Toyland, Toyland!

Items for sale from Tykie Toys, ca. 1947. Courtesy of the  Flesh Public Library and Museum via Ohio Memory.
Items for sale from Tykie Toys, ca. 1947. Courtesy of the Flesh Public Library and Museum via Ohio Memory.

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is Black Friday. Stores will dramatically reduce pricing on items to draw shoppers in, while those shoppers will have pored over store circulars and devised a shopping plan well before the Thanksgiving turkey got cold… perhaps even before it was ever cooked.

Shoppers outside of the Halle Brothers Company in Cleveland, via the Ohio Guide Collection.
Shoppers outside of the Halle Brothers Company in Cleveland, via the Ohio Guide Collection.

If you are a Black Friday shopper, it’s highly likely that toys and games comprised at least a portion of your shopping list today. After all, these items have long been a part of our gift-giving traditions. And if you aren’t a Black Friday shopper, you may still be looking for games and toys for the upcoming season. Why not look for ideas on Ohio Memory? Or, if you prefer, you can simply reminisce about a time when forgetting to buy batteries didn’t result in Christmas morning tears.

Some of the toys you’ll find on Ohio Memory are no longer sold in stores and have become collector’s items, perfect for toy collectors or nostalgia enthusiasts. Take, for example, Tykie Toy Company toys.   The Piqua-based company was started by Richard and Sara Grosvenor, who began creating toys in their home when their son, nicknamed “Tykie,” was a baby. The company outgrew the Grosvenors’ home by the 1940s but closed in 1952. On Ohio Memory, you can find a 1947 toy catalog which includes the Tykie Toy story as well as a pictorial list of its toys… toys that can sell for well over $100 today in online auctions.

Part of a Wyandotte Railway Line train set, made by  Wyandotte Toys of Piqua, Ohio. Courtesy of the Flesh Public Library and Museum via Ohio Memory.
Part of a Wyandotte Railway Line train set, made by Wyandotte Toys of Piqua, Ohio. Courtesy of the Flesh Public Library and Museum via Ohio Memory.

Some toys, such as teddy bears, airplanes, trains, and dolls, continue to be popular presents today. And others, such as jacks, marbles and Etch A Sketch, are not in demand by today’s children but are easily available and can provide lots of indoor fun on chilly snow days. If this year’s winter is anything like last year’s, it might be wise to tuck some of these items into stockings or emergency-snow-day supplies.

Grab a cup of hot cocoa, drape a warm blanket over your lap, and enjoy browsing Ohio Memory, where you’ll find shopping ideas and maybe reminders of the toys of your youth… but it won’t cost you a penny!

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Thank you to Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

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