History of Classic Toys, Play-Doh

Posted by GoGo Goodie on January 20, 2012.

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Our love affair with classic and retro toys continues today as we dive into the history of Play-Doh!

Play-Doh was original created as a putty to be used to clean wallpaper back in the 1930's for Kutol Products by Noah McVicker.  Kutol was owned by Noah who had his nephew, Joseph, join the family business around the mid 1940's.  Joe discovered that a local nursery school was using the putty and forming Christmas ornaments out of it.  Realizing the potential of the children's market, Joe took the putty to a convention for school supply manufactures.  He produced the putty in bright colors and named it Play-Doh.  In 1956 the McVickers launched The Rainbow Crafts Company for the manufacturing and the selling of Play-Doh.

Original Packaging

Late 1950's Packaging Featuring Elf-Like Mascot


Early 1960's Packaging Featuring Play-Doh Pete

After in store demonstrations, many popular department stores opened retail accounts, including Marshall Fields and Macy's.  Sales of Play-Doh soared to $3,000,000 by 1958. The McVickers expanded their market in 1964 by exporting Play-Doh to England, Italy and France.  Two more mile stones came a year later in 1965 when Rainbow Crafts was issued a patent on Play-Doh and General Mills purchased the company for $3,000,000.  Play-Doh was put under General Mills' Kenner Products line and was in turn sold to Tonka Corporation in 1987. Play-Doh changed hands one more time in 1991 when Hasbro bought it and remains the owner today.

On another note, while doing my research for this blog, I ran across a Play-Doh fragrance by Demeter.  I know we all love Play-Doh, but does anyone really want to smell like it?! And if you have a little more time on your hands and want to make something fun with your kids, here's a recipe for homemade Play-Doh....or Play Dough since it's homemade!

Homemade Play Dough

1 Cup - Flour

1 Cup - Water

1/2 Cup - Salt

2 Tablespoons - Cream of Tartar

1 Tablespoon - Vegetable Oil

Combine ingredients and cook over medium heat in a saucepan, constantly stirring.  The play dough will begin to form a ball and it's done!  Let it cool until it can be handled and knead in your desired food coloring.  Store in a sealed container or ziplock back.

Thanks for stopping by GoGo Goodie!  Leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite classic toy is.....


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