Fun Facts

Barbie logo

ˇ Nearly one billion Barbie dolls (including friends and family) have sold since 1959. Placed head to toe, the dolls would circle the earth more than three and one-half times. 

ˇ Barbie is currently sold in more than 140 countries around the world, at an average rate of one million dolls per week. 

ˇ Two Barbie dolls are sold every second somewhere in the world. 

ˇ Canadian girls own an average of seven Barbie dolls! That compares to eight in the US, seven in Italy and five in Germany and France. 

ˇ Since 1959, more than 125 million yards of fabric have gone into creating outfits for Barbie and her friends. 



What is Barbie's middle and last name? 

What are the names of Barbie's parents? 


Barbie's middle name is Millicent and her last name is Roberts. 

Barbie's parents names are George and Margaret. 


BarbieŽ went "mod" with new face sculpting in 1967, and changed once again during the late 1970's with the wide smile and sun-streaked hair that reflected the trends of the day. 

Crayola logo

In February, 1998, the Crayola 64 crayon box celebrated its 40th birthday with the reintroduction of its original packaging, complete with built-in sharpener and original package graphics. To help celebrate the milestone, an actual 1958 Crayola crayon box, and an assortment of advertising spanning the century, became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. 


The first box of Crayola crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel and included the same colours available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green violet, orange, black and brown.


The name Crayola was coined by Alice Binney, wife of company founder Edwin, and a former school teacher. She combined the words craie, which is French for chalk, and ola, for oleaginous, because crayons are made from petroleum based paraffin.


Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola products, produces more than 2 billion crayons each year, an average of five million daily. That's enough to circle the globe 4 ˝ times or make one giant crayon 35 feet wide and 400 feet long. The average child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by his 10th birthday (or 11.4 boxes of 64s). Kids, ages 2-8, spend an average of 28 minutes each day colouring. Combined, children in the US spend 6.3 billion hours colouring annually, almost 10,000 human lifetimes!


Most Crayola crayon colour names are taken from the US Commerce Department's National Bureau of Standards book called "Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names." Many crayon names are also borrowed from traditional artists' paints.


Crayola crayon colour names rarely change. However, there are exceptions. In 1958, Prussian blue was changed to midnight blue in response to teacher recommendations that children could no longer relate to Prussian history. In 1962, the colour flesh was changed to peach recognizing that not everyone's flesh is the same shade.

Play-Doh logo

A toy industry staple, Play-Doh has an unforgettable, pleasant scent and inviting texture that brings back wonderful memories for just about everyone, but did you know.

1956 Originally Play-Doh Brand Modeling Compound was developed as a wallpaper cleaning compound by a Cincinnati-based company. At the time, Play-Doh was available in only one colour and size - an off white, 1 pound can.

1957 Three new colours were added to the line -yellow, red and blue.

1972 Play-Doh records production of its 500 millionth can - just 16 years after its introduction!

1998 Sold in 21 countries around the world, approximately 2.5 million cans of Play-Doh are manufactured each week with retail sales topping approximately $150 million (US) worldwide.



What year was the trademark "Play-Doh Boy introduced and what is his name?


Play-Doh Pete was introduced in 1960.


ˇ Twister, the first game ever invented that asks people to use their bodies as playing pieces, has been played by an estimated 65 million people around the world. 

ˇ More than 17 million Twister games have been sold to-date since 1966. 

ˇ Demand for Twister was so great that the game continued to outsell any other game on the market for three consecutive years after its introduction.

Hot Wheels logo

ˇ More than 1.5 billion Hot Wheels have been produced since 1968, more vehicles than Detroit's "Big Three" combined, have manufactured. 

ˇ Placed end to end, all the Hot Wheels vehicles produced in the last 30 years would circle the earth more than two times. 

ˇ The number of Hot Wheels vehicles sold over the past 30 years is equivalent to about two every second. 

ˇ In North America alone more than 9 million children, ages three to 10 are avid Hot Wheels collectors - owning an average of 24 cars each.

ˇ More than 1,000 different Hot Wheels models have been created. 

ˇ The 1968 Hot Wheels Corvette -a reproduction of the real vehicle-was on store shelves before Chevrolet had their new '68 model at car dealers. 



ˇ How much did a Hot Wheels vehicle sell for in 1968?

ˇ What is the most popular Hot Wheels vehicle sold?

ˇ What is the length and scale of a Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle?


ˇ 59 cents

ˇ The Corvette.

ˇ 1/64th scale and three inches long. 

Lego System logo


102,981,500 is how many different ways there are to combine six 8-stud LEGO bricks of the same colour. If you haven't that much time, you can take three 8-stud bricks - same colour- and fit them together in 1,060 ways. Two 8-stud bricks - still the same colour - can be put together in 24 ways.


ˇ 189 billion LEGO elements - or thereabouts - were moulded between 1949 and the end of 1997. 

ˇ 300 million children and adults all over the world play or have played with LEGO bricks. 

ˇ Every year, children spend almost 5,000,000,000 hours playing with LEGO bricks.


It seems as if LEGO bricks have been around since the beginning of time, but did you know: 

ˇ 1949 Automatic Binding Bricks, a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today are produced and sold only in Denmark.

