Louise Brooks with Dismal Desmond ~1927
So, what were the 'must-have' Christmas toys of the 1920s? Dismal Desmond, designed by Richard Elliott and created by the Dean's Rag Book Co.,was one of the most successful soft toys of the 1920's. Dismal Desmond's sad, droopy face was loved by children and became the mascot of the England Cricket Team.
In 1920, Frank Hornby introduced the first clockwork train set. These early trains were sold as self-assembly kits, attracting train collectors, children and adults alike. In 1925, Hornby launched the first electric train set, which started a craze for model trains that continues today.
The Chad Valley toy company produced cloth dolls throughout the 1920s, which were very popular with girls. Their most beautiful and famous were made in the likeness of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose in the 1930s.
And for those who couldn't afford the expensive new toys of the day, the old classics were a cheaper alternative; jokes, puzzles, magic tricks and clockwork toys were all popular gifts, as well as board game such as chess, snakes and ladders.