Take a stroll down the aisles of America’s toy store. Bolstered by a booming consumer culture, the 20th century saw U.S. toys become a commodity that would enthrall children for generations. This comprehensive catalogue gathers 100 years of ads selling all-time favorites and forgotten fads—everything from science kits, frilly dolls, and baseball mitts to decoder rings, air rifles, and video games.
The Objects of Youthful Desire. Playthings From the Past For the Present. Up until the 20th century, children’s play was not a subject that demanded much attention. While objects that entertained children have been present from ancient history, it was only with industrial mass production—and a developing urban middle class—that toys appeared more frequently. As playthings began to display a robust economic performance, an industry rose to provide this new market with the objects of their desire. European manufacturers dominated the toy market, with Germany, in particular, supplying the American market with the bulk of both singular and mass-produced products. World War I ended its dominance, and by the 1920s, bolstered by American ingenuity and an ever-growing consumer culture supported by the media empires of newspapers, radio, and television, American toys became ubiquitous in the consumer market.
Filled with a Santa’s sack full of surprises, Toys. 100 Years of All-American Toy Ads takes us down the aisles of America’s toy stores delivering the favorites and forgotten memories of toys that were hugged and hoarded, saved and disposed of, and now finally brought back in their pristine glory. Once again it’s Christmas, your birthday, and a reward for a job well-done.
Jim Heimann, Steven Heller
Hardcover, 7.7 x 10 in., 4.99 lb, 528 pages