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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™
- 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)