Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture

1st Edition

Frank Hoffmann, Frederick J Augustyn, Jr, Martin J Manning

Published June 11, 2004
Reference - 152 Pages
ISBN 9780789015044 - CAT# HW14450

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Keep the information you need on playthings and pop culture at your fingertips!

The Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture is an A-to-Z reference guide to the playthings that amused us as children and fascinate us as adults. This enlightening—and entertaining—resource, complete with cross-references, provides easy access to concise but detailed descriptions that place toys and board games in their social and cultural contexts. From action figures to yo-yos, the book is your tour guide through the museum of sought-after collectibles and forgotten treasures that mirror the fads and fashions that helped define pop culture in the United States.

The Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture is a historical, yet current, reflection of society’s ever-changing attitudes toward childhood and its cultural touchstones. The book is filled with physical descriptions of each entry, including size, color, and material composition, and the age group most often associated with the item. It also includes biographical sketches of inventors, manufacturers, and distributors— a virtual “Who’s Who” of the American toy industry, including Milton Bradley, Walt Disney, and Jim Henson. With a brief glimpse through its pages or a lengthy look from cover to cover, you’ll discover (or re-discover) real hero action figures, toys with commercial tie-ins, fast-food promotional giveaways, penny prize package toys, and advertising icons and characters in addition to beloved toys and board games like Etch-a-Sketch®, Lincoln Logs®, Colorforms®, Yahtzee®, and Burp Gun, the first toy advertised on nationwide television.

The Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture presents easy-to-access and easy-to-read descriptions of such toys as:
  • Barbie®, bendies, and Beanie Babies®
  • Monopoly®, Mr. Machine®, and Mr. Potato Head™
  • Pez®, Plah-Doh®, and Pound Puppies®
  • Scrabble®, Silly Putty®, and Slinky®
  • Tiddly Winks®, Tinker Toys®, and Twister™
and looks at the people behind the scenes of the biggest names in toys, including
  • LEGO® (Ole Kirk Christiansen)
  • Fisher-Price® (Homer G. Fisher)
  • Mattel® (Ruth and Elliott Handler)
  • Hasbro™ (Alan, Merrill, and Stephen Hassenfeld)
  • Toys R Us® (Charles Lazarus)
  • Parker Brothers® (Edward and George Parker)
  • F.A.O. Schwartz (Frederick Schwartz)
  • Kenner® (Albert Steiner)
  • Tonka® (Russell L. Wenkstern)
The Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture also includes an index and a selected bibliography to meet your casual or professional research needs. Faster (and more entertaining) than searching through a vast assortment of Web sites for information, the book is a vital resource for librarians, toy collectors and appraisers, popular culture enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in toys—past and present.


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