The Famous Frisbee Game

The Frisbee has a rather humble beginning that started on a college campus in New England. It was there that a group of bored, hungry college students learned that they could turn the empty pie plates of their favorite sweets into flying discs for playing catch. The pies were produced by the Frisbie Baking Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut and were packaged in lightweight tins that had a small lip and were surprisingly aerodynamic.

 Frisbee

The Frisbee name was first put on a flying disc in 1957 when the founder of Wham-O noticed the popular toy on college campuses and decided to get in on a new market. Today, nearly every flying disc is casually referred to as a Frisbee. 

The activity of taking to the campus lawns and passing back and forth Frisbie pans became so common that eventually 2 business partners took note and started producing similar discs in plastic. The new plastic discs had better accuracy and lasted longer than the pie tins from the baking company. The first plastic discs were released in 1948, around the same time as the public started becoming preoccupied with UFOs. The flying discs had a similar shape to a UFO which caused them to skyrocket in popularity.

The original discs were called Pluto Platters in an effort to cash in on the popularity of UFOs. This design became the basis of all future Frisbees. In 1955, the Pluto Platter design was sold to Wham-O who later began producing them under the name of Frisbee. The name change was a marketing ploy to cash in on the unusual history of the toy.

Sales of Frisbees skyrocketed before eventually tapering off when electronic toys started to dominate the market. As kids became more sedentary, sales of outdoor toys slowed. A revival in the early 2000s and renewed interest in vintage games like Frisbee golf and ultimate Frisbee brought the Frisbee back to life. Today, the Frisbee design is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers. Before being bought by Mattel, Wham-O sold over 100 million of the discs to eager children throughout the country.

As medical science points to the growing list of hazards brought on by excessive television watching in children, resurgence in popularity of outdoor, non-battery operated toys is occurring. Parents are introducing their children to toys like the Frisbee that promote physical activity, fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Frisbee games are still popular on college campuses and even schools are cashing in on the fun, inexpensive toys by adding them to playground caches.

The simple, inexpensive Frisbee is once again becoming a childhood staple. Parents, kids, college students, aunt, uncles and even grandparents can all enjoy the simple design and humble story of one of America’s greatest toys.

Amazing Silly Putty

Silly Putty - It bounces, breaks, stretches, and bends and can even pick up newspaper print. It can flow like a liquid in the right circumstances offers hours of creative play. It’s packaged in an egg to prevent it from drying and has a rather identifiable scent that many people associate with childhood.

Silly Putty would not have been invented if it weren’t for the rubber shortages caused by World War II. During the war, rubber was so valuable that it was rationed. Rubber was needed for the war efforts to produce tires, aircraft parts, boots, gas masks and more. Because of the high value of rubber and short supply, researchers spent countless hours trying to develop a rubber alternative.

The result to these efforts was what we now know as Silly Putty. Though not quite the rubber alternative researchers were hoping for, the silicon-based substance wound up being a cheap and wonderful toy that helped lift the spirits of children at a time when it was desperately needed.

Like most inventions, there is some contention when it comes to who should receive credit for the creation. Early Warrick has been credited as the inventor, as has Dow Corning, Harvey Chin and James Wright. There is some belief that multiple people invented Silly Putty independently, and at around the same time. The substance is made by reacting boric acid with silicone oil to create a unique material that transcends traditional properties of solids, liquids and semi-solids.

Silly Putty

Silly Putty is non-toxic and will bounce when dropped. It can stretch much further than rubber, is mold-resistant and has a very high melting temperature. It can also break when struck suddenly. Because of this, the putty was not deemed a good alternative to traditional rubber as researchers had hoped.
Fortunately, an enterprising toy store owner named Ruth Fallgatter heard about Silly Putty and recognized its potential. She contacted a market consultant by the name of Peter Hodgson to help her sell the putty. It did not do well in her toy store and Fallgatter abandoned her efforts to market it. However, Hodgson didn’t give up. Already $12,000 in debt, he borrowed another $147 to buy a batch of plastic eggs and some putty. He dubbed the putty-filled eggs Silly Putty. Silly Putty was mentioned in a New Yorker article and sales skyrocketed.

Silly Putty was a best-selling toy for a while until the Korean War nearly put Hodgson out of business. Silicone was a main ingredient in silly putty and was rationed during the war. The business suffered greatly and nearly had to shut down until the restriction on silicone was lifted and production could resume.

Silly Putty Toys

Today, Silly Putty is a pop culture icon. It is a toy that nearly every child has played with and it still only costs about $1 for 1 plastic egg. There is no right or wrong way to play with the putty and that flexibility is part of the product’s appeal. Silly Putty is sold worldwide and has even gone to space with the 1968 Apollo 8 mission. After the death of Peter Hodgson, the rights to Silly Putty were acquired by Crayola. Annual sales exceed 6 million eggs. Silly Putty also enjoys a place of honor in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Raggedy Ann and Andy

The design for Raggedy Ann was patented on September 7, 1915. The doll design was turned into a series of stories in 1918 and in 1920, Raggedy Ann was joined by her male counterpart, Raggedy Andy.

