Toys from the 1950’s

These few posts will explore the cultural and generational changes through the toys of each decade – kinda fun and interesting.

Toys From The 1950s

The 50s saw the spark the market was truly looking for – that of TV. Television advertising was a relatively new endeavor. It was pricey and mostly relegated to cigarette and cleaning ads and targeted to audiences that could afford to actually watch TV. But as television grew in popularity and more homes purchased one, the programming expanded to include children and family style shows.

Enter Mr. Potato Head, the first toy ever advertised on Television. Released in 1952, It made four million dollars in the first year (by today’s standards, that’s over $30 billion). Not only had Hasbro put their full manufacturing might behind toy production, they had marketed liberally and created one of the most popular toys of all time.

The Hula Hoop started in Australia as an exercise ring ( made of Bamboo ).  Wham-O, a small American toy company realized its potential made it in plastic. Created in 1958 it was renamed he Hula-Hoop and became an instant success with children and parents alike.

Other companies followed suit. Novelty items (which tend to find an audience and usage beyond children) were introduced in this decade.  Frisbees and Ant Farms were developedas well as the Barbie Doll. Next to Mr. Potato Head, it has maintained the largest following since then.

Posted in Uncategorized
2 comments on “Toys from the 1950’s
  1. James says:

    Math all wrong. No way that $4 million in the 50s is now equivalent to $30 billion—that is 7,000 times the original amount

  2. You are right! I didn’t check my facts or edited very well.
    You keep me an honest man, James!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get fresh content delivered free!

* indicates required
Follow Me

Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
Check Availability
Listen to Jeff’s interview on A Closer Look radio show