Timeless Toys by Tim Walsh

Timeless Toys

Author: Tim Walsh
Publication date: June 2004
ISBN: 978-0740755712
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover

Timeless Toys is an encyclopedia of all things toys and games. In it, author Tim Walsh expertly covers toys of different decades and various companies, complemented by the stories of how each toy and game came to be and how the inventors were inspired to create their masterpieces. There’s over 420 color photos of classic toys and another 130+ additional images of vintage ads, patent drawings, and historical photographs. Plus, for every toy that Walsh himself was involved in developing, tons of behind-the-scenes insider knowledge are included.

For the most part, the book follows a chronological timeline. Following an Author’s Note and Introduction, Walsh talks about different toys and games of the 1900s-1920s, including Teddy Bear, Crayola, Raggedy Ann, and Radio Flyer. Next he delves into the 1930s-1940s, when Monopoly, Scrabble, Candy Land, and Clue came to be. In covering the 1950s, Walsh talks all things Silly Putty, Magic 8 Ball, Mr. Potato Head, Play-Doh, Yahtzee, and of course, Barbie.

Before moving on to the ’60s and ’70s, Walsh discusses WHAM-O and Marvin Glass, two very successful game companies that brought the world Frisbee, Hula Hoop, Slip ‘n Slide, and Super Ball; and Mouse Trap, Operation, Lite-Brite, and Simon, respectively. After this brief digression from the timeline, Walsh moves on to the toys and games of the 1960s and 1970s, including Nerf, Uno, Etch A Sketch, The Game of Life, Twister, and Lego. Finally, visiting the 1980s and 1990s, Walsh covers Rubik’s Cube, Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Cabbage Patch Kids, Super Soaker, Pictionary, and Beanie Babies.

Timeless Toys is the perfect way to reminisce back on toys of the past, an intriguing coffee table book, an informative reference book — and a wonderful book to gift to yourself or a friend. The Wall Street Journal called it “an illustrated compendium of America’s 20th Century favorites.”

Tim Walsh is the one of the most knowledgeable and involved experts in the toy and game industry. Aside from being the author of both this book and WHAM-O Super-Book, he also celebrates toy and game designers on his YouTube channel through a series called Where’s The Fun From? Plus, he’s designed or co-developed almost too many games to count, including TriBond, Blurt!, Mad Gab, Feed Fuzzy, You’ve Been Framed, and many more. Somehow, he also finds time to Chair the Young Inventor Challenge Advisory Board.

Julia DeKorte is a book reviewer focused on the noteworthy people and manufacturers from the toy and game industry. In addition to Toy Tales, she is a regular contributor at People of Play.