Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. WHAM-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. Atari.
These toys—and the stories of the kids, parents, child-rearing experts, inventors, manufacturers, and advertisers they affected—reflect the dynamism of American life.
Senior exhibit developer and best-selling author Kate Roberts, along with senior curator Adam Scher, spotlight forty-five memorable toys, placing them in historical context and examining their development and launch, their impact on kids and the larger community, and their reflection of the social and cultural shifts of each decade.
The book, developed in conjunction with the national traveling exhibit of the same name, will include firsthand stories shared by adults who revered these toys as kids as well as research gleaned from primary sources and toy experts and collectors.
Kate Roberts is senior exhibit developer for the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and author of the best-selling book Minnesota 150. Adam Scher is a senior curator in the collections department at the MHS.