In 1974, Playskool released its Familiar Places Holiday Inn Playset, an activity toy that let children recreate the adventures of staying at a Holiday Inn, eating at the hotel buffet, and spending time at the courtyard pool.
The two-storey structure incorporated the instantly recognizable yellow and green branding used by the hotel chain in the 1970s. It included many elements found at hotel properties, such as a revolving entryway door, furnished guest rooms, a family restaurant, balconies, and play structures.
The playset included a Holiday Inn building, a star-topped roadside sign with letterboard, six letterboard cards with statements like “The World’s Innkeeper” and “Welcome to Toyland”, six blockhead-style play people, one dog, two hotel beds, two restaurant booths, buffet table, linen cart, two cars, two suitcases, patio table, playground swing and slide, four chairs, two tables, four flags, and a folding playboard illustrated as a courtyard with lawn, shrubs, and a pool. Illustrations of a soda vending machine and ice box were printed on the outer surface of the building. The toy had a handle affixed to the rooftop and hinged closed for portability and storage.
The many components in the playset can make finding a complete set challenging. Some elements can be replaced, repaired, or recreated if needed. For a little customization, collectors could print their own letterboard cards with custom statements using a home printer, cardstock, and a little imagination.
Playskool’s Familiar Places series of playsets also included a McDonald’s restaurant and Texaco gas station.
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