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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Toys
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1840 - Silk merchant, John Kirby Farnell, established business, made small household items (pin cushions, tea cosies); 1906 - manufactured first British teddy bear (source for Winnie-the-Pooh, bear received by Christopher Robin as gift from his mother, Dorothy Milne, for his first birthday in 1921); 1934 - premises destroyed by fire; 1940 - premises destroyed by bombing; 1960s - ceased operations; 1996 - Farnell name taken over by Merrythought.

1859 - Tin smith Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Märklin began making doll's house accessories of lacquered tinplate; March 1, 1888 - Eugen Märklin, Karl Märklin founded unlimited trading company, incorporated parents' business into it; 1891 - took over Ludwig Lutz tinplate toy factory in Ellwangen, Germany (products prized for decades at home, abroad because of their beauty); introduced first system railroad (windup locomotive with cars, expandable track system); 1892 - renamed Märklin Bros. & Co.; Emil Friz, of Plochingen, became joint owner; offered whole layout system, at Leipzig Spring Fair, which could be added to piece by piece, with rails of gauge which enabled degree of standardization; May 1, 1907 - Richard Safft joined company as partner; 1908 - renamed Märklin Bros. & Cie; 1924 - introduced customer catalogues; 1914 - 600 employees; 1923 - Fritz Märklin (son) joined company; 1926 - introduced 20-volt system; safe for children; Max Scheerer (son-in-law) became third managing director; 1929 - 900 employees; 1930s - became market leader (Bing company ceased toy production); 1935 - Fritz took over; compact dimensions allowed complete layouts as table top railroads; available as ready-integrated system; 1948-1955 - produced freight cars under this method; 1938 - first fully functional catenary included additional, independently controlled track circuit; 1947 - Herbert Safft (son) took over as managing director; 1950 - manufacture of "wide-tracks" in lacquered tinplate stopped; ended tinplate era; 1958 - TELEX coupler for switch engines enabled remote controlled uncoupling anywhere on layout; January 12, 1971 - Gebr. Marklin & Cie, GmbH registered "Marklin" trademark first used in 1919 (building material for mechanical toys, toy electric railways and building materials for making the same, etc.); 1984 - launched Märklin Digital, digital signal processing with electronic receiver circuits in each locomotive; made independent, multi-train operation possible; 1985 - established Märklin Club of North America; two-year production stage for locos and cars; 2006 - acquired by Kingsbridge Capital Advisors.

The Märklin Family




Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Märklin and family - Marklin Inc. (

1860 - Milton Bradley, draftsman and lithographer in Springfield, MA, invented game, "The Checkered Game of Life"; April 3, 1866 - received patent for a "Social Game" ("called the 'checkered game of life'...and is intended to forcibly impress upon the minds of youth the great moral principles of virtue and vice"); May 22, 1866 - Lewis Bradley and Milton Bradley, of Springfield, MA, received a patent for "Improvement in Croqueterie" ("combination of arch and sockets to form a croquet bridge or arch...iron croquet bridge or arch coated with zinc, tin or other similar metal...painting croquet-balls in which the light balls are designated by black or dark stripes and the dark balls by white or light stripes").

1864 - Joseph Binney founded Peekskill Chemical Works, in Peekskill, NY (produced charcoal, lamp black); 1885 - Edwin (son), C. Harold Smith (nephew) formed partnership, Binney & Smith (early products: red oxide pigment used in barn paint, carbon black for car tires); 1902 - introduced first dustless school chalk (won gold medal at St. Louis World Exposition); incorporated as Binney & Smith Company; 1903 - produced first box of eight Crayola crayons, sold for a nickel (Crayola name, coined by Edwin Binney's wife Alice, came from "craie," French word for chalk, "ola," from "oleaginous"); October 23, 1928 - registered "Crayola" trademark first used June 10, 1903 (crayons, slate pencils, and chalk); 1984 - acquired by Hallmark; January 1, 2007 - renamed Crayola LLC.






Binney & Smith (

November 20, 1866 - James L. Haven and Charles Hittrick, of Cincinnati, OH, received patent for a "Whirligig" ("improved construction of the toy commonly called a bandelore"); yoyo; suggested the first use of patents to protect design improvements.

1867 - Elisha Selchow established E.G. Selchow & Co., game wholesale company; 1868 - acquired rights to sell Parcheesi, The Royal Game of India (one of oldest American game trademarks), from John Hamilton for $500; 1880 - formed partnership with John Righter, name changed to Selchow and Righter Co. (‘jobbers’, sold games from other companies); October 8, 1918 - Essanar Company, Inc. registered "Parcheesi" trademark first used in1869 (board and counter games); 1952 - took over production of Scrabble from James Brunot (acquired rights from creator Alfred Mosher Butts in 1949 after S&R passed); 1983 - acquired Trivial Pursuit; oldest privately held game company in America; May 1986 - acquired by Coleco; December 1986 - Coleco went bankrupt, taken over by Hasbro.

April 17, 1875 - Sir Neville Chamberlain invented game "snooker" (variation of pool).

1876 - Locksmith Andreas Brandstätter founded lock, metal fitting company in Fürth, Germany; 1908 - Georg Brandstätter (son) took over company, changed name to Metallwarenfabrik Georg Brandstätter; 1930s - manufactured telephones, cash registers, various items for toy shops using sheet metal; changed name to geobra (short for Georg Brandstätter); 1950s - Horst Brandstätter, current owner, updated products, searched out new markets and sales opportunities, focused production on plastic; 1958 - designed machine that could mold soft plastic hoses into hoops (to make hula hoops); created first prototype PLAYMOBIL® item, closed racing car manufactured in single production step; expanded rapidly with products in toy, leisure fields; 1970s - dramatic rise in plastic costs, pressure from low-price countries, increasing development expenses in Germany; directed attention to small moveable figures with fitting accessories, good price to value ratio, called PLAYMOBIL® (designed by Hans Beck, head of R & D); 1974 - introduced at International Toy Fair in Nuremberg (received lukewarm greeting); on German retail shelves by fall; March 24, 1981 - Geobra-Brandstatter GmbH & Co. registered "PLAYMOBIL" trademark in U. S. first used February 6, 1975 (Miniature Toy Figures and Accessories); 2004 - nearly 2,500 employees worldwide.

Andreas Brandstätter - Geobra-Brandstatter GmbH & Co. (PLAYMOBIL) (

1883 - George S.  Parker (16), Charles Parker (older brother) founded Parker Brothers; 1898 - Edward H. Parker (eldest brother) joined company; December 12, 1901 - incorporated Parker Brothers; second biggest game company in United States; 1991 - acquired by  Hasbro; part of Hasbro Games Group.

