Strange Toy Facts
Strange Toy Facts
"LEGO is the world's No. 1 tire manufacturer." They produce 306 million tiny tires a year. Read More
The word "toy" comes from an Old English word meaning "tool".
It takes 63 feet of wire to make a Slinky.
Slinky was invented in 1945 by Marine Engineer, Neil Tollotson.
On Sesame Street, Bert's fish were named Lyle and Talbot, presumably after the actor Lyle Talbot.
The name "Crayola" means "Oily Chalk" in French from the combination of "craie" (chalk) and "oléagineuse" (oily).
All G.I. Joe 12-inch action figures have a scar on their right cheek. They also have an inverted thumbnail on the inside of their left thumb in honor of a production error made years ago.
G.I. Joe was inspired by a TV show called "The Lieutenant" which was created by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.
The star was Gary Lockwood, who would later guest star on Star Trek.
Lockwoods character's middle name was "Tiberius" which was also James Kirks middle name.
Some guest stars on The Lieutenant also included future Star Trek cast memebers Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and Majel Barrett (Computer voice and several other characters as well as Gene Roddenberry's wife).
The first video arcade game was Pong, introduced by Atari in 1972
The yo-yo is believed to be the second-oldest toy in the world. The name yo-yo comes from a Filipino expression meaning "come come".
The Yo-Yo originated as a weapon in the Philippine Islands during the sixteenth century.
In 1985, Astronaut David Griggs used a Duncan Imperial Yo-yo on live TV from the deck of the Space Shuttle.
Dolls are considered to be the oldest toys in history.
Tinkertoys were invented when Charles Pajeau was watching some kids play with pencils, sticks and empty spools of thread
Hasboro introduced a toy in 1962 called "Flubber" (tied to the movie "Son of Flubber"). It was made from synthetic rubber and mineral oil. Unfortunately, it made people sick. More than 1600 people developed sore throats, rashes and other reactions from contact with the stuff and Hasboro had to recall it. To get rid of it, they buried it and put a parking lot over it. According to legend, on hot summer days Flubber would ooze through the cracks in the pavement.
Clue: The Movie was the first film based on a board game
McDonald's is the world's largest distributor of toys!
In the 1960's, Ohio Art used television to advertise the Etch A Sketch®. The response was so incredible that the company decided to continue manufacturing them until noon Christmas Eve 1960. The Etch A Sketches® were then immediately shipped to the West Coast so people in California could buy Etch A Sketch® on Christmas Eve and have them for Christmas.
The Etch A Sketch screen's reverse side is coated with a mixture of aluminum powder and plastic beads. The left and right knobs control the horizontal and vertical rods, moving the stylus where the two meet. When the stylus moves, it scrapes the screen leaving the line you see. The knobs have changed slightly. The new shape has a different edge for easier handling and turning.
Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts (named for the creator's daughter).
Barbie was introduced in 1959 and cost $3. Every second, two Barbie dolls are sold in the world.
If Barbie was life-sized, her measurements would be 39-23-33 (in 2004 the average woman in the USA measured 40-34-43). According to studies done by both Yale and Duke Universities, in order for Barbie's measurements to be "normal" she would have to be at least 7 feet, 4 inches tall.
Since 1959, more than 125 million yards of fabric have gone into creating outfits for Barbie and her friends.
Early drafts of the original Toy Story (1995) had a Barbie doll in the roll that became Little Bo Peep, but Mattel refused to license the character to Disney. The huge popularity of the movie (and boost in sales for Mr. Potato Head and other featured toys) led them to agree to have Tour Guide Barbie included in Toy Story II.
The first toy advertised on television was Mr. Potato Head.
From 1952 to 1963 parents had to supply real potatoes for the body of Mr. Potato Head, until 1964 when Hasboro introduced a hard plastic body.
In 1987 Mr. Potato Head became the "spokespud" for the Great American Smokeout. He gave up his pipe to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in Washington DC.
What company makes more airplanes than Boeing?
