🔒Help Me Hank Toy Test: Local 4 anchors explain their classic toy choices

Lite Brite (museumofplay.org)

The Local 4 anchors are sharing why they chose the classic toys that they chose for the Help Me Hank Toy Test.

Watch: Kids review this year’s hot toys

Devin Scillian -- Etch A Sketch

I love gifts that inspire creativity. The Etch-A-Sketch practically demands creativity. There are no lines to follow, no templates to copy. Even the toy’s greatest frustration (that it only moves up, down or side to side) asks you to develop a skill to use both knobs at once to create something approaching a curved line. It also inspires a useful metaphor for life; sometimes you gotta flip it over, shake it, and start anew. Brilliant.

By the way: I can’t think of a better gift than the gift of reading. Yes, as an author, I am biased. (Some would suggest I am economically compromised on this matter.) But I also remember the power of the books that meant so much to me when I was young. My favorite book as a child was “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean George. It’s the story of a boy named Sam Gribley who runs away from home and makes a life for himself in the mountains. I know and love Sam like a brother. I had many wonderful gifts from those Christmases past. But neither the football, the ten-speed bike nor the magic set has stayed with me the way Sam has. He’s in my heart and soul forever. That’s what books do. And a gift that lasts forever strikes me as a pretty good gift.

Give books. This year and always.

Karen Drew -- Lemon Skip It

Ahhhhhhh my memories of the Lemon Skip!

I can remember how COOL I felt going up and down my driveway with the Lemon slip around my ankle stepping and hopping ... stepping and hopping. I can go back to that vision now - my Dorothy Hammill haircut, my Charlie’s Angels T shirt , my LEE jeans, and my lemon skip.

I don’t want to brag but I was FAST! I had a few other friends in the neighborhood who had the same toy and we would challenge each other who could skip the longest ... or we would race and see who could skip the fastest! Simple good old fashioned fun that had us laughing and smiling. Sometimes old school fun is the best !!

Rhonda Walker -- Baby Alive

“Boy has Baby Alive stood the test of time in the world of toys! It was my hands down favorite toy growing up and I have given it for gifts over the years to several of my nieces, friends kids and to the children at Genesis House II Housing Shelter in Detroit where I host a Christmas party for families every year. It’s amazing to me that it is still a favorite toy and doll for toddlers to preteens. Trust me, you will win every time with this gift because it’s so adorable and interactive with all its life like abilities.”

Evrod Cassimy –- Twister and Simon

Bop It, Simon, Slinky and Twister. I have such great nostalgic memories about all of these games. As a kid I loved Bop It because it was fun getting into a rhythm listening and following the instructions. I was pretty darn good at it! Simon was similar too! These electronic devices were so much fun! I loved the Slinky because it was such a simple toy and I marveled that it could literally climb down the stairs.

The bad news is that they never lasted long in my house. The day after we removed them from the square box they were a tangled mess. We would throw them in the trash and pretend like we lost it and ask for another one. I blame my younger brother! Twister was cool because I wasn’t very limber so playing with friends it was always fun to watch and see who was gonna tumble first. Today, I’m pretty sure at my height I can touch each corner of the mat with ease. They all still make for great gifts!


Classic toys: