Toys

Researchers keep finding dolls and doll body parts off the coast of Texas, where ocean currents push debris and garbage onto the beach.

Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Washing Up on Texas Beaches?

Ocean currents push the unsettling toys—and tons of other trash—onto state shores

Harriet Jacobs, who escaped enslavement to write Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), created these three dolls for the children of writer Nathaniel Parker Willis around 1850-60. 

History of Now

Black Dolls Tell a Story of Play—and Resistance—in America

A new exhibition traces the toys' history from handmade cloth figures to an American Girl character

Collectors have gone out to look for rare pieces like washed-up octopuses and green dragons.

After 25 Years at Sea, Shipwrecked Lego Pieces Are Still Washing Ashore on Beaches in England

In 1997, a cargo ship was struck by a rogue wave. Among 62 shipping containers aboard, one contained five million plastic toy bricks

In 2017, the original Tamagotchi was relaunched on the 20th anniversary of its original U.S. release.

Keeping Tamagotchi Alive

The virtual pet that turned '90s kids into round-the-clock caretakers turned 25 this year

Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering tests toys for how well they develop STEM skills in kids.

Gift Guides

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

These expert-approved gifts teach robotics, coding and engineering thinking through stories and play

Vote for the creepiest doll via the center's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Which Historical Doll Will Be Crowned the Creepiest?

A Minnesota museum's third annual contest invites the public to vote on which of nine antique toys is the most unsettling

The change to more eco-friendly toys is already underway in some countries like the UK and Ireland. In France, kids can choose between receiving a sustainable toy or a book in the "One Book or One Toy" program with their Happy Meal.
 

McDonald's Will Offer More Sustainable Happy Meal Toys by 2025

New prizes will be made from renewable, recyclable plastics and cardboard in a shift away from using plastic made from virgin fossil fuels

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

A "deliberately inconvenient" twin champagne glass created by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani

Virtual Travel

Take a Virtual Tour of Failed Designs, From the DeLorean to Google Glass

An online exhibition showcases 40 creative flops, including a curvy ping-pong table and a doll dubbed Little Miss No-Name

PEZ has designed about 1,400 different character heads and innumerable variations.

How PEZ Evolved From an Anti-Smoking Tool to a Beloved Collector's Item

Early in its history, the candy company made a strategic move to find its most successful market

Each year, Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering turns into a toy testing laboratory.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2020

Tested and reviewed by engineers, these top picks make coding, robotics and engineering more accessible than ever

To solve the puzzle, you must twist the cubes so that eventually each side returns to its original color: The challenge is the astounding number of potential variations — more than 43 quintillion of them.

A Brief History of the Rubik’s Cube

Nearly half a century after its humble invention, the cube continues to be a global sensation. What’s the secret?

The little red car with the yellow roof that is propelled by foot power has been a hit with young children since its creation in 1979.

A Brief History of the Cozy Coupe

Invented by a former auto designer, the foot-powered kids toy still outsells engine-powered cars

It won’t be surprising if 2020’s “quarantine summer” sees even higher than usual sales for the toy.

The Accidental Invention of the Slip ‘N Slide

A young boy's summer antics 60 years ago inspired his father to create the timeless backyard water toy

For Earth Day, NASA and Lego challenged families to build models of planets as a way to learn through play.

Education During Coronavirus

NASA and Lego Host ‘Build a Planet’ Challenge

The event was part of the company's week of #LetsBuildTogether challenges

Submissions included a plague mask, a Feejee "mermaid" and a peapod pincushion.

Museums Challenged to Showcase 'Creepiest Objects' Deliver Stuff of Nightmares

We’re really, really sorry

The "Fashionista" line now boasts 176 dolls with nine body types, 35 skin tones and 94 hairstyles.

Meet the New Wave of More 'Diverse' Barbie Dolls

The additions include dolls with no hair, prosthetic limbs and vitiligo

Playmobil is sold in nearly 100 countries worldwide.

How Playmobil Went From a Simple, Smiling Figure to a Worldwide Sensation

A new movie plays off the narrative nature of a toy that has been capturing imaginations for 45 years

Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering works with pre-school, school-age, college undergrads, engineers and parents to test and rate science- and tech-themed products.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2019

Stretch young learners’ minds with everything from card games to robotic spheres

Play-Doh has sold more than 3 billion cans since its debut as a child’s toy in 1956.

The Accidental Invention of Play-Doh

The much-loved children’s toy was a desperate spinoff of a putty used to clean soot off of wallpaper

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