1886 - Plymouth Iron Windmill Company (Plymouth, MI) manufactured iron windmills for farmers; gave free "Chicago" air rifle (made almost entirely of wood) as premium item; 1888 - close to liquidation - short by one vote (General Manager Lewis Cass Hough); used metal air rifle as premium item; 1890 - 25 employees of Plymouth Iron Windmill Company produced 50,000 guns, distributed mostly with radius of o100 miles of factory; 1891 - Charles Bennett hired as Company's first salesman (salary of $85/month plus expenses); sold 10,000 guns to Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company (Chicago, IL) two days later; order filled in 6 months; 1895 - Plymouth Iron Windmill Company exited windmill business, renamed Daisy Manufacturing Company; 1900 - dominant force in burgeoning air gun industry; January 1903 - introduced its first lever action repeater, (nickel plated No. 3, 1,000-shot rifle, hallmark product); sold over 36,000 units first year; 1914 - introduced Model 25 pump gun (dropped from line in 1979 after 8,000,000 produced, sold); 1933 - introduced Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol; spring 1940 - launched Daisy Red Ryder (based on popular comic strip western hero; sold more than 1 million units in 1949); June 26, 1958 - began production in new facility in Rogers, AR; 1963 - partnered with U.S. Jaycees, launched nation’s largest, most far reaching youth Shooting Education Program; 1972 introduced Model 880 pump-up air gun, first pneumatic air gun; late 1990s - became an assembly operation; 2001 - signed contract with U.S. Navy to produce nearly indestructible drill rifles (used by honor guards, color guard, drill teams nationwide); January 1, 2004 - founded The Daisy Airgun Museum; world’s oldest, largest manufacturer of airguns, ammo, accessories (produces in excess of 5 million items/year, mostly airguns). 

August 23, 1887 - Samuel Leeds Allen, of Cinnaminson, NJ, received a patent for a "Sled"; April 24, 1888 - received second patent for a "Sled" ("related to that class of sleds known as double runners"); August 13, 1889 - received third patent for a "Sled"; Flexible Flyer; May 7, 1904 - S. L. Allen & Co. registered "Flexible Flyer" trademark.

February 10, 1891 - Elija J. Bond, of Baltimore, MD, received a patent for a "Toy or Game" ("...I designate as a 'Ouija or Egyptian Luck-Board' which two or more persons can amuse themselves by asking questions of any kind and having them answered by the device used and operated by the touch of the hand, so that the answers are designated by letters on a board"); assigned to Charles W. Kennard and William H.Maupin of Baltimore, MD; formed Kennard Novelty Company to sell boards; 1892 - taken over by William Fuld; name changed to Ouija Novelty Company; 1966 - acquired by Parker Brothers.

December 19, 1899 - Granville T. Woods, of New York, NY, received a patent for an "Amusement Apparatus"; small scale or large scale electrically-driven cars on a closed track, such as a figure-8 layout.

September 19, 1900  - Joshua Lionel Cowen, Harry C. Grant founded Lionel Corporation in New York City.

November 30, 1901 - Frank Hornby received British patent for "Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People"; named invention "Mechanics Made Easy" (part-based construction system); 1907 - formed Meccano Ltd. to manufacture, distribute products; August 22, 1911 - Meccano Limited Corporation (Liverpool, England) registered "Meccano" trademark (mechanical toys).

February 15, 1903 - Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants and owners of a toy novelty store in Brooklyn, New York, introduced first teddy bear in America; inspired by a Washington Post cartoon in which President Theodore Roosevelt decided to spare the life of a bear cub which had been orphaned during a 1902 bear hunt in Mississippi; upon being displayed as "Teddy's Bear" in shop window, bear proved enormously popular with public.

January 5, 1904 - Lizzie J. Magie, of Brentwood, MD, received a patent for a "Game-Board" ("designated The Landlord's Game...the object of the game is to obtain as much wealth or money as possible, the player having the greatest amount of wealth at the end of the game after a certain predetermined number of circuits of the board have been made being the winner"; precursor to Monopoly.

August 7, 1906 - S. L. Allen & Co., Philadelphia, PA, registered "Flexible Flyer" (sleds) trademark.

October 6, 1908 - Henry Simon Winzeler founded Ohio Art company, made Etch-A-Sketch.

December 1909 - Kewpie dolls debuted in Ladies’ Home Journal; March 4, 1913 - Rose O'Neill Wilson, of Day, MO, received a design patent for a "Doll"; Kewpie doll.

September 7, 1915 - John B. Gruelle, of Arcola, IL, received design patent for a "Doll"; named it Raggedy Ann.

1917 - Antonio Pasin handcrafted wooden wagons in rented one-room Chicago shop by night, sold them by day out of a suitcase; 1923 - first wagon named No. 4 Liberty Coaster (after Statue of Liberty); company named Liberty Coaster Manufacturing, Co.; 1930 - renamed Radio Steel & Manufacturing; world's largest producer of toy coaster wagons; created first affordable steel wagon, named Radio Flyer (inspired by invention of radio and wonder of flight); earned nickname "Little Ford"; October 16, 1956 - Radio Steel & Mfg. Co. (Chicago, IL) registered "Radio Flyer" trademark (coaster wagons and scooters).

1917 - Chandler Company (Indianapolis, IN) created "Chandler gyroscope," toy gyroscope with pull string, pedestal; in continuous production, considered classic American toy; sold virtually tens of millions of gyroscopes all over country; 1982 - acquired by TEDCO, Inc. (founded by Ralph Teetor, patented cruise control, as Teetor Engineering Development Company to foster his inventions); expanded toy line.

1919 - John Lloyd Wright, and one of five children of world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs, popular children's toy building set that consisted of interlocking notched logs; 1920 - received patent, sold logs through his toy company, the Red Square Toy Company, 1943 - Playskool bought the rights; August 9, 1949 - Playskool Corporation, Inc. (Pawtucket, RI) registered "Lincoln Logs" trademark (toys-namely building blocks and figures).

1923 - Henry, Helal Hassenfeld founded Hassenfeld Brothers in small office in Providence, RI ; sold textile remnants, soon moved into manufacturing pencil boxes, school supplies; name later changed to Hasbro; 1964 - introduced G. I. Joe, world's first "action figure" (poseable figure for boys); 1968 - name changed to Hasbro Industries; went public; 1984 - acquired The Milton Bradley Company, became biggest toy company; 1985 - name changed to Hasbro, Inc.; 1991 - acquired Tonka Corporation.

