Can You Guess What’s In the Box?
Think you can guess what these gifts are? Here is a hint: They’re all popular toys from Christmas’ past.
You’ve seen it before. Each year there is one gift every kid wants and every parent is dying to find. Read the clue, take a look and see if you can guess what’s in these boxes.
Created by business woman Ruth Handler and toy company Mattel in 1959, Barbie has gone on to become a beloved toy icon, and is sold in 150 nations around the world. In 2009 Barbie celebrated her 50th Anniversary, commemorated with a real-life runway show in New York, with contributions from famous designers such as Michael Kors and Calvin Klein.
Barbie hasn’t been without her share of controversy, however. In recent years many have objected to her unrealistic representation of the female figure, with some going as far as purchasing a talking version of the doll, replacing its voice box with that of a G.I. Joe’s, and then returning them to the store.
Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots
Originally released in 1964, Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots have been sold all across the world for over five decades. The 2011 film Real Steel (starring Hugh Jackman) may well have been inspired by Rock’Em Sock’Em, as it featured full-sized robots, controlled by humans, duking it out in the ring.
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Larue/Flickr Creative Commons)
Tickle Me Elmo
Sesame Street’s beloved Elmo made a splash on the toy-scene in the mid-90s, when he was turned into a highly sought after plush doll that would laugh and shake when squeezed. Elmo-Mania reached an all-time high in 1996, when he became the most popular toy on the market, leading some parents to go to extreme lengths to secure their very own doll. A near-riot in Fredericton, New Brunswick, left one Wal-Mart employee with a broken rib and concussion, after being stampeded by a mob of desperate, Elmo-seeking parents.
Originally designed in the 1940s in Denmark, Lego comes from the Danish term “leg godt”, meaning “play well”. Lego estimates they have manufactured over 400 billion blocks. The single largest Lego Set, the Taj Mahal, contains 5,922 pieces.
(Photo courtesy of BenSpark/Flickr Creative Commons)
Hint: This iconic toy has kept a famous plumber and his brother in business for over two decades.
Nintendo Entertainment System
Singlehandedly responsible for reviving the North American video game industry, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the best-selling video game system of all-time. Released in the U.S. in February 1986, the NES was home to the very first Mario, Zelda and Final Fantasy games.
Following the end of the Atari-era (and the near death of the video game industry) many retailers were skeptical that the NES would sell. As a compromise, Nintendo packaged their original NES units with an electronic toy robot named R.O.B. Designed to appear to parents as more of an interactive toy than a video game, R.O.B. was soon discontinued after the overwhelming popularity of the NES rendered him unnecessary. The NES would go on to sell 61 million units worldwide.
Cabbage Patch Kids
One of the most popular toys of all-time, Cabbage Patch Kids were a fad and must-have toy for kids throughout the 1980s. The dolls reached nearly unprecedented levels of popularity, leading to news coverage in everything from Newsweek to The Wall Street Journal. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, each presidential candidate had a Cabbage Patch Kid made in their likeness, including Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.
Did you know that Play-Doh was originally used as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s, until school children began using it as a modeling clay, and it was marketed as a children’s product? Play-Doh now sells nearly 95 million cans a year in over 75 countries around the world.
The roots of Monopoly trace back to 1904, when Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips created The Landlord’s Game. Her idea would later inspire Charles Darrow to create his own version of The Landlord’s Game, titled Monopoly.
Despite Monopoly’s now iconic status, it was originally rejected by game manufacturers. Fortunately, Darrow took things into his own hands and created 5000 copies of Monopoly to be sold at a Philadelphia department store in 1934. Within a year, Parker Brothers had struck a deal with Darrow and began distributing what would become one of the best-selling board games of all-time.