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

The Game of Cootie is a children's roll-and-move tabletop game for two to four players. The object is to be the first to build a three dimensional bug-like object called a "cootie" from a variety of plastic body parts. Created by William Schaper in 1948, the game was launched in 1949 and sold millions in its first years. In 1973, Cootie was acquired by Tyco Toys, and, in 1986, by Hasbro subsidiary Milton Bradley. The game was given a new look and continued to enjoy commercial success. Several companies published cootie games in the first half of the twentieth century but only Schaper's featured a free-standing, three dimensional cootie. In 2003, Cootie was named to the Toy Industry Association's "Century of Toys List".

Selected picture

Credit: Alexander Klink

A rubber duck is a toy shaped like a stylised yellow-billed duck, and it is generally yellow with a flat base. It may be made of rubber or rubber-like material such as vinyl plastic. The yellow rubber duck has achieved an iconic status in Western pop culture and is often symbolically linked to bathing. Various novelty variations of the toy are produced.

Selected biography

Herman Guy Fisher (November 2, 1898 – September 26, 1975), was born in Unionville Pennsylvania. He is best known as the co-founder of the famous toy brand Fisher-Price. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1921 with a BA in Commerce and Finance.

Did you know...

Did you know?


  • ...that the Love Tester, created in 1969, was the first product by Nintendo to use real electronic components?


  • ...that Silly Bandz, popular silicone bracelets that spring into a shape when taken off, have been banned in classrooms for being too distracting?

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