New toys come and go every year and most are barely noticed as they fade into history. However, over time, some toys have been so popular that they have literally changed our culture, while others have undoubtedly left their indelible mark on our society. In this article we will take a look at the top 5 toys that changed the world.
Toys The World Will Never Forget:
The Teddy Bear
A German teddy bear from around 1954. The Teddy Bear was first introduced in 1903 and has been a staple of childhood ever since. The Teddy Bear gets its name from President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was “Teddy.” The name originated from an incident on a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902, in which Roosevelt refused to kill a badly beaten and bound Black Bear. The bear had been set up for Roosevelt to shoot by his fellow hunters because he had been the only one who had not killed anything so far during the trip. When Roosevelt saw the bear he refused to shoot it himself, deeming it unsportsmanlike, and ordered his fellow hunters to have the bear killed and put it out of its misery. Later that month a political cartoonist caught wind of the story and printed a drawing of the incident in the Washington Post. A man named Morris Michtom saw the cartoon and was inspired to create a new toy called “Teddy’s Bear”. Strangely enough, at almost the exact same time in Germany, a woman named Margarete Steiff also began creating a stuffed bear as well. To this day no one knows who created the very first teddy bear. What we do know is that because of this adorable stuffed bear the world has never been the same. Tens upon tens of millions of children worldwide have grown up with a teddy bear over the last 100 year plus years. In 2006 alone, sales of Teddy Bears generated over $1.3 billion dollars.
All twelve tokens from the U.S. Deluxe Edition Monopoly. Introduced in 1935 MONOPOLY is the world’s most popular board game. Over the last 76 years 200 million MONOPOLY games have been sold worldwide and over half a billion people have played the game. The MONOPOLY® game is published in 27 languages and licensed in more than 81 countries. When it comes right down to it, there is no bigger board game in history than MONOPOLY. But, did you know that it almost never made it into stores? Parker Brothers rejected the game when it was first presented to them in 1933, citing 52 fundamental playing flaws. Creator Charles B. Darrow decided to create and sell it himself. In 1934 Mr. Darrow sold 5,000 handmade sets of the MONOPOLY game to a Philadelphia department store and it became an instant success. In fact, Mr. Darrow was selling so many that he couldn’t keep up with demand. In 1935 he went back to Parker Brothers, who of course purchased the rights, and the rest is history.
The original G.I. Joe In 1964 a 12 inch doll hit the shelves and the world has never been the same since. G.I. Joe was the first doll ever marketed and sold to boys on a massive scale. However, in order to get boys to want the doll, marketing executives knew they couldn’t call it a “doll.” After throwing around a few different terms they settled on “Action Figure.” That decision launched a brand new genre of toys and made it alright for boys to play with dolls. G.I. Joe has been the star of comics, cartoons, movies and video games. If Barbie is the queen of all dolls, then G.I. Joe is the king of action figures.