I heard this on the radio and thought it was so interesting-
|Interview with David Hoffman, author of the book Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood
So many of the classic toys never started out as toys.
| When people walking by saw the display, they didn’t want the toy it was advertising, they wanted the train that was carting other toys around.
Play Doh is one of the craziest things; it was formulated as a compound to clean wallpaper. The sister-in-law of the guy who invented it complained that the kids in her nursery school class(she was a teacher) really couldn’t play with clay because it was too firm for their fingers to manipulate. So he said, “I have something, it’s non-toxic, it’s great because if you keep it in a tightly sealed container, it stays soft and if you leave it out, it will harden just like clay does.”
Mr. Potato Head was originally supposed to be just a premium in a breakfast cereal.
It was a bag of plastic face parts that you could stick into really any fruit or vegetable, but particularly a potato. The guy who invented it showed it to Hasbro and they said, “We want this.” It was a good move, because George Lerner, who invented the product, would have made five thousand dollars had he sold it to the breakfast cereal company, instead he became a millionaire.In addition, Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television.