- “A mesmerizing time capsule… the book delivers one jolt of nostalgia after another.”
- “A delightful companion of toy ads in America in the last century.”
- “…takes readers down both memory lane, and the aisles of American history’s vast toy store.”
- “…a commentary on the psychology of consumerism and the power of compelling visual design, a record of the American toy industry and a window into American life over the last century.”
- “The ads do more than advertise products—they provide a record of American everyday life of a bygone era in a way that nothing else can.”
Toys. 100 Years of All-American Toy AdsHardcover, 7.7 x 10.0 in., 5.00 lb, 528 pages40Edition: English, French, German Availability: Currently not available
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Toys. 100 Years of All-American Toy Ads40
The Objects of Youthful Desire
Playthings From the Past For the Present
Ranging from the simple to the complex, children were inundated with a commodity to be wished for and sold to by the millions. From frilly dolls to science sets, children were marketed to with gusto, first through magazines and comic books and later through television. Toys fell along familiar gender lines all while being developed with the unspoken subtext of stimulating developing minds and being vehicles of problem solving with educational value.
If the first part of the 20th century represented the rise of toys in America, the postwar period signaled a market unleashed by the baby boom. That one event gained traction for the toy industry and propelled it to its current state. Unforeseen was the next chapter in the industry—the advancement of the technical revolution—which would create another dimension of toy products that would captivate both children and adults as one century blended into the next.
In the world of toy production, the multimillion dollar industry took the advertising of its product seriously, and toy manufacturers inundated customers with their latest product via trade journals. In New York City, the hub of the toy industry for most of the 20th century, annual trade shows introduced a deluge of new playthings to the buying public. Frisbees, board games, baseball mitts, Hula-Hoops, air rifles, video games, dolls, and miniature trains were all served up to generations of children, cementing forever the memories of playtime.
Filled with a Santa’s sack full of surprises, Toys. 100 Years of All-American Toy Ads takes us down the aisles of America’s toy stores delivering the favorites and forgotten memories of toys that were hugged and hoarded, saved and disposed of, and now finally brought back in their pristine glory. Once again it’s Christmas, your birthday, and a reward for a job well-done.
Steven Heller has produced over 200 books on visual communication and published countless articles in international design magazines. Currently he is cofounder and cochair of the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Jim Heimann is the Executive Editor for TASCHEN. A cultural anthropologist, historian, and an avid collector, he has authored numerous titles on architecture, pop culture, and the history of Los Angeles and Hollywood, including TASCHEN’s Surfing, Los Angeles. Portrait of a City, California Crazy, and the All-American Ads series.
Toys. 100 Years of All-American Toy AdsHardcover, 19.6 x 25.5 cm, 2.27 kg, 528 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-6655-1Edition: English, French, German
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