A Review of the excellent “Pressman Toys – A Century of American Toys & Games” Book

Musings By Joschik
Christian obsesses over collectibles, antiques and toys more than the average person, but (he believes) in a productive way. Documenting collectibles has been a passion since working on a book about his favorite childhood toys from Timpo 41 years ago.



Found exactly 100 years ago by Jack Pressman I liked the company Pressman Toy as it was basically started by an idea he got in Chicago where Jack got to know Chinese Checkers and as the company was a pioneer in licensing toys for Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  So when I heard about Jim and Donna Pressman’s book to come this month I had to get one and it was worth it!

The book has 232 pages in 17 Chapters and while I spend the most time on the early ones I list them all here (if you had some of their games you might be hooked by the later chapters as well)  –

  1. Beginnings (1896 – 1938)
  2. Pressman’s Popular Playthings Face the Great Depression (1932 – 1938)
  3. In Action, in the News and on the Silver Screen (1937 – 1939)
  4. Toys, Games, and WWII (1939 -1945)
  5. Jack and Lynn: A Love Story (1942 – 1959)
  6. Plastics (1947 – 1953)
  7. Pressman in Print (1949 – 1957)
  8. The Age of Licensing Arrives (1954 – 1958)
  9. A Woman Takes Chare as TV Ads Change the Industry (1959 – 1963)
  10. Aiming for the Stars (1964 – 1974)
  11. The Six Million Dollar Man (1975 –  1980)
  12. Pressman’s Got the Games (1981 – 1984)
  13. Games People Play. Together (1985 – 1991)
  14. Rule Breakers (1992 – 1998)
  15. Who wants to Be a Millionaire? (2000)
  16. Playing and Winning in the New Millennium (1999 – 2014)
  17. Goliath (2014 – 2022)

As you can see from the titles the book is as engaging as the chapter’s titles.  And the 300 photos and other illustrations are just fab!

I also loved reading about the business’s inner workings, how materials changed (the emergence of Plastics), and how TV Advertising and Pop Culture became more and more important for the toy sector.  I was also fascinated to learn more about Lynn Pressman, one of American Industry’s first CEOs.

This book is a splendid coffee table book and I spend hours reading through all of it (big font, lots of interesting facts, well written and great images – so time just flew by) until I got to the end  –



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1 year ago

2000 pages! That’s not a book – it’s an encyclopedia! 🙂 Thanks for the review.

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