Top 25 "It" products of all time: #22 -- The Slinky

Several weeks after Christmas, throughout portions of our house, it's clear that not all of the toys Santa brought our two daughters were hits. But one was: the Slinky.

There's a dollhouse that, if it were a real house, could be boarded up since nobody seems to live there any longer, and scattered game pieces are--well, scattered. But my daughters still pull out their Slinkys every other day or so, it seems. They were afterthoughts last Christmas, just two simple, cheap toys that I bought--er, Santa brought--and stuffed into the stockings over the fireplace.

They loved that springy, wiry toy that, if you drop it down the stairs, will "walk" all the way down.

Two days after Christmas, my four-year-old had mangled hers, and I had to go right out and buy a replacement, which I was happy to do, since they're so inexpensive. Over 60 years after the debut of Slinky, you can still buy one for just four or five bucks, and I've seen them on the Internet as cheap as $2. Back in 1945--the year the Slinky debuted--it cost $1. It's one of America's few recession-friendly, economical toys.