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Throwback Thursday: Lite-Brite

Forget Crayons or markers, this innovative product allowed children everywhere to bring their artwork to magical colored light!

Lite-Brite, a toy developed by Hasbro in 1967 and and it’s subsidiary Milton Bradley, was one of my all-time favorite toys as a kid. It’s a simple product that has lasted for generations, including today.

The set included a box set, similar to that of an old television. It had a dark side, lined with peg holes, lit by a back light. All you had to do was slide in the stenciled image on a black sheet of paper and punch in the translucent colored pegs according to a color-by-letter scheme.

Turn on the light and presto… light-up magic!

Some of the black sheets didn’t have an image drawn on them, and that’s when your imagination was really encouraged to take flight. Write a message, make a clown, or rainbow the entire screen. The possibilities were endless.

The major downfall to this wonderful machine, beside its tendency to overheat, was after you punctured the stencil with your peg or if you made a mistake and punched in at the wrong spot, your entire masterpiece was ruined; the stencil beyond repair.

Believe me, I tried taping those suckers back together to no avail.

Lit-Brite is still on the market. Hasbro has adapted to the change in technology and now offers an app through iTunes. You can still buy the Lite-Brite product in a sleek new flat-screen design or in a new innovative cube design.

For those of us who remain nostalgic about our childhood toys, you can buy the original Lite-Brite on eBay through various sellers.

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