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Remember These Must-Have Toys and Games From Christmases Past?

Remember These Must-Have Toys and Games From Christmases Past?

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, toy stores everywhere are making sure they have the latest “must-have” item in stock in plenty of time for Christmas.

And like everything, these fads and trends tend to come and go from year to year. That hot new toy from last year—the one parents battled traffic jams and long lines at shopping malls to get— has probably already disappeared under the bed by January 1st, never to be seen again. Some never went out of style, and simply re-emerged decades later.

Here’s a brief look at the must-have games and toys that have been on every kid’s list over the last century:

1900s

Hopscotch, 3D viewers, Kewpie dolls, ping pong, Raggedy Ann, Teddy bears.

1910s
Tinker toys, Ouija boards, erector sets, Raggedy Ann dolls.

1920s
Crossword puzzles, mah-jongg, electric model trains, Crayola Crayons, Yo-yos.

1930s
Mickey Mouse, pinball, Shirley Temple dolls.

1940s

Hummel figurines, LEGOs, LP records, Magic 8-Ball, electric train sets.


1950s
Barbie dolls, Frisbees, hula hoops, Pogo sticks, Silly Putty, Slinkies, Chatty Cathy dolls, Gumby and Pokey, Play-doh, Pez, Mr. Potato Head.

1960s

GI Joes, Barbie dolls, lava lamps, Easy Bake Oven, troll dolls, Ouija boards, Flatsy dolls, Hot Wheels, Lite Brite, Barrel Full of Monkeys, Operation, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Etch-a-Sketch, Mrs. Beasley, Twister, Candy Land.

1970s

Mood rings, Pet Rocks, Star Wars, Barbie dolls, Monopoly, Nerf, Duncan Yo-Yos, Stretch Armstrong, Chrissy and Velvet, Matchbox cars, Battleship.

1980s

Cabbage Patch dolls, Chia Pets, Rubik’s Cubes, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Trivial Pursuit, skateboards, Nintendo, Smurfs, Jenga.

1990s
Beanie Babies, Teletubbies, Tickle Me Elmo, Furby, Barney, Power Rangers, computer games, rollerblades, Rug Rats, Pogs, American Girl dolls.

2000s

Razor Scooters, Pokemon, Bratz dolls, Teddy Ruxpin, LEGOs, Zhu Zhu pets, Baby Alive, Bobbleheads, iPods, iPhones, and iPads; Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation, Guitar Hero, Finding Nemo items.

2020s?

What’s in store for the decade ahead?

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  • Debi says:

    peewee dolls in the 60s and Suzy Smart doll There was also a Darling Debbie bride doll

  • Amanda says:

    Electronic handheld football, tetris, and space invaders. Fashion plates, jarts (lawn darts). Magic 8 ball. Transformers.

  • Teresa says:

    1950s Tiny Tears Doll
    1980s Ghost Busters toys
    1970s-80s Big Wheels
    1990s Micro Machines, GI Joe

  • louann says:

    1990″s My Child and My Buddy

  • N. Kildahl says:

    Brenda, that name is actually Norwegian. Husker Du. Means ‘do you remember’. It sounds familiar but I can’t place that game.

  • Alison says:

    1996-2000 Barney, Disney Princesses, scooters, heelie skates, big wheels
    2004-2008 Monster High Dolls, High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Friends Legos, Polly Pocket, Barbie Ocean Liner
    2016- PS4, Razor scooter, Nike, Under Armour, Elf on the Shelf, WWE, Baseball, Football, battery powered vehicles, Netflix, Drones, Hoverboard

  • Wanda burgess says:

    Lucy locket…..I miss her as she burned in my house fire when I was 9..1967

  • Cynthia McCarthy says:

    I think in the 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were very popular. What about Hot Box cars.

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Cynthia McCarthy – yes, they are there! Those were quite popular. My younger brother had to have them!

  • marie mjlstead says:

    Tiny Tears Doll

  • marie mjlstead says:

    1950’s Tiny Tear’s

  • myrtle says:

    What? No Colorforms for the ’50’s? LOL.

  • james kruse says:

    He-Man

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Hi Alys, Barbie was listed in the 50s but you’re right — she was huge in the 60s and 70s so we’ve added her there. Good catch!

  • Debjt says:

    Slinky in the 60s and Atari in the early 80s

  • Carolyn Inman says:

    Incredible Edibles, Thumbelina dolls, Beatles wigs, Lincoln logs, Garbage Pail Kids, Jack in the Box

  • Marie says:

    1960’s-Marvel the Mustang….1970’s-Stable Mate Horses

  • Brenda says:

    There was a game in the late 50’s I’m not sure of the spelling but it was called something like ” Hoos Ker Do ” that’s a phonetic sound out. I remember we played it a lot, does anyone remember any game near that name.

  • Susan Brown says:

    Creepy Crawlers, Easy Bake Ovens

  • Lorraine Taggart Measor says:

    My folks bought me one of those kewpie dolls back in the 50’s and still have it!

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