1928 - Two women, former teachers, employees of Schroeder Lumber Company in Milwaukee, founded Playskool (notion of "learning through play"); based first designs on educational tools used in their classrooms; earliest catalogues featured folding wooden desk filled with fun learning supplies (blocks, crayons, clay), collapsible wooden dollhouse, shoemaker's bench; 1940 - acquired by Chicagoans Manuel Fink and Robert Meythaler; late 1960s - acquired by Milton Bradley; late 1970s - first brand to make electronic toys for preschoolers (Alphie, a chunky and chatty robot); 1984 - Playskool and Milton Bradley acquired by Hasbro.

1928 - Filipino-American, Pedro Flores (Santa Barbara, CA) opened Yo-yo Manufacturing Company; promoted yo-yo with contests; 1929 - opened two additional factories, employed 600 workers, produced 300,000 yo-yos each day; 1930 - acquired by Duncan Toys Company (Donald Duncan); 1932 - first Yo-Yo Competition took place in London, England; 1955 - contracted with The Flambeau Products Corporation to make first plastic yo-yos; 1957 - Donald Duncan, Jr. took over company; 1962 - advertising on television; 1965 - lost legal battle with Royal Tops Company over rights to "yo-yo" name; 1968 - acquired by Flambeau Plastics (Duncan Toys Division); 1997 - Duncan signed licensing agreement with Coca-Cola Company to produce 18 designs featuring its logo; 1998 - first Donald F. Duncan Family Award for Industry Excellence awarded to Tom Kuhn (introduced No Jive 3-in-1 patented yo-yo in 1978, introduced SB-2 yo-yo with aluminum transaxle, first successful ball-bearing yo-yo, in 1990s); 2002 - Duncan acquired biggest competitor, became largest manufacturer of yo-yos worldwide.  

Donald Duncan - Yo-Yo (

December 1929 - Edwin S. Lowe, toy salesman (established E. S. Lowe Company in 1928), discovered group of men at carnival in Georgia playing Beano at a carnival (game on table shaped like horseshoe); cards were numbered, covered with dried beans (variation of Lotto games; began with 24-card sets,. sold game for $2; 1930 - retained Carl Leffler, mathematics professor at Columbia University, to devise 6,000 new Bingo cards with non repeating number groups (to avoid multiple winners in same game); became way to raise money at churches, charity events (saved church in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Knights of Columbus Hall in Utica, NY); 1934 - estimated 10,000 Bingo games/week; 1,000 employees, 9 floors of New York office space, 64 presses printed 24 hours/day; 1973 - E. S. Lowe Company acquired by Milton Bradley for $26 million.

1930 - Herman Fisher, Irving Price illustrator and artist Margaret Evans Price (wife), Helen Schelle founded Fisher-Price; 1931 - introduced wooden toys to American International Toy Fair in New York City (Dr. Doodle first toy sold); July 25, 1967 - Fisher-Price Toys, Inc. registered "Fisher-Price" trademark first used March 1, 1931 (toys); 1969 - acquired by Quaker Oats Company; 1991 - spun off; went public; November 1993 - acquired by Mattel; 2004 - worldwide gross sales of $1.9 billion.

Herman Fisher, Helen Schelle, Irving Price - Fisher-Price (

1931- Architect Alfred Mosher Butts (Poughkeepsie, NY) invented "Lexiko" board game; name later changed to "Criss Cross Words"; 1933 - turned down by Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley; 1947 - sold rights to entrepreneur, game-lover James Brunot; renamed game "Scrabble"; December 1, 1948 - game copyrighted; 1949 - first year of production of 2251 games assembled and sold (lost $450); April 25, 1950 - Brunot's Production and Marketing Corporation, Newtown, CT, registered "Scrabble" trademark (game including board and playing pieces); 1952 - rights acquired by game maker Selchow & Righter to market and distribute standard game; 1953 - sold in Macy's; 1986 - rights for Scrabble in USA and Canada acquired by Milton Bradley.

1932 - Maurice Greenberg established the Connecticut Leather Company to make leather supplies for shoemakers; 1960 - plastic wading polls - principal product; 1962 - exited leather business; renamed Coleco Industries, Inc.; went public; late 1960s - world's largest maker of above-ground swimming pools; 1976 - entered video game console business (Telstar); became largest maker of portable electronic games; August 1982 - launched ColecoVision (home video game system); acquired production rights to 'Little People' dolls (created by Xavier Roberts of Cleveland, GA, in October 1978, formed Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc.); renamed Cabbage Patch Kids; 1983 - released Cabbage Patch Kids at American Toy Fair; June 1983 - introduced Adam, first low-cost ($600) complete home computer, word processing system; January 1984 - discontinued Adam (wrote off $118 million); 1985 - posted record sales of $600 million; 1988 - filed for bankruptcy; July 1989 - rights to 'Kids', Coleco assets acquired by Hasbro for $85 million; 1994 - rights acquired by Mattel.

1932 - Ole Kirk Christiansen founded small carpenter’s workshop in Billund, Denmark to make stepladders, ironing boards and wooden toys; 1934 - adopted name LEGO (abbreviation of two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well"); now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder; now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder; 1949 - created set of interlocking red-and-white Automatic Building Blocks; May 1, 1954 - LEGO officially registered as trademark in Denmark; 1958 - LEGO brick (in present form) launched (interlocking principle with tubes); 2006 - world’s sixth-largest manufacturer of toys (in terms of sales).

Ole Kirk Christiansen Ole Kirk Christiansen - LEGO (

March 7, 1933 - Charles Darrow, of Germantown, PA,  invented board game Monopoly, modeled on Atlantic City; (1904 - Lizzie Magie of MD received patent for real estate game, called "The Landlord's Game" - players rented properties, paid utilities, avoided "Jail" as they moved through board); Darrow color-coded properties and deeds for them, allowed them to be bought, not just rented; playing pieces modeled on items from his house; 1934 - brought MONOPOLY game to Parker Brothers, unanimously rejected for 52 fundamental playing errors (took too long to play, rules too complicated, players kept going around, around board instead of ending at final goal); February 7, 1935 - Charles Darrow first marketed Monopoly, with symbol of Rich Uncle Pennybags. sales).

Charles B. Darrow - Monopoly (

1935 - Parker Brothers Inc., Salem, MA, bought rights to Monopoly game; July 30, 1935 - registered "Monopoly" trademark first used March 20, 1935 (board game played with movable pieces); November 5, 1935 - Monopoly released; December 31, 1935 - Charles B. Darrow, of Philadelphia, PA, received patent for a "Board Game Apparatus" ("intended primarily to provide a game of barter, thus involving trading and bargaining") ; Monopoly board game; assigned to Parker Brothers, Inc, Salem, MA.

