go and catch a falling star

Retro classic toys


retro classic toys

Call them retro toys, classic toys, or "the toys I had as a kid", these great toys are still in style today.

What do these great toys all have in common? They're timeless. If you loved it as a child, your children and grandchildren will love these toys. They are fun and will provide hours of entertainment for kids of all ages.

Do you remember having any of these classic toys?

Vintage rubber ducks

rubber ducks Remember rubber ducks? Yes, those cute little yellow ducks that used to swim in everybody's bath on a Saturday night. Every kid had one or wanted one. Indeed, the yellow rubber duck has achieved an iconic status in American pop culture.

The story of the rubber duck is linked to the emergence of rubber manufacturing in the late 1800s. The earliest rubber ducks were made from very hard rubber, much different from today's duckies.

Rubber duck popularity

Jim Henson popularized the rubber duck in 1970 by performing the songs "Rubber Duckie" and "DUCKIE" as Ernie, a popular Muppet from Sesame Street. Ernie frequently spoke to his duck and carried it with him in other segments of the show.

The Rubber Duckie song

Rubber duckie, you're the one
Who makes bath time lots of fun
Rubber ducky, you're the one for me!

The song "Rubber Duckie" and many similar songs ostensibly sung by the characters of the show were performed by Jim Henson. On a memorable occasion, Little Richard performed the song.

Rubik's Cube -- a classic puzzle toy

can you solve rubik's cube? Despite being an icon of the 1980s, the Rubik's cube was actually invented in the 1970s. Hungarian Erno Rubik introduced it to the world in 1974 under the name of the "Magic Cube", which was twice the weight of the current toy. He created this classic toy while developing a working model which could explain three-dimensional geometry.

Rubik finally solved his own puzzle after a month of trial and error. His creation was first shown at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1979. The Ideal Toy Corp licensed this product in 1980 under the name "Rubik's Cube", and it is still in production to this day.

Rubik's Cube fun facts

Teddy bears -- a classic retro toy

teddy bears Becoming a collector of teddy bears can be a very fun and satisfying hobby. Simply enjoying your collection of teddy bears can help to improve one's quality of life. Our love for teddy bears is unconditional as evidenced by the tattered and torn, one eyed, tired looking teddy bears that are treasured by children and adults alike.

Even in the worst of conditions these plush toys still wield magical powers of love and friendship. The soft and comforting magic of teddy bears can help to alleviate anxiety and stress in children. Because of their ability to help to soothe the hearts and minds of little ones, they are sometimes used by police and firemen to soften trauma.

A brief history of teddy bears

The history of teddy bears goes back to the early 1900's, starting an enduring love affair to last for years. Stuffed bears first made an appearance in Germany around 1900. At that time, Margarete Steiff was already known locally for her stuffed animals. Margarete's nephew Richard was inspired by bears he saw at the zoo to design a jointed bear for his aunt to create.

That moveable toy bear was called 55PB. The Steiff family sold a few of the bears around Germany but they didn't see a lot of success until a man named Theodore Roosevelt got involved in the teddy bear story.

National Teddy Bear Day is 09 September!

In November 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was in Mississippi trying to solve a border dispute. As an avid sportsman, President Roosevelt went hunting in his spare time. As the end of the hunt drew near, Roosevelt was frustrated because his fellow hunters had all made a kill but he hadn't managed one. Roosevelt's attendants cornered and clubbed an old black bear and tied him to a tree in an effort to help the president. They called Roosevelt over and encouraged him to shoot the animal. But, President Roosevelt refused because he considered it unsportsmanlike to kill an animal that was tied up in such a way.

After hearing the story of Roosevelt and the bear, Clifford Berryman of the Washington Post created a political cartoon called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi". Morris Michtom, a candy shop owner in New York saw the cartoon and decided to create a window display in his shop about it. He wrote to President Roosevelt and asked for permission to use his name in conjunction with a stuffed bear that he and his wife Rose had created.

President Roosevelt agreed and Teddy's Bear was proudly displayed in Michtom's shop window. He never intended to sell the bear so Michtom was surprised when people started requesting Teddy Bears of their own. Morris and Rose began making more bears to sell, and the popularity of Teddy Bears grew exponentially!

Going bananas about vintage and retro sock monkeys

Going bananas about vintage and retro sock monkeys What is a sock monkey?

A sock monkey is a stuffed toy in the shape of a monkey that is made from socks. Who doesn't like sock monkeys? They are goofy, they are squeezable, they are huggable, and everyone just has to love them!

More importantly, there is something for everyone with sock monkeys. Older collectors can enjoy the original vintage and antique sock monkeys lovingly recovered from storage to be displayed proudly. Children can spend hours playing with the wide variety of retro sock monkeys being produced today.

Sock monkeys have provided over one hundred years of fun for young and old collectors alike, and they are still going strong with children today. That's impressive by any standards. The first sock monkeys were made during the Arts & Crafts movement in America in the early 1900s by enterprising women with spare socks, and soon they became a much-loved staple of children's nurseries everywhere.

Most vintage sock monkeys found today were made from the 1950s onward, with the majority being from the 1970s. While it is a shame to think about the disintegration of poor defenseless sock monkeys from age and wear, many older sock monkeys simply did not hold up well to years of being loved. Socks are not meant to be in-use for such a long time, causing the poor things to wear out.

