Play-Doh: The Best Craft Toy Ever?
Hello, kiddywampus friends!
This week, we're taking a look at Play-Doh! The wallpaper cleaner turned household name has been on the market since 1956 - making Play-Doh nearly 70 years old. We all remember the salty flavor, the oily hands, and the iconic smell from our childhoods. But just how did this simple clay compound make its way into our hearts?
Early Days and A Creative Compound
Joe McVicker was working for his family’s cleaning products company, Kutol. It was here where he had invented a soft, non-toxic, salty, and very much gray wallpaper cleaner designed to easily absorb coal dust.
Joe had heard from his sister in law - a teacher - that many children in her class found regular modeling clay to be too tough to manipulate with their bare hands. After some thought, Mr. McVicker decided to send some of his wallpaper cleaning products to his sister in law. Much to his surprise, the kids loved it! On that day, toy history was changed forever!
Soon, Kutol released three colors of Play-Doh - yellow, red, and blue, so that a kid could create any color that they wanted. Changing their name to Rainbow Crafts to fit this colorful concept, Play-Doh was on track to become the household name that we know and love today.
Left to Right: Play-Doh Compound and Tools Playset and Play-Doh Fundamentals Alphabet Playset
Play-Doh is still used as a fantastic tool for early education. With endless sculpting opportunities, increased tactile strength, and an opportunity for collaborative play, Play-Doh is a wildly popular choice for educators around the globe. Play-Doh has even released education-specific sets, like the Alphabet set, which introduces kids to the 26 letters of the Alphabet through play.
Play-Doh Pizza Oven Playset
Play-Doh Doctor Drill 'n Fill Playset
A little over a decade past Play-Doh’s initial release, the first Play-Doh accessory was released - the Play-Doh Fun Factory. In the decades that followed, the creative sets became a staple part of any new releases in the Play-Doh line, sets like the Pizza Oven, Cement Truck, and the now iconic Doctor Drill and Fill set - all of which are available at kiddywampus! Our personal favorite is the Drill 'n Fill set, as many of our staff members grew up playing with it!
In addition to the basic colors of red, blue, and yellow, Play-Doh has since been released in dozens of other hues from the rainbow. They’ve even released sparkles, slimes, and foam Play-Doh’s as well!
Here’s a fun fact for all of you Star Wars fans out there! For a while, Kenner, the company who made the original Star Wars action figures, had the Play-Doh license! Pretty cool!
Play-Doh's scent has been patented by Hasbro, and they've even collaborated to make a Play-Doh perfume in the past.
Since its introduction to the toy market, over two billion cans have been sold worldwide. If we stacked up all of those cans, we could get over halfway to the moon with just Play-Doh! Wow!
“How do I clean Play-Doh from the carpet?”
The instructions on a Play-Doh box say to simply allow the Doh to dry, and to then simply vacuum up the solid crumbs.
“When can my kid start playing with Play-Doh?”
Play-Doh is recommended for ages two and up.
“What is in Play-Doh?”
While the entire recipe is a secret, Hasbro says that Play-Doh is mostly made out of flour, salt, and water. Despite Play-Doh being made of food ingredients, it’s still not recommended to consume the compound!
All of the sets mentioned in this article, and many more are available for purchase in-store at both our Chanhassen and Hopkins locations!