Toys for A Lifetime 

By Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D./ "Dr. Toy" 

Dr.Toy,  presents 12 of the classic and best new toys found in her latest book selected for design, quality, lasting value, longevity, and play value interest. Click to learn about Dr. Toy

What really makes a Classic Toy?

Applause/Dakin Raggedy Ann

Handsontoys Zowy
LEGO Basic Bricks
Manhattan Toy Finger Follies 
Manhattan Toy Skwish
Radio Flyer Red Wagon
Tiny Love Gymini
Tonka Truckbot
Uncle Goose ABC Blocks
VTech DJ Jazz 'n Jam

Participating Companies

 Toys for a Lifetime (Rizzoli/Universe/FAO Schwarz)

Ever wonder why you loved that one perfect toy? Searching for an age-old classic to satisfy your wee one? Look no further, because FAO Schwarz's Toys of a Lifetime has them all: from baby's first Gazoobo, Gymnini and wooden blocks to the Radio-Flyer Red Wagon,  Lego bricks and Toobers and Zots. Dr. Stevanne Auerbach has cleverly crafted the ultimate toy gift book, including enticing color photos by Ben Asen, information about the developmental benefits of each selection, and tons of interesting tips and factoids. Must-have toys are categorized into nine chapters, such as "Starting Out: Toys for the First Years of Life," "Arts and Crafts: Terrific Tools for the Artist-to-Be," and "Outdoor Toys: Pathways to Athletic Adventure." Each chapter features a handful of classics, detailing history, safety, and why kids just can't live without them.


Raggedy Ann and Andy  (Price $22.00 17'' dolls age range 3-up) Created by artist and storyteller Johnny Gruelle in 1915, whose  pictures and stories about a little rag doll helped sustain his daughter’s spirits through a childhood illness.  These stories--infused with a father’s pure, simple love--became immortal.  DakinŇ maintains the timeless spirit of this American tradition with Raggedy Ann™ & Raggedy Andy™ classics, part of the Dakin Signature Collection from Applause.                  800-777-6990 or see

Company Index


  Chicco USA
Gazoobo   (Product number # 63590 Price $14.95 age range 18 mo.-4 yrs.) A combination of animals, zoo house and shape sorter this fun activity is a classic anywhere. Help your child learn colors, shapes and sizes. By matching shapes with the shapes of the animals they are dropped inside and then through the different colored doors he can retrieve the objects by using the key. The shapes can be used over and over again. It can be used to do extension activities like drawing. It has a secure pull-out carrying handle that makes it a perfect take along travel toy. This is great item for the young child for practice in eye-hand coordination. A good value! The Zoo House Shape Sorter is an ideal toy for the development of a child's coordination, color and shape recognition. 887-424-4226 or see


    Company Index


    Hands On Toys  
 Zowy  (Product number #101 Price $30.00; Age range 3-99 yrs.) The large scale construction toy. Winner of over 30 major Toys Awards. Enter the world of Toobers&Zots where the imagination runs wild. Toobers&Zots are the flexible, holdable, moldable toy that allows children of all ages to make an infinite number of creations. Make spiders and dinosaurs. Butterflies or flowers. Cars and boats and bulldozers. Trumpets and hats and wonderful wings. Toobers&Zots flexibility, size and diversity allow for limitless creativity. It’s great fun for children three years through adult. Girls love it. Boys love it. Construction toy play is fundamentally linked to spatial and math skill development. So get your imagination going for the fun that never stops. 888-442-6376 or see 

    Company Index


    Hasbro Games
PICTIONARY (Price $24.99; Ages 12 and up) The classic Game of Quick Draw- with a fun Anniversary twist! Pick a card with a word on it, then draw a quick picture that makes your teammates say that word in less than a minute! Here’s the twist: at the start of your turn, roll the Anniversary Challenge Die and do what it indicates. Maybe you’ll roll… Draw a picture using only one line-never lift the pencil or Draw with your “off” hand! (Righties use your left. Lefties use your right) or Draw with your eyes closed! PICTIONARY ….. it’s 15 years young. And now you can add even more challenge and laughter to the game! See  


