Lite BriteA couple of weeks ago, my sons came across my old Barbie Dolls. Wow. What a flashback I had when they opened up my Barbie Doll Case (the box that held all my dolls and clothes). Talk about a flood of memories rushing back from my childhood.
All those memories made me think that an article discussing the toys from my childhood (the 70’s) would be fun. I decided to get my friends involved. So I emailed my friends and asked them to flash back in time and pick their favorite toys growing up as a child in the 70’s (just toys, no games). It was a fun topic for discussion and I got some surprising insights into their childhoods. I actually got a little too much information from some of them (you know who you are).
Rubik's CubeAfter everyone emailed me back (my friends and some of their friends), I compiled the list. After completing the list, I saw an interesting pattern. Take a look at the list of the favorite toys and see if you notice it too.
Balls (soccer, football, baseball, …. All of them especially the kick ball)
Balsa wood planes (I don’t remember this at all but a few people mentioned it)
Barbie doll head (it came with makeup)
Barrel of Monkeys
Charlie’s Angels dolls
Chemistry Set (my brother made quite a mess with this one)
Daisy Red Ryder Pump Gun
Donny & Marie Dolls
Easy Bake Oven
GI Joe Action Figures
Hopity hop (big ball with a handle on it – used for bouncing around on)
Hot wheels / match box cars
Jump Ropes (including the Chinese Jump Ropes)
Little People (all their stuff)
Magnifying glass (a couple too many people mentioned this one – hmmm, I think we can all figure out what it was used for).
Plastic green army men : the mine sweeper, the bazooka man, the grenade thrower, the sniper, etc. (almost every guy mentioned this)
Pong (one of the first video games)
Roller’s skates (with the sneakers)
Sit N' Spin
Six Million Dollar Man
SlinkySlinky ("slinky, slinky what a wonderful toy, slinky, slinky, fun for a girl or a boy")
Star trek toys
Star wars toys
Weebles ("weebles wobble but they don’t fall down")
Side note - Baby Alive came out when I was three years old. I’m still angry that my mom never bought me that doll. I can’t believe that I remember that from such a young age.
Another side note – don’t some of these products make you just want to sing the jingle? Jingles must have been big back then.
Ok - Do you see the pattern? A significant number of our favorite childhood toys from the 70’s are still popular and are my kids’ favorite toys today. Isn’t that amazing? I should have saved those Legos.
Nok HockeyAfter I compiled the list, I did some research and found out that almost all of those toys are still being sold. I was told by my marketing friend that a lot of the toy companies have re-launched all their top toys from the 70’s.
It's interesting. Some toys haven't changed a bit. But almost all of the products have either been updated (brought into the 21st century) or the toy companies have added lots of different accessories or options in order to satisfy every child's dreams.
An easy way to see how much a toy has changed is to check out the links (the highlighted toy) I've provided. Some of them link to an exact replica of the 70's toys. Some of the links list 100 items because the toy companies have added so much under that category (see the Match Box Cars, Star Wars Toys ....). Perhaps this will inspire you to re-discover your favorites to share with your kids.
Thanks for reading my article. I would love to know which toys triggered a memory from your past … especially any toys that were not on this list.
Does this list bring back any happy memories for you? You may want to email this article to your friends and see what were their favorite toys growing up. It was definitely a fun experience for me hearing everyone's stories.