You know the feeling. It's 3:00 AM and you are half awake, stumbling through the living room to get a glass of water, when you trip, stumble and fall over an intensely sharp toy causing you to scream in pain and wake the baby - who is also now screaming. The torch has now been passed from your parents to you as you realize you just stepped on a toy.
Kids are notorious for leaving their toys in every nook and cranny they can find. In addition, parents, are notorious for standing firm in their conviction that, "My child is going to clean this mess up." Of course, that only lasts right up to the stinging pain in your heel.
Can you name these terrifying household landmines? From troll dolls and those monstrous Legos to pacifiers and baby aspirators; from the more forgiving stuffed toys to the dangerous spiky Action Man; to Barbie with her endless tiny accessories; these items always seem to find their way into tender parts of your foot which you didn't know existed until now.
Flip the lights on, sport a grin and see if you can figure out what caused that divot in your foot last night.
The patent for the original pacifier came about in 1901, known as "a new and original Design for a Baby Comforter." But for centuries before that, people had been using a variety of objects to soothe a baby. From knotted rags to beads, bone, and coral, babies have had a wealth of objects from which to choose. Despite the popularity of pacifiers, the new invention didn't come without its naysayers. Everything from thickening of the tongue to deformed mouth, and even scoliosis, were accusations of what would happen to a baby. The accusations never came true and to this day, millions of babies are eased to sleep by sucking a pacifier.
Tiger Games was one of the first companies to produce a handheld LED device for game playing. Each one had a theme, such as WWF or G.I. Joe.
In 1693, English philosopher, John Locke, noted that blocks with letters on them would make learning the alphabet fun for children. This is one of the first mentions of blocks as play things. Tell that to a baby looking to test out his new chompers. Babies use their mouths as sensory devices to taste, feel and understand objects. A block is just another of a long list of items for babies to soothe and play with. In many ways, a block is a baby's best friend.
First created by a Danish woodworker, Thomas Dam, Troll Dolls were best known for their brightly colored, tufty hair. They also had dark alien eyes and plastic bodies.
Christmas 1983 proved to be a nightmare for some parents. They simply had waited too long to buy their children the latest toy phenomenon, the Cabbage Patch Kids. By the time 1984 rolled along, around 3 million of these dolls had been sold. Each doll is unique, and the fact that each came with its own birth certificate and name, they still remain popular today.
Baby bottles are a great way to feed a baby when the mom is not around, or when breast feeding is difficult. While the first patented bottles came around in the 1840s, there is evidence dating back to the earliest recorded times of urns and other materials that were used to feed babies. From wood and ceramic urns to cow teats filled with cloth, bottle feeding has been essential for thousands of years.
Lego certainly was one of the most popular toys of the decade. The 1980s also saw an explosion in the number of sets available and all the objects, vehicles and other construction gadgets for creative little minds.
If you've ever held a baby, you've likely come across their primary weapon - sharp nails. Few parents ever escape the scratches and often bloody bouts of cuddling and diaper changes. Baby finger and toe-nail clippers are smaller and usually covered in a safe and soft plastic coating to protect the baby from being cut or injured from a dropped clipper.
Although they have been around since 1938, Army Men certainly never go out of fashion. By the ‘80s they were no longer just based on World War II. Other Army men sets included the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Teething toys have been around as long as history has been recorded. Teething toys are used to soothe a child's achy mouth while teething. When a baby gnaws on the toy, the gnawing action helps to carefully open up the skin around the emerging tooth. Many teething toys are filled with a gel that can be refrigerated and provides a cooling and numbing sensation for babies as they play with the teether.
Care Bears were introduced to the world in 1981. These cute, cuddly furry bears originally appeared on greeting cards. A toy line followed in 1982. They were an immediate hit and quickly starred in their own television special in 1983 and eventually, a cartoon series. These toys are still highly popular today.
Babies come with all sorts of fun things, such as saliva, poop, spit-up and, of course, mucus. Nasal aspirators help to clear out a baby's nostrils from liquid and hardened mucus. Aspirators come in several varieties, including manual and electric.
Transformers originated in Japan in the early 1980s. They were quickly snapped up by Hasbro who bought the rights to produce them in the United States where they exploded in popularity, so much so that a cartoon TV series followed. Transformers are today one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood.
Baby bottles are great when a baby is feeding from mom's breast and up through the first year. But as a babies develop, it is smart to introduce sippy cups to their repertoire. The sippy cup acts as a middle ground between the bottle and drinking from an open-face cup. They are designed to give a baby the control of motion to eventually drink from a cup.
A popular girls toy in the 1980s, not only were My Little Pony dolls cute as buttons, but you could even style their hair with their own mini comb. Their success led to a TV series as well as films.
Baby spoons are the perfect size for little mouths. What separates a baby spoon from an adult spoon, aside from size, is the protective plastic coating on the baby spoon which helps protect a baby's mouth.
A favorite for many decades, including the '80s, Lincoln Logs were perfect for those kids who loved to construct things. By the '80s, they were plastic instead of wood. That all changed by the end of the decade as they returned to their traditional wood finish.
It is important for parents to remember that as a baby grows, their entire body and system functions are growing a learning together. From contracting colds from other children to shoving disgusting things in their mouths, babies are factories preparing to collect disease. One of the best ways to monitor a cold or other health issue is to have a baby thermometer handy. Thermometers can be used in any warm area of the body, such as mouth, underarms and even that cute toosh.
