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electronic toy | prototype

Toy creator and electronics wizard Greg Hyman always knew he wanted to invent things. Even as a youngster he wrote and circulated a flyer that offered his schoolmates lessons in invention. After earning a degree in electrical engineering, Hyman devised a "music box" of the sounds and melodies he had programmed for a TV quiz show. With a few refinements, some kid-friendly tunes, and colorful packaging, his music box became his first toy, Little Maestro Toy Piano Organ, released in 1977 by Creative Playthings. Working at times with collaborators, Hyman has since invented hundreds of toys including some of the most popular playthings of the last 30 years including Alphie the Robot (1978), Talking Barney (1993), and Tickle Me Elmo (1996). Hyman's inventions have earned several awards including a 2007 TOTY (Toy of the Year) for Fisher-Price's Tickle Me Elmo TMX; 2001 induction into the Hasbro Inventor's Hall of Fame for Baby All Gone (an eating doll); and recognition from Playskool for inventing Talking Barney, the largest-volume producing toy in a single year.

  • Inventor: Greg Hyman | Ron Dubren
  • Manufacturer: Greg Hyman
  • Material: plastic | vinyl | plastic | battery | wire | fabric | synthetic fur
  • Origin: USA
  • Style: battery-operated
  • Object ID: 110.13780
  • Credit Line: Gift of Greg Hyman, Greg Hyman Associates
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