1943 - Richard James, engineer at shipbuilding company in Philadelphia, realized toy potential of torsion spring which fell off a table, flipped end over end on ship's deck; invented Slinky (80 feet of steel wire); named, from dictionary, by Betty James (wife); thought it best described sinuous, graceful movement, soft sound of expanding/contracting metal coil; 1945 - made 400 Slinkys, persuaded Gimbels department store in Philadelphia to let them set up a ramp in toy department at Christmas time; priced at $1, sold out in 90 minutes; March 4, 1947 - registered "Slinky" trademark first used December 17, 1945 (spring toys); more than 300 million Slinkys sold.

Betty James - named 'Slinky' (

1945 - Ruth Handler, stenographer at Paramount Pictures, Elliot Handler (husband) industrial designer, foreman Harold "Matt" Matson founded Mattel Creations (combination of first names) in garage workshop in Hawthorne, CA; first products - picture frames; made doll houses from picture frame scraps; 1946 - Matson interest acquired by Handlers; 1948 - incorporated; launched music box sold (based on 'Musical Toy Vehicle" patent received in 1953 by Theodore R. Duncan); sold 20 million units by 1952; first toy company to make toys from variety of materials; 1959 - launched 'Barbie Teenage Fashion Model' (named for Handlers' daughter) at American Toy Fair; patterned after German adult doll with woman's body, "Lilli"; 350,000 sold by end of year; best-selling toy of all time; 1960 - went public; 1963 - listed on Fortune 500; July 30, 1963 - registered "Mattel" trademark first used March 15, 1951 (Card, Board, and Parlor Games, and Toys-Namely, Music Boxes, Pull Toys, Music Maker Books, Ge-Tars and Ukes, and Dolls); 1981-1997 - sales rose from $200 million to $1.9 billion; world's largest toy company; 1993 - acquired Fisher-Price; January 1997 - Jill Barad named CEO; May 1999 - acquired The Learning Company for $3.5 billion (4.5 times annual sales); February 3, 2000 - Barad resigned under pressure of poor operating results (stock from $45 to $11); October 2000 - The Learning Company acquired by Gores Technology for percentage of future profits; August 2007 - huge product recalls of Chinese-made toys (lead-based paint, detachable magnets); sued.

1947 - Mound Metalcraft Company, manufacturer of garden tools, manufactured TONKA ("great" in Sioux) brand toy trucks designed by E.C Streater Toy Company in small schoolhouse basement near Lake Minnetonka in Mound, MN; 1949 - first TONKA dump truck introduced; 1952 - Russ Wenkstern took over production; ultimately bought company; turned Tonka into largest volume manufacturer of vehicles of any type in world; May 21, 1963 - registered TONKA trademark first used November 1961 (toys - namely, miniature metal trucks, steam shovels, road graders, and trailers).

1947 - Leslie and Rodney Smith founded Lesney Products as industrial die casting company; 1953 - co-owner Jack Odell started Matchbox series of die cast cars for his daughter whose school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox (measuring approximately 2.5 inches in length); 1982 - Lesney declared bankruptcy; 1997 - Matchbox acquired by Mattel.

1948 - Arthur "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr founded Wham-O as leading designer/distributor of innovative, high-quality recreational activity products; introduced Slingshot, original product from which the company derived its name (sound a slingshot made when its projectile struck a target); 1955 - bought design rights to "Pluto Platter", plastic flying disc created in 1948 by Los Angeles building inspector Walter Frederick Morrison, partner Warren Franscioni (watched Yale University students toss pie tins from the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, CT founded in 1895 by William Russell Frisbie); January 13, 1957 - began production of "Pluto Platter"; August 1958 - Frisbie Pie Company closed; modified saucer, renamed  Frisbee; introduced Hula Hoop (after a bamboo ring used by Australian children for exercise).

Walter Frederick Morrison - Pluto Platter ( Walter_Frederick_Morrison.jpg/180px-Walter_Frederick_Morrison.jpg)

Arthur "Spud" Melin, Richard Knerr  - Wham-O (

1949 - George Lerner, of New York City,  invented and produced plastic push pin face pieces, in shapes of noses, ears, eyes mouth parts, to be pushed into fruits or vegetables to make food into array of playmates; sold toy to cereal company as premium; bought it back; 1952 - sold Mr. Potato Head to Hassenfeld brothers (Hasbro); first toy advertised on television.

1949 - Berry Pink, Sellers Peltier acquired St. Marys, WV plant of Alley Agate marble manufacturing company (Pink had become known as "Marble King", sold more marbles than Peletier's glass company could produce; Peltier managed deceased father's opalescent glass works, founded by Victor J. Peltier in 1886 in Ottawa, IL, since 1911); changed name to Marble King, Inc.; June 2, 1959 - Berry Pink Industries, Inc. registered "Marble King" trademark first used July 15, 1949 (marbles); 1963 - Marble King, Inc., Berry Pink Industries acquired by Roger Howdyshell, Duncan V. (Don) Peltier, Cornell Medley; 1965 - Berry Pink Industries dissolved, became Berry Pink Industries Division of Marble King; manufactured first American made Cat's Eye marbles (clear glass marble with swirls of color through center), developed process called "veneering" marbles; used marble games, board games, decorative vases, spray paint cans, other industrial applications; one of two marble manufacturers in U. S.

February 1950 - Peter Hodgson, marketing consultant,  introduced Silly Putty (name he chose) at New York Toy Fair (discovered by GE engineer in 1943 researching methods of making synthetic rubber; learned of it through Ruth Fallgatter, owner of Block Shop Toy Store in New Haven, CT); got distribution in Neiman Marcus, Doubleday bookstores; formed Arnold Clark Company, shipped 1-oz. Silly Putty in plastic eggs in surplus egg boxes supplied by Connecticut Cooperative Poultry Association; March 6, 1950 - introduced Silly Putty as a toy; packaged one-ounce portions of the rubber-like material in plastic eggs; August 1950 - article in New Yorker mentioned product, orders for more than quarter-million eggs of Silly Putty received in three days; July 1, 1952 - registered "Silly Putty" trademark first used in July 1949 (plastic known as organo silicone designed and sold for use as a modeling clay and amusement device for children); 1955 - market for product changed: from 80% adult novelty item to plaything for kids 6-12; 1977 - Binney & Smith acquired rights; 1987 - 2 million eggs sold annually; 2000 - displayed in Smithsonian exhibit of of significant 1950's objects that changed American culture.

March 28, 1950 - United States Playing Card Company (Cincinnati, OH) registered "Bicycle" trademark (playing cards).

