Do you remember when kids wanted toys instead of the latest electronic tablet, iPhone or iPad? We do. Take a look back and enjoy 29 awesome toys from the last 50 years.
Big Wheel (Early 1970s)
Parents saw these as a safe, durable, bicycle alternatives. We saw them as our first invitation to the open road.
Easy Bake Oven
Easy-Bake Oven (1963)
The Easy-Bake Oven didn’t just teach us how to cook, it taught us patience! There’s a reason mommy and daddy don’t make dinner with a 100-watt light bulb.
Beanie Babies (1995)
This fad was insane. Kids wanted them because they were cute, parents wanted them because they could flip them for a profit. Chances are there is at least one person in your life with a Rubbermaid tub of mint condition Beanies still in their attic.
Bratz dolls (2001)
One of the more controversial toys in the last few decades to make the top sellers list, Bratz dolls were known for their large heads, skinny bodies and tons of makeup. A feature length Bratz movie was released in 2007.
Etch A Sketch
Etch A Sketch (1960)
One of the most iconic toys of the Baby Boomer generation, the Etch A Sketch was simple, fun and encouraged creativity.
Children were supposed to learn how to care for a pet with these digital egg shaped games. Instead they just got them taken away at school.
Rubik’s Cube (1980)
Solving this colorful 3D puzzle still impresses people thirty years later. We just peeled off stickers on ours. You could totally tell.
Connect Four (1974)
Some of our very first lessons in deception came from learning to play Connect Four. Aren’t you going to stop me from stacking four straight up? Gotcha on the diagonal. Every time.
So maybe the tech present boom has been around for a few years. In 2006 the Nintendo Wii changed the way we play video games with three dimensional movement detection and online connectivity. With strong sales through 2007, it outsold both the PS3 and the Xbox 360.
The Atari was the first video game console to popularize home video games. Looking back, it seems crazy how far games and graphics have come in the last forty years.
Shrinky Dinks (1973)
Just trace, color, cut and bake. Four simple steps but it still seemed like magic!
Pogs (early 1990s)
Simple and inexpensive, Pogs took over playgrounds across the country. You know you had to have the coolest slammer.
Webkinz was the Beanie Baby of the digital child. Why stop at playing with the stuffed animal when you can go online and play with the VIRTUAL version of your pet? Kind of the precursor to Facebook if you think about it.
Teddy Ruxpin (1985)
Teddy Ruxpin was so cool he was the hottest selling toy in 1985 AND 1986. He was soft, cuddly and he read you bedtime stories. What wasn’t to love?
G.I. Joe (1964)
He’s not a doll, he’s a action figure! “America’s movable fighting man” gave little boys everywhere a favorite play toy, and role model.
Tickle Me Elmo
Tickle Me Elmo (1996)
This toy was so popular you may have gotten in a fist fight over one back in 1996. Some people did. They originally sold for $30, but some determined parents shelled out as much as $1,500 for Sesame Street’s favorite muppet.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures (1987)
Were you a Raphael or a Michelangelo? You were a Leonardo, weren’t you? The TMNT taught us how to appreciate delivery pizza while secretly learn the name of Renaissance artists. Win win.
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons (1974)
Who said geeks don’t have fun? D&D hit the peak of it’s popularity in the 1980s, but people still play it today. The game has also saturated pop culture with numerous references in films, TV shows and music.
Despite the hundreds of teeny tiny chokeable pieces Lite-Brites were awesome. We would work on them for hours and could even use them as an awesome night light.
We thought we were rid of the “must have” toy of 1998, but we were wrong! Furby is back again this holiday season and excitement for these little robotic hamster owl things are as strong as ever.
My Little Pony
My Little Pony (1983)
Plastic horses with stamps on their legs made fun for hours! And that theme song, good luck getting that out of your head anytime soon.
Everyone’s favorite awkward party game became popular after Johnny Carson played it on “The Tonight Show.” More recent version of the game include “Twister Dance.”
Pokemon cards (1996)
I choose you, Pikachu! Serious gamers had binders of cards in plastic sleeves. It was almost a status symbol for some. As long as they didn’t bring them to school, teachers always tried to catch ‘em all. Get it?
The toys that launched a thousand Michael Bay explosions. Transformers toys were the best until you stepped on them in the dark in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom.
Hot Wheels (1968)
There were sixteen original models back at the time of their release. Today there are more than 10,000. What started out as fun for children has recently expanded as an adult collector’s hobby.
Skip It (1990s)
Okay, so technically this toy out in the 1980s, but the second-generation releases had counters! Was there a prouder childhood moment than seeing your counter roll back to zero after 999 skips?
Barbie hit the shelves in 1959 but really took of in the early 60s. She has always been a woman we admired. Barbie has had almost every occupation AND a dream house. She’s still got it, too. Statistically three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
Game Boy (1989)
First they bring the video games out of the arcade into our living rooms, then they take them off the TVs and put them into our hands! Did you play Donkey Kong or Mario?
Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Kids (1982)
Move over Barbie, the 80s were for Cabbage Patch Kids. These dolls were everywhere. They were even named the official mascot of the 1982 US Olympic team. Weird, but true.