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Deb Neuman Deb Neuman
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Best toys ever

December 27, 2012
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I bought my 10-year-old nephew Twister for Christmas. Remember Twister? A game that includes a mat with circles of bright colors? Your spin determines on which circle you need to put your hands, feet whatever you can. The last person standing wins! Playing this with my niece and nephew has been a blast and a reminder of the best toys of days gone by. Twister was introduced in the late '60s and became a popular party game. It was the first game that made the players the actual game pieces. Sixty-five million of us have bent our bodies in unusual ways on Twister mats!

Call me old fashioned, but in an age of electronic toys, laptops, ipads and playing games on small screens, it is so much fun to actually play a game with other people real people!

As I was buying Twister, I noticed that some of the favorite games from my childhood (pre-computers) are still on the shelves, including Clue, Monopoly, Backgammon, Barrel of Moneys and Scrabble. Some of my favorite toys have been around for a while and hopefully will continue to survive as this current computer led generation becomes parents. There is nothing quite like a new Slinky, Silly Putty and a fresh set of blocks.

'Time' published a list of the Most Influential Toys of All Time. Here are the dates that toys we still play with today were 'born.'

1920s Yo-Yo, Radio Flyer Wagon, Pop-up books

1930s Finger Paint, Sock Monkey, Beach Ball

1940s Magic 8 Ball, Slinky, Legos

1950s Silly Putty, Barbie, Matchbox Car, Play-Doh, Mr. Potato Head, Hula-Hoop

1960s Ken (Barbie likes younger men), Easy-Bake Oven, Hot Wheels, Lite-Brite

1970s NERF Ball, Shrinky Dinks, Rubiks Cube

1980s Slap Bracelet, Care Bear, Transformers

1990s American Girl Doll, Tickle-Me-Elmo, Beanie Baby

In Maine, Roytoy has been making and selling log building sets since the 1930s. You will find their products in retail stores worldwide, including L.L. Bean. They have managed to survive many consumer and economic shifts in the toy business over the years by offering a traditional, tried and true toy that has been loved for generations.

I hope this column finds you playing with a toy or a game that brings out your inner kid as you play with your kids!

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