June 6, 1950 - Parker Brothers, Inc. registered "Clue" trademark first used December 20, 1948 (equipment for use in playing board game).

1952 - Hasbro, Inc. created Mr. Potato Head; contained only parts (eyes, ears, noses, mouths to be applied to real potatoes); May 17, 1955 - Hassenfeld Bros., Inc. registered "Mr. Potato Head" trademark first used March 1, 1952 (educational toy kits containing a plastic toy figure with removable head, and detachable plastic body parts for affixing on a fresh potato or other fresh fruits and vegetables to form various human caricatures); 1960 - hard plastic potato "body" included (replaced need for real potato); first toy advertised on television.

1953 - Art Clokey made short film, in stop-motion animation, starring clay balls, clay cones, other geometric clay shapes; added music, called the film Gumbasia (reference to Disney's Fantasia and to clay soil in Michigan that Clokey's father called "gumbo" whenever it rained); 1956 - Sam Engel, producer and president of Motion Picture Producers Association, commissioned  Clokey to make, animate clay figures to improve the quality of television for children; short films of Gumby first appeared on Howdy Doody; Tom Sarnoff, at NBC and Hollywood, gave contract for seven years to produce a Gumby series, put on a Gumby show; 1957 - Gumby spun off into weekly network show; all episodes of Gumby, Pokey and their friends created from 1956 to 1991; February 16, 1965 - Clokey Productions, Inc. registered "Gumby" trademark first used December 8, 1963 (plastic doll). 

August 14, 1953 - David Mullany Sr., of Fairfield, CT, invented the wiffle ball, curved when thrown, for his 13-year-old son; February 1, 1966 - Wiffle Ball, Inc. (Shelton, CT) registered "Wiffle" trademark first used in 1959 (bays and a device for tossing a ball).

1955 - Noah W. McVicker and Joseph S. McVicker (Cincinnati, OH) invented Play-Doh Brand modeling compound; 1956 - first demonstrated, sold in toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, DC; founded Rainbow Crafts to manufacture product; August 13, 1957 - registered "Play-Doh" trademark first used May 26, 1955 (plastic type modeling compound for children's use); January 26, 1965 - received patent for a "Plastic Modelling Composition of a Soft, Pliable Working Consistency"; assigned to Rainbow Crafts (Cincinnati, OH); 1965 - acquired by General Mills; 1987 - acquired by Tonka Corporation; 1991 - acquired by Hasbro.

1956 - Edwin S. Lowe acquired rights to Yahtzee for the price of first 1,000 games produced (invented in 1954 by Canadian couple to play aboard their yacht - Yacht game'); March 19, 1957 - E. S. Lowe Company, Inc. registered "Yahtzee" first used April 3, 1956 (poker dice games); 1973 - E. S. Lowe Company acquired by The Milton Bradley Company for $26 million.

May 21, 1957 - George B Hansburg (Walker Valley, NY) received patent for first "Pogo Stick" ("relates to the art of amusement devices and more particularly to devices known as pogo sticks").

September 30, 1958 - Walter Frederick Morrison, of La Puente, CA, received a design patent for a "Flying Toy", frisbee.

1959 - Andre Cassagnes, electrical technician in factory in Vitry-Sur-Seine, France,which made Lincrusta, deeply embosssed covering applied to walls, surfaces to mimic sculptural bas-relief, introduced L'Ecran Magique at 1959 International Toy Fair in Nuremburg, Germany; Paul Chaze, owner of MAI, small plastic injection molding company, invested, produced initial tracing devices; 1960 - rights acquired by Ohio Art Company (Bryan, OH); renamed Etch-A-Sketch by VP William Casley Killgallon; July 12, 1960 - went on sale; December 26, 1961 - Ohio Art Company registered "Etch a Sketch" trademark first used April 1, 1960 (Toy Self-Contained Opaque Screen Sketching Device); September 25, 1962 - Arthur Granjean (Paris, France), Chaze's accountant, received a U.S. patent for a "Tracing Device" ("...adapted to trace on a transparent surface all the lines, symbols, drawings, letter-press which may be desired and to wipe them out instantaneously"); assigned to Paul Chaze; September 25, 1973 - Earl D. Clark (Bryan, OH) received a patent for a an improved "Tracing Device"; assigned to the Ohio Art Company.

Andre Cassagnes - Etch-a-Sketch ( 04ALTOBITCASSAGNES2-articleInline.jpg)

March 9, 1959 - Barbie doll debuted (3-dimensional doll little girls could play with); created by Ruth Handler, founder of Mattel; used her daughter's nickname; December 1, 1959 - Mattel Incorporated registered "Barbie" trademark first used May 9, 1958 (doll).

October 16, 1962 - Wham-O Mfg. Co. (San Gabriel, CA) registered "Hula-Hoop" trademark first used May 21, 1958 (plastic toy hoops).

March 5, 1963 - Arthur K. Melin, of Pasadena, CA, received a patent for a "Hoop Toy" (" in the form of a hoop for use about the body of a user"); Hula Hoop.

June 4, 1963 - Robert Patch (6) received a U.S. patent for a "Toy Truck"; could separate into a chassis, driver's cab, truck body, wheels and four axles so it could be reassembled in either a closed van body or dump truck form.

February 2, OR February 9, 1964 - GI Joe, debuted as popular American boy's toy; October 11, 1966 - Samuel F. Speers, of North Attleboro, MA, and Hubert P. O'Connor, of Warwick, RI, received a patent for a "Toy Figure Having Movable Joints" ("amusement device...that closely simulate the movable portions of the human anatomy"); GI Joe; assigned to Hassenfeld Bros.

January 26, 1965 - Noah W. and Joseph S. McVicker, of Cincinnati, OH, received patent for a "Plastic Modeling Composition of a Soft, Pliable Working Consistency"; Play-Doh.

December 26, 1967 - Edward E. Headrick, of La Canada, CA, received a patent for a "Flying Saucer" ("related to aerodynamic toys to be thrown through the air and in particular to flying saucers for use in throwing games"); frisbee; assigned to Wham-O Manufacturing Co.

May 26, 1969 - Wham-O Mfg. Co. registered "Frisbee" trademark fist used July, 8, 1957 ("toy flying saucers for toss games").

November 17, 1970 - Parker Brothers registered "Nerf" trademark first used December 9, 1969 (lightweight children's playball); 'Non-Expanding Recreational Foam' (Nerf) invented in 1969 by Reynolds Guyer as part of an indoor volleyball set.

