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updated: 12/23/2011 10:48 PM

Poll Vault: Best toy you ever received for Christmas or Hanukkah?

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  • The Easy-Bake Oven was introduced by Kenner in 1963.

      The Easy-Bake Oven was introduced by Kenner in 1963.
    File photo

  • Now produced by Hasbro, the Easy-Bake Oven has been updated several times and remains a popular toy nearly 50 years later.

      Now produced by Hasbro, the Easy-Bake Oven has been updated several times and remains a popular toy nearly 50 years later.
    File photo

  • The little red wagon is a classic gift.

      The little red wagon is a classic gift.
    File photo

  • Baby boomers, their children and their grandchildren undoubtedly have played with an Etch-A-Sketch, which is a member of the National Toy Hall of Fame.

      Baby boomers, their children and their grandchildren undoubtedly have played with an Etch-A-Sketch, which is a member of the National Toy Hall of Fame.
    File photo

  • Aunt Mary and Uncle Carl Brandon gave Michelle Holdway this dollhouse for Christmas in 1979. They made it themselves, and she played with it for years.

      Aunt Mary and Uncle Carl Brandon gave Michelle Holdway this dollhouse for Christmas in 1979. They made it themselves, and she played with it for years.
    Courtesy of Cathy Brandon

  • The Furby toy created a frenzy in 1998.

      The Furby toy created a frenzy in 1998.
    Associated Press

  • Kenner's Death Star Space Station thrilled countless "Star Wars" fans in the late 1970s.

      Kenner's Death Star Space Station thrilled countless "Star Wars" fans in the late 1970s.

 
 

The Internet certainly makes holiday shopping for kids less of a challenge. These days, it seems, nothing is unavailable.

But when I was a kid, every year there was a must-have toy in short supply that threw shoppers into a frenzy.

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One year, my brother desperately wanted the Death Star Space Station, and my folks searched everywhere for it. As Christmas drew perilously close, my mom spotted one on display at Sears.

The floor model was the only one left, and the manager was reluctant to sell it because it lacked a box and the trash compactor monster was missing. Ultimately, though, Mom won out. My brother was ecstatic on Christmas morning. (We wrote to Kenner to obtain a replacement trash compactor monster.) A few years later, he was just as excited to receive the G.I. Joe command center.

What Christmas or Hanukkah gift put you over the moon when you were a kid? Was it a Cabbage Patch doll in the early '80s, or perhaps a Pac-Man game during the Atari craze? How about a Big Wheel, Barbie's Dream House or an Easy-Bake Oven?

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