Toy Time: What makes a toy memorable?

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(CNN)—Most of us have a favorite toy from childhood that still has the power to make us smile, whether it’s a Barbie doll, a Micro Machine or the board game Operation.
What makes them memorable is the subject of a new book, “Toy Time! From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry Hungry Hippos,” a collection of some of the most beloved toys of the 20th century.

Author Christopher Byrne crowd-sourced the compilation from readers of the popular website TimetoPlayMag.com and came up with more than 100 beloved toys. The book includes not just the most popular choices, such as Big Wheels and the Etch a Sketch, but also those that prompted the most compelling memories, serving as “a catalyst for the imagination,” Byrne said.

Most of our favorite toys came into our lives when we were developing our identity and figuring out the world, he said. Some, like the rampaging dinosaur King Zor (1962), have faded from the cultural landscape, while others, like View-Master and Nok Hockey (which both hit the mass market in the 1940s), have been passed down through generations.

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