    Company Index


Classic Bucket (Product # 4288 Price $12.99; Age range 5-10 yrs) What a great value! This bright red bucket contains 400 brightly-colored pieces that can be used to build limitless creations. The classic LEGO bricks can be combined with unique special pieces to help spark a child’s imagination. The set includes two mini-figures, house pieces, wheels, 2 small base plates and lots of other creativity enhancing elements. Parents and teachers will appreciate the convenient storage capacity of this bucket. 860-749-2291 or see  


   Company Index


Finger Follies™ (Price $4.50-$5.00; Age range 3 to 8 yrs) Unique, whimsical finger puppets that inspire creative play among children of all ages. Each puppet is made with a soft one size fits all construction and handcrafted details. They are small enough to fit perfectly on children’s fingers for instant portability and creativity. Puppets help children gain and expand verbal skills as they make up stories. Puppets help to stimulate their imagination and provide hours of fun and dramatic fun. Theater sold separately. 800-541-1345 or see   



Skwish™ (Product #SK2 Price $16.99; Age range 6 to 24 months) The original, award winning must have toy for babies. It squishes flat and then bounces back to its original shape while beads slide on wooden dowels and rattle gently. Playing with Skwish™ encourages motor skill development and tactile exploration. Crafted out of North American hardwood. Wonderful to take along anytime for baby to enjoy this toy. Grows with the child and enjoyed for a long time. 800-541-1345 or see   



   Company Index


   Radio Flyer 
Original Red Wagon™ (# 18, $50; Age 1 ˝ years & up) In 1917 Antonio Pasin, a 16-year old immigrant cabinet maker, began making wooden wagons in his workshop. By 1930 his company Radio Flyer Steel and Manufacturing was the largest producer of coaster wagons. Radio honored inventor G. Marconi and Flyer recognized wonder of flight the Radio Flyer wagon introduced in 1933 continues today to thrill young riders, and the company continues to be operated by the grandsons of the founder.

Like the original little red wagon that lent the company its name, Radio Flyer Inc. is an American classic - a simple, enduring enterprise that has been reinterpreted with each new generation, creating toys that inspire the imagination. For over 80 years, millions of children have used Radio Flyer wagons in countless voyages into the imagination. The magical qualities, beauty and simplicity of the wagons unleash imaginations and nurture the wonder of childhood. The wagons are truly icons of Americana. The Original Red Wagon™ has become such a classic that the shape has been trademarked. 800-621-7613 or see  


    Company Index


Tiny Love
Gymini Deluxe (Product #00802 Price $49.99; Age range 0-10 months.) Soft, padded activity gym helps develop baby's motor skills and alertness in a safe and playful environment. Toys dangle at varying heights from soft, fabric-covered arches for baby to play with while lying on back or tummy. More TINY LOVE toys and accessories may be added for additional enjoyment. Tiny Love®’s award winning activity gym amuses baby while helping develop motor skills all in a safe and playful environment. Features 5 toys at varied heights, plus entertaining activities on the mat. This toy is flexible, fun and can be taken along when you travel. Look for other great Tiny Love products for your baby. See   


    Company Index


    Tonka (Hasbro)
Tucker, My Talking Truckbot ™ (Product number #90438, $39.99; Age: 3 to 7 years) The latest generation of fun "Tonka-Tough" vehicles. Tucker is an interactive, electronic robo-truck with a warm, friendly personality that brings him to life and makes him any kid's best buddy. Tucker speaks 47 different phrases and sounds, activated by moving his scoop arms and dump bed, and rolling his wheels. Kids can play with him in the dirt and rocks then hose him down and keep playing. When he speaks, Tucker comes to life- his jaw moves, eyes light up and head turns to check out the action. He'll delight kids with scores of phrases like, "We mean business, right buddy?" and "Hey, how bout' tellin' me a good joke?" Tucker is a next-generation relative of the Tonka Chuck family who have been best selling buddies for more than three years. See


