The Game of Life

The Game of Life

While life has existed for millions of years on planet Earth, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that a game was invented to mirror it. Back in 1860, it was considered "America's Favorite Parlor Game" and when it was reintroduced by the Milton Bradley Company a hundred years later, it proved just as popular and remains so to this day. Continue reading...

Tickle Me Elmo

Tickle Me Elmo

When we recall 1996, some might think of the Olympics, others might think of elections, but for a good portion of retail workers, moms, pops, grandparents and great many would-be gift givers, 1996 was undoubtedly the year of Tickle Me Elmo. It served as a reminder of the last true doll craze, the 1980s juggernaut called the Cabbage Patch Kid. Of course, there were Beanie Babies and a good number of other “popular” toys that emerged over the years, but none that could match the Elmo-mania that gripped the nation at that particular point in history. Continue reading...

Tinkertoys

Tinkertoys

Parents have long sought to buy toys that will sharpen the minds of their kids, whereas kids certainly don’t care about that stuff – they simply want something that is fun to play with. Luckily for both, every once in a while a toy comes along that provides both fun and a little cerebral nudge. Perhaps one of the best examples is a simple building set called Tinkertoys. Not only do they encourage kids to think, but with the ability to build almost any toy a child could imagine, they have been bringing smiles to young and old alike for almost a century now. Continue reading...

tonka

Tonka Trucks

Let's face it: There are few ways to demonstrate the invincibility of a toy that are as convincing as having an elephant stand on it. And, as viewers of the highly successful 1974 commercial could readily attest, the imagery merely re-enforced a fact that every boy in America already knew; Tonka Trucks are virtually indestructible. This reputation of durability has made Tonka easily the most recognizable name in toy trucks for over 5 decades. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Toss-Across

Toss Across

Requiring only a pencil and paper, the game of tic-tac-toe can be played practically anywhere, and has served as a remedy for boredom to many a young child over the years, at least until they get old enough to realize that a match between two skilled players is apt to lead to a draw, and draws just aren't fun. In 1969, the creative minds at Ideal Toys found a way to turn tic-tac-toe into a carnival game of sorts, where luck and finesse were just as important as strategy. The game was called Toss Across and it soon found its way into millions of homes, becoming a beloved toy to a generation of 70s kids and beyond. 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...

Trac-Ball

Trac-Ball

Jai-Alai, in Basque, means “Merry Festival.” The game originated there over a century ago and has been billed as the “world’s fastest ball game.” Of course, a part of that excitement and intensity comes from its infamous reputation for crippling players permanently. Not the case with Whamo-s version, called Trac-Ball. But that didn't mean that there weren't a few dangers worth watching out for. Perhaps its no wonder that this game is so fondly remembered. Let's take a look back at Trac-Ball. Continue reading...

Trolls

Trolls

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Troll Dolls have seemingly been around forever. Modern generations can thank the retro-crazed 90s for the resurgence of a more-brightly hued version of the little lucky toys, while older generations can thank Thomas Dam, a Danish woodcutter who, as legend has it, simply didn’t have enough money to buy his lovely daughter a toy. Rather than put on a sad face over the whole matter, Dam delved into Nordic fairy tales for a bit of inspiration and carved up a troll doll for his daughter. She loved it, dressed it up and showed it off to anyone that might take a look. Slowly but surely the ugly little doll won a spot within the hearts of the townspeople and thus, the beginning of the Troll Doll. Continue reading...