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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A typical reborn doll

A reborn doll is a manufactured vinyl doll that has been transformed to resemble a human baby with as much realism as possible. The process of creating a reborn doll is referred to as reborning and the doll artists are referred to as reborners. Reborn dolls are also known as living dolls or unliving dolls. The hobby of creating reborn baby dolls began around 1990 when doll enthusiasts wanted more realistic dolls. Since then, an industry surrounding reborn dolls has emerged. Reborn dolls are primarily purchased on the internet but are available at fairs. Depending on craftsmanship, they range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The International Reborn Doll Artists (IRDA) group was created to educate artists in the art form of reborn doll making. Any artist can join the association, however certain ethical guidelines must be upheld by members. Reborning involves numerous time consuming steps. The most basic form of the process involves taking a vinyl doll, adding multiple layers of paint, and adding other physical features to the doll. Artists can pick different brands to best suit what doll they wish to create. Consumers can also buy reborn doll kits that include the doll parts and supplies for creating their own reborn. Making a doll from a kit is called newborning and allows artists to omit some steps in the fabrication process. Many supplies are needed for both external and internal modifications of reborns to make the doll seem more realistic.

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Teddy bear
Credit: Waugsberg

A teddy bear, born in Germany about 1954.

Selected biography

John Schow Anderson (b. Aug 8, 1925, Alameda County, CA; d. November 6, 2000, Hayward, California) was a design engineer and entrepreneur in the model railroading industry. He was one of three cofounders of Associated Brass Products, Inc., a California corporation based in Pinedale, California (Fresno area).

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ... that antique bisque dolls (pictured) are collectible, and dolls from French companies like Jumeau can be worth over US$20,000?



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