I was fascinated to dive into all 600 pages (!) of A World With Reality: Inside Marvin Glass's Toy Vault, Bill Paxton's monumental biography and history of the toy invention business.
You know the classic toys his company invented: Operation, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Lite-Brite, Mousetrap, Simon, and on and on. But Marvin's greatest invention was the business of inventing toys. This GIANT book tells the stories of the people behind the toys.
And many of the stories are quite dark. The world of Marvin Glass was filled with childhood abuse, shady business dealings, neurotic creative types, womanizing, a famous mass shooting among his toy makers, and much more. This book provides an unblinking look at all of it.
Just as fascinating for me as toy inventor is the amazingly detailed and complete notes on many of the biggest toy hits: background stories on development, early design sketches, dramatic client presentations, air-brushed renderings, colorful ads and packaging, and hundreds of rare, behind-the-scenes photos.
This exhaustive book really captures the Mad Men-era Marvin Glass—mad/crazy, mad/angry, and Madison Avenue, all in one.