Games and Toys of the 1950's

by Andrea L. ,Raymond R. ,Jesse G.


The modern story of the yo-yo starts with a young gentleman from the Philippines, named Pedro Flores. In the 1920s, he moved to the USA, and worked as a bellhop at a Santa Monica hotel. Carving and playing with wooden yo-yo's was a traditional pastime in the Philippines, but Pedro found that his lunch break yo-yo playing drew a crowd was the first appearance of the name "yo-yo," which means "come-come" in the at the hotel. He started a company to make the toys, calling it the Flores Yo-Yo Company.

Even thought the yo-yo wasn't invented in the 50's, it was still popular and children would enjoy playing with it and coming up with new tricks.

Some of the most popular toys from the 50s include lithographed tin toy cars, friction cars, die-cast cars,and trucks.

The toys are made of metal, with plastic, rubber, or glass details. Wholly plastic toys are made by a similar process of injection moulding, but the two are rarely confused. The metal used is either a lead alloy (in the first toys), or more commonly Zamak (or Mazak in the UK), an alloy of zinc with small quantities of aluminium and copper. Lead, as previously so widely used for cast metal toys, or iron are impurities that must be carefully avoided in this alloy, as they give rise to zinc pest. These alloys are also referred to casually as white metal or pot metal, although these terms are also confused with the lead toy alloys. The most common die-cast toys are scale models of automobiles, aircraft,construction equipment, and trains, although almost anything can be produced by this method.

Mr.Potato Head 1952

Mr. Potato Head is an American toy consisting of a plastic model of a potato, which can be decorated with a variety of plastic parts that can attach to the main body. These parts usually include ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth. The toy was invented and developed by George Lerner in 1949, and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952.[1] Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television[2][3] and has remained in production since its debut. The toy was originally produced as separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato or other vegetable. However, due to complaints regarding rotting vegetables and new government safety regulations, Hasbro began including a plastic potato body within the toy set in 1964.[4]

The yahtzee 1954

Yahtzee was originally invented in 1954 by an anonymous Canadian couple, who called it "The Yacht Game" because they played it on their yacht with their friends. Two years later they asked game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe if he would make up some sets to be given as gifts to their friends who enjoyed the game. Lowe perceived the possibility of marketing the game, and acquired the rights to the game from the couple in exchange for 1,000 gift sets. Over the next 15 years the game would go on to sell over 40 million sets worldwide.

The Hula-Hoop in 1957

In 1957, an Australian company began making wood rings for sale in retail stores. The item attracted the attention of Wham-0, a fledgling California toy manufacturer. The next year Richard P. Knerr and Arthur K. Melin, of Wham-O, manufactured a plastic hoop in a variety of bright colors. The Hula-Hoop was an instant success. During the following threee years over 100 million hoops where sold worldwide.
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One of the many popular toys for girls was Barbie dolls by Mattel inc. in 1959

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies andlawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle.

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