toys and games

Pixabay.com

When Toys "R" Us announced its closure in 2017, the other big box retailers didn't reap all the rewards. Independent toy stores are the ones that truly stepped in to fill a void for children and their parents.

adventure zone book
Courtesy of The Adventure Zone

The tabletop role-playing-game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) may have gone through some growing pains during the "satanic panic" of the 1980s, but it is seeing a pop culture resurgence, with cameos in hit series like Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things. So what exactly is this game and why has it remained a staple of tabletop game players for more than 40 years?

What do pinball, Uno, and the Magic 8 Ball have in common? One, they have just been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame; and two, they all have their roots in Cincinnati. 

Ann Thompson / WVXU

If a toy looks good on YouTube, chances are it will be all the rage. The video-hosting website plays a huge role in the creation and marketing of toys. In some cases the crazier the toy, the better. One Cincinnati toy company is taking full advantage of this trend, especially with its new creation: Chow Crown.

Toy historian Gary Darna has created a digital catalog of toy collectibles, including those with local ties from Kenner and Hasbro

Provided, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Kenner Toys was founded in Cincinnati by the Steiner brothers in 1947. The company went on to be a powerhouse in the toy industry, with such hits as The Easy Bake Oven, Spirograph, Stretch Armstrong, M.A.S.K, and, of course, the Star Wars collection. The Main Branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is currently celebrating Kenner and other local toy companies with several exhibits and an upcoming symposium.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

In time for the holidays, and before the new Star Wars movie is released, the main branch of the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library has an exhibit on toys with a Cincinnati history. 

lightbulbbaking.com

  Cincinnati’s Kenner Products introduced the Easy-Bake® Oven in 1963, and it quickly became one of the most popular toys in history. Who didn’t make, or taste, one of those tiny cakes? In time to celebrate its 50th birthday, Toy Historian Tod Coopee has written a definitive history of the iconic toy, Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy-Bake® Oven. He joins us to talk about the innovation and history of the Easy-Bake® Oven, and why it’s still so popular today.

"Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z"

May 10, 2013

Our Roberta Schultz has a review of the fascinating new book, Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z by Linda Hager Park and Pat Banks, published by University Press of Kentucky.