Among my childhood toys, I cherished none more than my teddy bear. According to the family story, when I was six months old, my mother and grandfather were shopping with me in a department store. As we walked past a display of teddy bears, my mother picked one up and showed it to me. “Look Megan,” my mother said sweetly. With as much fascination as a baby could muster, my wide-eyed awe let her know that I’d fallen under the […]
A beautiful collie stands in a meadow of blue and yellow flowers. His brown and white fur blows in the wind. He looks well tempered and loyal. I affectionately call him Sammy, but when I roll him over to rub his belly, I am confronted with an advertisement for Butter-Krust Bread. What gives? Sammy’s more than just a dog; he’s an advertising toy, just one of hundreds of similar toys distributed by businesses as advertisements between 1895 and 1920.
My three younger siblings and I loved playing outside and going on adventures in our large backyard and adjacent woods. But, when bad weather kept us stuck inside, we turned to board games—Scrabble, Monopoly, Candy Land—or, much to my brother’s dismay, hours of playing with Barbie. I can’t remember a time when my two sisters or I didn’t have a Barbie doll. Our joint collection grew over the years, and eventually we decided the growing Barbie family needed a proper […]