Play DohTakes Shape

As the children's staple nears its 50th birthday, we look at its Web site and find creativity-themed content needing only a bit of remolding

Play-Doh has given shape to children's imaginations since 1956. The pliable, reusable and non-toxic dough is available in a multitude of colors and has a distinctive smell and texture. Originally designed as wallpaper cleaner, the modeling compound was invented by brothers Noah and Joseph McVicker, and marketed by toy manufacturer Rainbow Crafts. Play-Doh's ownership has changed several times over the years, with both General Mills and the Tonka Corporation playing significant roles until the brand came under the leadership of American toy behemoth Hasbro, in 1991.

As the brand is celebrating its fiftieth birthday this year, we checked in to see if the online presence fits the mold or needs some shaping up. With a lively and colorful portal that resembles a child's play area, Play-Doh certainly knows its target audience. There is something for everyone on the homepage — kids, parents and teachers alike. The bright navigation menu with soft-rounded corners is obviously designed to appeal to youngsters, but it does a good job of highlighting different sections of the site at the same time. Each section uses colorful photographs on the main area of the page to draw the viewer in.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.