The Ant Farm at 60

Antopia

Did you know the ant farm has only been around for 60 years? Honestly, I had figured this classic toy to be much, much older. Turns out, nope. It was invented by the Uncle Milton Toy Company in 1956. Now, I had an uncle named Milton, but never had an Uncle Milton Ant Farm. So they were kind enough to send me one.

Fun fact: they actually do not package the farms with ants, for a multitude of reasons. Instead, you send away for a tube of ants. Sadly, my first tube hit a cold snap and the ants were DOA. Thankfully, the Uncle Milton company knows this happens and sent me a new one right away. Just stick in fridge to slow them down (not the freezer–they will die) and add them to your farm. This second batch of ants went right to work.

Hi-ho, hi ho...
Hi-ho, hi ho…

That left side tunnel was built within an hour. It was fascinating to watch. My 15-year-old daughter and my 5-year-old son were both entranced. He actually went so far as to drag a chair over and stand on it, watching them for a good twenty minutes. Also, I learned that my ex-wife has always wanted an ant farm. The things you learn about people.

It took less than ten hours for the farm to go from looking like that to looking like this:

Do ants even sleep? Seriously, do they?
Do ants even sleep? Seriously, do they?

This fascinated my son, and after that he would come home and check to see what new tunnels had been built, etc,. When I told him that the 60th ANT-iversary Farms actually connected to each other via a series of tubes, his response was “Can I get anuder for my birtday?” I thought this interest would pass, but so far he has stayed fascinated by the ants.

This is a great example of why the Ant Farm has persisted for so long. It’s simple, inexpensive (the unit we reviewed retails for $13), and fascinating. There are forms of assorted sizes and with different themes, including some upcoming Star Wars sets. So if you’ve ever considered an Ant Farm, now’s the time. Why wait another 60 years?

Note: We were provided with an ant farm for review purposes.

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Mordechai is a geek with a teenage geek daughter and geek-in-training pre-schooler. Mordechai has an obsessive interest in comics (especially older ones) as well as tech. He also watches way, way too much television.