Ah, yes. Toys. Back in the day, we didn’t have iPhones and Playstation’s and Hover Boards to play around with. We used to get our hands dirty with fun. From baking, building, and sculpting, the Baby Boomer Toy Revolution displayed a creative breakthrough from the stagnant traditional “play pretend” and “dress-up” games. That’s why we took the time to write down our most memorable toys from yesteryear. Here are the top 8 toys Baby Boomers will never forget.
Magic 8-Ball - While we’re all capable of making our own decisions in life, it’s always good to consult an outside party to weigh in on certain matters. The Magic 8-Ball, product of 1950, certainly helped with that. Inspired by occult tools and practices, this Brilliant Billiard Ball provided 20 answers when shock ranging from “Outlook Good”, “Ask Again Later”, and “Don’t Count On It”.
LEGO – The oldest and more socially relevant brand on this list, the first 1949 LEGO bricks were first manufactured in Denmark. Through the following years, the brand has managed to become on of the most recognizable, more purchased, and according to Brand Finance in 2015, have become the world’s most powerful brand. Since it’s initial creation, LEGO has went on develop playsets, introduce young engineers to the world of robotics, opened destination theme parks internationally, partnered with major corporations like DC Comics to extend their creative reach (BTW: Don’t forget to head to your local FREE LEGO Batman Movie building event), and even managed to create amazing recurring series through video games and movies. It’s no wonder why they’re one of the biggest and baddest brands in the world.
Play-Doh – Composed of flour, water, salt, and a few other ingredients, the world was introduced to the at home crafting, faux-clay phenomenon Play-Doh in 1955. This simple modeling concoction swept the living rooms and toy stores everywhere with it’s almost seemingly endless possibility of creations. If you could imagine it, you could make it. Play-Doh sparked a revolution in childhood crafting, provided a new wave of creativity within the Baby Boomer generation that lasts well into the new age. Since it’s initial debut, present owner Hasbro has continued to provide it’s users with an array of different sculpting tools, stencils, and guidebooks for everyone to enjoy.
Barbie - Standing at a proud 11.5 inches, Barbie entered the hearts of little girls everywhere back in 1959. Inspired by paper dolls of the past, creator Ruth Handler took the youth-like essence of the paper models and began production on a new-aged women with an adult lifestyle. Ever since, the Barbie empire that reigns the toy chest of adolescent girls can also be found in the display cases of vintage collectors. Barbie is a woman who has seen and done it all; from Aerobics Teacher, Firefighter, Game Developer, Horse Jockey, Art History Professor, and even holding the highest position in the world as United States President. There is nothing Barbie can’t do.
Etch A Sketch – The Etch A Sketch by Ohio Art Company is an award winning National icon. This artistic tool consisted of two knobs on the front of a red plastic frame that was capable of making minimalistic or extravagant lineograph portraits. It’s renowned as part of the top 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th Century. During its first year on the market, the toy made it’s way into 600,000 households going on to sell hundreds of millions of units world-wide.
Easy-Bake Oven – The Easy-Bake Oven combines two of the most innocent pastimes and blends them together for an unforgettable childhood: Enjoying a meal and playing pretend. The Easy-Bake Oven had it’s way into the American home by Kenner in 1963. This working toy oven used light bulbs for heating, cake mixes, and small pans for cooking. Over 16 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been purchased internationally since then. The overwhelming buzz for the Easy-Bake Oven might have passed now, however that doesn’t cool down the nostalgia for many chefs who remember getting their culinary start with their miniaturized kitchen appliance.
Lite-Brite – 1967 then gave us the Lite-Brite illumination panel. Little Red, Blue, Orange, White, Green, Yellow, Pink, and Purple pegs were designed to be inserted into a brightly lit grid, giving the toy a type of freeform artistic creation. There wasn’t much to this toy, however like the Easy-Bake Oven, provided another imaginative outlet for children. Blacked-out templates were later paired with the Lite-Brite to help guide children in making beautiful works of art. The Lite-Brite is long in age but not forgotten; you can download a digital version of the old school toy in the Apple App Store.
Rubik’s Cube – One of the more frustrating puzzles on Earth, next to fully understanding the US Housing Bubble of 2008, is Rubik’s Cube. This 3×3 puzzle was created by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik in 1974. What makes this puzzle frustrating is it’s simple objective; each side of the cube must be grouped by color (White, Red, Blue, Orange, Green, and Yellow). One who hasn’t played with a Rubik’s Cube before might find this puzzle to be easy- allow them the opportunity to prove themselves wrong. As complicated as it may seem, the Rubik’s Cube has gone on to sell 350 million blocks over it’s 40 years. The game met its peak popularity in 1980 after it’s acquisition by Ideal Toy Corp; then the Rubik’s Craze sparked speed-solving competitions, the production of different size variations, and it even won itself a slew of Game of the Year awards globally. There has yet to be another puzzle like it.
It’s always so incredibly interesting to see how many of these toys have stood the test of time and are still reliant today. Do you remember owning any of these toys? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest