The Evolution of Children’s Toys From Generation to Generation

When we talk about toys, we often associate them with toddlers and children and events like birthdays as well as Christmas. However, toys are more than just that, as adults have their toys too (more expensive ones), such as their electronic gadgets, etc.

For this article, we will stick to children’s toys and see in general have they evolved over time, for the better or worse.

The history of toys cannot be traced, simply because it probably began in the stone age where the elders or the parents put something into the toddler’s hands to keep him entertained. By creativity and imagination, the toddler made the most of what’s in the hand and enjoyed playing with it time and again.

From the 1920’s, we have the yoyo, and metal cars, as well as dolls such as teddy bears. Technology began to spread and many people are fascinated by motor vehicles and aircrafts, hence the boom of such toys.

As the decades past into the 1930’s, which signaled the great depression, expensive toys are no longer easily affordable by families, compared to a decade before. However, the decade features some of the most recognizable toys in the history, including Monopoly and Scrabble. In fact, Forbes voted 3-D view master as the biggest toy in the decade, and I’m sure many of us are still familiar with it.

In the 1940’s, toy production began to be a bit more specialized than decades ago, by the influence of a looming world war and specialized factory outputs. We saw board games continue to evolve to involve the whole family of players, and we witnessed the birth of Silly Putty and Tonka Trucks. These yellow monsters are extremely popular with young children as those are miniatures of what their fathers drive around for work daily.

As we approached the 1950’s, toy advertisement took a leap, thanks to the invention of television sets. As television sets became cheaper and more affordable towards the late 50’s, more families owned one in the house and get exposed to advertisement. One particular toy, Mr. Potato Head, the first toy to advertise on television was a huge success and grossed a record profit in that fateful year of 1952. We also saw Hula-Hoop entering the toy scene and it became very popular in America’s households due to the successful marketing techniques employed. Most importantly, this decade marked the creation of Barbie Dolls, which will gradually become the all-time most successful dolls in the history of toys.

Toys started to get complex in the 1960’s with the inclusion of electronic and complex parts. We have Talking Barbies, GI Joes and the board game, Operation.

The toys in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s shall be continued in other articles, since most of the parents today are familiar with the era and they certainly warrant more attention on their own. As toys get more complex from generation to generation, children are exposed to complex technologies at a much younger age. There are of course pros and cons to this and parents need to help them decide what’s appropriate in terms of play time and types of toys that they play. Visit this site for more information about comparison of various toys for children.