1. Spirographs
    Nobody could ever get the circles to make more than a rotation or two before they skidded apart and left a jagged line across your pathetic drawing. They should have just named this one "Frustration."
  2. Speak n Spell
    Adventures in early robotics. A pretty cool toy, in its way, but it had the battery life of a knockoff iPhone, and when the power ran low it spat gibberish at you and told you all your answers were wrong. Basically it was like my dad after a few drinks.
  3. X-Ray spex
    I ordered these out of the back of Boy's Life magazine without telling my parents, since I was sure they'd try to talk me out of it. But that meant I had to send cash instead of a check. Oddly, the glasses never arrived. I remain convinced that if they had they would totally have worked and I would be a superhero today.
  4. Balsa airplanes
    Fun for the 30 seconds they lasted. I think they were made by the engineers who brought us the Space Shuttle Challenger.
  5. Walkie talkies
    They only worked if you were standing close enough to the other person to carry on a normal conversation.