Rediscovering Your Favorite Toys - The All-Time Best List of Classic Toys?

Lite BriteLite 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 CubeRubik'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.


Baby Alive
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 dolls
Barbie doll head (it came with makeup)
Barrel of Monkeys
Big Wheels
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
Erector sets
GI Joe Action Figures
Gnip Gnop
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)
Lincoln logs
Lite brite
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).
Nok Hockey
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)
Rubik's Cube
Sit N' Spin
Six Million Dollar Man
Shrinky dinks
SlinkySlinkySlinky ("slinky, slinky what a wonderful toy, slinky, slinky, fun for a girl or a boy")
Star trek toys
Star wars toys
Tinker Toys
View Master
Weebles ("weebles wobble but they don’t fall down")

Gnip GnopGnip Gnop


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 HockeyNok 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.

Inventor Spot

Jul 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)


I am still p.o'd over not getting one. The only time I got to play with one was in the dentist's office waiting room. I don't think I will EVER get over this. I believe they stopped making these a few years ago.....jeers.

Jul 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Good idea for an article.

My favorite toy growing up were the Licoln Logs. I liked to play frontier man and cowboys. God, that brings back memories of fighting with my brother.

Jul 7, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Colored Plastic Cowboys

I remember colored plastic cowboys that were available around the time of the G.I. Joes. What was weird was that the cowboys came in funny colors for their days: pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. My brothers and I were probably between 9-12 years old but we somehow thought that the cowboys were "funny" since their legs were bowed to fit on little horses and, since they were rodeo cowboys, they had one hand on their crotch (to hold onto the saddle) and the other hand in the air to balance themselves!!! We laughed and made jokes about the hand on the crotch.

These colored men, same size, were available as paratroopers--they held a parachute and could be thrown into the air and balloon down. I recently saw these in a store and just had to buy a PINK one and a blue one for the memories. Decades have passed since they have reemerged, and I have no idea how much they would have cost in the l960s, but the current selling price was a got to be kidding.... 15 cents!

Jul 8, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know if it was my

I don't know if it was my all-time favorite but I remember hours playing with Battleship. Does anyone remember that game?

Jul 8, 2006
by Hot Spot Mama

Battleship - oh, the memories

of whipping my brother in that game. He'll deny it, of course. But I destroyed him in that game.

there were so many games that we played in the 70's but i just focused my article on toys. I was afraid of having too much good content in one article.

Do you guys remember the balloonies (I think that's what its called now). You had a small straw and a tube of gooey plastic. You would wrap the plastic around the straw and blow bubbles with them? Again, my kids love playing with those things.


Jul 9, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Of Course We Remember Battle Ship

It is still made, isn't it? I know I still have a travel edition. It was okay to play, but not very exciting.

I enjoyed the Pogo Stick!

Jul 10, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)


What I notice from this list is that these are actually TOYS, not little bits of electronics that forced you to play a certain way. What children play with today required batteries or electricity, the toys listed above required something bigger, better and more important. They required an IMAGINATION!!!.

This was a great list and brought back memories of when we would play and run and jump and be free!

Jul 21, 2006
by i have no name (not verified)

do i have 2 have 1?

ok my comment( if u could call it 1) is that some of our toys dont force u 2 do some certain thing. it challenges your mind to figure out what 2 do next. wow. i sound like an official talking abt this stuf. i feel important..........................

Sep 25, 2006
by Kailani (not verified)

I totally remember Lite

I totally remember Lite Brite. Do they still sell those?

My Dad used to work until late in the evening. I would make a picture and leave it plugged in so he could see it when he got home. Sure brings back memories!

Here via Carnival of Family Life.

Sep 28, 2006
by Alexis

big wheels and lite bright

my son has one of those big wheels with the brake. i'm a little disappointed that my three year old has not taken full advantage of it yet (skidding out). I'm sure he'll be a terror on wheels by the time he's four.

lite brite - yup, they still sell them. if you click on lite bright in the article, it will take you to Amazon which sells them.

Nov 30, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

what goes around comes around

I was born in 1951 and I can remember inheriting monopoly from my Mom. It was our favorite game on a rainy day. I can point out lots of things that have changed on that game. In the I believe '40s version that was my Mom's all the little pieces were made of wood. Hotels, motels, the pieces we moved around the board and also the dice..My cousin had a newer version late '50's the pieces were made out of some sort of metal. then in the 70's everything was changed again to plastic. I know there have been changes again but I haven't been a child or around any in a while. This is one game that Trump may have learend a lot from in his youth and many other children as well.

May 24, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)



May 22, 2008
by Anonymous


add cabage patch kids

Feb 27, 2009
by Anonymous

Creepy Crawlers & Green Ghost Game

Remmeber Creepy Crawlers? The kit where you made your own little plastic spiders, snakes and frogs? I still remember the smell of the crawlers "cooking" on the hot plate.

And remember The Green Ghost Game? The game that glowed in the dark with the big green ghost that spun around? Old, classic and vintage toys!