Some popular 1950s toys include Mr. Potato Head, Hula Hoops, Frisbees, Play-Doh and Silly Putty. Others include the Lingerie Lou doll and the Happi-Time doll and doll buggy.
Mr. Potato Head has the distinction of being the first toy advertised on television. First released in 1952, the original Mr. Potato Head only came with face pieces; children had to use real potatoes to play with the toy.
Although the design of the Hula Hoop originates in ancient times, Wham-O reinvented it and began marketing it in 1957. When the company began producing plastic hoops, it sold more than 100 million units within one year. The same company began manufacturing Frisbees in 1958. Wham-O named the toy for the Frisbee Pie Company because college students used the empty pie tins from the company in much the same way that kids play with Frisbees.
Play-Doh got its start as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1950s until the discovery that it was less messy than clay in children’s crafts projects. Silly Putty also came about by accident when scientists were researching synthetic rubber during World War II.
Lingerie Lou was a miniature doll with removable lingerie and painted-on shoes. She sold for 44 cents. A higher-end doll, the Happi-Time doll, sold for $7.98 and came with a layette, nursing bottle and other necessities. Her eyes closed, and she had real eyelashes. Her buggy was also available for an additional $5.19.