15 Toys With Timeless Value
Don’t get us wrong: We love Wii and PS3 as much as the next kid-at-heart, especially under the tree on Christmas morning.
Don’t get us wrong: We love Wii and PS3 as much as the next kid-at-heart, especially under the tree on Christmas morning. But toys guaranteed to amaze and delight the child in all of us have been around for centuries, and they don't cost nearly as much. Here are 15 timeless toys likely still to put a smile on any youngster's face. Chances are they put one on yours one winter morning many years ago. The slideshow begins with the navigation bar to your right:
- Current Price: $27 for the basic set
- First Year on the Market: 1916
Lincoln Logs were invented by John L. Wright, a son of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Total units sold: More than 100 million.
- Current Price: Starting at $11
- First Year on the Market: 1967
Lite Brite allows budding artists to create a glowing picture. Most come with a set of starter patterns, like this clown.
- Current Price: Starts at $23
- First Year on the Market: 1963
About 20 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold since they went on the market. The original price: $15.95. An ordinary incandescent light bulb was the original heat source, but now the ovens use a true heating element. Cookies, anyone?
- Current Price: Around $8
- First Year on the Market: 1931
Originally patented by Dartmouth engineering professor Frank Austin, more than 15 million "farms" have been sold by Uncle Milton Industries, a California-based educational toy company that owns the name ant farm. The scientific term for an ant colony enclosed by transparent plastic or glass is a formicarium.
- Current Price: Starting at $10
- First Year on the Market: 1966
Italian toymaker El-Gi introduced radio-controlled cars to the toy market in the mid '60s. Remco’s Wheelies, popular in the '60s and '70s, were battery-operated stunt cars with antennas and motors. Today, radio-controlled cars are significantly cheaper than some of the advanced models. The most popular brand: Nikko RC Cars.
- Current Price: Generally just a few bucks
- First Year on the Market: 1870
Jigsaw puzzles were originally created by painting a picture on a flat, rectangular piece of wood, then cutting the picture into small pieces with a jigsaw, hence the name. Iconic toymaker Milton Bradley created the first puzzle, called “The Smashed Up Locomotive.” They have become more intricate and harder to piece together. But jigsaw puzzles are still cheap, engaging gifts that provide hours upon hours of fun.
- Current Price: Around a dollar
- First Year on the Market: 1950
Around 6 million eggs are still "hatched" every year; two million are sold annually in the U.S. alone. The miraculous substance was created by accident during research into potential rubber substitutes for use during World War II. What's the formula? 65% dimethyl siloxane (hydroxy-terminated polymers with boric acid), 17% silica (crystalline quartz), 9% Thixatrol ST (castor oil derivative), 4% polydimethylsiloxane, 1% decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane, 1% glycerine, and 1% titanium dioxide. Silly Putty's unusual characteristics are mostly due to the ingredient polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a viscoelastic liquid. Today it's a bargain: the original price was $2.
- Current Price: Around $2
- First Year on the Market: 1928
While working as a bellboy, originator Pedro Flores read an article about a millionaire who made his money by selling a ball attached to a rubber band. The article reminded him of of a toy known as the bandalore in his native Philippines. The yo-yo was born. Most popular brands: Duncan and Yomega.
- Current Price: Around $1
- First Year on the Market: 1993
Ty Warner Inc. has earned more than $6 billion as the manufacturer of these soft, squishy stuffed figures. There's still a strong secondary market for popular beanie babies.
- Current Price: Around $10
- First Year on the Market: 1991
Invented in 1988 under the name of the "Power Drencher," more than 250 million Super Soakers have been sold. With their power, range and accuracy, they put old-fashioned squirt guns to shame.
- Current Price: Starting at $10
- First Year on the Market: 1998
Furby was one of the first commercially successful electronic robots in the toy market. Around 40 million have been sold. A newly purchased Furby starts out speaking entirely Furbish, the unique language that all Furbies use, but is programmed to speak less Furbish as it gradually starts using English. There are Furbies that speak in 24 languages.
- Current Price: Starting at $25
- First Year on the Market: Late 19th century
Predecessors of the rocking horse may have been used in the Middle Ages for jousting practice, some scholars believe. It existed as a toy as early as the 17th century, although rocking horses weren't commercially sold until much later. The most popular brand: Radio Flyer Liberty Spring Horse.
- Current Price: Around $4
- First Year on the Market: 1946
Invented by a naval engineer in the early 1940s, Slinky was first marketed in 1946. More than 300 million Slinkys have been sold. It first sold for around $1.
- Current Price: Around $7
- First Year on the Market: 1964
The development of GI Joe led to the coining of the term “action figure.”
- Current Price: Around $9
- First Year on the Market: 1960
One of the iconic toys of the Baby Boom generation. More than 150 units have been sold.
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