Category Archives: Toys from 1950s

Scrabble Board Game

Scrabble is a word based board game where two to four players earn points by forming words from the letter tiles and combining them with previous letters on the game board. The Scrabble gameboard is 15×15 in size, words can be made across and down, similar in fashion to the popular crossword. All words must be real words and found in the dictionary, there is even a Scrabble Players dictionary if you really want to go down that route.

The name of Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro in the USA and Canada and elsewhere we believe it is trademarked by Mattel. The game has been sold and translated in over 120 Countries and over 29 different language versions available. Over 150 million sets have been sold worldwide which makes it one of the classic board games and found in many households. continue reading>>

Hand Buzzer or Joy Buzzer History

Hand Buzzers or to some they are called Joy Buzzers, these toys or joke toys are favourites with pranksters or when playing a joke or practical trick on someone. Hand Buzzers have been giving a jolt to victims since 1928 when they were created by a Danish inventor called Soren Sorensen Adams who went on to form a company and a novelty producer. Sorensen also came up with Sneezing Power in 1906, and also the razzberry or Whoopie Cushion, the snakes in a can, and the exploding cigar novelty toys. – So a huge amount of practical and comical jokes all from one guy, very impressive.

Hand buzzer in packaging

The Hand Buzzer became patented in 1932 and the device does not shock or jolt the victim it merely makes a loud vibrating noise which instead gives the victim a shock. I cant help but respect him a lot for devising numerous toys which have been very popular for gag and jokes in over a hundred years. I used to find Whoopie Cushions very funny to use apart from the times I overfilled it and it popped and alongside his other products, stink bombs and small bangers were also used in small doses honest.


Pogo Stick

Razor Bogo Pogo StickPogo Sticks have been around since the 1950s and became a massive hit through the 1970s when a redesign took place. Pogo sticks are still a popular childrens toy and most children are still keen to try the humble Pogo stick and see how they fair.
So a Pogo stick is a pole with a handle at the top and footrests near the bottom, at the bottom a spring is in cased inside the pole.
You need to place a foot on the foot rests or hop onto it and balance whilst you jump up and down with a slight bending motion at the knees. This motion allows you to control by adding or removing energy which goes into the spring below. Or you can see how many full bounces you can do to pretend you are Tigger or to travel in larger but potentially more uncontrollable steps.Super Pogo StickMaster X-Pogo Stick

The modern pogo stick was invented in Germany by Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall, they filed a patent in 1920 for a device called spring end hoping stilt – catchy hey.  Over time different designs have been made mainly focusing on adding more movement and higher bounce but also trying to protect the user from chin or head injury’s did also feature in several designs.

Extreme Pogo or Xpogo is a growing action sport featuring 10ft jumps in height and many modern materials this has led to number of athlete and exhibition teams have been formed, this is one to watch the stunts and flips which are possible is great to watch.

hula hoops twirl it around

Hula Hoop

Hula hoop is a toy hoop which is traditionally twirled around the waist but also the neck, and arms is popular. The modern day hula hoop was invented in 1958 by Arthur K Melin and Richard Knerr, who using the idea of Australian bamboo exercise hoops manufactured hoops from plastic and with national marketing and give-aways a fad began.

hula hoops twirl it around

At its peak 50,000 hula hoops were produced per day. 25 million plastic hula hoops were sold in 4 months and in two years sales reached more than 100 million units.

A standard size hoop is 71 cm/28 inches for children and 102cm/40inches for Adults.  Todays hoops are made from plastic tubing, traditional materials include willow rattan, grapevines and stiff grasses.

Recent hoops have included LED to light up others include different plastics, glitter, glow in the dark. Some extreme people even twirl flaming versions in acrobatic and other performances.

Yo-Yo History

The Yo-Yo can be traced back to around 500 B.C. but it took until the 1920’s when a young US immigrant name Pedro Flores saw the potential after recalling its popularity in his Philippine roots. He founded the Yo-yo company whilst working as a bellboy in 1928. He began by selling handmade yo-yos to children around LA and managed to open a factory where within a year the company was producing 300,000 Yo-yos a day!!

Yomega Plastic Yo-yoYomega Aluminum Yo-yoThe Yo-yo was a craze which led to countless yo-yo contests all over the country.

