I grew up in a small town with a population of roughly 5,000. It may not look it now, but it was once booming with activity and businesses. A basket factory and a canning factory ranked among the major employers. Then the train quit making stops in town. Without convenient access to supplies, factories slowly closed and the population dwindled. But what became of the train station and the hotel attached to it? That is a key part of my […]
We have all heard the saying that a dog is man’s (and woman’s too) best friend. We love dogs so much that they even have their own special day—National Puppy Day! Canine companionship has been around for eons and extends from pets to working dogs. Whether they are snuggle buddies, sled pullers, or law enforcement assistants, dogs play a significant role in our society and in our hearts. So it should be no surprise that their popularity also carries over […]
While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a DJ for the college radio station. One spring semester, I had a timeslot of 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday afternoons. I remember the sun often shining, and everyone being in a good mood as they prepared for the weekend. That’s when I started a tradition of always ending my slot with the theme to the television show Fraggle Rock. The lyrics begin with “Dance your cares away, worries for another […]
“Hey! I had one of those growing up!” is a frequent statement we hear from guests roaming through The Strong. With such a large and diverse collection on display, everyone young and old can discover personal treasures behind the glass cases. The nostalgia of smiling childhood memories brings joy, as toy companies have discovered.
Although children are the key demographic for most toys, adults often make the purchasing decisions. So toys must also appeal to the grownups. And toy companies […]
It is no question that candy and toys are among many children’s favorite things. So when the two are paired together, the result is bound to be a success. Coined “the candy with a playmate,” PEZ dispensers prove what a great combination candy and a toy can be.
In 1927, Eduard Haas III of Austria introduced what some argue to be first breath mint. He called his mints PEZ, an abbreviation of the German word pfefferminz, the peppermint flavoring he used […]
Do you ever wish you had a magic robot to clean your house for you? Do your homework? Or just be around to talk with? You may not be the only one. In some ways, advancing technology makes our lives more convenient or efficient. In other ways, it keeps us connected through social media and networking. But what if you could be friends with technology? Technology like a robot?
The idea of robot companionship is nothing new. In the early 1960s, […]
An interesting dynamic exists between work and play. In my last blog, I discussed how domestic chores can be play. The work versus play issue came to mind recently since so much of what I do in my current job is playing (just don’t tell my boss that).
When it comes to a career, I never thought I would be someone who liked their job. It was called work for a reason. Before I knew any better, I envisioned finding something […]
In preparation for purchasing my daughter’s second birthday present, I polled my parent-friends to see what was the one toy their kids couldn’t live without. The answer was unanimous —a play kitchen—since it provides endless hours of play for a wide variety of age groups. In the back of my mind I thought, “I could just let her play in the real kitchen and give me a break from making dinner and doing dishes!” Of course that scenario presents a […]