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The Toy Book

The Toy Book

by Leland Rucker

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The idea for the Hula-Hoop came from Wham-O, an Australian bamboo exercizer. Slinky got its name from the inventors' flipping through the dictionary. Full of such arcana, this well-designed survey of the toys of the baby-boom generation combines an engaging social history of toys with over 200 color shots of major memory-joggers--Erector sets, Frisbees, Barbie dolls, Monopoly, the Easy-Bake Oven, Silly Putty--and generic playthings like roller skates, backyard vinyl pools and gas-powered model planes. The book's front cover (not seen by PW ) is touted as interactive, with a Ken who whistles at Barbie when his lips are pressed, a car siren that sounds when the steering wheel is touched, etc. The authors are Denver-based journalists. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Unlike most books on old toys, which tend to emphasize the things that appeal to modern collectors, The Toy Book emphasizes what appeals to kids. It includes not only collectibles like Lionel and Barbie, but also the things kids loved that don't look great on display shelves--Slinkys, Silly Putty, Play-Doh, and Hula Hoops. The authors concentrate on the toys of the postwar baby-boom generation, from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. Although the text is bouncy and nostalgic rather than scholarly, it's full of solid information and historical detail. The 200 photographs--monochrome halftones painted in bright colors--are as much evocative as illustrative. The cover is scheduled to include electronic sound effects, which run on a battery. As an item of nostalgia, the book should especially appeal to the great masses of baby boomers who played with these toys as children and are now 25-to-50-year-old adults. Recommended.-- Frederick A. Schlipf, Urbana Free Lib. & Univ. of Illi nois GSLIS
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- The authors contend that there is no pop psychology or cultural implication intended in this catalog of American toys manufactured from 1957 to 1974. Students of social history will easily make their own conclusions, however, about the society that indulged its children with Slinky, G. I. Joe, Silly Putty, Monopoly, and Suzy Homemaker, and about the effect of advertising on toy consumers. Photos and ads of the many Baby Boomer toys are presented in attractive three-tone illustrations of blue, red, and yellow along with text that chronicles the history of the toy and its manufacturer. The cover itself is a toy with a battery that activates a whistle from G.I. Joe, a shot from Space patrol gun, and more. The index includes commercial and generic names of the toys, companies, manufacturers, television shows, and public personalities. A chatty annotated bibliography provides further resources for students of popular culture.-- Jackie Gropman, Richard Byrd Library, Springfield, VA

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Edition description:
1st ed

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