The very best kind of sock monkey is a handmade sock monkey -- especially one made just for you. It's easy to sew your own sock monkey from a pattern. With a little shopping around, you should have no trouble finding the sock monkey pattern that is just right for the particular sock monkey design you would like to make.

A brief history of sock monkey stuffed toys

Traditional sock monkeys are always made with the original Nelson Red Heel Socks. The distinctive red-mouthed sock monkey was created in the 1930s from Nelson Knitting Company's red-heeled socks by inventive homemakers. By the 1950s, the company began to provide a sock monkey pattern with every pair of these socks.

Since that time and with the inclusion of those freebie patterns with socks, the sock monkey has been elevated to an art form with wildly patterned socks being used in addition to the traditional red-heeled socks. The humble sock monkey has become a pop culture icon featured on T-shirts, keychains, and fabric. In addition, from 2005 to 2016 the town of Rockford, Illinois had held a Sock Monkey Festival celebrating the birthplace of the red-heeled "sock monkey" socks. Sadly, they no longer seem to be hosting the event.

Exercise your creativity with LEGO bricks

What are LEGOs?

LEGO bricks LEGO bricks are an amazing building toy. They are small injection-molded plastic pieces designed to lock together by use of a tube system. This system allows for an almost unlimited range of building possibilities. LEGO bricks are available in kits designed to create a particular object, as boxes or tubs of loose bricks, or they can also be purchased by the brick (or cup of bricks) from the LEGO company itself or one of the many official LEGO stores around the world.

This encourages the creation of unique LEGO projects by collectors, and boy, do some collectors create! With a few simple shapes, people have been able to design countless buildings, vehicles and other objects entirely out of LEGO. They are a wonderful open-ended creative toy enjoyed by children of all ages since their creation in Denmark in 1958.

Why buy LEGO bricks in bulk?

Unless you are looking for a particular LEGO set or specialty pieces, it is better to buy LEGOs in bulk. It is economical: you get a huge amount of LEGO at a fraction of the price. If your children just like to build and build and build without dismantling their older creations, bulk LEGO bricks are your best buy. You can buy large new bins of LEGO, or (even better) buy secondhand and used bulk LEGOs online. The latter will be even cheaper than new bins, if cost is an issue.


How to store bulk LEGO bricks

Okay, you bought bulk LEGO bricks. Now what do you do with them when it's time to clean up the floor? What would be the best way to store LEGOs?

LEGO bricks If your kids are at all like mine, there are probably LEGO bricks all over your house because we tend to buy them in bulk. There is no pain equal to stepping on a tiny (or not so tiny, in the case of toddler size LEGOs) LEGO brick with bare feet. Convincing children to clean up the LEGO mess can be challenging at best, so let's try to make this a fun activity for them.

The simple solution in my opinion would be to let them keep a few favorite sets and sell the rest off. However, for many children LEGO bricks are consistently one of their favorite toys. We know that whiny children will ensue if their toys disappear in the night, and that the toy removed was inevitably their very favourite toy in the house. Sometimes the simple solution is not necessarily the best one!

A more palatable option might be deciding to sort them by shape or color. Once sorted, all those LEGOs will need to be stored in such a way that they don't get mixed up. No one wants the new LEGO organizing system to break down within days for a lack of proper container. Therefore, the best solution for making clean-up fun is to provide colourful storage for all their LEGO bricks. With the proper LEGO storage, it will be easy to sort the Legos by colour, shape, size, or kit -- or all four!

Tip: Make cleaning fun. Avoid clean-up trauma for small children whenever possible. For younger children, being told by a parent or caretaker to "put LEGOs into this container" may not be sufficiently entertaining. It is helpful to choose a fun, interesting container to store LEGO bricks if you want your children to help clean up.

Organizing your LEGOs

Once you have your chosen LEGO storage containers, it is time to sort the LEGOs! Encourage your children to get involved in sort right from the start. Ask how they might like to sort their LEGOs to store them. Perhaps they have a preference for sorting by colour over sorting by shape, for example. The more they are involved in the process today, the more likely they will be to want to help out when it's time to clean up tomorrow!

Where can I find classic toys

When buying and selling classic toys, bear in mind these two factors:

As to where to go, try any of the following:

What is this toy?

Find something at the thrift store or at a yard sale that you think looks cool? If you haven't considered collecting toys before, maybe this one item is the toy that will trigger the collecting "urge" in you.

If you find something you find interesting, the first step is to identify what you have. What material is it made from? What colours are used in the toy? What size is it? Look for maker's marks on the back and underside. Any clue can help identify your toy.

Once you have a list of features together, look around online to match what you have with known toys. From there, you can probably find a reference guide specific to that type of toy. Every seasoned toy collector generally has at least a couple of toy guide books in their library. Novice collectors should also have at least one good toy reference book to guide them in their hobby as well. Reference books will probably have to be purchased secondhand unless it is a common collectible toy. Specific books on obscure collectible toys can be difficult to find at times.

These books can be difficult to find since many are out of print. Some great places to buy used books online include:

Tealmermaid's Treasure Grotto