Ireland in the Fixties ~ Toys & Games
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Those of you who have passed the half-century will probably breathe a nostalgic sigh when you look at the little collection of toys and games on this page. Do you remember the tin-plate spinning top? Press down hard on the plunger and let it spin! Quite a jump to a Sony Playstation! And the good old reliable 'marla' or 'mawlyah' as we called Plasticine here in Ireland. Many a show-jumping arena or a hurling match appeared on a kitchen table made from that simple modelling clay - but wasn't it annoying when a sister or brother rolled it all up together and all your lovely colours became a dirty brown lump?

Oh and of course Blow Football - pre-Subbuteo. A very simple game that brought hours of fun and its fair share of arguments too. Two goals made from wire similar to that used in coat hangers and two tin goalkeepers. the secret was that there was a kind of a loop on the goalie's back through which the wire went and you could move the keeper left and right to save shots from the opposition. The little plastic ball was propelled by each player blowing through a plastic tube about 10 cm. long and if you took a deep breath and chose the right moment, you could send that ball like a flash of lightning past the goalkeeper!

The tin cowboy, indian and cowgirl are clappers. You might remember one being given free with The Dandy once. On the back there was a length of tin similar to what we used tack on to hurleys and whatever way it was loaded, it would make a sound like a gunshot or if you left it on the floor, it would jump into the air.

On the bottom left you can see a plastic Bagatelle game. I don't think I ever left Woolworths in Galway without one! Like a small pinball machine, you had to pull back a spring-loaded trigger on the bottom right corner and propel a ball-bearing up and around the curved top until it dropped into one of the seven or eight cups, each marked with a different score. Needless to say, 100 was the most difficult one to get!

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Here we have a selection of boxed games. Pre-Nintendo and Playstation, many an hour was passed playing games such as draughts, blow football, Snakes & Ladders, etc.

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With our tinplate and clockwork cars, tractors, buses, etc., we drove the highways and byeways of Ireland!

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Apart from Old Maid and Snap, there were many more card games. Scroll down for more Fixties toys and games.

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francis k. 2008