"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Next event
  • Saturday, April 29
    4:00pm6:00pm
    |
    Free-$45
Featured Promotion

Experience the nation’s most popular toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life.

Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
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Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s

Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
1960s Living Room
1970s Living Room

Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of popular toys from the 1950s, '60s and '70s capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life. This exhibition is produced by the Minnesota History Center.

Admission: Free for VHS members; $10 for nonmembers; $8 for groups of 10 or more

  • Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 804.358.4901.
  • Admission is free for children under the age of 18.
  • Interested in booking a group of 10 or more to visit Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70sLearn more

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Exhibition Information

From
Fri Feb 24 2017, 10:00amMon Sep 4 2017, 5:00pm
Open
10:00 am -5:00 pm
In Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Gallery

Highlighted objects from Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s

Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of popular toys from the 1950s, '60s and '70s capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them, reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life. On display at the Virginia Historical Society from February 24, 2017, through September 4, 2017. Learn more at tickets.vahistorical.org. This exhibition is produced by the Minnesota History Center.
1950's Livingroom Enter Fullscreen More information
1950's Livingroom
Visit the 1950s living room in the Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s exhibit to learn more about how the postwar economic book affected families and toy sales.
Gumby & Pokey Enter Fullscreen More information
Gumby & Pokey
Gumby originated as a clay animation character created by Art Clokey.
Mr. Potato Head Enter Fullscreen More information
Mr. Potato Head
On April 20, 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television and changed how toys were marketed. The kit became an immediate hit, with more than 1,000,000 sold in the first year. In the ensuing years, additional kits and accessories were added to the line. The company introduced a plastic potato body in 1964.
Mr. Potato Head Enter Fullscreen More information
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head was was originally made as separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato or other vegetable.
Barbie Enter Fullscreen More information
Barbie
Barbie debuted on March 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair.
1960's Livingroom Enter Fullscreen More information
1960's Livingroom
Visit the 1960s living room to learn about how this fractured decade affected toy options for America's youth.
Enter Fullscreen More information
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots was the creation of Marvin Glass & Associates in the late 1960s.
1970's Livingroom Enter Fullscreen More information
1970's Livingroom
Visit the 1970s living room to learn more about the toys created during a time when children's time with toys was spent away from home, in the company of their peers.
Simon Enter Fullscreen More information
Simon
Simon was introduced by Milton Bradley in 1978. The toys plays a musical sequence that you repeat by pressing colored buttons.
Star Wars Figures Enter Fullscreen More information
Star Wars Figures
Kenner wisely picked up the licensing rights for Star Wars figures but couldn’t meet the demand and ended up issuing an “Early Bird Certificate Package” containing a voucher to be redeemed for four action figures. Eight additional figures were issued in 1978, resulting in a 12-figure set that was highly prized by collectors of all ages.
Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle Enter Fullscreen More information
Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle
Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
1950's Livingroom
1950's Livingroom
Gumby & Pokey
Gumby & Pokey
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head
Barbie
Barbie
1960's Livingroom
1960's Livingroom
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots
1970's Livingroom
1970's Livingroom
Simon
Simon
Star Wars Figures
Star Wars Figures
Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle
Alpha-1 Ballistic Missle

In the museum shop

Made popular all over again by the hit movie Toy Story, this classic Pull Toy Slinky Dog slinks and slides just like the original! Rekindle fond memories or introduce a whole new generation to an old favorite.
$25.99
Slinky Dog
Twist your way to great looking pictures with the world classic Etch A Sketch!
$23.95
Etch a Sketch
The classic character duo of Gumby and Pokey together in their retro 1950s packaging. These figures are flexible so you can relive their claymation adventures!
$14.95
Gumby and Pokey
A 1:24 scale replica of the Batmobile in the 1960s classic Batman TV series is both a fun toy and a collectable for fans of all ages.
$34.95
Batmobile
This aerodynamic take on horseshoes is guaranteed to save backyard barbecues, one toss at a time!
$23.99
Jarts

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