Crash Dummy Play Set, 1991

Since automobiles were placed on the market, toys have helped children accept and understand America’s growing automotive culture. For more than 100 years, toy cars, model cars, and pedal cars have generated enthusiasm for real cars, inspired children to become motorists in adulthood, and helped them anticipate the pleasures and responsibilities of driving. When auto safety became a major concern, toys also became an effective way to address the risks of driving. In 1985, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partnered with the Ad Council to create television commercials that would persuade motorists to buckle up. Leo Burnett, a talent company, created Vince and Larry, a pair of emotional crash test dummies who were all broken up over highway fatalities. In the early 1990s, toy maker Tyco Industries marketed handheld Vince and Larry play dummies. Another Tyco product branded “Vince and Larry Crash Car” included a toy car with parts that came off in a collision, and one crash test dummy named Dash. Tyco removed all Vince and Larry products from stores after NHTSA claimed copyright infringement.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Tyco Industries, Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
box: 3 1/2 in x 9 in x 13 in; 8.89 cm x 22.86 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Road Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Carl Nash

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