Clockwork toys are well represented from the 19th century onwards, and include automata of the kind that fascinated Victorian Britain. Wind up vehicles and battery powered robots continued to be popular into the 20th century and reflect contemporary trends such as war and space travel. 

Yo-yo

Yo-yo

The earliest pictorial reference to the yo-yo is on classical Greek pottery of about 500 BC.

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Clackers

Clackers

Clackers were also known as Klik-Klaks, Whackers, Bangers and Knockers.

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Slinky

Slinky

The Slinky was invented in 1943 by naval engineer Richard James.

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Patrick Rylands Cool Cat

The V&A online shop stocks a distinctive and refreshingly different range for children, big and little, then and now, including toys, games, books and accessories.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA