding rabbit dolls. Holly Hobbie dolls and paraphernalia. Strawberry Shortcake. Snuffle-Upagus. Cookie Monster (or is it “The Cookie Monster”?). An Ernie puppet. Thumb wrestlers shaped like Hulk Hogan. Thumb wrestlers shaped like Nerds candy.

Plastic tanks sans turrets. Plastic turrets sans tanks. Toy Uzi submachine guns that gave off smoke. The battery clip for the toy Uzis. Hundreds of small WWII army men. A few dozen Civil War army men. GI Joes. Two Dragonfly helicopters, both missing rotors. Plastic jets. Plastic missiles fired by plastic jets. My dad’s leather toy gun holster. A toy bolt-action rifle with the bolt broken off. Pizzas shot from a vehicle used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Alas, no Etch-A-Sketch or Rubik’s Cube… but there was some talk of hooking up the old Commodore 64 to see whether any of the 5 1/4″ disks still work.

It occurred to me that game consoles and computers take up a lot less space than toyboxes do. Now I understand why “Army Men” makes sense as a video game.

4 Responses to “Cubby.”

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    March 21st, 2007 at 6:38 AM

So how long will it be before this all appears on e-bay?

  1. Que si Says:
    March 21st, 2007 at 6:19 PM

How much do you want for the Voltron?

  1. scrappy Says:
    April 10th, 2007 at 7:37 PM

We also had a Commodore 64 while I was growing up. Did you ever play ‘Tooth Invaders’ or ‘Beachhead’?

  1. VDV Says:
    April 10th, 2007 at 7:51 PM

I don’t remember too many games from the C64, but I do remember “Beachhead.” The only other ones I can remember off the top of my head were “Broadsides” (late 18th, early 19th century real-time naval battles) and “Cosmic Balance” (turn-based spaceship dogfight).

“Back in my day…” I remember that booting “Tunnels of Doom” on the TI99-4A meant plugging in a cartridge and playing a 3 1/2 minute cassette on a player plugged into the computer… this for a turn-based, stick-figures-in-a-maze game.

My grandfathers probably played with sticks and cans, and were content.