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Public Collectors

Library Excavations #6: Notice to the Trade

Paper cover with staple-bound binding
Color offset and three-color Risograph
32 pages
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Edition of 532

Library Excavations #6 shows you the ugly litigious side of the toy industry. From the back cover:

I learned about the magazine Playthings while working on Library Excavations #3, which surveys business periodicals located at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Playthings is a long-running trade magazine for the toy manufacturing and retail industry. It covers sales trends, market findings, and other matters of importance to toy makers and sellers. Playthings also regularly includes notices to the trade that highlight the darker legal corners of manufactured fun and games. This issue of Library Excavations reprints a variety of these paid notices, spanning the years 1977 through 1985. These were some of the critical toy-consuming years of my childhood. I enjoyed perusing all of the sales pitches for Six Million Dollar Man dolls, Shogun Warriors, Micronauts and other youth favorites in Playthings, but my middle-age eye is more critical and refuses to get too teary and romantic. Let’s hop on our Big Wheels and take a ride through the litigious side of the toy world. Here, every stolen idea, licensing rights violation, and overly similar detail on the body of a cuddly friend, is a hefty lawsuit just waiting to happen. — Marc Fischer