Answer: Spin Master. They've made 10 million planes since 1998.
During World War II the U.S. Armed Forces commissioned ViewMaster reels for training purposes.
Play-Doh was originally used to clean wallpaper. The ingredients are a secret.
Lego's name comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt" ("play well").
In January, 1992, The First Years, Inc. manufactured 29,000 blue turtles, red beavers, green frogs, and yellow ducks — called Floatees — and loaded them onto a ship in China. Halfway across the North Pacific a storm knocked the container with the toys overboard, spilling all 29,000 Floatees. After several months, the toys drifted hundreds of miles apart, and first reached North America (2,000 miles away) at Sitka, Alaska. Beachcombers discovered thousands of the toys washed ashore. Thousands are believed to have drifted along Alaska to Japan and then back across the Pacific again. After three years, and 15,000 miles they reached Washington State. Some are believed to have drifted into the Arctic Ocean and into the Atlantic. Others are believed to have drifted south into the Indian ocean. Over the years, sand will bury some, the sun with disintegrate others, and sea life will eat some.
The average child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by their 10th birthday.
Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, produces an average of five million crayons daily and 2 billion crayons each year. If they made just one large crayon, it would be 35 feet wide and 400 feet long.
What is the oldest board game? That's not an easy question... The game of Checkers was depicted on ancient Egyptian tombs.
The oldest set of board game equipment ever found is The Royal Game of Ur. Two game boards were found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in the 1920's. It was played in Babylon for over 5,000 years.
The ancient Egyptian game of Senet is believed to be older than The Royal Game of Ur. It may date as early as the 33rd century BC.
Recent excavations of a sixty piece game set at the "Burnt City" in Iran may be slightly older than the Ur set. At the same excavation, archaeologist discovered the oldest known Backgammon, oldest known dice and the world's earliest artificial eyeball.
The board game Mancala may date back to as far as 3,000 BC
The Scrabble® board game was designed by Alfred M. Butts of Poughkeepsie, NY in the 1930s. In order to determine the quantity and value of each letter, he analyzed letter frequencies in the daily newspapers. His calculations have held up through the years, and today's game is very similar to his original design. There are far fewer S tiles than his calculations would have suggested, because Mr. Butts wanted people to be challenged to think up new words and not just make plurals.
Lincoln Logs were invented by John Lloyd Wright, the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1916, Architect John Lloyd Wright visited his father's work site in Tokyo. He was intrigued with the methods used to make the Imperial Hotel earthquake-proof, and decided to make a construction toy for kids using some of those principles.
Play-Doh, whose ingredients are still a secret, originally came in only off-white.
Binney & Smith produces more than 1,500 pounds of Silly Putty each day -- that's more than 20,000 eggs.
Silly Putty went to the moon on Apollo 8. The astronauts used it to relieve boredom and to stabilize their tools during the zero-g periods.
According to a Yale University study, Crayola crayons rank 18th among the 20 most recognizable scents to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are first and second.
The Lego Company is the world's biggest vehicle tire manufacturer producing 311 million tiny tires in 2001.
A Chemical engineer named Neil Tollotson accidentally created Latex balloons while trying to make liquid rubber.
There have been five billion Monopoly houses built since 1935.
The record for playing Monopoly underwater is 1,080 hours.
Parker Brothers rejected the game of Monopoly citing 52 fundamental playing flaws.
The standard Monopoly game includes $15,140 in play money
The character locked up in the jail in Monopoly is "Jake the Jailbird". Officer Edgar Mallory put him away.
Wooly Willy, the bald character with the magnetic hair, was created by Donald and James Herzog of the Smethport Specialty Company in Pennsylvania in 1955. Willy was drawn by artist Leonard Mackowsky. His name is hidden in the artwork to the right of the mushroom on the back of the package.
In addition to Wooly Willy, other characters with "magnetic" personalities include Hair-Do Harriet, Doodle Bug, Hair Bear Jr., and Whiskers the Cat.
