*Batteries Not Needed

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Believe it or not, there was a time when toys didn't need batteries or require hours to assemble or program. You just ripped open the package and got down to business.

Two of these classic playthings -- a kite and a Raggedy Andy doll -- were recently inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. Your parents and grandparents probably flew kites, and maybe even had a Raggedy Ann or Andy.

KidsPost's Amy Orndorff talked with three people for whom old-fashioned toys have never gone out of style.

The Pogo Stick

The patent for a pogo stick was issued in 1919, and the toys became wildly popular in the 1920s. Today's young jumpers, though, have gone w-a-a-a-y beyond simply bouncing up and down .

Cody Bluett, 15, started jumping with the Pogo Squad in York, Pennsylvania, three years ago after watching his brother perform tricks on a pogo stick. The hardest part, he says, was getting started: "Just learning to balance . . . it was kind of hard getting used to it."

Cody practiced hour after hour until, about a month later, he could do difficult tricks with ease. Once the group officially accepted him as a member, he started performing around town -- doing pogo tricks in parades and at shopping centers.

"It's great to be in that kind of group where . . . bystanders look and say, 'Wow, that's cool. I have never seen that before,' " Cody says.

Advanced jumpers can even do backflips on their sticks.

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