Kenner and the Building of an Empire is now closed.
Learn the backstory to some of your favorite childhood toys and how a Cincinnati toy company changed the industry.
Some of your favorite childhood toys were made in Cincinnati, not far from Union Terminal. Kenner Toys, located on Kenner Street, had become an established toy company with its Easy Bake Oven, Play-Doh and Spirograph. But in May 1977, Kenner became an overnight sensation with the acquisition of the license to manufacture toys inspired by the characters in the newly-released Star Wars™ film.
Kenner and the Building of an Empire tells Kenner’s story through rare and iconic toys dating back to the 1940s and the first toy the company ever produced, a metal bubble gun called the Bubbl-Matic. The exhibition also includes a 1964 Easy Bake Oven and over 100 original Star Wars action figures, vehicles and playsets. Among the Star Wars action figures are an original set of toys from 1977 and the accompanying packaging. One of the rarest items in the exhibition is an original die cast from 1979 for a droid factory, a toy set that never made it into production.
Kenner and the Building of an Empire is curated from the collections of Cincinnati Museum Center and generous loans from Corky Steiner, Josh Blake and Bill Wills from www.kennercollector.com.