top10BToday’s post is spin off the American History Facts list I wrote a few months ago.  In my research I found a reference to the creation of Lincoln Logs and Teddy Bears. Of course, I thought that it was the start of a new post.

#10: Play-Doh was originally sold as wallpaper cleaner. (Source: Mental Floss, The Quick 10: How 10 Classic Toys were Created)

#9: Wiffle Ball and Koosh Ball were created by dads as teaching tools.

Wiffle BallSemipro pitcher, David Mullany, created the Wiffle Ball because he was concerned about the effects of pitching a full-size baseball would have on his son’s arm. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Wiffle Ball)

Koosh BallsKoosh Ball were created by Scott Stillinger to help his young children learn how to catch a ball. The name comes from the sound the ball makes when it is caught. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Koosh Balls)

Frisbee#8: The Frisbee‘s began when students from Yale would play catch with pie plates from the Frisbie Baking Co. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Frisbee)

F balls were a staple in our house growing. NERF or non-expanding recreational foam balls were introduced by Parker Brothers in 1970. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: NERF)

#6: Toys created by accident.

Silly PuttySilly Putty was supposed to be an explosive.
The Slinky was created when Richard James, a Naval engineer, accidentally knocked a coil off a shelf and watched walk to the floor. (Source: Mental Floss, The Quick 10: How 10 Classic Toys were Created)
Inventor Edgar Ellington was attempting to create a waterproof sock from latex and cotton. The socks didn’t work well but it made a great water balloon. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Water Balloon)
Chemist Norman Stingly created the Superball while working on plastics. He couldn’t stop the new plastic from bouncing. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Super Ball)

Classic Lincoln Logs#5: Lincoln Logs are named after Abraham Lincoln and the log cabin where he was born. John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Francis Lloyd Wright, invented them.   (Source: Stebben and Hill White House Confidential: Revised and Expanded Edition)

Gund Teddy Bear#4: Teddy Bears were so named when Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1858-1919) refused to shoot a small bear cub one day. The incident was reported in the news, which inspired a toy manufacture to come out with the cute stuffed animals.  (Source: Boller. Presidential Diversions: Presidents at Play from George Washington to George W. Bush)

LEGOs#3: LEGOs were invented by Ole Kirk Christiansen, Danish carpenter. LEGOs comes from the the Danish words LEg and GOdt, which means “play well.” Lego is also Latin for  “I put together.” (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Legos)

Mr. Potato Head#2:  George Learner created Mr. Potato Head as way to get kids to eat their veggies.  Mr. Potato Head started out as a cereal box prize. The first Mr. Potato Heads were sets of accessories to sticky in real potatoes. (Source: Townsend, All-Time 100 Greatest Toys: Mr. Potato Head)


#1: Released in 1972,  Atari Pong was one of the first commercially successful video games.  Oh, I am referring to a ping pong style game not what Sony released for Play Station in the mid-90s. Sony’s version of the classic game was really break out.


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