As a kid, all is magic, all is possibility, and no holiday distilled that idea more than Christmas. When I woke I was greeted by a Christmas tree enveloped by boxes of toys. Each wrapped box a mystery and even opened the toy itself represented possibility and stories yet to be told. With those toys, I wrote at least a dozen sequel trilogies, all of which were better, all of which were just for me. All that said, and while I generally try to be positive in my “fandom” even when I don’t like something, I want to focus on the toys we never got to play with.
I reached out to my friends with a simple question: What toy did you want for Christmas, but never got? This is a list made up of requests that Santa or Mom and Dad (I’m still not clear on how they divide the labor) never fulfilled. They are numbered for ease of reading but are in no particular order and you will see that while my friends missed out on a lot, it turns out I may have been a slightly spoiled kid. Also, be sure to check out the video version on Josiah’s YouTube channel.
Before I begin, two honorable mentions. For Amanda, The Mighty Ducks movie series on VHS. While I loved and owned the first movie, I don’t think it counts as a toy, but I wanted to mention it. For my friend Amy an honorable mention of a Golden Retriever Puppy. Amy said she asked for one every year. We always had a dog around so I never needed to ask for a dog and I’m not sure if it’s an insult to a dog to call it a toy, hence, honorable mention.
14. The Virtual Boy
This Christmas wish came from Peter and in retrospect, we can agree that Peter dodged a bullet on this one. However, take yourself back to the mid-1990s. You probably wanted one of these. Admit it! Okay, maybe not you, but like Peter, I wanted one. I remember playing with a demo unit in a Hills Department Store and was amazed. Granted had I owned one, that shine would have worn pretty quickly.
13. Sega Genesis
We all have that one video game system that eluded us during our childhood. For me, it was the Turbo Graphics 16 (a wish I hope to fulfill this spring thanks to yet another classic mini system). For my buddy Ryan, that white whale of a video game system was the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog captivated me in the early 90s and I remember the day we set up our Genesis with the Sonic pack-in game with that “Not for Resale” label in the den. I should have invited Ryan over to play it more often. I could personally add the Sega CD to this selection as I never had one, but I did get to play my cousin Troy’s.
12. The Real Ghostbusters Proton Pack
First, be sure to watch The Movies That Made Us for a bit about why the qualifier “The Real” was added to the cartoon version of Ghostbusters, and also be aware that all the Ghostbusters toys we loved as a kid was actually based on that cartoon as opposed to the movie itself. Anyway, I recall playing with one as a kid, it may have belonged to a cousin, but it was glorious. Rene however, never got to feel like a Ghostbuster himself, and trust me, that proton pack made you FEEL like a Ghostbuster.
11. Power Wheels Jeep
Judy may be my wife, my all-time best friend, and feel like she’s been in my life forever, however, we didn’t meet until our late 20s so I never had a chance to take her for a spin on my Power Wheels Police Motorcycle (I think we may have also had another motorcycle). However, there was a Power Wheels that even I wanted above and beyond that, the icon Power Wheels Jeep. Maybe Judy and I can get one for our girls next Christmas?
10. My Pet Monster
Marsian lamented never having received My Pet Monster. I had one, it was amazing. The chains broke apart and mine was so loved that his arm nearly fell off (that’s how you express love right, ripping limbs off?). It was a big toy and it needed to be, one downside was that hard rubber nose and teeth could do some serious damage. It was a monster after all.
9. WWF Wrestling Ring
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, WWF Wrestling was a big deal, and Frank was (and probably is) the biggest fan I knew. Frank remains my go-to guy on wrestling information (with one exception where he credited Jerry Jarret with owning part of the WWF in the late 90s). That singular faux pas aside, Frank is the dude when it comes to wrestling, yet somehow, he lacked a ring for his wrestling figures!
8. Jurassic Park Series II Carnotaurus
I had my Alan Grant, Muldune and a really awesome raptor, heck, I even had one of those dino damaged T-rexes. It was missing both arms, but those tiny T-rex arms are pretty useless anyway. However, Sam suggested one toy that outdid them all, the Carnotarous. I’m pretty sure this is the dinosaur that ripped the arms off of my T-rex and maybe even My Pet Monsters. Sam was able to fulfill his childhood wish himself thanks to a magical elf named eBay.
7. Dino-Riders Tyrannosaurus Rex
Sticking with dinosaurs but adding little saddles we have Patrick’s suggestion. While my brothers and I had a few smaller Dino-Riders between us, including a Triceratops, we were never lucky enough to have this amazing beast. I just found myself staring at the picture for several minutes. Maybe I’ll have to do a little eBay dinosaur hunting myself.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blimp
Christmas 1990 was awesome for me. That year I got the Turtles sewer playset, the blimp, and Ace Duck to pilot it. Heck, I even got an action figure carrying case to store the turtle figures my brothers and I got over the previous Christmases and birthdays. Clayton wasn’t as lucky. As this is the only Ninja Turtles post I should also mention Mark Taylor. Mark is most famous as the creator of He-Man, however, Season 3 of The Toys That Made Us will teach you about his massive impact on the general awesomeness of this line as well.
5. Transformers Hot Rod
Paul, who has joined me on my YouTube channel for a few toy-related videos, was lucky to have plenty of awesome Christmas gifts, alas, he never had Hot Rod. Like most of us in the 80s, Paul was devastated by the loss of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie, however, he was also thrilled by the birth of Rodimus Prime, but he never got to play with him.
4. Michael Keaton Batmobile
Looking over this list, I was a spoiled kid. I had plenty of toys. I didn’t need more, save one, the Michael Keaton Batmobile. For me, it remains the coolest most iconic version of the car. Every year, this and the Ghostbuster car were circled in the Sear Catalog I handed to my Mom before Christmas (for the record, my Mom bought the Ghostbuster car for me as an adult). I did have the Batmobile from the DC Super Powers line, so by kid logic at least I had a car for Batman.
3. Batman Forever Batcave
I could easily add the Batcave to the previous entry (preferably the Batcave from Batman Returns, the Wayne Manor version), but I’m trying not to be greedy. I didn’t have the Batmobile so I didn’t really need a place to park it. The ideal parking spot comes from our own Tyler with the Batman Forever version. This version also happens to be the most epic toy Batcave ever made.
Voltron is one of the greatest toys ever made. The Lion Force is heavy-duty and utterly impressive. Being the youngest of 4 boys meant I wore a lot of hand-me-downs, yet there was an upside, really epic group toys, such as a complete Voltron set. Dave, who lived down over the hill from me never got to play with a Voltron, poor kid.
1. Castle Grayskull
With our final entry, we have another Mark Taylor toy and the most shocking entry on this list. My friend Joe is the one person who didn’t have this play set in the 1980s. Joe did have Snake Mountain so in his play sessions Skeletor was at a serious advantage. It was the opposite for me as we had Grayskull but not Snake Mountain. Fortunately, our next-door neighbor had both. The real playset we all wanted was that insanely epic Eternia one. I don’t even know if we had space in our house for it!
That, my friends, is an awesome list. Writing this, I realize I was a lucky kid and had plenty of these toys. Here’s to you and yours and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May it be filled with finding awesome old toys at thrift stores and on eBay.
Josiah is a writer, who frequents YouTube. Click here for him. He talks about many things, including toys.