Book Review: A World Without Reality: Inside Marvin Glass’s Toy Vault by Bill Paxton

by Julia DeKorte | 03 Dec 2022

Book Reviews

In A World Without Reality: Inside Marvin Glass’s Toy Vault, Bill Paxton takes readers on a journey through the life of Marvin Glass and his legendary toy design company, Marvin Glass and Associates. A thorough history of Glass’s life, the ups and downs of his company, and all the toys, games, and limitless fun he left his mark on, this biography is full of rich history and exclusive insider information about the unique and mysterious Marvin Glass.


Weighing in at nearly six pounds, this large biography covers every detail of Glass and his company. Split into twelve chapters followed by six appendixes, Paxton spares nothing to tell the legendary story of MGA. The chapters are chronological, beginning with family history as far back as Glass’s grandparents’ emigration to Chicago from Russia in the late 1800s. Readers learn how MGA came to be, different partners, inventors, and designers he worked with, and the origin stories of many of America’s favorite toys and games, including Lite-Brite, Operation, Simon, Mouse Trap, and many, many more. Paxton tells Glass’s history like a story, captivating readers for the entirety of the biography.


Following the twelve biographical chapters are six appendixes, A through F. Appendix A shares a complete list of Marvin Glass Toys and Games, B follows with a list of all Marvin Glass employees, C includes the LaSalle Studio floor plans, D showcases the James Bond 007 items, E gives readers a closer look at the video arcade games MGA produced, and F includes the going-out-of-business auction brochure.


Paxton does an excellent job capturing the magical character that Glass was. His charm, charisma, and love of fun is evident throughout the entire book. Packed with original photographs, prototypes, ads, patents, and interviews with Glass himself, A World Without Reality answers every question, quells every curiosity, and engages every kind of reader.

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