By Lori Ferraro
So many toys from the 80s that I loved so much…board games, (Trouble!, Trivial Pursuit) electronic games, (Speak & Spell, Merlin), and video games (anything you could play on the Atari), but there’s one game that stands out for its simplicity, its one-player challenge and for its use of water.
The Waterful Ring-Toss by TOMY.
I was obsessed with this game – can we even call it a game? More like a test of your skills, like those wooden triangle things with the pegs in them that would be on restaurant/diner tables back in the day.
The goal of the Waterful Ring-Toss is to press the button which shoots out a jet propulsion of water, trying to maneuver the bright red, green, yellow and blue rings onto the two little plastic sticks.
I would press that button like a madwoman until my thumb hurt – and then I would give up and turn the whole apparatus upside down, trying to make the rings fall gently onto the spikes.
Yes, I cheated on a one-player game.
Luckily the little yellow tab on the top never leaked or came undone, dripping weird old water all over me.
I loved taking this game places with me, and I have vivid memories of playing it on long car trips and laying on the floor of my grandparents house with my miniature fish tank full of plastic.
Eventually I did get pretty good at it…I could stack up those colored circles pretty high. But that very last one or two? To get them to land all lined up pretty where they were supposed to go?
Did anyone ever “win” this?
Honestly I don’t think this game took any skill – it was pretty much all luck, pushing a button and praying your rings would float and land where you wanted them to.
Today there are variations of water toss games out there, Milton Bradley and other companies make similar models. But just like anything from childhood, nothing comes close to the original TOMY.