Memories Made Possible by Plastics

Plastics Make it Possible asked our community about their favorite childhood toys. We loved the results so much we had to share some of their great toy stories – all made with plastics. Did you have a favorite toy growing up?

“Once upon a time when I was one of the taller school kids I played forward on our middle school basketball team. Team practices were always tough and rarely fun. For the first two weeks, coach kept the rubber basketballs locked up and we just ran sprints and drills. But when we reached the playoffs that year we ran circles around our opponents. I’ll never forget that championship season”

Father and son playing basketball

The first basketballs may have been leather, but more than 100 years later, they’re usually made with plastics and plastic composites. That’s why today’s basketballs are more durable and easier to control on the court—whether the players are pros in a stadium or kids in a neighborhood park.

Young boy riding bicycle

Polycarbonate is the super-strong, impact-resistant plastic used to make bulletproof glass—and possibly your childhood bike helmet. Combine that with a resilient EPS plastic foam lining for cushioning and durable nylon straps for a snug fit, and you were ready to ditch those training wheels like the little daredevil you were.

Family playing with water guns

Sure, standard water guns have been around for decades. But the infamous, pressurized-air-powered piece of toy weaponry that’s taken summertime water fights to a new level? That was invented in 1991, and you and your childhood friends have durable plastics like PVC and acrylic to thank for it.

Mother and daughter playing together

Since 1959, the Barbie doll—along with most of her accessories—has been made with a range of plastics that helped give this toy its iconic status. Originally molded with PVC, today’s Barbie dolls include other long-lasting plastics such as ABS, EVA, and polypropylene.

Boy with toy dinosaurs

Whether it’s a raptor, triceratops, or stegosaurus, dinosaur toys have been inspiring kids’ imaginations for decades. Durable plastics like polypropylene and HDPE make these toys as tough as a real-life T-Rex … well, almost.

Two young boys playing with toys

From superheroes to soldiers, action figures let kids be just about anything they want to be. The versatility of polyethylene plastic means these toys can be molded into any shape—and stand up to hours of battles with imaginary villains.

Little child playing with lots of colorful plastic blocks indoor

Did you know LEGO® debuted more than 60 years ago, and generations of kids across the globe have played with the imaginative little interlocking blocks, thanks to the unique properties of the plastic that allows them to be reused over and over. Do you still have yours?

Share your memories here:

What were your favorite plastic childhood toys?