One of my first toys as a child was a guitar...a little plastic guitar, sure, but it was a guitar! I think all my friends had them, and I know all my children had them, and all of their pals. Guitars are cool, even in plastic miniature. Prior to the rock 'n roll age, sales for kiddie toy guitars were primarily driven by "Singing Cowboys" (like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers) in Western films and TV shows. But interest in guitars of all kinds -- real and toy -- exploded when Elvis Presley came to world prominence in the mid-'50s and the Beatles a few years later. Rock 'n roll and electric-guitar based music was thought of at the time as a "teenage fad" in music, but quickly trickled down to the younger set, and then just kept on going. Merchandisers were quick to hop on the bandwagon to manufacture toys to sell to these new rock 'n roll babies, and I thought I'd show you a few examples from the '50s and '60s.

Let's start off with Elvis. The one with the "Hound Dog" on it is adorable, but it does remind me of rock music foe Steve Allen, and how he made Elvis sing to a dog wearing a tux.

I think the Beatles must've had the most toy guitars made. Here's a few of them. That kid in the ad I think is more of a Kingston Trio fan, but hey. 

For some reason, I find Rolling Stones toy guitars hilarious. How I WISH there had been a "Redlands Bust Play Set" made, with jellybean pills, a Barbie Marianne Faithfull dressed in a fur rug, Ken doll Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with little toy plastic handcuffs,  lots of little toy British Bobbies, and of course...one actual Mars Bar.

Of course, the Monkees had to have a couple of guitars, too. They were MADE to sell things to kids! That cartoon style is kinda creepy, huh? I don't think there was ever a Jimi Hendrix toy guitar.

So, I bet you are wondering which toy guitar I had, huh? Must've been the Beatles, right? Well...no. Was it the Stones? Nope. OK, surely the Monkees? Nuh-uh. Presley?? Not my kiddie style.

It was this. Thanks, Mom and Dad!