Friday, October 21, 2005

Blow Football Was Robbed

TV Cream's Top 100 Toys [via boingboing]
This is a great collection of toys I remember fondly. Most of them we didn't have ourselves, but I either yearned for them, coveted them, or have, indeed, never heard of them. This is a British site, so being raised by diffident and bespectacled British parents gives me more chance of having seen these, but most are universal.

I spent a good hour and a half reading through the very amusing summaries. Some highlights are the Shaker Maker, Magic Rocks, Big Trak, and the toy I coveted the most richly and longingly as a boy: Subbuteo.

This list reminded me of another soccer game: Blow Football, which sounds like Diego Maradona's autobiography but is not.

Blow Football was a game my grandparents sent from London one year. I use the term "game" loosely here, since it consisted functionally of two straws, two plastic goals, and a ping pong ball cunningly disguised as a soccer ball. I think there may have been some cardboard goalies, too, but I can't be sure. The idea was that you would set up the goals, and two intrepid players possessed of stronger than average respiratory systems would, well, blow through the straws and attempt to blow the football into the goal of the opposing player. Production costs, I'm guessing, were pretty low on this baby. Hours of fun were no doubt to ensue. All I remember ensuing was a lot of saliva ejected onto the coffee table.

I have a cherished memory of this game, though, for reasons that are frankly lost in the weft of time. I remember setting up Blow Football and playing with my father on that Christmas Day, and him turning a peculiar shade of crimson as a pack of Pall Mall Reds every day caught up with him, and we reached somewhat of a stalemate, with the ball hovering mid-table, neither side able to gain an advantage. It ended with us both collapsing in tears of laughter, and I don't remember ever playing the game after that.

Some googling leads to:

Blow Football Balls
Make your own Blow Football (using a cereal box)
Antique 1910 Blow Football

Improved Version of Blow Football (certainly much more impressive than the one I had)


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