Interviews with Legendary Toy Inventors Donated to the Strong

Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

November 23, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359

Filmmakers Donate Interviews with Legendary Toy Inventors to the Strong™ in Rochester, New York

ROCHESTER, New York—Filmmakers Tim Walsh and Ken Sons have donated approximately 65 hours of filmed interviews with legendary American toy and game inventors to the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at the Strong in Rochester, New York. The donation was announced on November 19 at the 2010 Toy and Game Inventor (TAGI) awards dinner in Chicago.

Produced by filmmakers Tim Walsh and Ken Sons during research for their hour-long 2010 documentary film Toyland, the donated footage includes conversations with, among others, Betty James (Slinky), Eddie Goldfarb (Yakity-Yak chattering teeth and Kerplunk), Burt Meyer (Lite Brite and Mouse Trap), John Spinello (Operation), Milt Levine (Ant Farm), Kay Zufall (Play-Doh), and Reyn Guyer (Twister and Nerf). Also included in the film archive are interviews with students at Otis College of Art and Design and with seasoned toy veterans from Big Monster Toys, Hasbro, and Mattel.

According to Christopher Bensch, Vice President for Collections at the Strong, who announced the donation at the 2010 TAGI awards dinner, “With this generous donation, Tim Walsh and his filmmaking partner Ken Sons, have helped preserve the history of play and playthings. With approximately 65 hours of game interviews with key and toy inventors, the Toyland Digital Video Archive will help the Strong tell important stories about how play happens.”

Says Tim Walsh, “Director Ken Sons and I are thrilled to have our archival interviews with the nation’s most important toy inventors available at such a prestigious institution as the Strong. It will provide researchers with a real appreciation for a history of this amazing industry and the people and playthings that it represents.”

The copyrighted interviews are available in the Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play for historical content research on site but are not available for commercial use.


About the Strong

 The Strong™ is a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. It carries out this mission through five programmatic arms called “Play Partners.” These are the National Museum of Play, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and the American Journal of Play. Independent and not-for-profit, the Strong is situated in Rochester, New York, where it houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. These enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.