Thursday, December 22, 2011
Hall Of Famer's
Nothing brings shrieks of delight from small children more than toys. Especially at Christmas time, when the promise of their most coveted toy possibly nestled under their tree helps to keep many awake at night with excitement. Toys are an important part of childhood, and some even instrumental in your child's development. The National Toy Hall Of Fame, based in Rochester, NY, just released their 2011 inductees, and I might have shrieked with delight myself when I read them. They are as follows:
The Dollhouse: It's been well documented here on The Daily Dandy how much I love miniatures, so I was overjoyed to see one of my most favorite childhood play things on the list. (Please note, that I still have mine, complete with furnishings, stashed lovingly away for safe keeping) The first dollhouses were created for adults only in Europe in the 1500's, and were designed to showcase a lady's great wealth. Copies of funrnishings were produced to scale with only the finest materials, fabrics and craftsmanship. It wasn't until the 17th century that German toy makers created dollhouses for small children.
Playing Cards: I spent many long hours playing cards with my freinds and family throughout my childhood. I loved Solitaire, War, Crazy Eight's, Go Fish and Rummy 500, to name only a few of the countless ways to play. I've even tried to engage a friend or two in a friendly game of 52 pick up.. With cards origin's spread across the globe, it wasn't until after the Revolutionary War that American's got Playing Cards straight from England, and they have remained a favorite amongst children and adults alike.
Blanket: This one, while somewhat bizarre, I have to agree with. Bizarre because one would not think that a blanket, made for warmth and comfort, would be considered a "Hall Of Fame" winning child's play thing. On the contrary, a child's beloved blanket sometimes serves as he/she's best friend and protector. A cape, a cloak, the skirt on a movie star's dress, a head piece, a tent; the possibilities are endless. I think Frick might agree, whole heartedly, with this one too.
Hot Wheels: I have two brothers closest in age to me, so safe to say there were a lot of Hot Wheels floating around my house. They had them in tins and boxes, all brightly colored and neatly lined up, the minature lover in me couldn't help but be attraceted to these mini hot rods.According to the National Toy Hall Of Fame website:
"In the 1960s, Elliot Handler, a cofounder of Mattel, Inc., envisioned a die-cast car to surpass the popular English Matchbox brand. He wanted a line of toy cars to dominate Mattel’s boys’ division just as its Barbie doll had become the strongest brand in its girls’ division. Handler insisted that the toy cars look authentic, so the project enlisted Harry Bradley, a top auto designer from Chevrolet, to lead the toy design team. What Handler really wanted was not the cars of Detroit, but the radical versions altered by custom-car shops—like vehicles he often saw on California’s highways."
Hot Wheels popularity only increased every year after that and has surpassed what was originally ever dreamed about. The National Toy Hall of Fame website says that Mattel claims that a Matchbox car is sold in the US every 8 seconds.
And last but certainly not least..
The Game Of Life: I remember the first time I played this game, it was with my brother and I might have enven beaten him. The game of Life was a great intro to strategizing life's big picture. It's three dimentional playing board equipt with each player presented with choices about college, business, marriage and children and navigating through those choices with a Payday. In the 60's version of Life, players could end up in the "Poor Farm" or "Millionaire Acres", where as the politically correct 2010 version offers both "Millionaire Estates" and "Countryside Acres" as their game ending destination.
My most memorable Christmas as a child included an aluminum, minature kitchen set complete with refridgerator, food, dish washer and sink. As I came down the stairs, I might have passed my dad on his way up to go to bed after a long night of setup, but I never caught on till years later.
I just remember how much I loved those toys.