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Fisher-Price Reproduction Record Player

Jan 29, 2013 |  Retro Staff |  No Comments

From Fisher-Price’s Classic Retro Toy Series comes a 1971 reproduction music box. The appearance is very much the same, but this newly-made version follows current product standards. Included are five discs, which play a total of 10 songs,  including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Farmer in the Dell and London Bridge. Tots can still wind

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Wooly Willy: The Toy No One Wanted

Dec 12, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  1  Comment

In the 1950s Smethport Specialty Company produced magnetic and metal toys, along with military components. Brothers Donald and James Herzog worked for the Pennsylvania company when, in 1955, James realized the dust from grinding magnets could be used as a drawing tool. Soon after he filed to patent the first Wooly Willy magnetic drawing kit.

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Filed under: Classic Toys, Toys of the '50s Tagged with: 1950s, Classic Toys

Unique Gifts: Magic Cymbal Monkey Toy

Nov 23, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  No Comments

This Magic Cymbal Monkey Toy is a remake of an old classic. Battery operated, he clangs his cymbals as he hops around and chirps. Many different cymbal monkeys have been made since the 1950s. The original – called the Musical Jolly Chimp – was made by Japanese company Daishin C.K. during the ’50s, ’60s and

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“SLINKY” Springs to Fame – Popular Science (1946)

Sep 18, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  No Comments

Here’s a 1946 page from Popular Science spotlighting the Slinky toy. It’s always interesting to read vintage copy: Given an initial shove, “Slinky” eerily and deliberately flip-flops end over end down a flight of steps. It is simply a spring, but it does stunts that made R. P. James, Philadelphia engineer, think of converting it

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Filed under: Classic Toys, Retro Library, Retro Museum Tagged with: Classic Toys

The Nose Flute

Sep 17, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  No Comments

There are few who can whistle real music through their noses. For the rest of us, there’s the nose flute – also called a nose whistle or a Humanatone. This single-piece instrument relies on rhythmic breathing through the nose while maintaining or fluctuating the opening of the mouth. This simple, classic gem isn’t to be

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Mickey & Donald Friction Toys

Aug 05, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  No Comments

Who could resist these Marx Toys friction toys featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? These toys date to the 1950s-1960s. The toys stand about 4″ high and use a German-made friction motor. Friction toys are driven by springs – the spring is wound when the wheels are pushed backwards across a high-friction surface (like carpet

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Filed under: Classic Toys Tagged with: Classic Toys, Disney

Silly TV: Classic Silly Putty Commercials

Jul 31, 2012 |  Retro Staff |  1  Comment

When marketing consultant Peter Hodgson risked $147 of borrowed money to introduce a bouncing putty to the world, his target audience was adults. As that market dwindled, it was kids lifting newsprint that made him shift gears. The once-failed product that was created in hopes to help the war effort turned into a multi-million dollar

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