Around since 1949, the 1980s saw Mr. Potato Head rise in popularity once again, so much so that he appeared in his first TV movie. Hasbro also introduced fewer parts for each toy during the decade.
Released in the '60s, these fighting robots were constantly updated throughout the decades. They remained an extremely popular toy throughout the 1980s and were loved by children around the world.
Making a house baby-safe is a priority for most parents. The first place many parents think of are the electrical outlets, which tend to be within reach of a crawling child. While modern outlets have safety systems to protect children from inadvertent electrocution, it is still a good idea to invest those couple of dollars to plug the outlets.
A product of Galoob, Micro Machines were extremely small vehicles that became popular in the 1980s. Vehicles included cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, monster trucks and even Star Wars and Star Trek vehicles. A range of playsets could also be purchased.
As a new parent, you may be all gung-ho about reading to your newborn. But don't freak out if your child prefers to eat the pages as opposed to listening to your calming words. Baby books come with flexible and soft plastic pages that can endure the destruction of a gnawing baby and baby teeth.
No '80s toy collection was complete without a marching band set. Not only could you and your friends march up and down in the backyard but you could annoy your parents as well!
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles worked together to stop evil Shredder. Over a shared love of pizza, the Ninja Turtles would stop at nothing to beat their enemies!
Built to a 1:64 scale, most boys growing up in the 1980s had a set of Hot Wheels of some type or another. The decade saw some incredible sets released, including Real Riders (with proper rubber tires), Color Change Paint Hot Wheels, as well as vehicles with crash panels.
A firm favorite through the '90s, Polly Pocket came with hundreds of accessories and different play sets. Multiple dolls were also available.
With a cartoon series and a range of figurines, GI Joe became a popular toy for boys in the '80s. The toys were originally released in the ‘60s, but a rebranding in 1982, as well as the release of elaborate playsets, saw their popularity soar significantly.
Etch-a-Sketch had been around for three decades before the Animator was released in 1986. This worked on exactly the same principles but featured a dot matrix display. The Animator could store 12 pictures.
Hugely collectible, Beanie Babies came in all manner of creatures including bears, cats and dogs. The stuffing wasn't really beans, of course.
Introduced in 1939, the View Master had been a toy box standard by the time the 1980s rolled along. Now, however, a talking version hit the shelves which added sound to each picture viewed.
Arguably the most dangerous toy of the nineties, many people believed that this toy could blind people if shined directly into their eyes. It was soon banned in most schools!
Other than the pegs hurting as much as Lego blocks when stood on, Lite Brite was a brilliant concept. It allowed children to produce art by placing small plastic pegs along an outline on black paper. With a light shining from behind, this produced art. Popular Lite Brite art in the ‘80s included Mr. Potato Head and Darth Vader.
These squeezable balls were a firm favorite, due to their unique texture and bright colors.
In the ‘80s, a range of Sesame Street toys were available. These included plush toys, books and Poppin’ Pals toddler toys.
Tickle Me Elmo is a replica of the adorable fuzzy character from Sesame Street. He laughs when you tickle him!
Popular since the 1940s, a range of sturdy Tonka Trucks were added to this collection in the 1980s. These included the Mighty series (including a bulldozer, wrecker and), vans, off-road buggies, Winnebago’s and pick-ups.
Made popular by the cartoon show, He-Man was hugely sought after in the '80s and '90s.
Although Star Wars toys had been around since the late 1970s, two new movies, "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "The Return of the Jedi" (1983) saw a range of new toys, vehicles and spaceships hit the market in the ‘80s. The range of merchandise was simply incredible, but it’s the toys that every little boy wanted to get their hands on. Today, some are worth astronomical figures, so be sure to check your attic for your old collection.
Every cool kid had sticky hands - brightly colored hands on sticky strings that stretched to pick up small, light objects.
These figurines were based on characters from the popular "X-Men" comics, published by Marvel. They were created and led by Professor X, born Charles Francis Xavier.
Originally advertised as wallpaper cleaner, Play-Doh was soon on every kid's shelf as a modeling toy. It originally was advertised to children in the 1950s, with big growth in the 1960s. It is still sold today.
These dinosaur toys with a difference came with battle scars and open wounds from their battles! Heal them in the Dino-Damage Medical Center.
Who didn't own and destroy a slinky as a child. A slinky is simply a helical spring, but with its mesmerizing movement, it became a popular toy with children.
By using air pressure, this water gun shoots faster and further than any other, making it every kid's favourite weapon!
Monopoly was first invented in 1903 to demonstrate how economics works with few restrictions. But it wasn't until 1935 that Parker Brothers published the game. It unwittingly become the reason for millions of family squabbles of the next century. The game is so loved that as of early 2017, there have been over 300 versions.
Power Wheels were aimed at the two- to five-year-old market. These ride-on cars allowed kids to get a taste for driving.
Has a board game ever been more delicious? Candyland was the game that really launched Milton Bradley into the board game phenomenon. The game was Milton Bradley's bestseller and put them on the map alongside Parker Brothers. The game is still very popular today.
Perfection was a game played against the clock. The aim was to get all 25 of your pieces in the right places on your tray before the time ran out. Fail, and your pieces were ejected!
Barbie dolls, made by Mattel, are probably the most popular doll in the world. Don't forget to get your Barbie a Ken doll and a whole host of accessories, including evening gowns and a Dreamhouse!