Lessons from the Toy Box

Lessons from the Toy Box

When I wrote my first blog for The Strong more than a year ago, I talked about nostalgia—so it seems appropriate that I should come full circle and take some time to reflect back on my time at the museum before heading off to a new job in a new city. I’ve learned a great…

One-Hit Wonders

One-Hit Wonders

One-hit wonders. You know them well—the artists whose catchy lyrics and infectious tunes earn them a fleeting moment of mega fame before they plunge back into obscurity. Even so, songs like “Come on Eileen” and “Ice Ice Baby” will live on forever, immortalized in VH1 countdowns and karaoke archives. I can probably do the “Macarena”…

Boys Will Be Boys…

Boys Will Be Boys…

…except when it comes to toys. We spend a lot of time talking about the way the media portrays women—how images of svelte, scantily-clad models on New York City’s sky-high billboards affect us mere mortals below, for instance. The struggle with body image and beauty standards begins at a very young age for girls, often…

Teddy Meets Twilight: Popular Culture’s Influence on Toys

Teddy Meets Twilight: Popular Culture’s Influence on Toys

In 2009, Mattel introduced two new Barbie dolls, Edward and Bella, to their Pink Label collection. I’m sure most recognize this famous duo as Bella Swan and her sparkly vampire beau, Edward Cullen, from the Twilight saga. Mattel released the dolls in conjunction with the November 2009 premiere of the movie New Moon, and has…

More than Just a Toy

More than Just a Toy

As a kid, I had the good fortune of a basement playroom brimming with toys, from a massive pink Barbie Dream House to bins full of Lego bricks and even an air hockey table. Though I enjoyed all these toys, I gravitated to a box full of blank, hardcover books more than anything else in…

Before Barbie

Before Barbie

If you believe, as I did, that Barbie has a flair for fashion unparalleled among dolls, what with her sparkling, sequined, and infinite polyester outfits, then you’re in for a bit of a shock. Barbie may hold the title of princess in the world of style but, with a wardrobe that would make even the…

The Pirate and the Dollhouse

The Pirate and the Dollhouse

While cleaning out my parents’ basement before moving into my first-ever apartment, I came across two treasured “artifacts” of my past: a poster of Johnny Depp in his Pirates of the Caribbean get-up and my childhood dollhouse. As it turns out, the two items are not as unrelated as you might think. As I prepared…

New at the Museum: Video Kiosks!

New at the Museum: Video Kiosks!

Before I joined the Collections Team at The Strong, I worked as a host on the Guest Services Team. I cannot begin to count the number of times I overheard a museum visitor point at a Barbie Dream House, a Lionel train set, or any of the thousands of artifacts on display, and exclaim, “I…

Fun, Family, and Fish: Summertime Memories

Fun, Family, and Fish: Summertime Memories

During May, when the northeast still struggles to release itself from winter’s icy grasp, I can’t help but turn my thoughts to the approaching summer months. Right around Memorial Day, bass season opens on Lake Ontario. Growing up, this annual event served as the harbinger of summer vacation. My grandfather owned a fishing camp in…

Where Are the Couch Potatoes?

Where Are the Couch Potatoes?

Let’s face it. Technology has permanently changed the way we play, children and adults alike. Kids can power up a Nintendo DS and instantaneously find hours of amusement in a metallic box no bigger than their little hands. We can access day-long marathons of our favorite television programs at the click of a button. Our…