Open Culture: Download Instructions for More Than 6,800 LEGO Kits at the Internet Archive. “We’ve all come across a LEGO set from childhood and felt the temptation to try building it one more time… If you’re missing a few bricks, you can always turn to the robust secondary market in LEGO components. If you’re missing the manual, there’s now one place you should look first: the LEGO building instructions collection at the Internet Archive. There you’ll find digitized materials for more than 6,800 different sets, including such popular releases as the LEGO Chevrolet Camaro Z28, the LEGO International Space Station, and the LEGO cover photo of Meet the Beatles.”
Japanese Toy Designs from the Late 19th & Early 20th Century: Explore an Online Archive (Open Culture)
New-to-Me, from Open Culture: Japanese Toy Designs from the Late 19th & Early 20th Century: Explore an Online Archive. “These masks, dolls, tops, and other fanciful works of the toymaker’s craft may not immediately appeal to a generation raised with smartphones. But their designs, rooted in Japanese mythology and regional cultures, nevertheless exude both a still-uncommon artistry and a still-fascinating ‘otherness.’”
WTOP: Woman creates virtual Black doll museum. “The museum features antique dolls, dolls 80 years or older. [Debbie Behan-Garrett]’s oldest dolls date back to the 1880s. They are a pair of cloth dolls that are handmade by the grandchild of an abolitionist. She features vintage dolls from 1941 through 1960 and modern dolls from 1961 to the present. She also features one-of-a-kind dolls, dolls that can’t be found anywhere else.”
Brickset: Digital archive of Blocks magazine now online. “Blocks is delighted to announce that we’re opening up the back catalogue, providing access to more than 80 digital back issues of the LEGO magazine for fans, including the rare pilot issue. Print subscribers will get this new perk completely free for the duration of their subscription!”
CNN: Small toy stores are worried they won’t stay in business after this year. “While small toy stores like Pufferbellies are struggling to stay afloat in the pandemic, Amazon and big box chains’ sales have surged as shoppers head online and consolidate their visits to stores. Analysts predict a bumper holiday season for these companies. In contrast, the situation is particularly dire for independent toy retailers. Sales at toy, hobby and game stores dipped 26% between mid-March, when shutdowns first began, and late October compared with the same time last year, according to data from Womply, a company that provides software platforms for small businesses and tracks sales through credit and debit card transactions.”
BBC: Toymakers expect strong Christmas sales despite coronavirus. “Toymakers are expecting strong global sales during the critical end-of-year festive season, after a surge of pandemic-fuelled demand for items such as Barbies and board games.”
USA Today: Fisher-Price opens a virtual museum on Instagram to celebrate 90 years of its toys. “Fisher-Price has created a virtual museum on Instagram to celebrate its toy stories. The toymaker, founded in 1930, has created an explorable online archive with more than 90 exhibits organized by decade, including the rolling Snoopy Sniffer from 1938 and wearable Roller Skates, first introduced in 1983.”
Brick Fanatics: New LEGO Star Wars fan website launches. “There’s a new website for LEGO Star Wars fans, with The Holo-Brick Archive now online and fully functional. Driven by fans for fans, it promises regular news and a product database packed with sets, books and all manner of branded merchandise.” That database? Has over A THOUSAND sets in it.
KRDO: Toymaker Hasbro is making thousands of face shields for health care workers. “Hasbro, known for its popular boards games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, is shifting its efforts from creating games and toys for kids to making plastic face shields for health care workers. On Saturday, the company announced its plan to partner with Cartamundi, a card and board game manufacturer, to produce 50,000 face shields per week for front line health care workers.”
Ubergizmo: This 3D Printer Lets Preschoolers 3D Print Their Own Toys. “If 3D printing has always come across as being more of an “adult” hobby, think again because the folks at 3Doodler have recently announced the launch of a new 3D printer that is being aimed at preschoolers. This will allow kids to 3D print their own little toys in a fun and safer way, while encouraging the development of motor skills.”
Mashable: This digital Etch-A-Sketch is just as frustrating as the real thing. “Want to relive a frustrating yet addictive childhood experience? Now you can! A Google Chrome Labs developer has built a web version of the classic Etch-A-Sketch. It’s called Web-A-Skeb, which is a name that rocks. And I am happy to report that attempting to create anything with it is just as maddening as the original.”
SYFY WIRE: Searching For Your Favorite Childhood Toy? A Rare Collectible? Look No Further, It’s Here.
New-to-me, from SYFY WIRE: Searching For Your Favorite Childhood Toy? A Rare Collectible? Look No Further, It’s Here.. “When Christian Braun was a kid growing up in Germany in the ’70s, he was an obsessive collector of Timpo Toys. By the time he was 10 years old, he had 8,000 Timpo Toys, neatly organized in cases in his bedroom.Sometimes people grow out of a childhood hobby. Braun made it his life. He financed his education by buying and selling toys that he acquired on hitchhiking trips through Europe, then spent years writing a reference guide to Timpo Toys. He has spent his life cataloging and organizing different toys and collectibles, and now… he’s focusing on putting every single one of them in a single database.”
TechCrunch: Google’s search data shows YouTube’s influence over this season’s hottest toys. “If there was any doubt about YouTube’s power to influence children, look no further than this year’s list of the hottest holiday toys, based on Google shopping search data. According to the search giant, at least four of the top 10 most searched toys were among those heavily featured in YouTube unboxing videos — subsequently turning them into the most in-demand and best-selling toys of the holiday season. Plus, another top toy is the JoJo Siwa Singing doll — a product from the YouTube star of the same name.”