1974 - Erno Rubik, lecturer at the Department of Interior Design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest, introduced Rubik's Cube in Hungary; September 1979 - Stewart Sims, Vice President of Marketing of the Ideal Toy Corporation, ordered one million cubes; March 29, 1983 - Erno Rubik, of Budapest, Hungary, received two patents for a "Spatial Logical Toy" ("having a total of eighteen toy elements which form a regular or irregular spatial body, preferably an oblong body, in the assembles state"); and for a "Spatial Logical Toy" ("comprising a total of eight toy-elements, e.g. eight cubes or eight other solids with a spherical outer surface, which form a large cube, sphere or other geometric solid in an assembled state"). June 21, 1983 - Ideal Toy Corporation registered "Rubik's Cube" trademark first used March 18, 1980 (puzzles).

Erno Rubik - Rubbik's Cube (

December 15, 1979 - Scott Abbott, sports editor for Canadian Press, Chris Haney, photo editor for Montreal Gazette, created board game based on trivia (pieces of their Scrabble game missing); raised $40,000 from 32 investors; April 1981 - Abbott, Haney, John Haney, Ed Werner formed Horn Abbot Ltd. to market game; November 1982 - signed distribution agreement Selchow & Righter (New York) to market game in U.S.; released; May 3, 1983 - Horn Abbot Ltd. (Toronto, ON) registered "Trivial Pursuit" trademark (Equipment Including a Playing Board, Die, Rules of Play, Question and Answer Cards, Card Boxes, Player Tokens and Scoring Wedges Sold as a Unit for Playing a Board Game); 1984 - 20 million games sold ($256 million); 2008 - rights acquired by Hasbro for $80 million.

1982 - Kransco Group Companies bought Wham-O for $12 million; 1994 - Mattel bought WHAM-O from Kransco; 1997 - Mattel sold assets of Wham-O (sales of $18 million) at auction to group including Charterhouse Group and Seven Hills Partners; 2006 - Charterhouse Group sold Wham-O (sales of $80 million) to an affiliate of Cornerstone Overseas Investments Ltd. (Hong Kong).

August 19, 1993 - Mattel, Fisher Price toys merged.

February 17, 1996 - World chess champion Gary Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, IBM's chess-playing computer, by winning a six-game match 4-2, in a regulation-style match held in Philadelphia, as part of the ACM Computer Science Conference; May 3, 1997 - Garry Kasparov began chess match with IBM supercomputer Deep Blue; May 11, 1997 - Deep Blue defeated Kasparov; Russian master conceded defeat after 19 moves in the sixth game of the tournament, losing the match 2.5 to 3.5; first time the grandmaster ever lost a six-game match in championship play. Chess was born in India in the 6th century as a war game called Chaturanga.

2000 - LEGO named "Toy of the Century" by both Fortune magazine, British Association of Toy Retailers.

November 19, 2002 - David L. Pickens of Honolulu, HI, received patent for "Registered Pedigree Stuffed Animals" ("designed to simulate the biological laws of inheritance both for educational, recreational and aesthetic purposes"); pair of opposite sex "parent" toy animals are sold with a serial number to identify parent's genotype and phenotype, then "bred", "offspring in litter" sold.  

December 25 - Legendary holiday-season successes: 1983-Cabbage Patch Kids; 1990s-Beannie Babies; 1996-Nintendo-64; 1998-Tickle Me Elmo; 1999-Pokemon; 2000-Playstation 2; 2002-Nike Air Force 1; 2004-iPid Mini, Nintendo DS; 2005-Xbox 360, iPod, iPod nano

(S. S. Adams Company), William V. Rauscher (2002). S.S. Adams, High Priest of Pranks and Merchant of Magic. (Oxford, CT: 1878 Press Co., 154 p.). Adams, Samuel Sorenson, 1879-1959; Magicians --United States --Biography. Adams's entrepreneurship, ceaseless efforts, eventual financial rewards; lonely man who accumulated wealth, disowned his family, left legacy of nonsense products still sold today.

(S. S. Adams Company), Kirk Demarais; Foreword by Chris Ware (2006). Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company Makers of Pranks & Magic for 100 Years. (S.S. Adams LLC: 198 p.). Adams, Samuel Sorenson; magic -- history. Commemorates 100th anniversary of Samuel Sorenson (S. S.) Adams company. S. S. Adams - S. S. Adams Company (

(Cabbage Patch Kids), William Hoffman (1984). Fantasy: The Incredible Cabbage Patch Phenomenon. (Dallas, TX: Taylor Pub. Co., 217 p.). Doll industry--United States; Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.

(Chess), David Shenk (2006). The Immortal Game: A History of Chess or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 327 p.). Chess--History. Interaction between chess, cultures in which it has been played; microcosm for wider social issues; remarkably omnipresent factor in development of civilization.

(Class Struggle), Bertell Ollman (2002). Ballbuster: True Confessions of a Marxist Businessman. (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 300 p.). Wilf Family Department of Politics (New York University). Ollman, Bertell; Board game industry United States History. 

(Creative Playthings Inc.), Theresa Caplan (1999). Frank Caplan: Champion of Child's Play. (New York, NY: Vantage Press, 567 p.). Caplan, Frank; Creative playthings, Inc.--History; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Toy industry--United States--History.

(Doom), David Kushner (2003). Gamers: The True Story of How Two Guys Created a Video Game Empire, Transformed Pop Culture, and Unleashed Doom. (New York, NY: Random House, 335 p.). Romero, John, 1967- ; Carmack, John; Computer games--History; Computer games--Programming--History; Computer programmers--United States--Biography.

(Frisbee), Fred Morrison, Phil Kennedy (2006). Flat Flip Flies Straight: True Origins of the Frisbee. (Wethersfield, CT: Wormhole Publishers, 436 p.). Creator of Frisbee. Frisbee; Flying toy.

(A. C. Gilbert Company -1913 first erector set), Bruce Watson (2002). The Man Who Changed How Boys and Toys Were Made: The Life and Times of A. C. Gilbert, the Man Who Saved Christmas. (New York, NY: Viking, 244 p.). A. C. Gilbert (1884-1962); Erector Set; Toy industry--History.

Alfred Carlton Gilbert (

(Hasbro), John Michlig; with a preface by Don Levine (1998). GI Joe: The Complete Story of America's Favorite Man of Action. (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 208 p.). Hasbro, Inc.; G.I. Joe figures--History; Action figures (Toys)--United States--History.

