‘A TANTALISING GAME OF NERVE AND SKILL’
The Old Slaughterhouse has a 1967 version of the popular game Kerplunk. The box has its original price sticker showing that it cost £1.95 and was bought from W.H.Smith & Son.
The game Kerplunk was first manufactured in 1967 following its invention by the famous mid-twentieth century toy inventor Eddy Goldfarb along with his co-designer Rene Soriano. Eddy then sold his idea to the Ideal Toy Company, an American company created in 1907 by Rose Mitchem (who invented he teddy bear!) and her husband Morris.
Kerplunk was an iconic game of the sixties and represented the important changes which occurred in the toy industry at that time, from the ways toys and games were beginning to be understood in terms of child development as well as increasing health and safety concerns raised through materials used to manufacture toys. New rules and regulations were brought in which restricted the types of materials that could be used to produce toys; highly flammable substances like celluloid, and toxic dyes such as lead were placed under stricter controls by 1966!
Child psychologists were also studying the relationship between toys and education and began to understand how toys impacted children’s early development. In 1967, the director of the company James Galt and Co. Ltd gave a paper at the Royal Society of Arts, he
argued that toy manufactures should understand their responsibility to provide toys which positively educated children and many new toys were designed to be an educational aid.
The 1960s, with the popularity of science fiction and television advertising led to toy manufacturers creating increasingly quirky products designed to be marketed at children. This rise in quirky, colourful and engaging toys for children led to the creation of products called Twister, Etch-a-Sketch and the Spirograph which celebrated bold designs and interesting names.
Kerplunk had a bold, new 3D design which leaped of the board, lots of colourful plastic parts and was given the exciting name ‘Kerplunk’ because of the loud noise of the marbles hitting the hard plastic. Kerplunk was a game which was popular in the 1960s and is still manufactured and enjoyed by children today