From Knuckle bones to Video Games

We use the term “Toys” not only to describe those children’s things, but we also use it to describe much stuff like when we say “boy’s toys” we mean cars, motorcycles, and things that boys and grown men like. That term is generally used to describe anything that we play with, so let’s see what people have been playing with since ancient Egypt to present times.

Ancient Egyptians enjoyed living the good and prosperous life, and toys and games were a big part of it. Egyptian kids had toys made of knuckle bones of animals that they used to play games like Jackstones, and they used dice in some games as well. They had toys made from clay like clay rattles and little animals and people clay figures, like a hippo with jaws that close and open. The fanciest ancient Egyptian toys were made of cloth and were stuffed with papyrus.

Did you know that the Yoyo is an ancient Greek invention? In ancient Greece, Yoyos were made out of terracotta or wood, and they were often decorated with images from Greek mythology. They also made dolls that had movable limbs. They also took the Jackstones game from ancient Egyptians, and also just like them, they used animal knuckle bones, but it was soon replaced with other materials like brass, copper, silver, gold, glass, ivory, marble, terracotta and even precious gems.

Children kept playing with wooden dolls until the 16th century. They used to be called Bartholomew babies because people could buy them at St Bartholomew’s Fair in London back then. They played cup and ball too, which is a wooden ball with a wooden cup atthe end of the handle. They played by swinging the handle and trying to catch the ball in the cup.

The Germans made the first dollhouse back in 1558. Then toys started becoming very popular after the English philosopher John Locke stated that “Dice and playthings” with letters engraved on them can significantly help children learn the alphabet.

The industrial revolution then came, which allowed toys to enter the stages of mass production, and their prices gradually went down as a result. The first Jigsaw puzzle was made by John Spilsbury in 1767, with the intention of teaching children geography by cutting maps into pieces and assigning them the task of putting it together again. In 1817, the Kaleidoscope was invented. In 1882 Adeline Whitney took Joh Locke’s words seriously and patented the alphabet blocks.

In the 19th century, porcelain dolls were very popular among middle-class girls. They also had model shops, doll houses, and skipping ropes. Boys at the same time enjoyed marble soldiers and toy trains, some of these trains actually had functioning engines fueled by methylated spirits. Kids from richer families had rocking horses and various clockwork toys such as moving animals. The jack-in-the-box was very popular at that time too.

In 1897, William Harbutt invented the Plasticine. It was made commercially available three years later. In the early 20th century most popular toys were tin cars. In the 1920s teddy bears and train sets became extremely popular, as well as other soft toys.

Legos started becoming popular in the 1950s, and the famous Mr. Potato Head was invented in 1952. Skateboards were created in 1958, Barbie dolls in 1959, and Action Man in 1966. Space Hoppers and Clackers became very popular in the 1970s.

The Furby was invented in 1998 and Tamagotchi in 1996.

And in today’s society, video games and electronic games are the most popular among all toys and games.

7 Kids Toys popular in the 90s

There was a time when Christmas was an overwhelming experience, overflowing with madness and sheer anticipation and for what? – Toys! Take a ride down memory lane as you recollect your childhood fancies from the 90’s. You have to admit it but this was a generation of classic toy trains and Nintendo’s very own original, the Game Boy. Right from musical knick-knacks to elegant Barbie dolls, there were way too many toys popular in the 90’s. So if you remember all your Christmas trinkets from the 90’s, here is a blast from the past –

Walkie-Talkie, 1993

If you have watched Home Alone 2, you will surely remember Kevin’s electronic buddy – the Talkboy from 1993, a glorified version of what we refer to as a walkman. With batteries that would simply pour out of its shell, this toy included a 30 minute cassette tape (yes we had those back then) which was perfect enough to tape and repeat timeless recordings.

Tamagotchi, 1996

The name may sound Japanese but its electronic setup was enough to kick-start the mind. Tamagotchi was like any other taskmaster, except back in the 90’s it had a huge fan following. These toys were considered predecessors of smart phones without having the need to download an application. The toy was a virtual pet that educated children on pet caring and several other tasks.

Super Soakers, 1991

This nerf gun made its entry at the end of the 1980’s and was initially supposed to be known as the ?owerGun’. The water gun could pump into air pressure chambers just to spray someone sixty yards away. One of the best features – it made the little buggers get outside and play unlike the generation that persists today of tech worms.

Sky Dancers, 1994

Little girls would jingle all the way just to grab sight of this toy popular in the 90’s. Sky Dancers was typically meant for annoying your older sister. You could wind her up and watch the doll shoot across the room. Although the doll wasn’t very interactive, it did however curb a child’s restlessness.

Pokemon, 1996

Millions of young, enthusiastic viewers would remain fixated on the big screen at the sound of Pokemon. One of the most popular video games back in the 90’s, Pokemon was later developed into an anime series. With poke balls popping in every corner and Pikachu dolls disappearing from minimarts, Pokemon toys were a hit with the kids back in the good old days, when even the television felt more like home.

Tickle Me Elmo, 1996

Introduced back in 1996, Tickle Me Elmo was a soft toy that was based on the characters from the Muppets. Children younger than five years would rejoice at the feel and comfort of this plush toy that could also produce music. A toy that almost made parents fist fight, Tickle Me Elmo was quite popular and had a larger fan following.

Creepy Crawlers

There’s nothing more exciting than pulling a snake out of the basket! Children from the 90’s have always enjoyed playing with molten plastic. We’re talking about – creepy crawlers that could delightfully be placed in any nook and corner of the house just to trip someone over. It was one of the best toys popular in the 90’s.