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17 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Your Favorite Toys

Do you know Barbie's real name?

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1. Twister became a popular game after it was featured on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. He played the game with guest Eva Gabor.


Up until then, its sales had been sluggish. Sears even denied having it included in its catalog because they considered it risqué.

3. In 1993, Earring Magic Ken became the biggest-selling Ken doll of all time. Which was mainly because gay men bought them due to the way he was dressed — and the fact that he appeared to be wearing a “cock ring” as a necklace.


Mattel later recalled the dolls and issued this statement:

"We're not in the business of putting cock rings into the hands of little girls."


10. Mattel was forced, by accident, to create the He-Man cartoon series after its director of marketing, who was trying to sell the line, told Toys 'R' Us executives that a cartoon special was in the works.

12. Tickle Me Elmo became a must-have toy after Rosie O’Donnell featured it on her talk show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

Fisher Price / Getty Images

At the height of the craze, the dolls went for as much as $2,000 on the resale market.


13. Ken Forsse, the man who created Teddy Ruxpin, worked for the Walt Disney Co. early on, specializing "in the figures that move to music on Disney theme park rides." He would adapt that technology to create the iconic talking bear.

15. Play-Doh was originally created in the 1930s as a way to clean wallpaper.

Karen Bleier / AFP / Getty Images

Cleaning wallpaper was a necessity before WWII, when most homes were heated by coal, which left behind a soot residue. By the 1950s that changed as vinyl wallpaper was introduced (which could be cleaned with soap and water), and homes were heated by gas. The nephew of the inventor of the soot cleaner saw an opportunity to market the non-toxic cleaner to kids as molding clay, and thus Play-Doh was born.

16. According to its creator, Scott Stillinger, Koosh Balls got its name from the sound it makes when it lands in your hand.


Stillinger was inspired to create the toy when he was teaching his kids to play catch and realized that a ball shaped like Koosh, would be easier for very small kids to grab.

17. In 1999 it was reported that the NSA had allegedly banned Furbies from its headquarters in Maryland, over fears that they would hear top-secret conversations and then repeat them.

Getty Images

In all fairness to the Furby, it was capable of saying only about a 100 words in English.