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Category:
Toys

Newest Must Have Trend

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These creepy so called "God dolls" are a new popular trend coming out of Thailand. Not all of them have the disturbing third eye markings but all are supposed to be inhabited by a child's spirit. They are purported to bring good luck when loved and cared for. Because, yeah, that's where I hope kids spirits go, into a creepy doll to bring good luck to some yuppie jerk.
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Jan 29, 2016 | Comments (5)
Category: Gods, Toys, Myths and Fairytales

Little Brother

In 1967, Creative Playthings began selling the French-made "Little Brother" doll in America. It was an anatomically correct baby boy doll designed to encourage "acceptance of body differences."

However, some American mothers regarded the thing as an abomination and protested to have it removed from the market. Said one protester, "We believe children should not relate sex organs with play. We think this is carrying 'educational' playthings too far."

Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 7, 1967

Ebony - Nov 1967


Frank Caplan, founder of Creative Playthings, with "Little Brother"
Newsweek - May 29, 1967

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jan 19, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Toys, 1960's

Atom Bomb Toys

Italian toy maker Brumm normally makes miniature models of fancy sports cars (Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, etc.). But in 2006, the company decided to release models of the "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They sold, at the time, for around $10 — but now go for around $36, if you can find any in stock.

When the company debuted them at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, the bomb models generated a lot of controversy. The media described them as "Atomic bombs for the children's bedroom," and critics said they were in poor taste.

The company defended itself, insisting that its intent was to "provide a small historical contribution so as not to forget what generated the worst catastrophe of the twentieth century” and that the bomb models were actually a protest "against the insanity of nuclear war."

Of course, these weren't the first atomic-weapon toys ever produced. See this earlier post: Make nuclear war in your own home.



Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Dec 09, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, Weapons

“Life-sized” Alien Facehugger & Egg

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Too bad this won't be available until April 2016. Imagine the screams of terror, as depicted, when your lucky first-grader opens this under the Xmas tree.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Nov 20, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Death, Toys, Children

Dying Pigs

In the first decade of the 20th century, "dying pigs" were the must-have toy that every kid wanted. They were rubber balloons shaped like pigs. You inflated them and then, as they deflated, they made a sound like the squeal of a dying pig.





The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Sep 17, 1905

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 09, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Toys, 1900's

The Z-Man, or Brain, Toy

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What was so distinctive about this toy? Early pre-silicon programability.

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Original article here.

Even more pix and info at this blog.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 04, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Toys, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Computers, 1950's

The Strange Change Machine



You know, why isn't "mad scientist" an encouraged career path for kids anymore, like it was in the 1960s? I think the foreclosure of this option says a lot about our joyless and grim culture.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Nov 02, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains, Toys, 1960's

Civil War Nurse Barbie



First of all, there's actually such a thing as a Civil War Nurse Barbie. (But no Civil War Soldier Ken, featuring horrific battle injuries).

Second, it's been pointed out in a number of places (such as here and here) that the doll is historically inaccurate. So it teaches kids bad history.

Dorothea Dix, Superintendent of Female nurses, famously set strict guidelines for all Union nurses: "They were required to be between 35-50 years old and plain-looking. [No attractive young nurses!] They were to dress in black or brown dresses and were not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind."

This is what an actual Civil War nurses' uniform looked like, complete with bloodstains:


Unlike the Union, the Confederates didn't have a nurses organization that defined what nurses should wear. But Confederate nurses tended to dress in simple, plain dresses, because that was practical.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Oct 30, 2015 | Comments (12)
Category: Toys, War, Nineteenth Century

King Zor



"There has never been a fighting dinosaur like King Zor before!" True, but probably only because this toy was unique!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Oct 23, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Dinosaurs and Other Antediluvian Creatures, 1960's

Personalized Dolls


Introduced in 1965 by New York toy manufacturer Jet Party Favors.

"Customers mail in a photograph of the person to be modeled, specifying hair and eye color. The photo is reproduced on a strip of photo-sensitive linen, which is put through a pressure-molding process to suggest facial contours such as noses, eyes, and dimples. The hardened, mask-like shell is then dolled up by artists, attached to a blank head, and mounted on a standard doll boy, girl, or baby body. Price: $9.95."

The dolls were said to be popular with "grandparents who desire reminders of grandchildren living in other cities, ... narcissists who want dolls depicting themselves as youngsters, necrophiles who want dolls of deceased relatives, and teen-age girls who mail their doll-like images to boy friends stationed overseas."

Source: Newsweek - Feb 22, 1965
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 13, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Toys, 1960's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.