The Playmakers: Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys

Front Cover
Keys Publishing, 2004 - Antiques & Collectibles - 298 pages
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A fun book that feels like it should accompany a museum exhibition, Walsh's history includes toy timelines (beginning with the Flexible Flyer in 1900); postcards, ads and articles (such as a 1980s Newsweek cover on The Cabbage Patch Craze); and close-up photos of game pieces (including a board from a 1949 version of Candy Land in which a boy has a peculiar line running up his leg, which Walsh supposes might speak volumes to...young polio victims). Centred on toys that sold at least 10 million copies, were invented outside of the major toy companies (so no Mattel Hot Wheels or Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven) and that had significance to the author - a game inventor and 15-year veteran of the toy industry - and his friends, Walsh's account gives the particulars of 75 toys that enchanted American kids from 1900 to the 1990s. Among the playthings, Walsh examined are Lincoln Logs, Monopoly, Barbie, Slip 'n Slide, Mouse Trap, GI Joe and Rubik's Cube. The book's nostalgic feel should appeal to fans of Americana.

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