Alan G. Hassenfeld - Hasbro (

Stephen D. Hassenfeld - Hasbro (

(Hasbro), G. Wayne Miller (1998). Toy wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them. (New York, NY: Times Books, 348 p.). Hassenfeld, Alan Geoffrey, 1948-; Hasbro, Inc.; Toy industry--United States; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Jenga), Leslie Scott (2009). About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name. (Austin, TX Green Leaf Book Group Press, 192 p.). Creator of Jenga, Co-Founder of Oxford Games. Jenga; games -- development. Building-blocks game, invented in Ghana in 1970s, has sold 50 million world-wide (second-best selling game in world, Hasbro sells almost 2 million sets/year); how certain ideas transform themselves into successful products; basic business concepts with unconventional linkages: what African cattle, medieval heraldry can teach about branding, keys to market differentiation by examining a coral reef;  signed her rights away in the mid-1980s.

(Lionel Corporation), Roger Carp (1998). The World's Greatest Toy Train Maker: Insiders Remember Lionel. (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Books, 112 p.). Lionel Corporation--History; Railroads--Models.

Joshua Lionel Cowen  (

(Lionel Corporation), Ron Hollander (2000). All Aboard!: The Story of Joshua Lionel Cowen and His Lionel Train Company. (New York, NY: Workman Pub., 288 p. [rev. ed.]). Cowen, Joshua Lionel, 1880-1965; Lionel Corporation--Biography; Railroads--Models--History.

(Lionel Corporation), Dan Ponzol (2000). Lionel: A Century of Timeless Toy Trains. (New York, NY: Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 160 p.). Lionel Corporation--History; Railroads--Models--United States--History.

(Lionel Corporation), Robert J. Osterhoff (2008). Inside The Lionel Trains Fun Factory: The History of a Manufacturing Icon and The Place Where Childhood Dreams Were Made. (Winfield, IL: Project Roar, 248 p.). Retired executive of the Xerox Corporation. Lionel Corporation--Biography; Railroads--Models--History. Rise, fall, rise again of Lionel, one of manufacturing, pop icons in modern American life; history of Lionel's trains, factories, employees, business practices from late 19th century until today.

(Mattel), M. G. Lord (1994). Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll. (New York, NY: Morrow, 326 p.). Barbie dolls. Barbie doll conceived in 1959 as a teenage fashion model.

Ruth Handler - Mattel (

(Mattel), Ruth Handler, with Jacqueline Shannon (1994). Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story. (Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press, 230 p.). Founder of Mattel & Creator of the Barbie Doll in 1959. Handler, Ruth; Mattel, Inc.; Dollmakers--United States--Biography; Barbie dolls.

(Mattel), Robin Gerber (2009). Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her. (New York, NY: Collins Business, 288 p.). Lawyer, senior faculty for the Gallup Organization, senior fellow in Executive Education at Robert H. Smith School of Business (University of Maryland, College Park). Handler, Ruth; Mattel, Inc.; Dollmakers --United States --Biography; Barbie dolls. How one visionary woman built biggest toy company in world, created global icon; how two women forever changed American business and culture.

(Mattel), Jerry Oppenheimer (2009). Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 299 p.). Mattel, Inc.; Toy industry --United States. Dark side of toy land; Mattel's take-no-prisoners, shark-infested corporate style, corporate culture; eccentric, often bizarre, cast of characters; how dangerous toys are not new to Mattel; scandals that have been part of company; why today's toy business isn't always fun and games (Mattel's fearsomely litigious approach to competitors).

(Meccano Limited), Kenneth D. Brown (2007). Factory of Dreams: A History of Meccano Ltd, 1901-1979. (Lancaster, UK: Crucible, 230 p.). Meccano Limited.--History; Railroads--Models--History.

(Milton Bradley), James J. Shea as told to Charles Mercer (1960). It's All in the Game - A Biography of Milton Bradley, The Man Who Taught America to Play. (New York, NY: Putnam, 284 p.). Bradley, Milton, 1836-1911; Milton Bradley Company.

Milton Bradley ( Milton_bradley_portrait.jpg/200px-Milton_bradley_portrait.jpg)

(Parker Brothers), Ellen Wojahn (1988). Playing by Different Rules. (New York, NY: AMACOM, 306 p.). General Mills, inc.; Parker Brothers, inc.; Consolidation and merger of corporations -- United States -- Case studies; Corporate divestiture -- United States -- Case studies.

George S. Parker ( names/images/georgeparker.gif)

(Parker Brothers), Philip E. Orbanes (2004). The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit. (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 245 p.). Former Executive (Parker Brothers). Parker Brothers, Inc.; Board game industry United States History.

(Parker Brothers), Rod Kennedy, Jr.; text by Jim Waltzer in association with The Atlantic City Historical Museum (2004). Monopoly, The Story Behind the World's Best-Selling Game. (Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 96 p.). Monopoly (Game)--History; Atlantic City (N.J.)--History. 

(Parker Brothers), Philip E. Orbanes (2006). Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game-And How it Got that Way. (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 288 p.). President of Specialty Games Company Winning Moves, Former Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Parker Brothers. Monopoly (Game)--History; Parker Brothers, Inc. Origin, growth, global impact of game that has become cultural icon (over 200,000,000 copies sold worldwide since 1935. 

(Radio Flyer Inc.), [edited by] Robert Pasin and Paul Pasin (1999). My Little Red Wagon: Radio Flyer Memories. (Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub., 143 p.). Radio Flyer Inc.; Wagons--Anecdotes; Toys--United States--Anecdotes.

Antonio Pasin - Radio Flyer (

(Sony Playstation), Reiji Asakura (2000). Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony Playstation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 241 p.). Kutaragi, Ken, 1950- ; Sony Computer Entertainment--Management; Sony Computer Entertainment; Sony video games--History; Electronic games industry--Management--Case studies; Sony Playstation.

(Margarete Steiff GmbH), Gunther Pfeiffer (2002). 100 Years Steiff Teddy Bears. (Konigswinter, Germany: Heel, 184 P.). Margarete Steiff GmbH--History; Teddy bears--Germany--History--20th century; Soft toys--Germany--History--20th century.

(Wham-O), Tim Walsh (2008). Wham-O Super-Book: Celebrating 60 Years Inside the Fun Factory! (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 192 p.). Wham-O, Inc.; Toys --History; Games --History. Amazing toys (Frisbee, Hula Hoop, SuperBall, Slip 'N Slide, Silly String, Hacky Sack), wide array of entertaining and downright odd playthings dreamed up by company started by two childhood friends; history of each plaything, colorful vintage packaging, ads, photographs of toys.

Anne Allison; foreword by Gary Cross (2006). Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 356 p.). Professor and Chair of Cultural Anthropology (Duke University). Toys--Japan; Games--Japan; Animated films--Japan; Video games--Japan; Consumer goods--Japan; Toy industry--Japan; Toys--Japan--Marketing; Philosophy, Japanese; Japan--Social life and customs. Global popularity of Japanese youth goods; make-up of fantasies, capitalistic conditions of play involved.

