Toymakers for children find new market in adults seeking joy, comfort

Since the pandemic, Elizabeth Hulanick has turned to toys from her childhood to relieve stress.

She and her co-workers chip in to buy Legos at Target and play at their desks. She also started playing with Silly Putty again, noting she felt comforted by the bouncy rubbery stuff that changes colors.

Even her American Girl doll called Samantha, which she keeps in her china cabinet, resonates more these days; she waited one year for her mother to buy her that doll when she was a child and now, she says, it served as a reminder to always be patient.

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