 

raggedy ann

There are few people alive today that can’t recognize the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Though today’s youth haven’t grown up with the stories the same way that their parents did, they still know the red yard hair and triangle nose as being one of the Raggedy Ann siblings. The dolls are often given as toys and special edition dolls are collected by fans of the red-haired siblings.
The story of Raggedy Ann’s creation is about as glamorous as her dress. The doll was created when the designer drew a simple face on an old hand-made rag doll. The name inspiration for the doll was complete chance as well. The designer pulled a book of poems from his bookshelf and flipped to “The Raggedy Man”followed by “Little Orphan Annie”. He combined the names to come up with Raggedy Ann.

 

The designer’s daughter succumbed to what was believed to be a side effect of the smallpox vaccine shortly after receiving the doll. The Raggedy Ann doll then became a symbol of the original anti-vaccination movement, which is gaining traction once again today.

Even though Raggedy Ann lacks a glamorous past and is associated with one of the most highly controversial movements of modern times, parents and grandparents continue to give Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls to their children and grandchildren to play with. Today’s children see the dolls as nothing more than a toy as the popularity of the books have diminished.
Raggedy Ann and Andy don’t do anything special. They are simply rag dolls. Their lack of flare is part of what makes them appealing to parents and kids. They beg to be used during imaginative play and because they aren’t battery operated, they’re great for bringing in the car or for playing with quietly in the evenings. The twin red heads can attend tea parties, visit the beach, go to grandmas and come back for a movie all without breaking a sweat.

Unfortunately, it is becoming difficult to find the doll in stores as the tainted association of the doll to the anti-vaccination movement grows stronger. Stores are hesitant to sell the dolls as to not align themselves with a cause. Many parents that disagree with the movement have removed the dolls from their homes.

There are few toys as inadvertently controversial as Ragged Ann and Andy. The dolls may look harmless on the outside, but once parents start looking into their history, they soon find there’s more to Raggedy Ann than meets the eye. Despite their lack of bells and whistles, Raggedy Ann and Andy are two of the most interesting and longstanding toys on the market.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head is a plastic toy that is shaped to look like a potato. It includes several pre-made holes where plastic eyes, ears, shoes, hats, noses, mouths and arms can be attached. The customizable toy was invented by George Lerner in 1949 and began production by Hasbro in 1952. Over the years, several versions have been released with varying accessories.

potato head

 

There are few people that have been born in the last 50 years that don’t know what Mr. Potato Head is. The childhood staple has been released dozens of times in standard and limited edition kits. The kits contain eyes, noses, mouths, shoes, hats and more. By mixing and matching pieces, kids can create limitless combinations for imaginative play.
I remember spending countless hours playing with Mr. Potato Head. My parents loved it and they encouraged me to play with it. At the time, I thought they liked seeing the combinations I could come up with. Looking back, I know they just liked because it didn’t light up or make noise.

One of the selling features of Mr. Potato Head was that you could store the parts in the back. There was a trap door in the rump that would open for easy access. Unfortunately, the hinges weren’t of great quality and I can remember the door popping off almost constantly. The idea was that kids could put their own toys away because the trap door was easy to open. That would teach them responsibility. In reality, it was just one more thing mom had to constantly fix for me.

 

Mr. Potato Head came in a variety of styles over the years. There was a regular version with generic accessories, a Toy Story edition and even a Mrs. Potato Head. You could purchase boat trailers, cars and other embellishments to give your potato a luxurious life. Mr. Potato Head even made a cameo in several movies. There was a brief television show called The Mr. Potato Head Show that debuted in 1998, but the pilot season was never picked up. Mr. Potato Head is still a quasi-celebrity and enjoys a balloon in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

Mr. Potato Head also enjoys great popularity in preschool classrooms. The toy makes a great first lesson on anatomy. Kids can learn through play by naming the parts as they put them on the toy. The convenient in-doll storage makes Mr. Potato Head hard to pass up for a lot of teachers.

 

Despite the lack of electronics and the length of time that Mr. Potato Head has been on the market, the toy continues to demand top dollar. Sets frequently retail for $20 or more and parents readily pay as a way to connect with their own childhoods and give their kids a little bit of the carefree childhoods they remember.

Girl Talk Board Game

Girls get to perform silly stunts or share secrets with the group to gain points. Points are used to buy fortune cards and the first girl to collect all 4 fortune cards won.

As a child of the 90s, this game was pretty much all the rage at every sleepover I ever attended. While the game was designed to be revealing, the makers probably never realized how revealing it would actually be. Secrets aside, you can tell a lot about a girl based on how she played the game. For example, there was always that one girl who would never play a truth card and would always act like her secrets were too scandalous to breathe a word of. She’d take a zit sticker to pass on the turn, sitting for hours on end with her face covered in little round dots. There would also be a group jokester that would go above and beyond on stunt cards. Then there was the girl that seemed to be shameless, telling secrets, performing stunts and doing whatever it took to win.

girl talk

I was that girl.

But it wasn’t always fun and games, no there was a fair amount of strategy involved. While the other girls were giggling about first kisses and dream jobs, I was strategizing. Like any other board game, there were ways to win and I knew them all.

