Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
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Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s

Toys of the 50s, ’60s and ’70s closed at the Virginia Historical Society on December 31, 2017.

Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of popular toys from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life. This exhibition is produced by the Minnesota History Center.

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Exhibition Information

From
Fri Feb 24 2017, 10:00amSun Dec 31 2017, 5:00pm
Open
10:00 am -5:00 pm
In Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Gallery

Highlighted objects from Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s

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1950's Livingroom
Visit the 1950s living room in the Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s exhibit to learn more about how the postwar economic book affected families and toy sales.
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Gumby & Pokey
Gumby originated as a clay animation character created by Art Clokey.
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Mr. Potato Head
On April 20, 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television and changed how toys were marketed. The kit became an immediate hit, with more than 1,000,000 sold in the first year. In the ensuing years, additional kits and accessories were added to the line. The company introduced a plastic potato body in 1964.
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Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head was was originally made as separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato or other vegetable.
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Barbie
Barbie debuted on March 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair.
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1960's Livingroom
Visit the 1960s living room to learn about how this fractured decade affected toy options for America's youth.
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Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots was the creation of Marvin Glass & Associates in the late 1960s.
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1970's Livingroom
Visit the 1970s living room to learn more about the toys created during a time when children's time with toys was spent away from home, in the company of their peers.
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Simon
Simon was introduced by Milton Bradley in 1978. The toys plays a musical sequence that you repeat by pressing colored buttons.
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Star Wars Figures
Kenner wisely picked up the licensing rights for Star Wars figures but couldn’t meet the demand and ended up issuing an “Early Bird Certificate Package” containing a voucher to be redeemed for four action figures. Eight additional figures were issued in 1978, resulting in a 12-figure set that was highly prized by collectors of all ages.
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Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle
Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of popular toys from the 1950s, '60s and '70s capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them, reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life. On display at the Virginia Historical Society from February 24, 2017, through September 4, 2017. Learn more at tickets.vahistorical.org. This exhibition is produced by the Minnesota History Center.
1950's Livingroom
Gumby & Pokey
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head
Barbie
1960's Livingroom
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots
1970's Livingroom
Simon
Star Wars Figures
Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle
Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s

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