The 1970's and Weapons for Kids

The 1970's and Weapons for Kids

I felt so lucky when I found the cache of vintage 1970’s fabric that I used to develop my “Lost in the 70’s” necktie collection. It also reminded me of how outrageous the 1970’s were on so many levels. Fashion, cars, advertising, lifestyle and so much more. It also made feel a little bad for the kids of today. While I’m sure making it through childhood alive and in one piece has it’s benefits, something seems lost with the sterile, overly cautious lives that kids lead now. I’m sure they don’t know what they’re missing.

In the 1970’s kids were exposed to an onslaught of dangerous toys, combined with a total lack of safety, and an almost complete lack of parental supervision. It’s a wonder any of them survived. I think that the “Lost in the 70’s” line of neckwear brings a little bit of this wild spirit of the 1970’s back. And it lets you get your 70’s on with the safety of a 2.5” necktie, rather than the uninhibited girth of the 4.5” ties of the 1970’s. And of course, like many things in the 1970’s, Olaf Olsson neckties are handmade in the USA.

Below are two of the awesome but dangerous toys from the 1970’s. I’m hoping that these toys, along with an Olaf Olsson “Lost in the 70’s” necktie, will help bring out your 70’s wild side.

CLACKERS

Clackers were basically two plastic balls, each about two inches, suspended together by a string. It’s likely that they were based on an Argentinian weapon known as bolas, and what better way to get some inspiration for a kids toy than from a weapon. In the middle of the string was a tab. The idea was to hold the tab and swing the tab up and down which sent the two balls slamming against each other. This created the clacking noise for which the toy was named. Unfortunately this violent smashing together of the two plastic balls, while fun sounding, was also quite dangerous. Not only would kids get hurt, and hurt others, by accidentally hitting each other with the toy, but occasionally the force of the balls hitting each other would cause them to shatter. This would send shrapnel flying into the air and injuring anyone close by. The toy was eventually taken off the market for being too dangerous.

 

LAWN DARTS

Ah Lawn darts! I’m not sure why the makers of this game didn’t see the inherent safety problem with designing a game that involved kids throwing large, heavy, metal darts at each other. But it was the 1970’s, a time when your dad would let you help drive the car, so he could smoke a cigarette and sip his beer, while neither of you wore a seatbelt. And like the Clackers, lawn darts take their inspiration from a weapon, the Plumbatae or Martiobarbuli. The Plumbatae was a lead-weighted dart that was carried by infantrymen in ancient Greek and Roman times. And just like the lawn darts of the 1970’s, they caused great carnage. 

The gameplay of Lawn Darts was similar to horseshoes. Two players, or teams, tossed the darts underhand towards a plastic ring placed on the lawn. If the dart landed in the ring the team or person who threw it got a point. Now while this was the official way to play the game, it didn’t stop kids from throwing the darts at each other, or simply throwing the darts straight up into the air in an insane game of chicken. Ah the 70’s. Eventually this game was banned as well.

 

NO KNEE-PADS, HELMETS, BRAKES, OR PARENTAL SUPERVISION REQUIRED.

There you have it, two examples of the unbridled and carefree nature of the 1970’s. I’m sure that it’s probably better to have less trips to the hospital or morgue, but at what cost I ask. Sure it is safer to put knee-pads and a helmet on before heading out to play, with mom close by to stop you from doing something stupid. But there was lot of fun to be had when one was young, energetic, creative, and unsupervised. And most kids made it through undamaged.

 

LOST IN THE 70’S NECKTIE COLLECTION FROM OLAF OLSSON

In the late 1970’s a fabric collector purchased a cache of fabric remnants from a neckwear company in NYC. The fabric, a series of awesome silk/polyester blends with amazing and intricate woven patterns from the 1960’s and 70’s, sat forgotten for almost forty years until I managed to get my hands on it. I have reimagined these amazing patterns as thinner, more wearable 2.5” neckties than the 4” ties of the 70’s. The ties are handmade in New York to the highest quality standards. These ties are super limited edition and once they’re gone, they’re gone.


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