Magnet Toys; from Wooly Willy to Magna Doodle


25453_mainAhhhhh, Wooly Willy, you are still around and you haven't really changed. A simple magnet and some iron filings, Willy has managed to be be a popular toy since 1955 when he was brought to market by Smethport Specialty Company. 


I guess you could say that comic book ads were the direct to consumer television of their time. Strong visuals and apparent high value led many a child to make a purchase, in this case 79 cents for 100 1/16th" x 1/4" square rubber-coated magnets. Looks like fun. Does anyone make these anymore?


Do you remember "Whee-lo, the Magnetic Walking Wheel" or any of  its progeny. First manufactured by Maggie Magnetic Inc. in 1953, it featured a magnet in the hub of the wheel that allowed it to move up and down and around a metal rail; propelled by the players movements.


Magna Doodle has been with us since 1974. First manufactured by Tyco, it features a display panel backed up with a white liquid containing metal particles. By using the magnet stylus, an individual can create pictures and patterns.


One thought

  1. Richard, MD was acquired by View-Master,when we acquired Ideal and renamed View-Master-Ideal and I was CEO. I reactivated MD as we owned the name and Pilot Pen owned the patent. I sold them the name and relaunched the product to a tremendous success. Tyco acquired VM-Ideal in 1989 and a year later flipped Tyco and VM to Mattel.
    MD now in the hands of Larry Rosen.
    That’s the real story.
    Joe Kling

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