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.