Who can forget the excitement of receiving a new toy? There was nothing quite like it, whether it was the hot toy of the year or a dime store bargain. Children have always enjoyed playing, but toys have evolved significantly over time. From 1930 to 1980, the most popular toys were as follows!
Charlotte Clark and her team designed and produced the small stuffed dolls after the Walt Disney short “Steamboat Willie” was well received. In true 1930s fashion, when demand outstripped supply, Clark released patterns for mothers to make Mickeys for their children! In the years since, there has been a slew of merchandise on everything from notepads to watches to socks and everything in between!
Look at those adorable polka dot smocks they’re wearing to keep the paint off their dresses. Prior to 1931, the concept of finger painting was unknown. Look at those adorable polka dot smocks they’re wearing to keep the paint off their dresses. Prior to 1931, the concept of finger painting was unknown.
This icon of American childhood would not have been possible without the Nelson Knitting Company, which created the first no-seam socks during the 19th century (in Rockford, Illinois). When copycat socks began to chip away at their business, a red heel was added in 1932 to assure customers that they were buying the original.
As needs must during the Great Depression, mothers soon made use of this red heel as the mouth for an easy-to-make homemade toy that could be produced from a worn-out sock. It was not until the 1950s that the Nelson Knitting Company acquired any kind of patent for a sock monkey, despite the fact that they had been including a pattern with each pair of Red Heel Rockfords for years. 1933 KEWPIE DOLL
1934 BUCK ROGERS POCKET PISTOL
Balsa wood model kits were cheap to produce and this was a bonus for many families. Models continued to be popular, but in later years were often made of plastic or metal. This kit contains a mixture of metal and balsa pieces. 1937 PEDAL CARS
A pedal car in 1937 would have cost a family about $15, which in today’s money would have been about $250. An extravagant gift even by today’s standards, pedal cars were most popular during the interwar period and were prominently featured in Sears catalogs every year during the Great Depression. The shortage of metal during WWII did more to harm sales than did the overall poverty of the Dust Bowl years.