Artist Leonard Mackowski designed Wooly Willy. He hid his name in the artwork, to the right of the mushroom on the back of every package.
The original Wooly Willy cost 29 cents. A larger version, Dapper Dan The Magnetic Man, sold for $1.
A Hollywood movie studio ordered a large quantity with pictures of a very popular leading male and female star. But they were all destroyed when the actress did not approve.
COLORFORMS pioneered the realm of licensed characters with a 1957 Popeye Cartoon kit. By 1991, COLORFORMS had sold over a billion sets. In 2004, a Beatles COLORFORMS set sold for $520.00.
PEZ was created in 1927 in Vienna, Austria by Eduard Haas III, and was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy. The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint: PfeffErminZ.
PEZ Candy and Dispensers were introduced in America in 1952. Market research with children led to the introduction of fruit flavors and the addition of collectable character heads featuring top licensed characters. Over 1 billion PEZ candies are consumed annually.
The Pogo Stick was once promoted by the Ziegfeld Follies. The inventor, George Hansburg, arranged for the Pogo Stick to be featured in the show as a publicity stunt and taught the Ziefeld Girls how to Pogo. Later, a wedding was performed in the show on pogo sticks. The roaring twenties were the height of popularity for pogo sticks and there were many publicity stunts at that time. The New York Hippodrome chorus girls performed entire shows on them.
The first Pogo Sticks were made in Germany and shipped to Gimble's Department Store in New York City. Unfortunately they were all made of wood and somehow rotted on the voyage to NYC. George Hansburg redesigned them with an all-metal construction and patented the toy in 1919.
A Gas Powered Pogo Stick was invented and patented in 1960 by Gordon Spitzmesser. He called it the Hop Along. The patent expired in 1977. They were produced and marketed as the "Hop Rod" in the 60's by the Chance Manufacturing Company in Wichita, Kansas. They apparently ran on a mixture of alcohol and castor oil.
The greatest number of consecutive jumps achieved on a pogo stick is 177,737, by Gary Stewart at Huntington Beach, California, USA on May 25-26, 1990.
Ashrita Furman of Jamaica, New York set a pogo stick jumping distance record of 23.11 miles in 12 hours 27 minutes on June 22, 1997 at Queensborough Community College Track, New York, USA.
There is a story that George Hansburg was traveling in Burma and met a little girl named Pogo. Pogo couldn't afford shoes and had to walk through mud and rocks on the way to the temple to pray. Her father made her a jumping stick to use to get through the mud, which Hansburg saw and which gave him the idea for the pogo stick. Interesting as it is, this story is not true.
In order for a standard deck of playing cards to be poperly mixed up to play with, they should be shuffled 7 times.
Tonka trucks were named after Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. The word "Tonka" means "great" in Sioux.
In 1968, the Hot Wheels Corvette, a reproduction of the real one, was on store shelves before Chevrolet had their new '68 model at car dealers.
Hasbro was founded in 1923 in Providence, RI and sold textile remnants and later manufactured pencil boxes covered with them.
Mattel began in 1945 by producing picture frames and miniature furniture made of polyurethane left over from the manufacturer of airplane nose cones.
Kenner started in 1947 making soap and soft-drinks.
Kermit the Frog is left-handed.
Barbie's full name is Barbra Millicent Roberts.
Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright's son.
The Hula Hoop was the first major fad created and fueled by the new power in America - TV ads.
The Hula Hoop originated in Australia, where it was simply a bamboo exercise ring used in gym classes.
According to the British Medical Journal, the Hula Hoop was responsible for an increase in back, neck, and abdominal injuries.
Indonesia banned Hula Hoops because they "might stimulate passion." Japan forbade them on public streets.
In the Soviet Union the hoop was seen as a "symbol of the emptiness of American Culture."
Hula Hoop Endurance records: longest whirl - four hours (over 18,000 turns), by a 10-year-old Boston boy; most hoops twirled simultaneously - 14, by an 11-year-old in Michigan.