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Whee-Lo

Toys of the 1950s often look very simplistic compared to modern ones, yet many toys from this era have endured and continue to populate toy store shelves today.

wheelo9The reason lies in the timeless design of these toys, built on a genuine idea instead of a passing fad.

An excellent example is Whee-Lo, a simple but fascinating item that has entertained children of all ages for almost five decades.

Maggie Magnetic, Inc. produced the first Whee-Lo toys in the early 1950s.

The toy was very straightforward in its design, consisting of a red plastic wheel with a magnetized axle and a j-shaped, two-pronged piece of curved wire.

wheeloJust this minimalist set-up offered plenty of mesmerising entertainment.

The fun began when you placed the wheel within the wire loop, then angled it so the wheel rolled toward the curved end.

The combination of the magnet and the momentum kept the wheel spinning as long as you were willing to tip the wire loop back and forth.

Whee-Lo toys did quite well with kids thanks to their ability to provide hypnotic fun, an element of the toy that made it a perfect accessory for otherwise dull activities like car rides and waiting for the school bus.

Parents liked them because they kept kids occupied with a quiet source of enjoyment, and teachers liked them because Whee-Lo toys illustrated scientific principles like kinetic energy, gravity and rotational energy. It was truly a toy with something to please everyone.

The Whee-Lo quickly became a staple of toy stores and continues to be available today. Skilcraft currently makes the original Whee-Lo toy, while companies like Binary Arts Corporation make Whee-Lo-styled toys like Wizmo.

No matter what the name is, this is one toy that truly lives up to its timeless tag and will no doubt entertain children with its spellbinding fun for many years to come.