    Company Index


    Uncle Goose
 Classic ABC Blocks (Product # A 27 Large (1.75" sq.) $29.95. Age: 1 ˝ to 6 yrs) Embossed ABC blocks made in the USA from Michigan basswood. Perhaps the quintessential toy. Patterned after a turn-of-the-century set. Non-toxic, child-safe inks. Uncle Goose invests in American workers and keeps manufacturing technology in the United States. Toys are made from Michigan basswood trees – a renewable resource cut from industry-owned and managed land. Child-safe non-toxic inks Uncle Goose products are safe and Earth-friendly. Available in bag, box, crate, and wagon. 888-777-1243 or see  


    Company Index


Little Smart DJ Jazz 'n Jam ™  (#80-30200 Price $49.99; Ages 3 and up) DJ Jazz'n Jam™ enhances musical appreciation by introducing children to thirty melodies and forty different sound effects (including animals, instruments and other fun sounds). Light-up piano keys assist children in learning various melodies, while other features let kids record and play back songs, control tempo and even 'scratch' records. Three piano lessons allow children to grow from beginner to advanced pianist. DJ Jazz'n Jam™ also includes a songbook and working microphone. Providing your child with musical toys and experiences can create an interest that lasts a lifetime. Starting with fostering an interest in music and stimulating logic, math and communication skills, it also provides a basis for music appreciation. See  


  "Classic toys take you back to your childhood. Just by closing your eyes, you can instantly recall the joy. Can you remember the first time you played with a yo-yo, Etch-a-Sketch, or Mr. Potato Head? These toys are enduring, 'child-powered' and fun. Fortunately for our children, many of these classics are in constant demand and, therefore, always available."  

Introduction, p. vii,





  Dr. Toy shares her wisdom in The Value of Classic Toys, an article on Classic Toys that originally appeared on  



Gift List





Dr. Toy
268 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
510 540-0111 

Dr. Toy’s Gift List of Toys for a Lifetime

1.      Applause/Dakin, Raggedy Ann™ & Raggedy Andy™ -Timeless storybook dolls whose simple message of love and innocence appeals across generations.  $22.00  ( 3-up).  .

2.      Chicco USA, Gazoobo Toddler’s Menagerie of Colors and Shapes for eye-hand coordination. $14.95 (18 mos - 4 yrs.)

3.      Hands On Toys, Zowy – This creative, colorful, crazy, flexible construction set is great for girls as well as boys.$30.00( 3 - 8 yrs.)

4.      Hasbro Games, Pictionary® Classic game perfect for the whole family combines creativity and competition.$24.99 (12 yrs-up)  

5.      LEGO, Classic Bucket – Contains 400 brightly-colored, creative building blocks for discovery and self- expression.$12.99 ( 5 -10 yrs.)  

6.      Manhattan Toy, Finger Puppets Fantasy fun and communications for aspiring performers $4.50(3-8 yrs.) 

7.      Manhattan Toy, Skwish™   Motor skill development and tactile exploration. $16.99(3 mos to 2 yrs.)

8.       Radio Flyer, Original Red Wagon ™  The perfect vehicle for imagination and activity $50.00 (18 mos.-10 yrs.)  

9.      Tiny Love, Gymini Deluxe – Baby’s interactive activity gym that travels well.$49.99 (Infants-10 mos.)   

10.  Tonka®/Hasbro, Tucker My Talkin' Truckbot  New version of Tonka-Tough,electronic role-playing truck. $39.99 (3 –7 yrs.)

11.  Uncle Goose, Alphabet Blocks Quality embossed wooden ABC blocks for learning. $29.95(18 mos.-6 yrs.)

12. Vtech, Little Smart DJ Jazz’n Jam™   Enhances musical appreciation and new skills. $49.99 (3 – up)  

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