Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

Parents tend to spend countless hours striving to impart ethics and morality upon their children. But lecturing isn't always effective and, hey, you can only make them watch so much Davey and Goliath. Thankfully, Milton Bradley introduced a board game that offered a little assistance in this department, yet was still fun for kids to play. They took an ancient Indian board game, made it a little less scary sounding, and the result was Chutes and Ladders, one of the most popular board games ever devised for the younger set. Continue reading...

Pixy Stix

Pixy Stix

Some candy is so hard that you have no choice but to suck on it until it dissolves. Some is so chewy that your jaw needs a three day rest after consuming it. And then there are Pixy Stix, those flavorful little straws filled with sugary powder. No sucking, no chewing, just a sugar rush waiting to be poured directly on your taste buds. What's not to love about that? Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Levi's

Levi’s

They are as much a part of American culture as Coca-Cola, probably the most iconic clothing item ever created. And just about every American in the last hundred years has, at one time or another, zipped or buttoned up a pair of the comfortable and highly durable jeans that have come to be known simply as “Levi's.” Continue reading...

Chuck Taylor All Stars

Chuck Taylor All Stars

Before there was the Pump or the Air, there was Converse. Before Michael Jordan put his name on Nike's Air Jordans, there was Chuck Taylor's name scrawled across a circular ankle patch on Converse's All-Star high-top. Before high-tech performance wizardry, there was the no-bells-or-whistles canvas topper that guaranteed comfort, the Converse All-Star. Continue reading...

Life Savers

Life Savers

Perhaps you once heard that Life Savers were invented because the famed candy maker’s daughter died after choking on a hard candy. You might also have heard that the hole in the middle is to prevent more deaths due to suffocation, thus the name Life Savers. It's a believable story, as are most urban legends, but it isn't true. Here is the real story behind this iconic candy that's been around for over 100 years. Continue reading...

Frisbee

Frisbee

The concept is simple, but the history of the iconic Frisbee is a bit more complicated. Throwing discs is a tradition that dates back centuries, one that eventually led to the plastic recreational toy that we've carried with us to parks and beaches and backyards and tossed with reckless abandon for over sixty years. Continue reading...

Toy Record Players

Toy Record Players

In a world where portable music devices are commonplace, it seems unfathomable that it wasn’t always possible for a youngster to play their favorite music in the confines of their bedroom. Sure, mom and dad had the fancy, expensive stereo in the living room but it wasn't exactly kid-friendly. One was likely to face the wrath of an angry parent if caught mishandling their prized phonograph collection. But, as usual, the toy industry came through to save the day, allowing children the same pleasures of the adult world. With the introduction of toy record players, now a kid could close the bedroom door and have complete control of their listening choices. The world would never be the same. Continue reading...