ˇ 1958 sloping roof-tile bricks are launched. 

ˇ 1961 LEGO invents the wheel for their building sets. 

ˇ 1968 LEGOLAND Park opens its gates on June 7th in Billund, Denmark. 

ˇ 1969 LEGO DUPLO line is launched internationally. 

ˇ 1974 LEGO figures enter the market. 

ˇ 1977 LEGO TECHNIC line is launched. 

ˇ 1992 DUPLO TOOLO line is launched. 

ˇ 1995 LEGO PRIMO line is launched. 



ˇ Mattel's name consists of syllables from the names of the founders, Harold Matson and Elliot Handler. 

ˇ Lego's name comes from the Danish words LEGOdt meaning "play well". In Latin the word means "I study" and "I put together."

ˇ Hasbro's name is from the founders, Hassenfeld Brothers.

ˇ Ritvik Toys adopted its unique name from its original founders, Rita and Victor Bertrand Sr.

ˇ Binney & Smith the makers of Crayola products was founded by Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith. 

BRIO was founded by Ivar Bengtsson who named his company after his sons Viktor, Anton, and Emil. Brothers Ivarsson in Osby.


It is interesting to note that not all of today's toy companies started out selling children's playthings. 

ˇ1876 Playmobil was founded in Furth, near Nuremberg, Germany. The company manufactured locks and metal fittings for chests. In the 1950's they began manufacturing toy telephones and cash registers. 

ˇ 1884 BRIO was founded in Boalt, Sweden. The company manufactured and sold woven baskets. In 1930 two red-lacquered wooden cars became the first proud bearers of the BRIO brand. 

ˇ1900 Binney & Smith began as a manufacturer of slate pencils and carbon black. 

ˇ1923 Hasbro was founded in Providence, Rhode Island and sold textile remnants and later manufactured pencil boxes covered with fabric remnants.

ˇ1932 Lego began in Billard, Denmark and manufactured stepladders, ironing boards and wooden toys. 

ˇ1945 Mattel began producing picture frames and miniature furniture made of polyurethane left over from the manufacturer of airplane nose cones. 

ˇ1945 The Ertl Company began manufacturing the toy tractors from melted war-surplus aluminum aircraft pistons.

ˇ1947 Kenner began as a soap and soft-drink manufacturer.

ˇ 1962 Educational Insights first product was a phonics course developed for the founders children and later offered to educators. 

ˇ 1988 K'NEX was first produced in an injection molding plant that made automotive parts, appliance and pharmaceutical components.


ˇ Total toy sales (including video games) in Canada in 1993 was 1.4 billion dollars. 

ˇ An average family in Canada will spend approximately $225 per child on toys per year. 

ˇ The number of new toys that enter the market each year and make it to a second year is about 100 out of 2,000.

ˇ Total toy sales (not including video games) in US in 1993 was 17 billion dollars.

ˇ Nearly half of the 17 billion dollars spent on toys in the US came from licensed goods based on movies and television shows.


Anxious to find a creative new activity to amuse their daughter's young guests, Larry Slivinski and Frances Auld agreed to have a puppet party for their daughter Lauren's 6th birthday party. Lauren immediately got to work gathering supplies that were needed to create puppets. The party was such a hit that pretty soon children from all over the neighborhood were flocking to their house to put on puppet shows. Knowing that they had discovered something magical Larry and Frances formed a home based company called Make and Play Concepts in 1996.


While at a noisy, crowded wedding in June 1988, Joel Glickman, whose family owns The Roden Group, was tinkering with a straw - then another and yet another - simply to pass the time. As he bent the straws into different geometric shapes, the bright idea hit him: There had to be a way to connect the straws, so children could build actual models from them. That germ of an idea became K'NEX (pronounced con-NECTS) - a new generation of creative construction sets for kids.


KLUTZ was founded in 1977 by three college friends John Cassidy, Darrell Hack and B.C. Rimbeaux in Palo Alto, California. Originally conceived as a harmless flirtation with career and business, KLUTZ has outgrown its original office space (which the founders shared with a Chevrolet Impala) and they have stayed true to their whimsical roots:

ˇ Create wonderful stuff. 

ˇ Run the business like family 

ˇ Remember some of what their moms told them.

ˇ And never grow up more than absolutely necessary.


More than 100 years ago, Ivan Bengtsson founded BRIO in Osby, Sweden. In the beginning, Ivar sold wooden baskets while traveling the countryside. Many times, he bartered the baskets for hand-crafted toys. It was his affection for these toys that transformed Ivar's business into the world's largest manufacturer of wooden toys.


In 1945, World War II had just ended and so had Fred Ertl Sr.'s job as a journeyman molder in Dubuque, Iowa. In the basement of their home, Fred, his wife Gertrude and their children began manufacturing toy tractors from melted war-surplus aluminum aircraft pistons. Fred melted metal in the furnace and formed it in sand molds. The boys assembled the tractors and Gertrude painted them. Within four years, Fred had secured a contract with the John Deere Company, moved to a building in downtown Dubuque, and was producing 5,000 toys a day.