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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Frame-Tray Puzzles from Western Publishing (1979)

Western Publishing produced frame-tray puzzles under a variety of brands, including Whitman, Golden, and Merrigold Press.


The venerable jigsaw puzzle was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002, a testament to its all-ages play value and enduring popularity as a challenging pastime, especially on a cold winter day.

Frame-tray puzzles are aimed at young puzzlers and are often promoted as helping children develop coordination and motor control. Each puzzle consists of a small number of large, die-cut, interlocking pieces that fit securely inside a pre-fitted frame. The frame helps guide children with puzzle piece placement and doubles as easy stackable storage. The reward for one’s puzzle building efforts is a picture that can be carried around and proudly displayed.

Western Publishing was one of the largest manufacturers of inexpensive, mass-produced frame-tray puzzles. The company sold products under a variety of different brand names, including Whitman, Golden, and Merrigold Press. Over the years, the puzzles included favorite characters from comics, TV shows, movies, holiday scenes, animals, and educational maps.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.