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Colorforms Turns 60

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2011-11-07-logo_colorforms_large.jpg"It's more fun to play the Colorforms way," and kids and adults have been playing with those vinyl geometric shapes for six decades. November 13th marks the official 60th anniversary of the toy and I would not be surprised if, on that day, Google uses the shapes in their Google logo to celebrate the event . University Games, who owns the brand, has been celebrating the anniversary with an art contest where children could win a scholarship to an art camp and FAO Schwarz, who was the first store to carry Colorforms in 1951, has created a Colorforms boutique.

Colorforms was one of the first toys to be advertised on television and the phrase "sticks like magic" became synonymous with the brand. Colorforms has developed play sets with popular licensed characters, starting with Popeye in 1957. Over the years it added Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Gumby, G.I. Joe, Charlie's Angels, The Three Stooges, Blue's Clues and Harry Potter.

The company's iconic logo designed by famed graphic artist, Paul Rand, who also designed logos for IBM, Westinghouse, ABC and UPS, is the focal point of the company's new Brush With Genius product. It brings technology to Colorforms and allows kids to use the brush not only to paint a picture but to also add sound. "It is a creative tool for young children," says Bob Moog, president of University Games. It enables a child to create a story and to tell the story with sound.

Patricia and Harry Kisleveitz, art students, invented the toy in their New York City apartment. They were playing with the stick-on material, and actually had it up in their bathroom, where their guests would spend much longer than normal because they were playing with the various shapes and making designs on their bathroom wall.

2011-11-07-colorforms.jpgA special 60th Anniversary Limited Edition of the original Colorforms in its classic black box is available for purchase at the Museum of Modern Art and online.