In modern times many different types of Yo-yo can be bought from simple, to more advanced ones with gears, lights and stunt based Yo-yos. They are a classic toy that is for sure and last for a small outlay.

Board Game Cluedo

Cluedo Board Game

Cluedo is a popular board game based where you try to work out who was murdered and where and using what. This well known game was first published in 1949 in Leeds England by Waddingtons by Anthony E. Pratt who was a solicitors clerk and part time child’s entertainer. In the United States Cluedo is published by Hasbro who acquired its US publisher Waddingtons and Parker Brothers.

The aim of the game is for players to move around the board, each player represents a character/person and you move around the rooms of the mansion collecting clues to solve the questions of  who murdered who in the where with the what.

Who killed who in the Cluedo Game Board Game Cluedo Detective Game Clue aka Cluedo in some

A number of spin off versions have been released alongside many books and other material. The traditional game has the tag line of the “Classic Detective Game”.

Back in 1944 Anthony E. Pratt first filed for a patent of his invention of a murder/mystery-themed game, originally the game was named “Murder!” The game was originally invented as something to play during lengthy air raid drills. Soon after  him and is wife presented the game to Norman Watson who was an executive Waddingtons, he immediately purchased the rights to the game and provided its trademark name of “Cluedo”  which is a ludo (Latin for I play, and clue)  The patent was granted in 1947 however due to post-war shortages, the game was not officially launched until 1949, the game was simultaneously licensed to Parker Brothers in the United States, where it was renamed “Clue”.

Chemistry Set Toy History

Did you have a Chemistry set when you were younger? The original Chemistry set was released by the A.C. Gilbert Co. in 1923. Originally marketed solely to boys, the kit was designed to teach basic chemistry skills, but by today’s standards, it would likely be watered down to ensure it was safer and did not become as security risk.

They went on to sell millions of sets over the next 30 years. Eventually, even girls were acknowledged by the manufacturers — but only to assist… A Gilbert’s Lab Technician Set for Girls was released in the 1950s, cloaked in reassuring pink shades. It would be another 10 years until 1960’s when finally the gender barrier in kiddie chemistry was brought down and boys and girls were finally allowed to play scientist together.

museum of childhood Chemistry Set

The early sets included toxic ingredients along with chemicals now used in bomb or halagens likely to increase the risk of cancer. And even the dangerous sodium cyanide or uranium dust!!! Which was present in nuclear kits of the 1950’s!!

Todays sets may have a minor puff of smoke or color changing properties but no explosions or very dangerous chemicals which has to be a good thing.

Radio Flyer Wagon

Radio Flyer Wagon were invented by a passionate 16-year-old Italian boy called Antonio Pasion, in the 1920’s he was among the millions who immigrated to America from Europe. He was a skilled carpenter and headed to Chicago. He began to construct small red wagons out of stamped pressed metal and by 1923 he had saved enough to form the Liberty Coaster Company.

Soon after he began mass-producing the radio flyer red wagons for under $3. Countless children have enjoyed playing with the Radio Flyer Wagon pulling friends or moving things and now the range has expanded to small-large wagons, tricycle and even wheelbarrow with prices from $20 upwards.

Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon

A full-sized steel seamless body with no-scratch edges, no-pinch ball joint keeps fingers safe
Extra long handle folds under the wagon for easy storage
Controlled turning radius makes the wagon safe and comfortable for children to ride in
Features durable steel wheels and real rubber tires that make for a smooth and quiet ride.

During the Second World War when Steel was essential for the war the company switched production to portable five gallon blitz cans for the US Army during 1942-1945.

In 1987 The company changed their name from Radio Steel to Radio Flyer after its iconic and flagship little red wagon.

Water Balloons

Water Balloons were created by a English inventor Edgar Ellington in 1950 who was creating a waterproof sock using latex and cotton. After filling his creation with water to test its quality, he noticed a small stream of water leaking from the side. As he threw the water-filled sock down onto the table in anger, it burst — and so a second idea was born. Not long after, Ellington’s “water grenades” were the first water balloons to hit the market.

These Balloons were always a favourite in the summer, I just wish I was better at tiring the knots in them before they went off in my hands.

Water Balloons Water Bomb Balloons