Betty Mattas

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Betty Mattas was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania back in 1918.After graduating from Altoona Area High School, she attended Pennsylvania State University, leaving when she married James. Her husband was an engineer, working at a shipbuilding company in Philadelphia.  He saw something that gave me an idea.  He related this to Betty, this got her to thinking, more on this in a moment.

In 1943, she came up with a name for the toy.  The couple made 400 of them and they sold out in 90 minutes at Gimbels Department Store for a whopping $1.00 each.  In the face of declining sales her husband left moving to Bolivia in 1960, leaving Betty to take care of the six children and run the business.  She sold the business to Poof Products of Plymouth, Michigan in 1998.

Betty Mattas James died in 2008.  At the time of her death, more than 300 million had sold.  She was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001.

Now, you may be asking yourself what toy would sell for that long, well I’m about to tell you.  Her husband while working at the shipbuilding company he saw a torsion spring fall off of a table and started flipping end of end, thus the Slinky was born.

Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I received a slinky as a child.  If one thinks about it, it's rather ingenious.  Good for them.   

Nov 23, 2020 03:11 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... had one of those slinky toys as a child. I loved it. And as far as I know it is still around.

Nov 23, 2020 03:40 AM
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

I'm curious now as to the rest of his story. Why Bolivia...did he ever come back?  Did he share in the success? What happened, James?

Nov 23, 2020 03:42 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray -  my sister and I got them one year for Christmas.  I remember.

Nov 23, 2020 04:04 AM
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Well I think every kid had one or two of these. I know I did.

Nov 23, 2020 04:04 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I remember racing down the stairs to catch it at the bottom, now I am two steps and watching it land!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Nov 23, 2020 04:21 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. I was born in the time when a slinky was a must toy! Enjoy your day!

Nov 23, 2020 04:32 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 

this brought a smile today...

Betty James, Who Named the Slinky Toy, Is Dead at 90 - The New York Times

Nov 23, 2020 04:38 AM
James Dray

Glad it did, thanks for the photo

Nov 24, 2020 03:12 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Ahh, the slinky, definitely one of the most popular toys ever, if not the most popular toy ever.

Nov 23, 2020 05:13 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

They are still popular today as my 6 year old neighbor could not wait to show me his last month. His was a giant one made of plastic that had ho trouble going down the steps of their deck. I never had any luck with the one I had James Dray  as it would go down the first step I started it on and that was it.

Nov 23, 2020 06:14 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Nov 23, 2020 07:02 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I loved slinky, and it was a treasure toy.  And thank you for sharing this wonderful story.  A

Nov 23, 2020 09:17 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Hello James Dray the husband left over declining sales? I thought they were booming in the 60s and still doing well in the 70s.

Nov 23, 2020 09:29 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing this slinky story. I love to hear of sad stories of success   

Happy Monday my friend James Dray 

Nov 23, 2020 09:57 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- I loved playing with a slinky when I was a kid!!!  What an interesting story to read. 

Nov 23, 2020 12:16 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

What a great story, James. I knew none of this history but like many I had a slinky when I was a kid. Such a fun toy!

Nov 23, 2020 04:24 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray, I don't know anyone who didn't own a Slinky or play with one.  

Nov 23, 2020 04:56 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Of course, when I was young, I loved to watch my Slinky toy "walk" down a staircase.

Mar 06, 2021 04:26 PM