Courtesy of Orlando Attractions Magazine
Photo Courtesy of The Orange County Regional History Center
Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood and Video Stuff: Electronic Gaming through the Years.
January 18-April 13, 2008
Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood, at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Fla., through April 13, 2008, features more than 40 timeless toys and games that are both historical and contemporary. The highly interactive exhibition sponsored by Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q features toys that are older than 25 years and currently marketed and available.
Organized by the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts in conjunction with David Hoffman, the author of the 1996 book on which the exhibition is based, Kid Stuff explores the history of favorites like Tinker Toys, Mr. Potato Head, Radio Flyer Wagon, Barbie, Duncan yo-yo, View-Master, Lego, and many more – but no fads or multi-branded generic items.
“Okay, maybe some of these toys are not what they used to be,” concedes Hoffman, “but at least they’re still here.” He says that changes in design, materials, or packaging were usually the result of higher production costs or stricter safety regulations. Case in point: Mr. Potato Head. Originally conceived to create funny faces on real vegetables (not just potatoes) using sharp-pronged plastic pieces, in 1964 new U.S. safety standards required that prongs be less sharp and then were unable to puncture real food. Then in 1987 with anti-smoking campaigns in full swing, Mr. Potato Head handed over his signature pipe to Surgeon General C. Everett Coop at a Great American Smokeout press conference. Hoffman adds: “Millions of kids continue to agree that Mr. Potato Head is ‘the most wonderful friend a boy or girl could have.’ ” The 3,200-square-foot exhibition displays the vintage toys with their stories of invention, evolution, and impact on American culture featuring their original packaging and promotional materials, as well as classic TV commercials from the 1950s and ’60s.
In conjunction with Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood, the History Center presents Video Stuff: Electronic Gaming through the Years. This complementary exhibit traces the history of these ‘modern playthings’ back to the video games’ precursor, the electronic pinball machine, and take visitors forward to the more familiar games of today. The exhibit offers a look ‘inside the box,’ highlighting the dramatic changes in size versus power as it marks key developments in game and console technology and illustrates the relevance and sociological influences of these ‘toys.’
For more information please visit: The History Center