The growth of an infant into an adolescent, and all the subtle developmental stages in between, is certainly a fact of life. However, what we consider childhood, and the demands of childhood that we consider appropriate to cater to, is a standard that has changed wildly throughout our history. Most of it could be considered a construction, or an invention, of the society. Today, we enjoy relatively extended childhoods, compared to past eras. We enjoy new designs and materials, mass-produced on an unprecedented scale. We also have the privilege of analyzing what materials are best suited to a specific time of a person’s life, especially a child’s formative years.
The toy industry has tailored its products to suit infants, toddlers, pre-pubescents, even providing novelty trinkets for a much older target demographic. Toys for kids have not only provided an entertaining way to prepare themselves for the next stages of life, but something to be shared with other people, especially other kids. The franchises and recognizable icons, inspired by toys, can found memories that last long after childhood is over.
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