Most of us have been lucky enough to play with toys when we were younger and we have memories of the toys that shaped our childhood. Toys have the power to make us feel nostalgic and hark back to simpler times. All of your favourite toys started somewhere and that means that they all have their own interesting stories and facts to match their journey from an idea to the toy shelf. Let’s delve into the world of toys and see what interesting facts are behind some of the most well-known toys.
Story has it that the teddy bear, which is arguably one of the world’s most popular toys, takes its name from American President, Theodore Roosevelt. It’s said that when coming face to face with an American black bear, Roosevelt refused to shoot it because he thought it was not sportsman-like. A satirical cartoon was drawn in a newspaper, depicting the event, which lead to the creation of a toy bear, affectionately known as Teddy which was Roosevelt’s nickname.
Little Tikes’ Cozy Coupe
One of the most famous vehicles in the world isn’t a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce, but a familiar red and yellow car instead. The Little Tikes’ Cozy Coupe is one of the most frequently sold toys and in 1991, it was even named as the most popular car in America after outselling the Honda Accord and the Ford Taurus. Quite impressive for a toy!
Beanie babies were one of the most successful toys of the late 1990s and the craze exploded, with children all over the world clamouring to get their hands on the latest animal toy. Beanie babies were so popular, that when McDonalds partnered with the company that produced them and gave away Teenie Beanie Babies in Happy Meals, they ended up giving away over 100 million of the toys due to the high demand.
Lego has been around for 83 years and is one of the world’s favourite toys. In 2009, a British man named James May constructed a full-size Lego house in Surrey. The house has a working shower, a toilet and a bed amongst other items and they were all made out of Lego. Lego tried to buy the house and transport it to Lego Land in Windsor, but soon found out that it would’ve been too logistically difficult to move anywhere!
It wouldn’t be absurd to imagine that most homes in the UK have had Play Doh in them at some point; it’s a popular modelling clay for children to play with. In the 1930s, you might have had Play-Doh in your home for a completely different reason though. During this time, homes were heated with coal and this meant that soot residue would stick to the wallpaper in a house. Play-doh was originally intended to act as wallpaper cleaner, but it was soon discovered that it was a great substance to use as clay.