Toys Pinoy kids play with before smartphones and tablets
Kids nowadays are very much exposed to technology and gadgets. They have smartphones, tablets, drones, PCs, and game consoles. But kids from, let’s say twenty years ago, don’t have a lot of those. Sure we had the Family Computer but we mostly spend our time playing these.
Author’s note: Techie toys are excluded from this list so gadgets like game consoles, Game Boys, Brick Games, and Tamagotchi sit this one out.
Photo via MySweetCupofTea
Back then my collection includes Dragon Ball Z, Ghost Fighter, BT X, and Zenki. There were also big ones with Marvel characters on it. But these cards are not actually for collecting like NBA cards but you use these to battle with friends and the winner, of course, takes home most of the cards, and most likely to be the target for battles the next day. “I-sa! Dala-wa!, Tat-lo! A-pat! Li-ma!” Remember that?
You play Pogs like Teks, but since Pogs are circular and thicker, you can also play it by “slamming” it. Pogs are more collectible than Teks because of the limited editions especially the Slammers. I remember having a fiber glass Slammer once.
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Holen or marbles can be played indoors and outdoors. Playing it requires some skills as you need to flick a marble and hit the grouped marble inside a circle. Think of the break in the game of pool. Any marble that went outside the circle is yours. Precision and accuracy is the name of the game.
Photo via ecowastecoalition
It’s basically a top made of wood and shapped like an egg and an iron nail sticking out and you spin it by twirling a string around it and skillfully throwing it on the ground. It is mostly played outdoors since you need enough space to throw it properly. Not to mention it has the potential to injure someone. I remember a friend going home with the top’s nail stuck on his foot. Still, it’s one of the most enjoyable toy to play with.
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Sipa is the National Sport of the Philippines. It is similar to Sepak Takraw and originally played with a rattan ball. But on the streets kids used an improvised toy using a metal washer with plastic straws as its tail. Like with Holen, Sipa requires precision and accuracy especially if you want to exhibit tricks and fancy kicking styles.
Photo via mashhinmin
Mostly played indoors especially during a bad weather, and for some reason girls dominate this game.
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We didn’t have fancy drones then so we play with these. It’s basically a plastic propeller attached to a stick and you make it fly using your palms and a twisting motion.
Here’s another toy with a string and it’s one of the most popular toy in the world. It comes in different shapes and sizes and mechanism. The Yo-yo also requires skills especially if you want to perform tricks.
Water guns and pellet guns
Before arcade gun games, airsoft, and Nerf guns, we played with water guns and pellet guns. These toys, especially the water gun, are still around and mostly played during summer. The pellet guns though are now left to the big boys.
Rubber bands are not just for making loom bands. Back then we used to play with them by performing tricks that shows fancy shapes. Boys usually use this as ammo for rubber band guns or to power miniature crossbows.
Did I write that right? Taching? Anyway, the game is similar to playing Holen but instead of marbles you use plastic action figures. The action figures played are usually flat so they can easily slide on the ground when tossed. (Sorry, can’t find a photo.)
Before Minecraft we have brick-based games like Lego. Legos are expensive though so we played with knock-offs or anything similar as long as you can build something out of the tiny pieces.
Trading card games
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We’re going up the price ladder now. Today we have digital card games on tablets and PCs like Hearthstone, but before that we played with real cards like Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card games like the ones mentioned are still available and being played today.
Tamiya cars are plastic model cars that needs to be assembled. It comes with its own motor and powered by batteries. The assembly part alone is already enjoyable but the best part comes in customizing and upgrading your Tamiya. After that you can now race it with other Tamiya cars on a miniature track.
Photo by Tony Wong
Like Tamiya cars, Gundam toys are plastic-model kits that need to be assembled. Passionate builders take it up a notch by custom painting and involving them in photography. Like Tamiya cars and trading card games, collecting original Gundam models is an expensive hobby.
How about you guys? What were the toys you played with back in the days? Feel free to add to this list at the comments field below.