National Play-Doh Day is observed annually on September 16th. Play-Doh inventor Joe McVicker actually sold it originally as a wallpaper cleaner but the world had another use for his product. Play-Doh was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.
Here is an excerpt from the Hall of Fame induction found at http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/play-doh
- Play-Doh was originally developed in the 1930’s, not as a toy but as a product for cleaning wallpaper!
- It was not until the 1950’s that it was marketed as a toy, in the trademark vibrant colours of red, blue, yellow and white.
- McVicker showcased the modeling clay at a national education convention in 1955, and word spread to Macy’s and Marshall Field’s.
- Since 1956, more than 3 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. That’s enough to reach the Moon and back a total of three times.
- If all that Play-Doh were rolled into a giant ball, it would weigh as much as 2000 Statues of Liberty!
- if you made a big ball of all the Play-Doh ever created, it would weigh more than 700 million pounds. That also translates to more than 2 billion cans of this colorful clay.
- Captain Kangaroo endorsed Play-Doh, When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, a.k.a Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly.
- The Fun Factory let kids extrude the material into interesting shapes, making mock hair, colorful spaghetti, and pretend ice cream that wouldn’t melt.
- In the 1980s, Play-Doh expanded its palette to eight colors. Later versions sparkled with glitter, glowed in the dark, or smelled like shaving cream.
- First came white. Then came primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). But later came every color of the rainbow (plus 50 more!). In 2000, a study by Hasbro found that the four most popular colors were Rose Red, Garden Green, Blue Lagoon, and Robin’s Egg Blue.
- YOU CAN SMELL LIKE PLAY-DOH. Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can! To commemorate the compound’s 50th anniversary, Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make a Play-Doh fragrance, which was developed for “highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”
- HASBRO TRADEMARKED THE SCENT. Anyone who has ever popped open a fresh can of Play-Doh knows that there’s something extremely distinctive about the smell. It’s so distinctive that, in early 2017, Hasbro filed for federal protection in order to trademark the scent, which the company describes as “a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”
- Kids eat more Play-Doh than crayons, fingerpaint, and white
- When visiting young patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Prince Charles got in on the action by rolling green dough and crafting sculptures with the kids.