What toy did I have?
November 7, 2021 1:45 AM   Subscribe

As a kid (1980s, USA), I had some sort of metal toy that (I think) had a key/wind-up device and there were also little cogs and gears that you could see turn. The whole thing made some noise and also produced little sparks. What was this toy? Is it still available now?

IIRC, it was pretty small (would fit in the hands onder a small child) and don’t have batteries.
posted by stillmoving to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I had something like that.

Googling for "friction driven toy with sparks" yields a few options. current and collectable..
posted by pompomtom at 1:10 AM on November 7, 2021


Best answer: I think there is/was a whole 'genre' of wind up sparking toys - I remember having a wind-up "vintage" robot that sparked internally behind a plastic window..

Not suggesting this is your toy, but a current example here: sparklz wind-up
posted by niicholas at 1:11 AM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: This may be off base but your post reminded me of the spark wheel toy that I used to have. Here's a description: https://imaginemdd.blogspot.com/2011/01/vintage-sparking-spinner-friction-toys.html
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:25 AM on November 7, 2021 [3 favorites]


Rayguns and robots sometimes used these mechanisms. Some of these toys weren't even particularly themed. They just wound up and spun and made sparks, because that's what kids like, I guess. They seemed like primitive retro toys even when I was a kid in the 1970s.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:21 AM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]


Until recently, you could buy modern ironic re-makes of this toy. The one I had in the 80s was very clearly an off-brand Godzilla that my parents must have picked up at Fred Meyer for a Christmas stocking filler one year. I also remember a robot one being in my day care's toy bin.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:37 AM on November 7, 2021


Response by poster: Too-ticky and niicholas have it! Those are just the sorts of things I had. I especially remember that little pump arm on the one too ticky referenced and the round key from niicholas’s link. Thanks so much!
posted by stillmoving at 6:02 AM on November 7, 2021 [3 favorites]


Thanks for asking this, OP! I had one of these as well - also a child of the 80s - and have been meaning to figure out what it was for ages.
posted by jacquilinala at 6:46 PM on November 8, 2021


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