The Toy That Starts the Holiday Season

The Toy That Starts the Holiday Season

Even though many homes already display bright lights or pine wreaths and most stores are stocked to the gills with Christmas merchandise, some folks can’t quite begin the holiday season until they see the latest Hess toy truck. Every year since 1964, Hess Corporation, a gasoline and automotive products retailer, has offered a new and…

You Say It’s Your Birthday

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Mom’s birthday got me thinking about the birthday artifacts in the museum’s collection and why we celebrate the way we do.

Play’s the Thing—Really

Play’s the Thing—Really

Some years ago, I watched Maggie Jane, my four-year-old niece, play with a few of her toys. She was seated on the living room floor, surrounded by talking adults who occasionally directed questions to Maggie about things like her preschool and her swimming lessons. Maggie respectfully answered their questions, but she was clearly engrossed in…

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Out of the Wild Blue Yonder

Out of the Wild Blue Yonder

For curators at the museum, some days feel just like Christmas. One day—out of the blue, appropriately—I received a phone call about a local collector with an extensive collection of toy airplanes and related playthings. Just the kind of thing that makes a curator’s day! When I met Seymour Merrall, I had no doubt about his…

The Odd Ogg Blog

The Odd Ogg Blog

What’s that scuttling across the floor? A horseshoe crab? A Roomba vacuum cleaner? No, it’s Odd Ogg, a nifty interactive toy from 1962. If you’re feeling formal, you might want to call him Mr. Ogg, since that’s how the folks at Ideal referred to him when the company introduced the rolling green plastic toy with his beady pink…