How Toys Have Changed Over the Years

  • by Jacob Riff

Evolution is an irreversible process, transforming everything around us. Like several other things, toys have also undergone a major transformation as the years have gone by. You would be surprised to know that in the 19th century, toys were considered a luxury item, only afforded by the well-off people. Interestingly, there was also no diversity whatsoever as most toys were made only of wooden sticks and boxes.

However, things have come a long way since then. Now, kids can play with several toys that are not only the epitomes of innovation but also testify to the progress of the human mind. Today, we have tried to decipher the evolution in toys so that you can understand how remarkable the change is.

Late 19th Century (1870-1900)

In the late 1800s, the word childhood had completely different connotations. Most children did not have time to play as they were busy helping their parents furnish household chores. Only a tiny minority of kids could play, and that too with wooden dolls, marbles, and knucklebones. Similarly, hoops and balls made from different materials were also popular.

The beginning of the 19th century saw a significant change in the shapes, purpose, and material of toys as the makers decided to move a step further. Now, the jigsaw puzzles, pedal cars, and playground equipment took place of wooden toys.

Early 20th Century (1900-1950)

As the industrial revolution started creating ripples across the countries, toys also underwent a major transformation. Now, they were mass-produced and so, became cheaper. Plastic dolls, toy trains, and Kids Scale Model Buildings became everyone’s obsession. Radio Flyer Wagon was one the most popular toys of that time as it was not only indestructible but it also offered endless entertainment. In addition to the Wagons, yoyos also became extremely popular due to their different colors, sizes, and shapes. The fervor was so high that the yoyo contests became a new norm,  and people would passionately participate in them.

Mid-20th century (1950-1990)

The mid-19th century saw a major transformation in the purpose of toys. They were now being used to teach kids and hone their creative skills. Similarly, people also started drooling over the toys that would appear in movies. One such example is of BB Guns, which secured a permanent place in everyone’s heart after they appeared in A Christmas Story, a famous comedy film of 1983. Similarly, the fictional characters of Superman and Batman also took everyone by storm as retailers filled their shops with their figurines.

Modern Period (1990-Till date)

Thanks to the advancement in technology, kids living in the 21st-century play completely different than the kids of the early centuries. From dolls, figurines, cars, and Running Costumes all the way to games, every toy is infused with innovation, creativity, and ingenuity. Intelligent toys have also taken everyone by surprise because of their ability to think and take decisions on their own. As a result, kids nowadays are more attracted to technological toys than inanimate objects that do not offer much entertainment.

Final Words

Technology has profoundly revolutionized everything, and toys are no exception. We are hopeful that technology will continue to shape the future of toys in a way that makes all of us proud. Just pick the best and enjoy the rest!


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