There was no rule saying I had to tell the truth, so when a truth card came up and the secret wasn’t something I was willing to share, I’d dip into my imagination and make something up. The key was to make it believable enough that nobody would question it, but not interesting enough that they would share it. I was a magnet for the question about which boy I had a crush on. This one was a breeze to avoid! My family would travel cross-country every summer to visit my dad’s family, so I simply said there was a boy that lived next door to my aunt that I met over the summer and simply couldn’t forget. They’d ask a couple questions – what does he look like, what’s his name? I’d make something up and we’d move on. Nobody knew him and Facebook wasn’t a thing yet, so it was forgotten in a day or two. I’d get my points and nobody would be the wiser.

The stunt cards were a little harder and my absolute refusal to sing in front of people (childhood trauma) necessitated a few zit stickers from time to time. Still, I always seemed to have less than the competition, which meant my fortune cards were gathered faster and my odds of winning significantly increased. I must say though, the fortune cards were not right. My life didn’t wind up anything like the game predicted.

From a nostalgia standpoint, I’d love to get my hands on a copy of Girl Talk. It would be fun to have a 90s themed party and bring it out. Everyone could put on their best wind pants and put their hair up in scrunchies while chatting about crushes and reliving our childhoods.

The Power Rangers

Power Rangers is an American TV/film and merchandise franchise. It is essentially an entertainment franchise based on the live-action TV series, which features heroes and villains in costume.

The series was first produced by Saban Entertainment before later being produced by BVS Entertainment. The first instalment of the series made its debut on August 28, 1993 and was titled: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. This series was essential in launching Fox Kids in the 1990s. Its popularity saw it grow and eventually produce a line of action figures among other toys—by Bandai.

Since the show’s target audience was children, it received a little criticism at first for its violent nature. However, this did not deter it from becoming ever more popular among the kids. It has currently spanned over 22 seasons of 19 series of different themes.

Power Rangers differs from other super hero series as it bases a great deal of its footage from the Japanese series, Super Sentai. The basic story of each series is that a team of youthful boys and girls are recruited by a would-be mentor and then trained to eventually morph into the Power Rangers. The Power Rangers are obviously the main protagonists of these series. Once they morph, they acquire special abilities, which they utilize along with incredible machines and devices (called Zords) as they look to battle their foes. This is essentially the story of the entire franchise.

When they morph, the Power Rangers, now powerful, don their (mostly) brightly coloured super hero gear. This gear is colour-coded, and made of the tightest spandex you will ever see. It also includes helmets which have opaque visors. All gear is identical (each ranger sports his/her own colour), though there are some variations in the design of the helmets.

The Rangers’ abilities in general consist of superhuman strength, superhuman speed and in some cases, invisibility. Each one also possesses his/her own exclusive weapon while there are also other common weapons they utilise when they are in combat.

The vast majority of antagonists (for whatever reason) can grow to enormous size. This forces the Power Rangers to combine each of their individual Zords to battle the assailant with their now-single Megazord (this tends to be when they are at their most powerful and often results in victory).

 

The Power Rangers Legacy Megazord Action Figure

power rangers

This is an original “Mighty Morphin’” Dino Megazord. It is made up of five different Zords that combine to form the one Megazord. This action figure takes us back to the vintage years of the Power Rangers. This is the Dino Megazord that played such a big role in launching the morphenomenon (in the fall of 2013).

It has partially die-cast metallic paint. It is a combination of the Legacy Titanus and the Legacy Dragonzord. The 20th anniversary packaging includes a battle gear addition. They say it is not meant for anyone under the age of 15. It goes for $144.44.

Lightning McQueen Power Wheels: Great Car Toy for Kids

The Lightning McQueen Power Wheels is a small car specifically designed for kids and modeled from the famous character Lightning McQueen that makes a great gift for children 2½ years old and up. These Power Wheels run at speeds slow enough to pacify worried parents yet fast enough to elicit delighted squeals from children. The rides have buttons on the steering wheel that play popular phrases from the movie when pressed. Another button will emit race car sounds that will make your child feel as if he is really speeding on the tracks.

Cars

Great Features

The design is made easy to comprehend. Most children learn the car’s ropes after 30 minutes of fiddling on the wheel. Parents can lock the speed and control the pace of their kid’s driving. The Fisher-Price version can go as fast as 5 miles per hour when the speed lock is disengaged. However if you are uncomfortable with this speed set it at 2 to 2.5 miles an hour. The locks are child-proof so you don’t have to worry about them racing off without your permission.

You can also upgrade the car’s battery from 6v to 12v to 24v. This also affects the speed of the car. The car can go faster as the battery voltage goes higher. You can make these adjustments as your child gets older and as they learn to maneuver more skillfully. It’s advisable to go with more expensive brands if you want the car to last and to grow with your kids.

If you think your child is ready for a 24v battery make sure to add some fans to avoid the car from overheating. You can make it a gift from the entire family if you think the price is too steep. This is certainly a ride on toy worth having even if your child isn’t a big Lightning McQueen fan.

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