|Points To Ponder - The Art of Toys|
Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television. In 1985, he received four write-in votes in the mayoral election in Boise, Idaho.
After Marcellas death in 1916, Gruelle wrote, illustrated, and published the stories as 25-book series. In 1918, he began making dolls to sell as storybook companions. Many different manufacturers have made the dolls based on Gruelles 1915 patented design with subtle variations in face and dress, but the license is still owned by the Gruelle family.
Parker Brothers prints over $40 billion of Monopoly money every year. The U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving prints $70 billion annually.
Mickey Mouses image is the most reproduced in the world. Over 7,500 items bear his likeness. Jesus is number two, and Elvis is number three.
More than 16 billion toys have been given away in Cracker Jack boxes since they started the "prizes" in 1912.
Lincoln Logs were developed by John Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and were inspired by classical Japanese architecture.
Richard James, a marine engineer at a Philadelphia shipyard, was looking for a way to keep nautical instruments stable in rough seas when a large torsion spring fell off of a shelf. James watched as the spring crawled down shelves, stacks of books, and tabletops, landing upright on the floor. This spring gave him an idea for a new toy.
He tested the
spring on a flight of stairs and found it to be even more impressive. James
consulted with his wife, Betty, who agreed it had potential as a toy. He
began working on prototypes as Betty searched the dictionary for a name.
When she hit the word "Slinky," a trademark
was born. Neighborhood children tested the toy before Slinky debuted at
Gimbels in Philadelphia during the Christmas season of 1945. In the first
90 minutes, over 400 were sold.
Utility patents protect mechanical, electrical, or chemical features, such as a type of movement between the parts of the toy or a new combination of materials for a toy, for up to 20 years from the date of application.
Design patents cover the ornamental design or appearance of a toy for a term of 14 years from the date of the patent grant.
Trademarks are used to protect a particular word, name, or symbol for a toy. Mattel has a trademark for the company name, and Mattels Barbie is a trademark for the product name. A trademark will last forever if the toy is still being manufactured and sold. Trademarks are unusual because both state and federal registrations are available, while patents are protected only under federal laws.
Copyrights protect the toy as a tangible work of art for the life of the "author" or creator of the work plus an additional 70 years. Toy copyrights are typically classified as a visual art.
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