1840: An American doll maker isgranted a patent, and dolls aremass-produced in America for thefirst time.
1862: German immigrantFrederick August Otto Schwarzopens the FAO Schwarz toy chainin Baltimore before moving it toNew York a few years later. ItsFifth Avenue location in Manhattaneventually becomes a major touristattraction.
1901: Joshua Lionel Cowen, 22,creates a battery-powered trainengine as an animatedadvertisement for products in astore display window. Aftercustomers clamor for the train andnot the products, Lionel Trains iscreated.
1916: John Lloyd Wright inventsLincoln Logs, interlocking toy logsthat children use to buildstructures. He was inspired by theway his father, the famedarchitect, designed theearthquake-proof Imperial Hotel inTokyo, Japan.
1952: Banking on the idea thatchildren like to play with their food,Hasbro introduces Mr. PotatoHead.
1965: Stanley Weston creates adoll for boys based on a newtelevision show called TheLieutenant. The GI Joe becomesmore popular than the show,surprising toy manufacturers whowere convinced that boys wouldn'tplay with dolls.
1972: Magnavox createsOdyssey, the first video gamemachine, featuring a primitive formof paddle ball.
1986: Artist Xavier Robertsintroduces into the mass marketthe Cabbage Patch Kid, a doll hecreated in 1977 to pay his waythrough school. Three million areproduced, but demand exceedssupply and leads to fights in storeaisles over the doll.
2003: FAO Schwarz's parent,FAO Inc., files for bankruptcytwice, blaming intense competitionby Wal-Mart and other discountersand children's changing playpatterns.Sources: HistoryChannel.com,Forbes.com