Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some Toy History For Your Tuesday...!

I love these things! I always have!

I never knew their history, but now that I do...I love them even more!

I've never seen a kid that didn't really enjoy playing with a Slinky if you gave them one. Heck, even grown-ups will take one that a child has left laying around and start playing with it!

The Slinky is one of those toys that folks can invent their own games with, and that is always good for the imagination! Simple toy that can inspire and encourage...we need more of that type of toy, in my opinion!

How the Slinky got stuck between a cult and a mid-life crisis

In 1943, naval engineer Richard James invented the Slinky. When a spring fell off of his workbench and began to “walk” across the floor, he figured he could make a toy out of it. His wife Betty agreed, and she came up with the name Slinky. Introduced in 1945, Slinky sales soared (say that three times fast), but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Richard James.

By 1960, despite his success, Richard James was suffering from a serious mid-life crisis. But instead of falling for fast cars, dyed hair and liposuction, Richard James went a different route, and became involved with a Bolivian religious cult. He gave generously to the religious order and left his wife, six children and the company to move to Bolivia.

Stuck with the debts left by her husband and a company that desperately needed her leadership, Betty James took over as the head of James Industries. A marketing savant, Betty James was responsible for additions to the Slinky line including Slinky Jr., Plastic Slinky, Slinky Dog, Slinky Pets, Crazy Slinky Eyes and Neon Slinky. It was great for boys and girls around the world that Betty James didn’t suffer a midlife crisis. In 2001, she was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and perhaps even more laudably, her Slinky dog was forever immortalized in Disney’s Toy Story movies.

Now don't you just love a toy with an interesting history? Sure seems to make them more fun! To this day, I can entertain myself for hours playing with one!

I've given these as gifts at Christmas and have yet to see them go unused. The grands and grand nieces seem to be just as happy with one today as anything I have seen them playing with!

Don't tell anyone, but I keep one put back at my place for reunions and get-togethers...when the kids start to show signs of becoming bored! It never fails to entertain!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen. Wanna play with my spare Slinky?


Ken said...

...i betcha he's pissed off huh?...lol

Ben in Texas said...

I remember as kids we had Slinky, but we were limited to what we could make them do cause our house didn't have any steps!! So we had to build an incline ramp or what ever to test them..

Dizzy-Dick said...

I can remember back in the late 40's and early 50's playing with my slinky. One of my faforite toys, took it everywhere with me.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ken...
Hope he enjoys being broke and religious(?)...

I say good for the old lady that made Slinky what it is today!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Ben...
That's what I mean about having to make up your own games! I had no stairs either, but we used books, bricks, boards, or anything else we could find to make 'em walk!

Hey, thanks for coming by today, buddy!

Hey Dizzy...
Amazing how that simple toy was in so many different folks' toy collection, isn't it?

Rich or poor, I think nearly everyone had one!

Thanks, Dizzy, for coming by this morning!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

My favorite toy is a HK91. Thanks for another great lesson.

JoJo said...

good morning my special one
I have one too. I love it and I would love some fresh coffee an play with your slinky toy. How do you make that sound OK?

chinasyndrome said...

Afternoon Jim,I was lucky enough to have stairs.Great toy.Although I kinda like Mech's H n K too. Ha Ha. Jim keep these great stories coming Buddy nice to have a break from all the doom an gloom!


HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
Not a bad toy as well! Not sure I would let the grand daughter play with it, but still...!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Hey JoJo...
You can play with my Slinky any time you want!

Love to have some coffee with you this morning...!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Hey China...
I still Prep for the worse, but I figure a lot of people can voice concerns a lot better than I...so I try and make folks smile a bit.

Someone in the group needs to be the joker, and in the future all groups will need some body to lighten things up more than ever!

That's a good spot for me, since I can spin a good yarn and remember some silly, smile causing jokes!

I know a lot about all the bad that's going on in the world, but just choose to present things to help keep it all in focus!

I appreciate you coming by today, buddy!

Marjie said...

I sorta knew the story of the Slinky, although I didn't know the Bolivian Cult part. Sometimes people are just idiots, aren't they?

And why not keep spare slinkys around? What, are you telling me there's someone out there who's NEVER bored? They're fibbing, just waiting for you to abandon your slinky so they can run off with it.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I had Slinky's when we were children. So our daughters had the same joy of playing with their Slinky's, when we were not playing with them.
Best toys are the old ones.
Buy a Slinky for a youngster this Christmas.

HermitJim said...

Hey Marjie...
That's the reason I keep my Slinky hid when I'm not using it! Especially when family is coming over!

Gotta protect the Slinky, ya know?

Thanks for the visit today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Andy...
Can't hardly wear the Slinky out! I think that mine has been through at least two generations now.

I think we should encourage the child's imagine as much as possible!

Thanks so much for the visit today!

Anonymous said...

I never had one as a kid, but I have played with a few in my time. Interesting story, especially since I have lived in Bolivia; it's not exactly a country that everyone goes to.


Anonymous said...

Slinky was one of the joys of my childhood. I spent many lonely hours playing with that toy, and not being so lonely.

Anonymous said...

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Most of the blogs I read have some kind of word or letters you are supposed to type in a little box before you can send in the comment. The problem is that I can never see the word. How can I see the magic word or letters that will allow me to post a comment?
Thank you