[typing] Childhood is strange. Strange enough to make you question
whether or not it really happened. It’s full of awkward new experiences, bizarre conversations, and enough unusual perspectives to
make you wonder if half of it was real. Then you run across something at a
thrift store or online, and you go “Huh!” “So I *wasn’t just making that up!” Take for example Waterful
Ring-Toss by Tomy in 1976. I stumbled into this particular example
at a local Goodwill several years ago, and instantly some long-forgotten part of my brain bolted awake and about coughed up a lung. All of sudden, I *knew* that I had this as a kid, that I played it entirely too much for my own good, and that I now questioned whether
or not I was crazy for having done so. Tomy Waterful Ring-Toss is a handheld tabletop game that
requires the use of water to work. Otherwise, it’s just a dry container
filled with air and little plastic rings. Sure, you can play the game without any water, but that’s just about as enjoyable
as shaking out the last few Cheerios stuck in the folds of the plastic bag
at the bottom of a box of cereal. But once you fill this beast up with water, it transforms into a finely tuned machine of childhood mental engagement. Or at least that’s the idea. Really, it’s *just* interesting enough to
shut up a five-year-old on a short road trip, at least until they have to pee or the container spills onto the back seat, whichever comes first. The latter of which was quite likely if you’d
lost the cap that goes over the filling hole, like I have with this one. Waterful Ring-Toss is less of a game
and more of a test of skill. And patience. Lots of patience. Because water and floaty rings don’t exactly make for movements of precision and calculation. I guess you could say that
success is a complete “toss up” that really puts you through the “ringer.” But, oh, “water” relief once you finally win! You simply push in the plastic button and the plastic rings will be shot
upward inside the plastic container, where the goal is to secure them onto plastic spikes. It’s a ring-toss carnival came in a portable form factor, and it’s actually pretty genius, in a way. It doesn’t require batteries, there are no electronic parts or
anything mechanical that can jam up, there wasn’t a pile of pieces to lose,
and most of all, it was cheap. So at least in terms of children’s
games and games on the go, this was automatically better than LCD games, electromechanical handhelds, jigsaw puzzles and travel-size board games. Well, “better” from the perspective of
parents who had less to worry about, other than the risk of spilling water. And, hey, if you were a kid with nothing else– and I mean NOTHING else to play– then this was freakin’ awesome. If anything the endearing little
noises it made when using it made the whole thing worthwhile. [fart noises] [laughing] [farts and laughs] [fart] And then there was the thrill of finally getting
all those rings onto the pegs that was… …negligible. But, hey, as a kid, it was something to accomplish
and occupy yourself with for a while. And that was really all that five-year-old me wanted. At least until my curiosity got the best of me and I swiped my dad’s screwdriver to
take thing apart to see how it worked. Ah, yes, just as I suspected: magic! So I know these things existed and that I owned one, but two questions remain: What happened to mine and which model did I have? Well, the answer to the first question is most likely that I either destroyed it when trying to take it apart, or that it ended up languishing on the
shelves of a thrift store in Kernersville. The answer to the second question is more vague, seeing as there was an entire line of these things known as Waterfuls. They were sold by Tomy, Milton Bradley,
Coleco and probably others, and has dozens of variants, so there’s no telling. I highly doubt it was this 1976 original because… frick, I wasn’t even born until a decade later. Whatever the answer truly is, these Waterful toys hold a special place in my heart. The place where I just can’t wait
for us to get where we’re going so I can just get out of the
car and do anything else, because these stupid rings are
startin’ to really get on my nerves! [jazzy organ music plays] And if you enjoyed this look back at Waterful Ring-Toss, and would like to see some others? I guess. I don’t–I don’t have any more, but maybe I’ll get some more. Then, uh, don’t sub to my channel,
’cause like I said, I don’t have any. But if you want to see some other
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