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Lauren Sodano, The Strong
Rochester, New York
Recent Activity
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When I leave The Strong this week after almost seven years, a shiny, new collections manager will take the helm. I feel like the well-worn toy Margery Williams describes in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Global Toy News
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As a kid in the late 1970s and early 80s, glow-in-the-dark toys fascinated me. During the summer months, my friends and I would play outdoors as much as we could.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Global Toy News
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Toys reflect the times in which they are made, and it follows, that as time passes, these toys fade away and are often replaced by newer toys. A few toys—like... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Global Toy News
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I was deeply saddened to hear that Ralph H. Baer had died on December 6, 2014, at the age of 92. As numerous other writers have noted, Ralph invented the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Global Toy News
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As Director of Libraries at The Strong, I acquire scholarly books on the study of play for the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play. Although tracking down weighty academic... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Global Toy News
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I’ve struggled to catch Saturday Night Live’s 40th season because I’m either out and about or asleep on the couch (usually the latter). But there’s a variety show that’s made... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Global Toy News
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Many will remember how recess became the highlight of a grade-schooler’s day. At my own elementary school outdoor recess brought together classmates of all athletic abilities and creative talents. On... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Global Toy News
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What comes to mind when you hear the word “animal”? Do you envision farm animals, your pet at home, or something a bit more wild? Perhaps you even think of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Global Toy News
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The beloved sock monkey is easily recognizable, cute, silly, and soft, but where did it originate? According to Bonnie Krauss Connelly’s book, Everything’s Coming up Sock Monkeys!: Art, History and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Global Toy News
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In many families across America, preparing and then devouring the Thanksgiving Day dinner is followed by a quiet evening watching football or a Charlie Brown television special or simply sleeping... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Initially known as the Magic Cube, today’s Rubik’s Cube—a six-sided puzzler that has challenged several generations—holds the title of best-selling toy of all time. Along with bubbles and little green... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Well, paint me blue and call me Grover—Sesame Street premiered 45 years ago today, on November 10, 1969. With more than 4,300 episodes to date, it is one of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Little green army men marched right into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong on November 6, 2014. The tiny figures, along with Rubik's Cube and bubbles, took... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Autumn is upon us, replete with all things paranormal and pumpkin spice. Hollywood once again offers us an opportunity to be terrified for the cost of a movie ticket and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Seinfeld is not, as people often claim, a “show about nothing.” It is a television show about four narcissists whose seemingly petty dialogue and ripple-effect exploits produced a significant impact... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Global Toy News
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As a child who preferred playing outside with sticks and leaves, only a handful of dolls ever really captured my attention. In fact, I only recall true fondness for four... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Global Toy News
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My friends and I embrace game nights: snacks, beverages, stuffed mascots, inspirational posters. Some people don’t, probably because not everyone can handle it when (not if) their true colors emerge... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Global Toy News
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What comes to mind when you hear the term “paper toys”? Whatever you envision, chances are the idea of paper toys in our digital era doesn’t evoke quite the same... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at Global Toy News
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What is your game? There seem to be an infinite number of games to play with one simple deck of playing cards. What game did you learn, perched on your... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Today gamers often seem immersed in their favorite games. But serious, focused gaming is nothing new. Just after the turn of the 20th century, many Americans concentrated and deliberated in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Many baby boomers and their children (and maybe their grandchildren too) admire the toy trains of the Lionel Corporation in The Strong’s collections. The toy company, founded in the early... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at Global Toy News
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Pendulous grey clouds loom ominously to the west. Today is not an outdoor day. Salvation is in the closet, where colorful boxes of boards, cards, and tokens beckon us into... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2014 at Global Toy News
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“Finish him!” “Save the princess!” “Time is running out!” Video game designers excel at creating high-stakes environments. And television has earned some laughs depicting the obsessive players who heed these... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Global Toy News
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A new, rapidly growing species has sprouted among us: small, yellow, overall-clad creatures, helpful and hilarious, who love to sing, dance, and laugh. What are they? Minions, the lovable— often... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Global Toy News
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“I’m running away to Australia!” This tearful statement greeted me as I entered my son’s room. He pointed to his duffel bag, packed with everything a seven-year-old boy needs to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Global Toy News