It's officially the holiday season and visions of Xbox 360s are dancing in little children's heads. As you're trudging through the toy aisle to fulfill those wish lists, take a look around at those classics that kids still love today. Did you know that some of the most famous toys of all time were invented in Chicago?
We've all heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, but did you know his son, John L. Wright, invented Lincoln Logs? Wright came up with this toy concept when he saw the construction of one of his father's designs, the Imperial Palace Hotel in Tokyo. Lincoln Logs was invented in 1916.
When a stonemason in Evanston saw children playing with pencils and empty spools of thread, he decided to create a toy that would encourage children to use their imagination. TinkerToys weren't very popular at first, but they obviously picked up. Hasbro purchased TinkerToys in 1985.
The little red wagon is a staple in American nostalgia. If you didn't have one, you knew someone who did. This famous toy was not only created in Chicago, but the company is still headquartered in the Windy City 95 years later. Antonio Pasin immigrated from Italy to Chicago in 1917 and began making and selling wooden wagons. Originally called Liberty Coaster, Pasin began employing mass production techniques to create the steel Radio Flyer. Today, Radio Flyer is a thoroughly modern company, putting out tons of different types of products all over the world.
In addition to the actual creation of famous toys, Chicago is also the home to many of the most famous toy invention companies; one of the most famous being Marvin Glass and Associates, founded in 1941. This toy design and engineering firm created famous and successful games like Mr. Machine, Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots, Lite Brite, Ants in the Pants, Mouse Trap, Operation, SIMON and the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. Veterans of Marvin Glass and Associates went on to found Big Monster Toys, one of the largest toy design firms in the country.