Before the wii, there was the Magnavox Odyssey often considered the first video game console. It was first demonstrated on May 24, 1972 and released to the public in August. The Odyssey was designed by Ralph Baer who actually had a working prototype in 1968.
Sales were not good due to poor marketing and the fact that the public believed it only worked on Magnavox televisions. Magnavox actually sued Atari for patent infringement over the Pong game since the Odyssey had a similar game. The suit was settled out of court. Over the next ten years, Magnavox sued several other companies for patent infringement and won each time. Companies were required to pay royalties. In 1985, Nintendo tried to sue Magnavox claiming that the first video game was actually William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two built in 1958, but they lost the suit and continued to pay royalties.
Baer went on to invent the popular game Simon in 1978.
I didn’t realize that Hess Toy Trucks were so collectible until I moved to New Jersey. You don’t need to run out and get cheap car insurance quote for these miniature vehicles that have been around since 1964.
The first toy was a tanker, the “B Model Mack Tanker” and was only sold at Hess gas stations. Since then, a new model has been offered almost every year. They were made to be exact replicas of vehicles in the Hess fleet until 1987 and then non-fleet vehicles were used. Each toy was produced in limited quantities and sometimes there was a limit to two per customer.was sold at Hess gas stations. A high quality plastic toy vehicle bearing the Hess name has been offered almost every year since then. They were made to be exact replicas of vehicles in the Hess fleet until 1987 when the design was changed to include non-fleet vehicles.
Betsy Wetsey was introduced by the Ideal Toy Company in 1934. The doll was made in several different sizes and hair color and became very popular in the 1950s. She came with molded hair or brown, blonde or red plugged hair. The feature that kids loved most about the doll was the you could pour liquid into the dolls mouth and the doll would urinate.
Another toy company also made a similar doll – Dy-dee and sued for patent infringement. A judge ruled however, that drinking and urinating are natural movements and can not be patented.
Betsy Wetsey was named by the Toy Association of America to the Century of Toys list of the most 100 memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.
I just finished getting my toro snowblower out from the back of the shed and found a few baby dolls out there in storage. It reminded me of when I was about three years old and I won a doll at my Grandfather’s Christmas Party. Her name was Patti Playpal. She was 35″ tall and was introduced in 1959 by the Ideal Toy Company. She was as big as I was and I still remember her. I have a picture of her with my Grandpa and me at the party. When I find it again, I will have to upload it!
As Christmas gets nearer, I start to think about the toys that I had when I was a kid. One of the toys that I loved was Colorforms. Colorforms were invented by Ogden Kniffin. They were die-cut vinyl sheet images and shape that could be applied to a shiny cardboard scene board. The images stuck to the background due to static cling and were repositionable. The first box set appeared in the 1950s and consisted mostly of shapes. Later Colorforms included Popeye, Gumby, Miss Weather. My favorite was Miss Weather, you could change her into various weather related outfits!
Colorforms is now owned by University Games and continues to produce products.
Last Christmas, my in-laws found, and wrapped up, an old toy for their daughter (who is now in her forties). She had this toy when she was a little girl and it was fun to see her unwrap it. Tony The Pony by Marx was a battery operated toy pony that could go either forward or backward by the use of a foot pedal and controlled by the reins. Tony appeared in the 1960s and the battery was rechargeable.
Plastic Army Men have been around since the 1950s. They are molded out of green or tan plastic and stand about 2 inches tall. One of the earliest manufacturers was the Louis Marx and Company who sold battleground play sets. For example, one set was World War II Americans against Germans. The men often came molded with different accessories including rifles, machine guns, pistols, grenades, flame throwers and bazookas.
These toys saw a decline in the United States during the Vietnam Era, but popularity has increased recently. No longer made in the United States, they are usually made more cheaply in China and do not included the elaborate accessories.
The toy became popular again after they were featured in the 1995 Disney movie, Toy Story.
I can’t believe it! They are actually thinking about making a film about the popular toy Stretch Armstrong. The release date for the movie has been set for April, 2011.
Steve Oedekerk is developing the screen adaptation of the toy and Ron Howard may be directing the film. It seems that there aren’t many original ideas roaming around Hollywood these days and producers and writers are turning to vintage toys that weren’t that interesting in the first place, for movie ideas.
According to producer Brian Grazer “Stretch Armstrong is a character I have wanted to see on screen for a long time. Heâ€™s an unconventional kind of super hero with a power that no one would want. Itâ€™s a story about a guy stretching – if you will – the limits of what is possible to become all that he can be.â€
If you can’t remember Stretch, here is an old commercial:
Slot cars are miniature race cars which is guided by a groove in the track. The first commercial slot cars were sold in 1912 by Lionel, but the product was discontinued in 1915. Many other models were introduced over the following years, but did not gain much popularity until the 1960s. By 1963 a million and a half models had been produced by Aurora Plastics Corp who then changed the design of the motor. It was so popular that slot car races were nationally televised with hosts like Mike Douglas, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson. Even Elvis had a room at Graceland devoted to slot car racing. The track was 155ft long.
In 1968 there were actually more slot car racing facilities then there were bowling alleys. By the late 1970s, the slot car boom was over only to return again in the 1990s.
Here is a short video of a slot car on a fancy track:
Remember, when the best we could get to a personalized book was to write our name on the pages? Now, you can get personalized books with the child’s name printed in the pages from Frecklebox.com! Children books that actually have their name in it. This one is so cute. It actually has the child’s name written in nature such as leaves, clouds, flowers, ladybugs and pigeons.
I received two personalized products for my son. When he received them, he was so excited. He loves to see his name in print and I think that this is now his prized possession. He is planning on taking it to school to show the other children and his teacher.
Both of the books are coloring books and crayons are included! Here is a sample page from one of the books, you can see how it is personalized.
If you are looking for a cute decoration for you child’s room, they also have Personalized posters. You can order a firetruck, race car or flowers to name a few.
Personalized puzzles are also fun, and they even have one with a Christmas scene. Santa is in his sleigh in the sky and the child’s name is spelled out in the stars. Or, choose a sugar cookie puzzle!
I plan on getting the Zoo Personalized Book for my nephew. He loves animals and there are great real pictures of animals in the book. One each of the pages, the animals address your child by name.
These products are great gifts, I wish they had these when I was a kid.