Fun and Games
Flybar. A high-performance pogo stick for grown-ups, this aluminum "exercise and stunt bar" sends you soaring six feet skyward.
Geezer Gamers. Website for videogamers over a certain age (30's and up) for whom Atari and Intellivision served as gateway drugs to lifelong video game addictions.
Hearts Challenger. LA-based bubblegum-pink ice cream truck that serves international ice cream, candy and toys at hipster birthday parties and nightclubs.
International Society of Skateboard Moms. Web-based group started by stay-at-home O.C. mom Barb Odanaka; hosts annual Mighty Mama Skate-o-Rama for skate rat mothers.
iSkip. Website created by a San Francisco "skipping evangelist" to promote joys of skipping; includes official iskip merchandise, member testimonials and news on skipping celebrities (Alanis Morissette, Steve Martin).
National Association of Staredown Professionals. NASP is a semi-pro, super-serious league devoted to the staring contest, the childhood game where competitors look each other in the eye and keep looking and looking until someone blinks, cracks up or breaks eye contact. Site includes detailed rules and sanctions (players must stand a foot apart on "toe lines" and are immediately disqualified for smiling, sneezing, burping or laughing).
National Dodgeball League. Upstart pro and amateur league devoted to that gladiator contest of the schoolyard. NDL has established four professional teams and hosts a world championship in Las Vegas.
Recess Time. Oregon-based co-ed adult league that organizes league play in kickball, dodgeball, bowling and ping-pong. Spirit is nicely summed up in the stated goals of the kickball league: "To bring back that beloved recess game of old, without the prepubescent awkwardness. Kick the hell outta that big red rubber ball. Have fun and always look good doing it."
Squarefour. Billed as the "world's first" league devoted to that recess favorite in which players move a playground ball around a four-squared grid, Squarefour hosts chapters in Boston, Mass., and Burlington, Vt..
Streetplay. New York-based website and advocacy group devoted to promotion and preservation of street games like stickball and hopscotch.
The Tag Institute. Kansas City club devoted to glories of all-ages tag; members meet in public park once a week to play variations of venerable kids? game.
U.S. Rock Paper Scissors League. Upstart pro RPS league, which sponsors bar tournaments and hosts an annual televised match with the winner pocketing $50,000.
Ultimate Pajama Parties. Event planning service that hosts weekend hotel sleepovers for "grown-up girls" who gather to reexperience "the pleasures of youth."
United States ProMiniGolf Association. Brainchild of Myrtle Beach, S.C. miniature golf mogul Bob Detwiler, league hosts annual tournaments in "adventure golf" with purses reaching $4,000.
Weird Games. Online directory of unusual sports, including such kidcentric favorites as Major League Squeegee and the International Kicksled and Scooter Association.
World Adult Kickball Association. Billed as "the world authority and governing body of kickball," WAKA sponsors some 1,000 adult kickball teams and hosts annual championship in Washington D.C.
World Rock Paper Scissors Society. Arch, pseudo-scholarly Canadian collective of RPS enthusiasts; home page includes history, info on competitions and strategy guides.
Collectibles, Art Toys and Playthings
Big Fun. Cleveland, Ohio's best kept secret: Big Fun is a cluttered and crazed toy store packed to rafters with new and used playthings, models, action figures, board games, lunchboxes and a truly awe-inspiring Elvis shrine. Owner Steve Presser has a thing for vintage commercial tie-ins, from the obvious (Star Wars, Care Bears) to the obscure (M.A.S.K., Mr. T). 1827 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Ohio.
Boing Boing. Geek-centric blog maintained by tech-savvy, kid-centric obsessives. The place to discover the latest Cracker Jack toy jewelry, vintage pinball machines or avant garde tricycle design.
Clutter. British magazine that focuses on mostly deranged, often inspired "designer toy phenomenon."
Friends With You. Manufacturer of anime-inspired whimsical playthings; top sellers include Bumble Grup and Super Malfi.
Funko. Seattle-based manufacturer of an astonishing line of bobbling kiddie icons, from Charlie Brown and Magilla Gorilla to Ricochet Rabbit and Betty Boop.
Hi-Fructose. California-based "toysploytation" mag devoted to mashup of high art and commercial toys: "The art and toy worlds are being turned inside out like a Water Weenie," say editors Attaboy and Annie Owens. "It has slipped out of the grip of elite theorists and marketers onto the dirty floor. We're there to pick it up."
J List. Online retailer specializing in the weird, wonderful world of Japanese pop culture. Miyazaki finger puppets, extreme manga, Hello Kitty vibrators: it's all here. 18 and Over.
Kidult. Home page of Italian manufacturer of elegant, often maddening games and toys for grown-ups. Their motto: "Never stop playing."
Lugnet. Fan-generated mega-site for AFOL (adult fans of Lego). Includes discussion boards, building guides and updates on events like BrickCon and Brick Bash.
Millionaire Playboy. Terrific Web ?zine posting mostly slapdash, often hilarious reviews of kidcentric "pop culture artifacts." A plethora of cool toys, plus a ton of DVDs, video games and the like.
Strangeco. Online "purveyors of the peculiar" specializing in the latest art toys, urban vinyl and other mostly deranged, often inspired playthings.
The Lemonade Stand. Kim & Jason, the reigning rejuvenile power couple from Madison, WI, are the proprietors of this online shop of childlike goodies. A great place to stock up on lemonade-scented bath salts, "Adulthood stinks" T-shirts and copies of their essential how-to manual Escape Adulthood.
