Tupperware has been around since the 1950s, becoming so popular that around the year 1990, more than $1 billion was sold internationally—more than double in today’s current economy. In fact, the Tupperware fad was so trendy there’s a museum dedicated to housing more than 100 vintage pieces. Interestingly, the company expanded, making products for children, including Tuppertoys such as the Pop-A-Lot Ball Shooter set.
Earl Tupper and Brownie Wise has a partnership that ultimately ended. However, not before the pair invent, then marketed one of the most famous brand names in household items, Tupperware. Particularly between 1960-1990, plastics were common to find in most households. However, that wasn’t always the case. Tupperware broke barriers because, before WW2, it was rare to find plastics in a home, as they were generally used for the war for various uses, including insulation and motor vehicle parts. Thanks to Earl Tupper, a new kind of plastic, “Poly-T,” was invented, eventually making its way into homes everywhere. At first, the concept of Tupperware was “too high tech and unusual.”
Consequently, it took some time before it finally gained in popularity. However, Tupper’s decision to hire Wise and go into business together helped the company to skyrocket into fame. Wise took his invention and began selling products at “Patio parties,” later famously named Tupperware parties. Because her approach was geared towards family, convivence, and a more well-rounded home life, it didn’t take the company long to start producing Tuppertoys, made from the same revolutionary plastic but intended to be fun and engaging for children.
Despite their success, Tupper eventually sold the company for $16 million and moved to an island to live in solitude and serenity. However, Tupper had already been let go as he was advised against working with a woman, fearing it would impact his ability to sell. Ultimately, selling in 1958, Tupper gave Wise around $30,000 upon letting her go, but not before she took the board to court.
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In 1965, among the first ever released Tuppertoys was the Snapics set, although Wise and Tupper had already departed from the company by this time. The Tuppertoy set was a set of colorful tiles that could be snapped together in place to create colorful masterpieces.
From then until now, the Tupperware company has become an international sensation and still makes toys today. Namely, the shapes sorters, which come in 2 colors. Here are 7 of the most nostalgic Tupperware Tuppertoys of all time that also fulfill an important role in aiding healthy and happy development over the span of generations.
In 1969, a new Tuppertoy hit the market, this time encouraging architectural design and helping to improve fine motor skills like finger dexterity. The toy set was called Build-O-Fun and consisted of plastic squares and tires. The squares were red or blue and could be pieced together to build homes, bridges, and even trains.
2. Busy Blocks
Although numerous busy blocks are on the market today, featuring far more in aesthetics and activities, the original was a Tuppertoy Set called Busy Blocks. The set consisted of various colored square blocks that could be taken apart and put together, mixing up colors.
Although the official year isn’t clear, the Pop-A-Lot Ball Shooter was released in the 1970’s. This fun game encouraged friends and family to play with one another. Essentially, a person would place a ball into the toy’s center and then hit it from underneath, launching it into the sky. Surrounding players would “call it” as they tried to catch the ball in their own toy.
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This adorable set featured blocks with numbers, helping improve math skills while encouraging explorative play and a deep dive into the imagination. Vintage sets also sell for around $50 in good condition.
5. Tuppertoys Bounce It Game
In this fun multiplayer game, released in 1984, the goal is pretty obvious. Simply aim to knock out your opponents by filling in as many holes as possible, if not all of them, with your ball color. Each player starts with around 20 balls, picking their preferred color. Taking turns, everyone aims to get their balls into the holes, even if that means knocking out an opponent’s ball. Although this game doesn’t do much to encourage team building, it does nurture skills like hand-eye coordination.
6. Tupper Canoe
A Tupper Canoe set from 1985 retails today for around $50, but its main purpose was to promote imaginative play. The adorable little play set features two little passengers riding along on a cute little boat, allowing children to explore adventures “in the sea.” Fortunately, the toy set was made of plastic and, therefore could be used for playing in sandboxes, as well as in the bath, pool, or creeks. A version of the Tuppertoy canoe is still available today on the Tupperware website.
7. Tuppertoys Puzzles
Puzzles like the Link-A-Lot and What’s Inside Puzzle were both great toys for encouraging children to explore their problem-solving skills as well as help them with matching and color recognition, making these toys fun and educational.
Inarguably, Tupperware has made some revolutionary products in the way of household goods, going a step further when they began also producing Tuppertoys. Fortunately, as we’ve learned more about the dangers of plastics in our environment, some versions of today’s Tuppertoys are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. Although there is a more limited selection regarding children’s toys, cutlery and dish sets are available for children. Either way, some of the vintage sets of Tuppertoys have proven to be rather valuable antiques.
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- “Build-O-Fun.” Architoys
- “Vintage Tuppertoys: How many of these plastic Tupperware toys do you remember? Click Americana
- “Early Silas Tupper.” PBS
- “TUPPERTOYS SNAPICS SET 201 TUPPERWARE PLASTIC TILES PLAY SET DATED 1965.” Worth Point
- “SET OF 4 TUPPERWARE POP A LOT POP-A-LOT TOY TUPPERTOYS.” Worth Point
- “The Story of Brownie Wise, the Ingenious Marketer Behind the Tupperware Party.” Smithsonian Kat Eschner. April 10, 2018.
- “Jumping Jubilee! : When Tupperware People Gather, It Gets Very Crazy, Very Corny and Very Profitable.” LA Times. Irene Lacher. August 21,1990.
- “Vintage Tupperware Identification And Value Guide.” JStallone. Javeria Saud.