Kenneth D. Brown (1996). The British Toy Business: A History Since 1700. (London, UK: Hanmbledon Press, 278 p.). Toy industry--Great Britain--History.

Chris Byrne; foreword by Judy Ellis (2003). Toys: Celebrating 100 Years of the Power of Play. (New York, NY: Toy Industry Association, 279 p.). Toys--United States--History--20th century; Popular culture--United States--History--20th century.

Paul Budnitz (2006). I Am Plastic: The Designer Toy Explosion. (New York, NY: Abrams, 368 p.). Founder and Creative Director of Kidrobot and Plastic toys. Visual history of designer toy phenomenon, has energized toy world, global art community.

Howard P. Chudacoff (2007). Children at Play: An American History. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 269 p.). George L. Littlefield Professor of American History (Brown University). Children--United States--History; Play--United States--History; Children--United States--Social life and customs. Activities that genuinely occupied children's time vs. what adults thought children should be doing; chronological history of play in U.S. from point of view of children (6-12); transformations of play that have occurred over last 200 years.

Eric Clark (2007). The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America’s Youngest Consumers. (New York: Free Press, 272 p.). Toy industry--United States.

M. P. Gould (1975). Frank Hornby: The Boy Who Made $1,000,000 with a Toy. (London, UK: New Cavendish Books, 141 p. [orig. pub. 1915]). Hornby, Frank, 1863-1936; Meccano Limited; Meccano models; Inventors--Great Britain--Biography. 

David D. Hamlin (2007). Work and Play: The Production and Consumption of Toys in Germany, 1870-1914. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 286 p.). Assistant Professor of History (Fordham University). Toy industry--Germany--History. Valuable tool for understanding influence of consumerism on Wilhelmine society at time of extreme social transformation; how this new industry helped to lead way toward German modernity. 

Deborah Jaffe(2006). The History of Toys: From Spinning Tops to Robots. (London, UK: Sutton Publishing, 288 p.). Toys--History. Nostalgic exploration of toys through the ages. One of few consumer markets in which purchaser is generally not same person as user.

Marvin Kaye (1973). A Toy Is Born. (New York, NY: Stein and Day, 190 p.). Toy industry--United States.

Woodrow Phoenix (2006). Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World. (New York, NY: Kodansha International, 112 p.). Plastic toys; Plastic toys--Japan; Action figures (Toys). Plastic toys based on Japanese comics, movies, TV shows have had  powerful effect on imaginations, markets of the West, have kick-started trends in design and pop culture.

Sydney Ladensohn Stern and Ted Schoenhaus (1990). Toyland: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry. (Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 339 p.). Toy industry--United States.

Tim Walsh (2004). The Playmakers: Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys. (Sarasota, FL: Keys Pub., 298 p.). Game-inventor and toy-industry veteran; co-invented TriBond; inducted into the Games Magazine Hall of Fame. Toys--History; Games--History; Board games--History. 

Christine L. Williams (2006). Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 252 p.). Professor of Sociology (University of Texas). Toy industry--United States--Employees; Clerks (Retail trade)--United States; Discrimination in employment--United States; Consumers--United States; Equality--United States. New look at what selling and buying for kids are all about.


Business History Links

Brighton Toy & Model Museum                                                                               

Over 10,000 toys and models on display with a priceless model train collection and many period antique toys. Founded and registered as a charitable trust in 1990. The trust was originally known as the Sussex Toy & Model Museum and was based on several important collections. Since 1990 these collections have been refined and enhanced to bring the Museum to a point where it houses one of the finest displays of model trains, tinplate toys and other related exhibits on public view anywhere in the world.

History of Toys and Games                                                                              

Exhibit on toy and game history features a timeline (4000 B.C. to the 1990s), essays on inventors (such as Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley) and toys (Barbie dolls, crayons, and teddy bears), and a quiz. From the website for the History Channel.

History of Toys and Game                                                                              

Founders and founding dates associated with many favorites.

Museum of Yo-Yo History                                                    

National Farm Toy Museum                                                                                      

Iowa museum houses "thousands of toys and exhibits. ... of tractors, implements, trucks, miniature farm dioramas, toy manufacturing information, and pedal tractors. Features photos of dozens of toy tractors from the museum's collectors tractor series, a "Kids Corner" with a tractor-part identification guide, and links to related sites.

National Toy Hall of Fame                                                                                               

Established in 1998, the National Toy Hall of Fame, housed at Strong National Museum of Play, recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. The prestigious hall annually inducts and showcases new and historic versions of classic toys beloved by generations. Anyone can nominate a toy to the National Toy Hall of Fame. Final selections are made on the advice of historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity, and discovery through their lives and careers.

National Yo-Yo Museum                                                                                                     

Worlds largest public display of yo-yo's and yo-yo memorabilia. Featuring displays of yo-yos from the earliest commercial production to the current performance yoyo's used by todays top competitors and performers.

Nebraska Toy Stories                                                                              Companion to an exhibit at the Museum of Nebraska History that "showcased a selection of toys dating from the 1860s through the 1960s grouped by theme." Provides images of some of the exhibit items, such as building blocks, marbles, tin planes and cars, dolls and dollhouses, and rocking horses. From the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Pastimes and Paradigms: Games We Play                                                                     

This exhibition of "the evolution of games since 1800 ... includes a wide variety of antique and contemporary games, as well as rare books on rules, strategies, and recreation. Featured items include early nineteenth-century geographical board games; a Civil War game; suffrage games that garnered support in the battle for women's votes; a vintage Monopoly game; gambling punchboards; and a selection of games inspired by television programming.

Rogers Daisy Airgun Museum                                                 
March 2000 - refurbished, expanded museum opened in Rogers, AR; attracts over 1700 visitors a year from almost every state in the continental U.S and several foreign countries to see the collection of antique airguns dating to the 1600s.

Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City                                                               

1979 - Mary Harris Francis, an avid collector of dollhouses, and Barbara Marshall, who made her first of many miniature purchases in the 1950s, formed a not-for-profit corporation; 1982 - Toy & Miniature Museum opened in 38-room house that boasts largest collection of nostalgic toys, fine-scale miniatures and world's largest collection of marbles, a busy schedule of events and programming, and frequent special exhibits.

The Toys of Our Childhood                                                                                     

This holiday exhibit features "historical images and film clips ... that span different eras and reflect on the changing nature of toys and of times gone by." Browse toy catalog pages, archival holiday videos, and letters to Santa from the 1800s through the 1970s. Also includes printable coloring book pages, and introductory material. In English and French. From the Archives of Ontario, Canada.


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