Portal:Toys

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A toy is an object used in play. Toys are usually associated with children and pets, but it is not unusual for adult humans and some non-domesticated animals to play with toys. Many items are manufactured to serve as toys, but items produced for other purposes can also be used as toys. A child may pick up a household item and 'fly' it around pretending that it is an airplane, or an animal might play with a pinecone by batting at it, biting it, chasing it, and throwing it up in the air. Some toys are produced primarily as collector's items and are not intended to be played with.

The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century.

Toys and play in general are an important part of the process of learning about the world and growing up. The young use toys and play to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults use toys and play to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, remember and reinforce lessons from their youth, discover their identity, exercise their minds and bodies, explore relationships, practice skills, and decorate their living spaces.

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Selected article

Rubik's cube

Rubik's Cube is a 3-D mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Originally called the "Magic Cube", the puzzle was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toy Corp. in 1980 via German businessman Tibor Laczi and Seven Towns founder Tom Kremer, and won the German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle that year. As of January 2009, 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide making it the world's top-selling puzzle game. It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy. In a classic Rubik's Cube, each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, each of one of six solid colours (traditionally white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow). A pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be returned to consisting of one colour. Similar puzzles have now been produced with various numbers of stickers, not all of them by Rubik. Although the Rubik's Cube reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1980s, many speedcubers continue to practise it and other "twisty puzzles" and compete for the fastest times. Its international governing body, the World Cube Association, has organised competitions and kept the official world records since 2003.

Selected picture

Lego bricks encourage learning through play.
Credit: Alan Chia

A construction set is a set of standardized pieces that allow for the construction of a variety of different models. The pieces avoid the lead time of manufacturing custom pieces, and of requiring special training or design time to construct complex systems.

Selected biography

Ole Kirk Christiansen (7 April 1891 – 11 March 1958) was the founder of Danish toy company the Lego Group. He was the 10th son of an impoverished family in Jutland in western Denmark. Born in Filskov, Denmark, he trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Soon after Ole's wife passed on and left Ole to raise his four sons. Ole eventually found inspiration enough to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. He soon found that his sons loved the new toy and decided to put them into production, using all the left over wood from his old business. In 1942 a fire broke out at the factory forcing them to rebuild. Initially, he made miniature versions of the houses and furniture as he worked on as a carpenter, but in 1947 moved onto using plastics, which were originally small plastic bears and rattles unlike the bricks we are accustomed to today. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys.

Did you know...

Did you know?


  • ...that the first themed Lego Modular Houses set, released in April 2007, was designed for people aged 16 and older and meant to be "toys for adults"?


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