Old time children toys have been available in a wide variety of forms and materials over the centuries. Many dolls, plastic toys, and kinetic medieval toys. So why did these first playthings become so well-liked?
Toys from Ancient Egypt
Toys have served a number of functions for humans throughout history. Toys have been used for anything from magical ceremonies to teaching reasons. Toys in Ancient Egypt came in a wide variety of forms.
Toys ranged from metal and wood to clay and wood. There were also toys in the form of people and animals. Wheels and other movable pieces were included in certain toys. Toys were occasionally fashioned from animal bones throughout the Middle Kingdom.
Kids and affluent adults alike enjoyed these toys. They function like traditional spinning tops but also have wheels and other mechanisms. Animal-shaped toys were a sign of affluence and luxury.
The paddle doll was another common plaything among ancient Egyptians. The hair on this wooden toy was constructed from linen thread, and it was adorned with clay beads. The doll was given a painted face. Like other Egyptian dolls, this one was handcrafted in the style of the period and embellished with fertility-themed themes.
Very popular in Ancient Egypt was the board game Senet. Those from affluent backgrounds often played this game. Kids who couldn't handle the complexity of the other toys probably enjoyed this one.
Toys Made of Plastic
Those born in the late 1940s and early 1950s might recall the fad of collecting metal action figures like soldiers made of lead. Eventually plastic toys were widely available. Among the top 15 toys of all time, 13 are manufactured entirely of plastic.
But what sort of stuff did they use to make those toys? The investigation discovered that several of the toys had dangerously high concentrations of lead and cadmium. When toys are submerged in diluted hydrochloric acid, these poisonous components are released. These chemicals can interfere with a child's ability to have children. Children's development is also impacted by them.
Celluloid, a common component of these toys, was shown to be combustible in a separate investigation. The material also deteriorated easily. Furthermore, its durability was found to be worse than that of plastics.
Wood, tin, and pewter were also utilized in the toy business. These were not, however, feasible for widespread manufacturing. They, too, were somewhat pricey. Toy manufacture slowed down during the war years.
Throughout the 1930s, Germany dominated the global toy industry. Toys back then were mostly made of metal or wood. Despite the oil crisis, toy production continued unabated. They changed to fulfill the need.
Toys That Go in Motion
Toys that use mechanical energy or an external power source can be found in a wide variety of forms and sizes. Clocks and other simple mechanical devices, as well as complex mechanical vehicles of varying sizes and complexity, fall under this category. Wheeled vehicles, electric railroad train models, and radio-controlled model airplanes are all examples of the moving variety.
Some of the newest toys on the market are no different from others that have been around for millennia. At Stonehenge, you may find one of the oldest toys in Britain. The first toys that could move around were often constructed of metal and had more practical purposes than modern toys. In their more advanced forms, these toys use batteries or wheels to propel the action. A ten-year guarantee is offered on some playthings. Some of the more sophisticated playthings use electronic components like light-emitting diodes and motion detectors. At least a thousand years separate us from the earliest known examples of moving toys. The earliest toys are a collection of clay elephants that can drink water, which predates even the newest toys.
Toys have always been an integral part of children's play. They are mostly manufactured from plastic these days. In contrast, metal and wood were common materials for toys in the past.
Metal toys were all the rage in the early 1900s, but their high prices kept most kids from having one. Plastics eventually supplanted them after World War Two. The 1950s marked the introduction of a washing machine and dryer inside dollhouses. In addition, the exteriors were made of lithographed steel.
The United States was the first country to mass-produce metal toys. The United States' iron sector soared to the top of the global rankings after the Civil War. As a result, cast-iron toys became a thing. Yet, European manufacturers never fully used the metal's benefits.
Toy production moved from small workshops to massive factories in the late 19th century. Around the turn of the century, the quality of these toys had improved to the point that they could be offered at an affordable price.
Toys of the past were dragged by means of strings. Sometimes they looked like little versions of grownups. There were even stone, clay, and wooden ones. Several of them were made of baked clay. Papyrus was occasionally used to fill these toys.