TV Cream?s Toy Catalogue. Exhaustive, deeply nostalgic directory of "Britain's most-desired childhood playthings."
Uglydolls. Originally created by a Korean-born art school student as a gift for her American boyfriend, this line of blocky, grimacing toys (in both cottony plush and statuary vinyl) has become an emblem of childlike cool for other not-quite-grown-ups.
Rejuvenile in Thought
Association for the Study of Play. Consortium of anthropologists, sociologists, historians and the like who promote the study of play. Hosts annual conference and supports play-related research.
Deep Fun. Bernie DeKoven is a visionary author, mystic and founding father of the decidedly rejuvenile New Games Movement. His regularly updated blog is a great resource for insight on how to make all things more fun.
Douglas Rushkoff. Home page and blog for brilliant media theorist and articulate defender of comics, video games and play in the workplace.
Sharon Kinsella. Home page for U.K.-based freelance journalist and academic, including reprints of her stunning and illuminating analysis of Japanese "kawaii" culture.
The Play Ethic. Pat Kane is an earnest and brilliant Scot who sidelined a career in pop music to dedicate himself to the study and promotion of play. His blog offers a taste of his sometimes dense, always illuminating worldview.
Transparency Now. Postmodern pop culture site featuring essays on everything from the politics of theme parks to psychology of Blue's Clues.
Candy Ravers. Techno Guide review of subgenre of rave culture that embraces Japanese anime, stuffed animals and preschool fashions.
Captain Bogg and Salty. What every playalong parent yearns for: buccaneer pirate songs for the treacherous commute to preschool.
Chic-a-Go-Go. Dance show seen on Chicago public access that might be described as a cross between Pee-wee's Playhouse and American Bandstand.
Cookie Mongaloid. Abrasive, hilarious San Francisco speed metal band fronted by a guy in a cookie monster suit. Favorite songs include "Me Lost My Cookie in the Mosh Pit" and "Fuzzy and Blue."
Greasy Kids’ Stuff. Home page for treasure-trove Saturday morning WFMU show featuring weird and wonderful children's music that even a grown-up can love.
Gwendolyn and the Goodtime Gang. Silver Lake's own kiddie rock superstars, beloved by kiddies and hipsters alike.
Mondo Chipmunk-o. Engrossing feature on the origins and manifestations of "rodent rock" and their star practitioners, Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Pancake Mountain. Washington D.C. cable access show that features big-time indie rock acts (Fugazi, Bright Eyes, the Arcade Fire) doing goofy junior versions of their hits for screaming tots.
They Might Be Giants. Clever, bespectacled Brooklynites helped make kids music cool again with their landmark album "No!" and follow-up "Here Come the ABCs."
Toydeath. Hard-core for sippy cup set, from trio that composes songs using Casio keyboards, battery-operated guitars and toy soundchips.
Twink. Avant-garde children's music from Boston "mad scientist" Mike Langlie; recordings make heavy use of toy piano and samples from classic kid 45s.
Rejuvenile at Work
Cube Goodies. Section of online store Think Geek that specializes in cubicle playsets, Einstein action figures and other workplace-friendly doo-dads.
Office Playground. Online marketplace for "stress relievers, executive toys, desk toys, stress balls" and other stuff to "make your office a playground too."
Play. Virginia-based consultancy that has helped corporate giants like General Electric and Phillip Morris make their workplaces more playful.
Play with a Purpose. Florida firm that designs and hosts playful, "team-building" and "creativity-developing" corporate events.
Playfair. Berkley-based play entrepreneurs who offer advice on playful business strategies and fun at work.
American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE). Home page for die-hard roller coaster fans, dedicated to "the conservation, appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the art of" the roller coaster.
Institute for Theme Park Study. Scholarly consortium that promotes and assists "stimulating academic research into theme park environments and amusement parks: their uses, their visitors and their histories."
Mice Age. Flagship website for cranky, critical Disney enthusiasts; includes inside dope on park operations and management, maintenance and office politics.
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. Tribute to long-lost San Francisco amusement park, spearheaded by all-around rejuvenile Richard Tuck.
The Disney Echo. Online magazine featuring boosterish message boards for fans formulating advanced strategies for visiting Disney theme parks.
The Imaginary World. Artist Dan Goodsell's photographic shrine to mostly obscure, often delightful amusement parks and funlands.
The Laughing Place. For the hard-core Disnoid, the National Fantasy Fan Club (NFFC) is the biggest and most active group of Disney enthusiasts. Web site includes info on sales of Disney collectables, fan conventions and scuttlebutt on new attractions.
Theme Park Paper. Extensive, baffling online library of so-called "paper ephemera" from theme parks, including visitor brochures, flyers, ticket stubs, magazine ads and napkins.
Outer Reaches of Rejuvenile Universe
Cosplay. Exhaustive directory for fans of Japanese anime, manga and video games who dress up in elaborate homemade costumes of their favorite characters.
Diaper Pail Friends. Deeply disturbing posting board for lovers of diaper fetish, adult baby clothes, plastic pants, infantilism.
Forever a Kid. Online marketplace for Adult Baby community; One-stop shopping for jumbo-sized booties and adult onesies.
Pixieland. Charming, creepy homepage of Randy Constan, a 52-year-old Floridian who has found online celebrity posting pictures of himself frolicking in one of his many Peter Pan costumes.