Here is an old British toy that had a lot of good intentions, but also some unanticipated drawbacks.
Buildings were constructed on allegedly waterproof waxed card bases. The bricks etc. were stuck together with a mortar made from a mixture of flour and chalk powder. It required a great amount of skill to erect buildings accurately, very time-consuming and beyond the patience of most of the children it was aimed at (8 to 14 years). Especially so in cold houses (as most British homes then were) it would take several days for the building to 'set'. Reusing the components involved a process of dunking the entire model in a large bowl of warm water. After the model fell apart the bricks and plaster pieces required lengthy rinsing to remove all organic traces to prevent mould growing on them.
I wonder how well they sold in the USA, as touted in the ad below, from Boys Life for September 1948.
From 1959. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals protested inclusion of a plastic dog in a toy rocket ship.
I assume the plastic dog must have been inspired by Laika, the Soviet space dog, who was sent on a one-way ticket into space. Once people figured out that the Soviets hadn't bothered to plan any way for bringing Laika back from space (except for letting the rocket crash and burn), her launch pretty much turned into a PR disaster for them.
Source: San Rafael Daily Independent Journal - Oct 27, 1959
There seem to be layers of meaning in this ad. On one level, it's just a girl playing with her toys (and her gun). On another level, the doll clearly seems posed in a way to represent a dead person, shot perhaps by the girl who's looking down at the gun in her hand with regret. What's the message here?
Incidentally, wikipedia tells us that Iver Johnson revolvers were used in the assassinations of William McKinley and Robert Kennedy (and the attempted assassination of FDR).