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

Did you ask Santa for Hula Hoop, Operation, or Power Rangers when you were a kid? Take a look at this list of games and toys we couldn't live without over the last century.

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:


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

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

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

Mickey Mouse, pinball, Shirley Temple dolls.


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

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


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.


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


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

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


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.


What’s in store for the decade ahead?

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2020: Face masks, toilet paper, alcohol wipes, Occulus

Diane Lockard

Pokemon was listed in 2000s. I wrote a poem, “Pokemon, Pokemon, where art thou?
I would rather have a doll with eyes that close.
Or Rudoph and a bright red nose…”
Twenty years ago.


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


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


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


1990″s My Child and My Buddy

N. Kildahl

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


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

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

Cynthia McCarthy

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

Susan Higgins

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

marie mjlstead

Tiny Tears Doll

marie mjlstead

1950’s Tiny Tear’s


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

james kruse




Susan Higgins

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!


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

Carolyn Inman

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


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


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

Creepy Crawlers, Easy Bake Ovens

Lorraine Taggart Measor

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

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