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Boys' Toys of the Fifties and Sixties: Memorable Catalog Pages from the Legendary Sears Christmas Wishbooks 1950-1969 Paperback – June, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Pr; 1st edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887790012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887790017
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas W. Holland is a Los Angeles-based television executive and long time toy collector.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the catalog, but was dissapointed to see that all of the pictures were black and white (I think I do remember pages in the 60's that had color). It looks as though someone just copied the pictures on a plain copier, and slapped this book together. The idea was very good, but don't expect the quality of true Sears Catalog pages.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I come from a family of 7 boys. We all grew up wishfully dreaming every Christmas of GI Joe and erector sets found on the pages of the Sears Wishbook. This book brought so many memories rushing back - of things I fondly remembered and things I had forgotten about - I can't count them. My wife bought it for me last Xmas, I'm going to buy a copy for all my brothers this Xmas.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. Laser on June 18, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While my family didn't really shop much out of the Sears Catalog, the pictures and descriptions of the toys in this book are as close to a time machine as I can imagine. As I flipped through the pages, toys that either I or my brother or my friends used to own and play with jumped out at me, one after another.. as I thought "Geeze! I had one of those!" or "Wow! I always wanted one of those!" :) This book is sheer nostalgia for guys who grew up in the 50s and early 60s. And the original prices for the toys are unbelievable... just a couple bucks, many for less than a dollar (!) for toys that now bring hundreds on the various web auction sites or at antique malls. I was also fascinated to see how many toys were sold back then that threw off sparks, or fired objects, or involved electricity or hot plastic, metal, all kinds of things considered so horribly "hazardous" today in our modern politically correct world, where the fun seems to have been legislated out of nearly everything. Back then, toy cars that "threw off sparks" were actually advertised as that being a fun feature, not a safety hazard! This is also a valuable resource for old toy buyers and sellers, just to be able to see an original illustration with its original retail price and to know what year it was made and first sold. If you can't get in a time machine and go back to a 1950s toy store, this book is just about the next best thing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By larry@virtual-vintage.com on February 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a must have book for anyone that used to dream at Christmas time with the Sears Wishbook catalog. Of course this is the Boys version of the book series and covers "Boys' Toys" from 1950 through 1969. My favorite thing about the book is it's chronological layout. It gives you a great idea as to when certain toys were popular, and shows how the trends changed in toys during the years covered. It makes for an excellent reference book. The other fantastic aspect is the original prices ! It is absolutely amazing to see the original ad for the Lost in Space Roto-Jet gun at $5.57 ! Just so many toys are covered in here it is impossible to even mention them all ! Another great thing is to see how toys have changed from then til now. The standards and safety are so different today. It is great seeing those old power tools and hot metal/plastic toys presented as they were when they were brand new "toys" ! The book is black and white reprint of original Sears catalog pages. There are some pages that I wish they would have included, but will probably see them in versions of this series to come !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve in Memphis on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, it does show boy's toys from the '50s and '60s, but the images are grainy photocopies, and the book does not have the complete boys toys sections for each year, just a sampling. That said, it is still a must and I have enjoyed it. It has the G.I. Joe stuff, Matchbox cars and other good things that you remember. It could be great, if the pictures were in color. You can always do a search on eBay for color pictures of the things that you remember. Also do a search on Youtube for old commercials!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jannert on March 13, 2010
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I would certainly give this book a 5-star recommendation for content, but unfortunately the smudgy, indecipherable details in many of the photos lets it down. This is strange, considering the comparatively excellent picture quality of the Girls' Toys of the Fifties and Sixties companion volume. I'm not sure why this difference exists, as the pictures for both volumes were all taken from the same original catalogs.

That being said, however, this is still a tour worth taking. The type is clear and easy-to-read, and it's a fascinating look into how we played when we were young. I only hope if this volume is ever re-issued, the flaws in the picture quality here get repaired.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack Zavada on February 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boys Toys of the Fifties and Sixties is a terrific book for us boomers who grew up in that era. There's no color inside the book, but that may have made it too expensive to print. I found the b&w pages clear, no problem reading them.

You'll find most of your favorite toys in here, as well as those pre-inflation prices. We tend to forget our parents didn't make much money in those days, so everything's relative.

Obviously they did not include all the pages from each year's Sears catalog, but the representative pages give a nice sample. As you read through this book, you'll find yourself slipping back 40 or 50 years when times were much simpler and toys required more imagination.

You'll see great toys from Louis Marx (my favorites), Mattel, Kenner, and the other big names of the time. The descriptions are fun too, probably written to appeal to the 8 year-old mind.

If you come home from work with a headache or have some worry, this book is great escapist reading. I think you'll enjoy it.
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