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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

100 Classic Toys by David Smith (Vivays Publishing)

100 Classic Toys for Generations

This fascinating book covers one hundred classic toys that have enchanted, captivated and enthralled generations of children. From the simplest building blocks to the most sophisticated robots, each toy included is still being manufactured or is easily available through sites like eBay. Why do some toys become classic? There are many reasons why particular toys stood out from their competitors. Perhaps the limitless creative possibilities of the LEGO brick, the timeless appeal of the dolls' house or the comforting presence of a favourite bear - whatever the secret, these toys and games have earned a special place in the hearts of millions of children (and former children). The author presents the background on how each toy was created and explains why it has become a classic. He also provides information about the manufacturer and how to find the toy - even in cases where it might not still be in production. Anybody flicking through the pages of 100 Classic Toys for Generations will be able to see a toy and say, "I used to have one of those!" This is a book for toy collectors, for parents and grandparents, for anyone who has ever played with a toy!

This book is like a step down memory lane, remembering your favorite toys from your childhood. Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, forties or even fifties and sixties, you are likely to remember many of the toys contained in the book. 

The one hundred classic toys have been split into eight sections within the book: building toys; games and puzzles; activity toys; role-play toys; trucks and transports; toys for making things; future classics; and finally... Along with lots of photographs of how the toys included have changed throughout the years, there is lots of additional information and facts about the toys. Who knew that when Twister was released in 1966, that executives were worried that it would attract criticism, but it went on to sell three million copies in its first year. 

There is lots of nostalgic history about the 100 toys included within the book and I enjoyed looking through them all and reading about the toys of my childhood - I remember the initial craze of the Cabbage Patch Kids, where parents were storming shops when deliveries arrived, one woman broke her leg in Pennsylavnia when 100 Christmas crazed customers stormed a toy shop following the delivery of some dolls. I didn't realise that before Cabbage Patch Kids went into mass production, the inventor created Little People which members of the public were not able to buy but they could adopt them, the Little People were not made but born in a hospital. Each doll was a labour of love for Inventor Xavier  Roberts.

While looking through the book, there were many toys that I did not recognise (i must be too young to remember them), however, there were also toys that I was surprised were not included: Buzz Lightyear was included but The Teletubbies were not, both caused huge queues with desperate parents trying to find them for Christmas presents  for their children. Barbie dolls are included in the book but I was always a Sindy doll girl, Sindy was not included either.

I really enjoyed reading through this book and I found it really interesting to read through, a great book to look through with my children and would be something that would make a great coffee table book as it would appear to a wide age range. It would make a great present for toy enthusiasts or someone who is young at heart and enjoys reminiscing of times gone by.

Thank you to the publishers, Vivays Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

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