Toy World opening at New Jersey State Museum

TRENTON (WPVI) -- Did you know that New Jersey was once one of the major toy manufacturing capitals of the country?

Well, there's now a different kind of toy story.

A new exhibit opening at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton is called Toy World.

Curator Nick Ciotola gave Action News a sneak peek at just how important New Jersey was to the toy manufacturing industry during the last century starting with the tinplate toys made out of Burlington-based Company called J. Chein.

"They created a whole series of these wind up tin plate toys that re-created an amusement park," Ciotola said.

Mantua Metals in Woodbury Heights was the South Jersey version of Lionel trains, manufacturing small scale train sets.

And the Flexible Flyer sled? It was created by a Philadelphia business man who had a farm in Moorestown.

"So they came up with this idea for a new exciting sled that you could actually steer. The idea took off and it became a staple of the American toy box for generations," Ciotola said.

In 1950, New Jersey was making 10% of all the toys in America and things were changing from tin to plastic.

Remember the Suzy Homemaker Super Safety Oven or the Dick Tracy electronic wrist radios? They're all on display along with some of the old black and white commercials that promoted them.

"If you look deeper into these toys you can have fun with them, but you can also learn important aspects of the state history, American history, and world history," Ciotola said.

The exhibit starts October 15 and runs until the end of April.

If you'd like to take a trip back in time, this is the place for you.
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