Childhood Revisited: The History of Teddy Bears and Toys
Did you know that the teddy bear was named after United States president Theodore Roosevelt? It's true! And it all began with a hunting expedition.
In November 1902, while hunting with the Governor of Mississippi, Roosevelt refused to shoot a black bear that was already captured and restrained. To him, this was unsportsmanlike. As news of the event spread, the Washington Post published a political cartoon satirizing the president's actions. This cartoon then caught the attention of Morris Mitchom, a candy store owner and toy maker from Brooklyn. Mitchom began producing a special stuffed bear that he named Teddy, after the president. He even sent one to Roosevelt and received his permission to continue using the name. And with that, the toy industry was changed forever.
Beloved toys are an important part of childhood but they also hold a special place in the hearts of many adults. For some people, that means frequent board game nights or collecting of vintage toys. For others, it simply means displaying your first teddy bear in a place of honour on a bookshelf. But what they all have in common is nostalgia.
Take a walk down memory lane with these book and documentaries about classic toys, teddy bears and games. And then try your hand at making your own toys with a selection of how-to books.
The story of the Steiff teddy bear : an illustrated history from 1902 by Günther Pfeiffer
Steiff is a German toy company known for producing some of the earliest stuffed animals, including the now infamous teddy bear. This illustrated volume delves into the Steiff archive to document the history of the company, the cultural impact of the stuffed bears and the ways that Teddy's design has changed over 100 years.
Christopher Byrne's exploration of the history beloved childhood favourites is pure nostalgia! Reminisce with facts and photos of favourite toys like Easy-Bake Oven, Tonka Trucks, G.I. Joe and Skip-It.
Journalist and games expert Tristan Donovan traces the history of board games, from those that pre-date the written word right up to modern favourites like Monopoly and Operation.
Filled with fun facts and beautiful photographs, toy inventor Tim Walsh delves deep into the history of classic toys, such as the Slinky, Radio Flyer Wagons and Frisbees.
An avid gamer from the days of Pong, Kent documents the early decades of the video game industry, from arcades to television consoles and handheld devices. This book is a must-have for any video game fan. It's filled with fascinating trivia, like how Space Invaders caused a coin shortage, and details on how the early games paved the way for what is now a multibillion dollar industry. If you like this book, check out Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the billion-dollar battle to shape modern gaming.
The great Beanie Baby bubble : mass delusion and the dark side of cute by Zac Bissonnette
In the 1990s, Beanie Baby toys exploded in popularity. They became a highly collectible item and skyrocketed in value. And then, almost overnight, they were practically worthless. Bissonnette takes you inside the highs and lows of one of the biggest fads of all time.
Barbie forever : her inspiration, history, and legacy by Robin Gerber
This fully authorized history of one of the world's most famous dolls includes vintage advertisements, original designs and a timeline of key moments in Barbie history.
Netflix's hit documentary series about iconic toy franchises, including He-Man, Hello Kitty, Transformers and Star Trek.
An inside look at independent toy stores around the world.
How to make heirloom teddy bears by Sue Quinn
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the naming of the teddy bear than to create your own. This book provides step-by-step instructions to make your own teddy in the style of the original stuffed bears. It also includes lots of great tips on repair, creating original designs and how to personalize your bear.
Outdoor woodworking games : 20 fun projects to make by Alan Goodsell and Randall Maxey
Learn how to make simple woodworking projects, such as giant versions of dominoes, chess and tic tac toe. And don't worry, the projects are designed for beginners and only require basic tools and equipment.
Crochet for play : 80 toys for make-believe by Sarah Pawlowski
With these cute, easy to make crochet patterns for everything from vegetables to carpentry tools, you'll be playing pretend in no time!
Froebel's Gifts were some of the world's first educational toys and inspired some of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Professional woodworker Doug Stowe provides step-by-step instructions for making each of Froebel's simple but effective toys. He also includes information about the history and educational benefits of each toy.
If you've got fabric scraps and extra sewing notions cluttering up your crafting area, Susie Johns' book will give you lots of great ideas for putting those leftover materials to good use. Her project ideas include a tiger rattle, a fishing set, a memory game and, of course, a teddy bear. She also includes handy tips for sewing beginners.
Mike Rigsby's book provides an entertaining introduction to engineering using everyday household items. Not only does he include instructions and templates for a variety of rubber band cars, but many other mechanized toys as well, such as a laughing clown and a dog with a wagging tail.
Is there a special toy that is still near and dear to your heart? Does a particular toy or game instantly remind you of your childhood? Is there something you still haven't been able to part with?
I don't have too many childhood mementos with me these days but my Playmobil pirate island and Creepy Crawler machine are still buried in my mom's garage somewhere. The only things that have made it to my tiny downtown apartment are my wooden dinosaur skeleton models--because you are never too old for dinosaurs!
Share your childhood (or adulthood) favourites in the comments below.