An extensive and well-documented history of American toys over the past 100 years. Separate chapters are devoted to the histories of tops, marbles, propeller toys, noisemakers, hoops, dolls, shooters, and blocks. ""Toys have always been sexist,"" McClary states, with boys owning about two-thirds of all toys sold. Toy fads have increased over the years to ""appear from nowhere as instant favorites,"" e.g., Barbie dolls, G.I. Joes, Hula Hoops, yo-yos, slinkys, teddy bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, Super Soakers, etc. Readers are sure to enjoy the copious black-and-white illustrations and photographs of toys throughout--many from books and magazines from the turn of the century--as well as the wealth of primary source materials, with excerpts from memoirs and letters about growing up in rural America and what games and toys were enjoyed then. McClary uses sophisticated language and ideas, but supports them with anecdotes and a warm tone that draws readers into the pages. His well-researched and focused treatment will inspire reports about the spirit of childhood--for toys allow ""a child to be a child and have fun.