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Toys

  • 2008-07-03: Chinese Checkers was first created during the 19th century. It came from England, not China, and was known as Halma.
  • 2006-10-03: The king of hearts in a deck of standard playing cards is the only king without a moustache.
  • 2006-05-04: There are 318,979,564,000 different ways to play the first four moves in a game of chess.
  • 2006-01-05: The original mascot for Monopoly was Rich Uncle Milton Pennybags.
  • 2006-01-05: The race car was named the "Favorite Classic Token" for Monopoly in 1998.
  • 2006-01-05: Experts say the best color to own or develop in the game Monopoly is the orange group. The worst investments are the Water Works and the Electric Company.
  • 2006-01-05: The winner of the annual Monopoly World Championship wins $15,140, the amount in a standard Monopoly game.
  • 2006-01-05: Parker Brothers prints about $50 billion worth of Monopoly money annually.
  • 2006-01-05: A Danish man was jailed in 2003 for trying to buy a pizza with Monopoly money.
  • 2006-01-04: There are over 200 versions of Monopoly, including Cat-opoly and Gayopoly. A parody, "Ghettopoly," was sued in 2003 for violating Monopoly's trademark.
  • 2006-01-04: The properties in Monopoly are based on real streets. Most of them are in Atlantic City, NJ. Parker Brothers apologized to Marven Gardens for misspelling Marven as Marvin.
  • 2006-01-04: Monopoly has been played by an estimated 500 million people.
  • 2006-01-04: The man in jail in a game of Monopoly is Jake the Jailbird.
  • 2004-12-30: Monopoly has been translated into 45 languages and sells millions of copies yearly.
  • 2004-09-22: The game Monopoly was created in 1933 by Charles Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania. At the time, he was an unemployed engineer. It was based off of another real estate game created in 1904 by Elizabeth J. Magie, "The Landlord's Game." Elizabeth thought a game of acquisition and bankruptcy would emphasize the evils of capitalism.
  • 2004-09-22: The first Monopoly boards were round and made of cloth. They were sold to friends of the inventor for $4.
  • 2004-09-22: In 1934, the creator of Monopoly asked Parker Brothers if they would like to handle the game. They rejected it, citing 52 fundamental flaws. However, after hearing about the massive amounts of orders for the 1934 Christmas season, Parker Brothers changed their mind and purchased the rights in return for royalties, and patented Monopoly in 1935. Charles Darrow, the inventor, retired as a millionaire a year later.
  • 2004-09-20: The most popular toy in 1867 was Parcheesi.
  • 2004-09-20: The most popular toy in 1870 was Snakes and Ladders (like today's Chutes and Ladders). It was based on Venice, which was a town built on a marsh and swampland. In Venice, there was a natural abundance of frogs, snakes, and fish.
  • 2004-09-20: The most popular game in 1888 was Tiddlywinks.
  • 2004-09-20: The most popular toys in 1901 were Lionel Trains.
  • 2004-07-30: In 1949, Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish toy maker, started to manufacture LEGO. They take their name from the Danish "leg godt," meaning "play well."
  • 2004-07-30: Jack Odell made a small brass model of a vehicle and put it in a box for his daughter in 1952. This was the start of Matchbox cars.
  • 2004-07-30: Cabbage Patch Kids were created in 1986 by the artist Xavier Roberts. Each doll comes with an adoption certificate and unique name. Although more than three million of the dolls are produced, supply cannot keep up with demand.
  • 2004-07-30: Richard James invented the Slinky in 1943 when he discovered that a torsion spring will "walk" end over end when knocked over.
  • 2004-07-30: Scrabble was invented in 1931 by Alfred Butts, an unemployed architect.
  • 2004-07-30: Barbie was introduced in the 1959 American Toy Fair in New York City by Elliot Handler, founder of Mattel Toys, and his wife, Ruth.
  • 2004-07-30: In 1987, engineer Scott Stillinger invented the Koosh ball from tied-together rubber bands. The ball gets its name from the sound it makes when you catch it.
  • 2004-07-23: In 1993, H. Ty Warner started to market Beanie Babies. These understuffed plush toys were meant to be affordable, so kids could buy them. However, they quickly turned into high-priced collectibles.
  • 2004-07-23: Hot Wheels were invented in 1966. Handler created these cars with low-friction styrene wheels. They can roll 300 scale mph.
  • 2004-07-23: John Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs.
  • 2004-07-23: In 1964, Stanley Weston markets a doll … er … action figure for boys based on a new TV show called "The Lieutenant." This toy is a hit, the show is not.
  • 2004-07-23: Olympic gold medalist and doctor A.C. Gilbert invented Erector sets in 1913. This motorized toy made of steel parts is used by kids to build models.
  • 2004-07-16: In 1902, a stuffed animal gets a new name in America. The name is taken from the President, Teddy Rosevelt, and the century's first toy craze was born with teddy bears. It became the most popular toy of that year.

    The President was out hunting and came across a young bear that he wouldn't allow anyone to shoot. The press soon found out about his softheartedness and had a cartoonist draw the entire episode. Soon after, a toy manufacturer started producing the stuffed animals that we all know about.
  • 2004-07-16: Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith produced the first box of Crayola crayons in 1903, which then become the most popular toy for that year.
  • 2004-07-16: Charles Pajeau developed Tinker Toys after watching kids poke sticks into the holes of thread spools.
  • 2004-07-16: In 1915, Johnny Gruelle, a newspaper cartoonist, starts to sell Raggedy Ann dolls based on one he made for his daughter, Marcella.
  • 2004-07-16: Entrepreneur Donald Duncan sees these toys demonstrated in Los Angeles in 1929 and begins manufacturing them. Thirty years later, sales of the yo-yo reach $25 million.
  • 2004-07-16: A clean, non-toxic wallpaper cleaner is introduced and kids can't keep their hands off it. Inventor Joe McVicker makes it a toy and becomes a millionaire before he turns 27. The toy was Play-doh, invented in 1956.
  • 2004-05-24: Slinkys were invented by an airplane mechanic; he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use of one of the springs.
  • 2004-05-21: Mr. Potato Head was the first toy product that ever advertised on television. It was advertised in 1952.
  • 2004-05-21: Criss-Cross Words was the original name for Scrabble.
  • 2004-05-21: LEGO was the world's biggest vehicle tire manufacturer in 2001, producing 311 million tires.
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