Friday, November 10, 2006


Just as we are beginning to think about Christmas gifts, this news story is like a blast from the past, sparking childhood memories:

Two Boomer Classics Join Toy Hall Of Fame

The Easy-Bake Oven and Lionel model trains are inducted Thursday into The National Toy Hall of Fame. The first Easy-Bake Oven showed up in stores in 1964 and Lionel trains have been chugging along for more than a century.

Pretzel vendors in New York City gave toymakers at Kenner the idea of creating a child-suitable gizmo that actually heated food in a small working oven. Kenner, now a division of Hasbro Inc., has since sold 23 million Easy-Bake Ovens and more than 140 million mixes.

Engineer Joshua Lionel Cowen built his first electric toy train as a store-window attraction around 1900. When a customer bought the train instead of other toys it advertised, he launched the Lionel Manufacturing Co. It went on to become the world's biggest toy train maker, with sales peaking at $32.9 million in 1953.

But we all know the most popular thing to play with:

The corrugated cardboard box - a universal plaything and recreational backdrop since the 1890s - was inducted into the hall last November.


bluemountainmama said...

cardboard boxes! i remember my son's first christmas- he got so many toys, but his favorite was a box that a pair of houseshoes came in b/c it had holes in the top and he liked to drop things through them into the box. it literally provided hours of entertainment! lesson learned- the simpler, the better!

Motherkitty said...

I have two closets-full of the kids' toys left over from their youth that probably belong in the toy hall of fame. At least they belong in the kids' closets instead of mine. Gee, that sounds like a great Christmas present -- pack up all these things I've been saving for umpteen years and ship them off to THEIR house so they can store them instead of me.

I didn't know they inducted a cardboard box into the hall of fame. They should also include socks that were made into Sammy Snakes. My kids loved those. Also, broom handles that were made into hobby horses. I still have my daughter's. She named hers "Pokey Dennis" and was so famous here, she got her picture in the paper riding it with hair flying.

Judith said...

Oh, my goodness! I love nostalgia. I had the Easy-Bake Oven. How true that the cardboard box is a universal plaything--kids, dogs & cats love it. I do wonder when my kids will be able to take the toys I saved for them--the storage is a problem, I must say--all those Legos and Matchbox cars, Little Ponies...couldn't get rid of them.

Tomas Dennis said...

You can slide down those brown California (cut straw) hills with a flat cardboard box really fast.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Oh, I remember the easy bake oven and those little tiny cakes. My son also loved his lionel train, but the cardboard box has always been an all time favorite and still is around the house.

I remember cutting out windows and painting curtains on a large refrigerator box and the kids loved it and were amuzed for days upon days. I should have just wrapped up cardboard boxes instead of bought toys and I'm sure that they would have been just as happy.

When the grandchildren started arriving the kids claimed all of their toys & books which I had stored and were so excited about receiving the items for their kids. It was wonderful to watch.

jellyhead said...

How funny - to honour the cardboard box - which all parents know to be one of the best toys around!

I have never heard of Easy-Bake ovens...guess they never made it over here. They sound like something kids would loooove, though!