- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Running Press; First Edition/First Printing edition (September 22, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0762435658
- ISBN-13: 978-0762435654
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame: Celebrating the Greatest Toys of All Time! Hardcover – September 22, 2009
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"Curator Scott Eberle writes lively histories of the toys, photographed in whimsical poses."
Dallas Morning News, December 7, 2009
"Kids will love thumbing through this one, but they'll no doubt have to pry it out of the hands of their rapt parents first. The book is sure to evoke lots of boomer-generation childhood memories, and might even coax a 21st-century tot into wanting something as archaic as, say, a Raggedy Ann doll or a Hula Hoop.
The text displays a nice sense of humor and irony. For instance: 'The bubble-cut Barbie that appeared in 1961 softened the doll's look by replacing the tight Teutonic ponytail. When Barbie parted her hair on the side, she seemed more casual and less severe, more Fresno and less Frankfurt.'"
Ann Strainchamps, Wisconsin Public Radio, December 4, 2009
“One of the best coffee table books of the year.”
“Get it for you, then share the stories with the kids.”
The Journal-Register, December 10, 2009
“Nostalgia, history, sociology — this book covers all of the imaginable bases that are involved with play. Eberle’s work makes for a truly tremendous toy story.”
About the Author
The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, is one of the nation's largest history museums, an affiliate of The Smithsonian, holder of the most comprehensive toy collection in the U.S., and home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, whose annual November induction ceremony is seen by 50 million people via widespread national and local television media coverage. Visit them on the web: www.strongmuseum.org
Top customer reviews
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Considered as a play object, the book is large, handsome, sturdy, and filled with lavish color illustrations.
Indeed, the book is a nostalgia device: just try to read it without traveling back in time to the most idyllic play experiences of your youth. But it's more than that; it goes well beyond just being informative to being genuinely insightful.
Thus, you learn not only the history of each toy, but *why* each toy became such a classic, and how it has captivated and exercised the minds of children through the years. As myself the father of a young girl, it was wonderful to learn more about what she is really doing when she plays.
As the book says, a child loves his/her play not because it's easy but because it's hard. The child mind often learns best by coupling the physical action of the hands with the developing conceptual thinking of the conscious mind. No wonder so many children love the physical reinforcement of Play-Doh, silly putty, and alphabet blocks.
Some of the toys described here were developed by adults with specific developmental agendas in mind -- like the erector set, the Lincoln logs and Candyland. Others become beloved because kids instinctively knew how to play with things adults themselves would not have seen as instructive playthings -- such as the cardboard box and the humble stick.
I loved many of the chapters in this book, but I'll single out a few here for praise: The chapter on Candyland is deeply moving, as it was created during the era of children's polio, a way for housebound, quarantined children to find joy. I'll never look at that box cover -- with its kindly legend of "A sweet little game for sweet little folks" -- quite the same way again.
I also especially loved the chapter on the jack-in-the-box, covering the history of superstitions, rhymes, and self-scaring devices that evolved into the irresistibly unsettling surprise of a toy.
The chapter on the jump-rope is also wonderfully insightful -- reminding us of the rhyming chants and creative cooperative games engendered by the fertile minds of young girls, lending a creative aspect to the play that the object itself seems hardly capable of furnishing.
Other chapters reminded me of the unique qualities of specific toys: for example, the induplicable aroma of Play-Doh, and the wondrously rugged functional detail of the Tonka truck.
All hail the creators of these magnificent toys, and all they've done to enrich our lives. And spare a cheer for the creators of this terrific book as well.