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Farewell to the Argos catalogue, the book of dreams that democratised playtime

For many children, dissecting its pages for gifts became its own kind of play activity. Perceptive scholars of a distant future may traverse the Argos catalogue to demystify our world

By Anna Cafolla  

On its first Christmas as an established British retailer in 1973, Argos’ most popular toy was Shrinky Dinks. A craft kit created by two Wisconsin housewives, it included various colours of polystyrene sheets, which could be cut out to make into shapes and animals—heating them up would cause them to expand into malleable playthings. British life at the time—with rising inflation, industrial strife, and…

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