Vintage 1950s Toys
The Colorforms concept was developed by Harry and Patricia Kislevitz in 1951. Both recent art students, the couple discovered the idea when they acquired several rolls of flexible paper-thin colored vinyl used to manufacture plastic pocketbooks. It would stick to the glossy paint in their bathroom and allow them to reposition it at will without affecting either surface.
Simply cutting shapes out of the material and sticking them to the wall turned out to be amusing enough that they left extra vinyl with a pair of scissors for guests to add to their creation. The positive reactions they got to the project led them to believe there was market potential as a product.
The original Colorforms sets were spiral-bound booklets hand-assembled by the husband and wife team in their New York City apartment. The first 1,000 sets were sold 'on concept' to the FAO Schwarz toy store. Shallow boxed sets containing screen-printed, die-cut pieces, and illustrated backgrounds began appearing soon after. The company used the slogan "It's More Fun To Play The Colorforms Way!" in print ads and television commercials to promote their products.
Since its inception, more than a billion Colorforms play sets have been produced and sold.