The oldest toy (according to The National Toy Hall of Fame) is a stick. Can you imagine their little faces if Santa delivered one of those these days? Although I suppose it could be a Harry Potter wand stick which is totally acceptable!!
In 2004, archaeologists dug up a 4,000-year-old stone doll head in the ruins of a village on the Italian island of Pantelleria. It had curly hair and was buried with miniature kitchenware. It’s amazing to think that such a thing survived so long, toys don’t last five minutes in our house – buried or not!!!
It struck us this week that as much as the world has moved on and changed since we were children, many of the toys that we put on our lists to Santa all those years ago, still feature on our children’s lists today!
And whilst some fads come and go, there are a surprising number of toys that are still around now, some of which date back to the late sixties.
So, take a trip with us down memory lane with some toys from the past. Which toys featured in your wish lists? Perhaps if you weren’t lucky enough to receive what you wanted all those years ago, Santa could bring it to your child this Christmas and you can have a little play with it before you wrap it 😊
Uno - Uno first came out almost 40 years ago and this card game is still beloved today. There are a lot more options now including video games and themed packs, but nothing beats the simple original.
Barbie Doll - A feature in pretty much every girls' childhood - the classic Barbie doll. Despite being created in 1959, it was in 1993 that the doll hit fever-pitch among fans.
arbie is the most popular fashion doll ever produced. A Barbie Dreamhouse is sold every two minutes and was first introduced in 1962. Barbie is the most diverse fashion doll on the market and has now expanded to include dolls of all shapes and sizes.
I personally had a Sindy doll but that was the UK version created to rival Barbie.
Skateboards - The invention of the polyurethane wheel changed the skateboarding game and made it extremely more popular from the ‘70’s on. The wheel had a better grip on the pavement, making it a safer experience. It's a cultural icon.
Monopoly - Monopoly is, quite simply, the most successful board game in history. More than 200 million Monopoly sets have been sold in over 80 countries and 26 languages over the last seven decades. The world record holder has 2586 different editions of the game!
Invented in 1933 by an unemployed salesman, Charles Darrow, who drew the first board on his kitchen tablecloth. In 1934 Darrow offered the game to a leading entertainment company, Parker Bros, which rejected the prototype because it apparently contained “fifty-two fundamental errors”.
Undaunted, Darrow printed 5,000 copies of Monopoly and began to sell it under his own steam. The game was a hit in local stores, prompting Parker Bros to return in 1935 to buy the rights and make Monopoly into the fastest-selling board game in America.
Hot Wheels - Mattel had a hit with their small model cars with plastic wheels that allowed kids to make them zoom around. Countless designs and colours mean there is a car that can appeal to just about anyone.
With the introduction of toy racing tracks, they became an even bigger smash.
Lego - The Lego Group is now the fourth largest toy manufacturer in the world. It's a privately-owned business that employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. About 150 designers of 18 nationalities design and plan the elements for all the different Lego sets. These sets are sold in more than 130 countries. We wonder how many engineers there are out there in the world today who were inspired by Lego as a child. Not forgetting another branch of the business is the Legoland parks. There are eight situated all over the world - in Billund, California, Florida, Malaysia, Dubai, Windsor, Japan and Germany.
Play-Doh! - The universally-loved Play-Doh has been making hands happy since 1956, when Joe McVicker created a soft modelling clay from wallpaper paste for his sister’s pre-school students. The mouldable dough, which stayed soft and safe inside an airtight container, could be shaped into almost anything, and then squashed back into a ball for round two.
Play-Doh remains as popular today as it was yesterday, thanks to the partnerships between Play-Doh and kids’ favourites characters, shows and food.
Trolls - The idea behind the supposed good-luck of Troll dolls is this: they’re so ugly that when you look at them you have to laugh, and when you laugh, nothing bad can happen to you. Leave logic like that to the Danes. They’re the ones who have passed troll legends down through the generations, and it was a Danish woodcutter who first carved the first little handheld prototype.
Rubik's Cube - This baffling cube of colours sorted the pros from the amateurs as people tried to crack the puzzle.
The game of speed and memory people frustrated and some victorious as they completed the Rubik's Cube. Erno Rubik's cube puzzle became iconic and has been solved all over the world. According to the National Toy Hall of Fame, it's the most popular puzzle in history.
My Little Pony - This million-dollar franchise has withstood the test of time, since it was first released. The small colourful plastic ponies were a hit throughout the '80s, before it was discontinued in 1990.
Since then, the ponies have gone away and come back through four incarnations and have since launched multiple animated series and a feature film.
Transformers - Before Transformers were made into an animated series, comic books, and a blockbuster live-action movie series, they were an incredibly popular toy line. The toy trucks and cars could transform into robots, so they way cooler to have.
Jenga - Jenga was trademarked in 1983, but the game didn't gain popularity until a few years later. Jenga is a uniquely stressful game that consists of building a tower of wooden blocks, removing them one at a time, and replacing them on the top of the tower. Each move makes the tower taller and unstable. You don't want to be the one to knock it down.
eenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) were four turtles named after Renaissance Italian artists and trained in combat by their rat sensei. The characters first appeared in comics in 1984, but an animated series soon followed and their popularity skyrocketed. Toys, merchandise, and games became must-haves.
TMNT are still massive in the toy market thanks to the popularity of recent film adaptations.
We hope we have sparked some nostalgia in you. This list could have literally have gone on and on. And we could also do another blog on the toys we always wanted but never got. I personally always hankered after a Mr Frosty. Perhaps I will buy myself one this year. 😉
If we’ve got you thinking about Christmas gifts, why not read our blog which talks about why giving an “experience” gift is a great option this year.