If you are alive, you have probably played a Pressman toy or game at some point in your life. That’s because Pressman has been intertwined with the toy industry, play, and childhood for much of the last 100 years.
Toy Industry Hall of Fame member Jim Pressman and his wife Donna have published a beautiful coffee table book. Entitled “A Century of American Toys & Games, The Story of Pressman Toy,” Jim and Donna immerse the reader in Pressman’s history from its formation in 1922 and ending with its sale to Goliath almost 100 years later.
The story is not just about the products the company made. It is also about the Pressman family members, generation by generation, making personal and business decisions as they overcame 100 years of change, including two world wars, the Roaring 20s (even Al Capone makes a cameo appearance), multiple recessions, seventeen Presidents, the space race, video games, race riots, and more. It’s not always a pretty story, but highly compelling nonetheless.
Jim and Donna provide a panoramic look at the 20th century and how the Pressman Toy Company was an early adapter of licensing. Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dick Tracy, Donald Duck, Groucho Marx, Pinky Lee, Hello Kitty, Huckleberry Hound, Little Orphan Annie, the Mickey Mouse Club, The Lone Ranger, the 1939 World’s Fair, and Roger Maris are just some of the brands licensed by Pressman.
This is a beautiful book, published on high-quality paper and vivid with pictures depicting new and vintage products, sales materials, and family members. It is also a pictorial review of Pressman products, anything from Chinese Checkers” to Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,” which became of the company’s biggest hits.
If you love the toy business and are fascinated by popular culture, I strongly recommend “A Century of American Toys & Games, The Story of Pressman Toy.”