All the University of California, Davis' Jonathan Eisen needed when he was little was a magnifying glass. "We would just go out and look at ants and roly-polies. Being able to see things close up was very cool," he tells The New York Times. The Times asked a handful of scientists about what toys they remembered from their childhoods. While Eisen was out looking at bugs, other researchers were playing with chemistry sets or Legos.

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