The Toys Portal

19th century illustration of a child playing with a toy horse and cart

A toy or plaything is an object that is used primarily to provide entertainment. Simple examples include toy blocks, board games, and dolls. Toys are often designed for use by children, although many are designed specifically for adults and pets. Toys can provide utilitarian benefits, including physical exercise, cultural awareness, or academic education. Additionally, utilitarian objects, especially those which are no longer needed for their original purpose, can be used as toys. Examples include children building a fort with empty cereal boxes and tissue paper spools, or a toddler playing with a broken TV remote control. The term "toy" can also be used to refer to utilitarian objects purchased for enjoyment rather than need, or for expensive necessities for which a large fraction of the cost represents its ability to provide enjoyment to the owner, such as luxury cars, high-end motorcycles, gaming computers, and flagship smartphones.

Playing with toys can be an enjoyable way of training young children for life experiences. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment and smart toys. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors' items and are intended for display only. (Full article...)

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"Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons, and the 95th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 17, 1994. Lisa challenges the Malibu Stacy dollmakers to make a less sexist doll. With Malibu Stacy's original creator, Stacy Lovell, Lisa creates the doll Lisa Lionheart to positively influence young girls.

The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, and directed by Jeffrey Lynch. Its plot was inspired by the Teen Talk Barbie doll, which "spoke" short phrases stereotypical of a middle-class American teenager. Kathleen Turner guest stars as Lovell. (Full article...)
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A jigsaw puzzle usually forms a picture when complete.
A jigsaw puzzle usually forms a picture when complete.
Credit: Vassia Atanassova

A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to put together pieces in a logical way in order to come up with the desired solution. Puzzles are often contrived as a form of entertainment, but they can also stem from serious mathematical or logistical problems — in such cases, their successful resolution can be a significant contribution to mathematical research.

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ...that the first themed Lego Modular Houses set, released in April 2007, was designed for people aged 16 and older and meant to be "toys for adults"?

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Types:DollVehiclePuzzleTeddy bear

Industry:American Specialty Toy Retailing AssociationBirmingham toy industryInternational Union of Allied Novelty and Production WorkersKiddicraftPlay valueToy safetyToy storeToyeticWooden toymaking in the Ore Mountains

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