Portal:Toys

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A toy is an object used in play. Toys are usually associated with children and pets, but it is not unusual for adult humans and some non-domesticated animals to play with toys. Many items are manufactured to serve as toys, but items produced for other purposes can also be used as toys. A child may pick up a household item and 'fly' it around pretending that it is an airplane, or an animal might play with a pinecone by batting at it, biting it, chasing it, and throwing it up in the air. Some toys are produced primarily as collector's items and are not intended to be played with.

The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century.

Toys and play in general are an important part of the process of learning about the world and growing up. The young use toys and play to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults use toys and play to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, remember and reinforce lessons from their youth, discover their identity, exercise their minds and bodies, explore relationships, practice skills, and decorate their living spaces.

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a 2009 American action thriller based on the G.I. Joe toy franchise, with particular inspiration from the comic book and cartoon series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. The film is directed by Stephen Sommers, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and co-written by Stuart Beattie, based on a 1998 screenplay by John Paul Kay. G.I. Joe features an ensemble cast based on the various characters of the franchise. The story follows two American soldiers, Duke and Ripcord, who join the G.I. Joe Team after being attacked by MARS troops. After leaked drafts of the script were criticized by fans, Larry Hama, writer of the comic, was hired as creative consultant and rewrites were made. Rise of Cobra opened at the top of the box office and grossed over $302 million worldwide by the end of its run. Critical reception was mostly negative, with criticism of the writing and acting. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released on March 28, 2013.

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A jigsaw puzzle usually forms a picture when complete.
Credit: Vassia Atanassova

A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to put together pieces in a logical way in order to come up with the desired solution. Puzzles are often contrived as a form of entertainment, but they can also stem from serious mathematical or logistical problems — in such cases, their successful resolution can be a significant contribution to mathematical research.

Selected biography

Ole Kirk Christiansen (7 April 1891 – 11 March 1958) was the founder of Danish toy company the Lego Group. He was the 10th son of an impoverished family in Jutland in western Denmark. Born in Filskov, Denmark, he trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Soon after Ole's wife passed on and left Ole to raise his four sons. Ole eventually found inspiration enough to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. He soon found that his sons loved the new toy and decided to put them into production, using all the left over wood from his old business. In 1942 a fire broke out at the factory forcing them to rebuild. Initially, he made miniature versions of the houses and furniture as he worked on as a carpenter, but in 1947 moved onto using plastics, which were originally small plastic bears and rattles unlike the bricks we are accustomed to today. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys.

Did you know...

Did you know?


  • ...that the travels of a shipment of 29,000 Friendly Floatees bath toys lost overboard in the Pacific in 1992 have been used to model the world's ocean currents?


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