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Popular Toys Throughout the Ages 139

Ant writes "MSNBC has a story on the 'must-have' items from decades past. From the article: 'With so many new toys and games hitting store shelves every year, it may be a little surprising that many of the most popular playthings are actually quite old. But people have been playing for a very long time. In 4000 B.C., Babylonians played a board game that was probably the ancestor of chess and checkers. Stone yo-yos were first used in ancient Greece around 1000 B.C. Kites appeared in China around the same time, though historians speculate that they have probably been flown since before recorded history.'"
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Popular Toys Throughout the Ages

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  • by core plexus ( 599119 ) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @03:20AM (#14278385) Homepage
    I have a few toys that could be considered prehistoric Alaska artifacts (over 2,500 years old). They seem to teach kids skills needed for hunting, shelter, and survival. I think it's a good idea, as I developed these skills at a very early age, and have put them to good use.

    Alaskan Volcano Getting Stinky []

  • Sticks... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Valcoramizer ( 812232 ) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @03:45AM (#14278452) Journal
    I contend that the stick is probably the oldest "toy" ever used (although it could be debated that it was only a tool). When humans first started using tools, they were in the form of sticks, rocks, etc. Children probably learned the use of these objects through play, so it is sensable to assume that ancient kids played with sticks. I know that when I was a child, a stick was one of my favorite toys (it could be used like a sword, drum stick, or almost anything)
  • by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @04:34AM (#14278584) Homepage
    One of the very few "interactive" toys of the time (the 1970s), it gave true geeks to be the inside view of life as a cyborg, between being able to physically change the cybernetic parts of Steve Austin, you could also have a view through the "eye" of the 6 Million Dollar Man, and even, via his "exercise station" view his exploits using a Fisher Price style 8mm film strip viewer. There were some cool electronic toys as well, but unless your parents were deep in cash, you didn't have it.

    Sure, there was Micronauts, and even Battlestar Galactica toys at the time, but you could build stories and adventures around the Bionic Man. The others were primarily reenactments of the shows/commercials (even Micronauts didn't really have a story to speak of, until the Marvel Comics series that came out a few years later).

    And of course there was the huge response to the Atari 2600 in the late 70s, in fact, it singlehandedly spawned an entire industry. Ignoring that little bit of history is like ignoring the discovery of electricity or fire, for that matter.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal