I remember days spent putting colourful pegs in small holes, only to then turn on the screen and get a magical picture I made! Of course I'm talking about Lite Brite (however it is spelled). That is one of the toys from my youth I truly, fondly remember. Right now at Toys R Us, get the Lite Brite magic screen for only $14.97, with a regular price of $24.99.
I bought my kids their first Lite Brite set a few years ago and my oldest loved it. My younger ones spilled the pegs too often for my liking so I kept it away from them. I see the recommended age is five years and up, and I would have to agree, unless you have one of those quiet little girls who loves to sit and draw and has really great fine motor skills. Then, I curse you. But, if you do, then this might be a great time-passing toy for them.
This lite brite is a bit different from the ones of our day (well my day - the 80s). The screen is flatter and folds down for easier storage. Also, the pegs are stay-put because you know there was nothing more irritating than the pegs falling out and not knowing what colour went where because you'd already made the hole!
Another change is that the templates are reusable, which is great too, considering I remember doing all of my sheets and being all depressed that I had no more Lite Brite to do.
There are two reviews on the site and both rate it highly:
This product is great for kids. They use their color and shape skills while being wowed by what they can create and light up. It is very good for helping to develop fine motor skills.
Toys R Us lowered their shipping not too long ago to give you free shipping once you spend only $25. That is so much better than the $99 threshold they had before. But, even better, they now also offer free in-store pickup. This means you can order your coveted items online in the warmth of your home, while they are on sale and in-stock and then go to your local store and just pick them up. This is extremely helpful for people who buy gifts for their kids from family members so that they don't have to explain what a furby is or whatever other toy that Grandma won't have any clue about. Mom can order it and get Grandma to pick it up at her local store.
Photo credit: Micah Taylor