The playground is the place where all the kids gather for recess, but have you noticed the patterns of the characters? All of them are the same age throughout the entire series. I will explain this to you.
Third Street School was built After World War I. TJ was among the first students to attend. He was always proven to be a strong leader, running for 4th grade president in 1928, A year before the Great Depression began, However, the current principal at the time was making budget cuts on certain lunch items. Attempting to lead a revolt, TJ was hit by an Ice Cream truck during a student walkout in 1929. TJ's spirit still lives on through the playground, teaching kids how to stand up for their rights.
Mikey soon transferred to the school after TJ's death, starting first grade in the 1929-1930 school year. Mikey was always hungry, demanding food. However, he was a kind a gentle person, causing no harm to the students around him. In 1931, he was diagnosed with Diabetes type 1. Feeling depressed, he ate an insane amount of chocolate bars to cope with his disease. He went into a diabetic coma in 1932, and died later that year of a heart attack at the age of 10. Mikey still walks in the playground, fat as ever and hungry as ever.
Spinelli began attending in 1933, a school year after Mikey's death. Always trying to act the tough one, Spinelli would converse with the ghosts of TJ and Mikey and share with them her experiences. Spinelli died in a fight in 1936, during her 2nd repeat of the 4th grade year. She now hangs with the rest of the game, acting as the group's bodyguard.
Randall started at Third Street School in 1944. Dreams of being a reporter, he often worked as the "muckraker" of the school principal. Despised by the gang, especially Spinelli, Randall one day caught a random bystander beating up a tiny 2nd grader in 1946 and told the principal (a different one than the one from the 1928). Furious, the bystander killed Randall with a gun in his house a few nights later. He was struck in the head and killed instantly. Randall is still known as Third Street's best snitch.
Gus began school in 1951. He was often quiet and kept to himself. He conversed with TJ, Spinelli, and Mikey a lot, as the ghosts were his only friends. He was often the target of the playground bullies. One fateful night in 1953, Gus was walking home from school, in tears and covered in dirt and blood. He was beaten up by the neighborhood bullies the previous day and his parents had forgotten to pick him up. Gus collapsed on the sidewalk in front of his house as he was turning to walk towards the door. He died on New Years Day, 1954. Gus is viewed as the nerdy kid of the group, often keeping to himself and avoiding dirt and filth.
When the Tylers began school in 1958, the Ashleys were already in school, living the "dream" as top-notch 4th graders. Both groups were often despised by the rest of the kids on the playground. One night, while the girls were having a sleepover and the boys were having a gentlemen's sleepover, both co-existing that night, a serial killer broke into the Armbruster mansion and murdered the Armbrusters, Quinlan children, Tomassia children, and the Boulet children. The killer was captured by police in early 1959. The Ashleys and the Tylers still roam the playground, acting like the big people on campus.
Gretchen came to Third Street in 1962. She was shown as the intelligent one of the group, winning the science award every year until Becky Benson stole her project in 1965. Gretchen went home that day on a mad rampage. In her anger, she committed suicide by gunshot to head. She's still the more intelligent of the ghosts in the group, and is even willing to tutor her friends when the time calls for it.
Diggers Sam and Dave attended Third Street School a while after Gretchen's death. Beginning in 1968, both boys were always interested in digging. In the summer of 1971, they were caved in while exploring an old coal mine. They never got out, and died 2 weeks after being trapped. They dig near the school playground, afraid that digging outside school grounds will cause them to lose their lives in the afterlife.
Vince, who was the last to join the gang, attended the school in 1978, just as the disco 70's were coming to a close. Vince worked on his basketball career, often of dreaming of making the NBA, inspired by famous NBA stars of that time. One day in 1982, he tripped and broke his leg and was told he wouldn't be able to play basketball anymore. Devastated by this, Vince attempted to take his own life in 1983. As a result, he was sent to an insane asylum, where he died in 1988. Vince plays a wide variety of sports in the after life, as the protagonist gang of ghosts was finally completed upon Vince's death.
King Bob is known as the king of the playground. After winning class president of the 4th grade in 1991, King Bob was always a fair ruler. After going crazy with power, the 4th grade body led a coupe. King Bob was not allowed to run for president during the 1992 - 1993 school year. As a result, he murdered the entire student body in one night by breaking into their houses and stabbing them to death. He was sent to juvenile detention in Fall 1995, and stayed there until he was killed by another prisoner in 2001 at the Fifth Street Corrections Facility at the age of 20.
Due to the tragedies caused by the Third School Street playground, the school was shut down and deserted in the summer of 2002, the last class of 5th graders leaving in 2001 on the 74th anniversary of TJ's death. However, this event did not affect the school playground nor its current residents.
The ghosts of the fallen children still frolick and play on the playground of the Third Street School as if it never shut down.