When you were a kid, did you spend hours looking through the big Christmas catalogs that everyone used to get? There were pages upon pages of toys that you wished so badly that you could get, all the while knowing that very few that you circled would be coming your way. Most of the toys from those catalogs are long gone and forgotten, but some of them are still popular today. That’s because some toys stand the test of time and become classics. There are even some toys for sale right now that were invented in the 1920s! We looked at 25 of the most popular toys of all time and we’re sure some of your favorites from when you were a kid are still on some kid’s wish list this year. (Read through to the end to enter our giveaway, too!)
The Radio Flyer Wagon – This red wagon was introduced in the 1920s by an italian immigrant who named it after his two favorite inventions: the radio and the airplane.
The Yo-Yo – This simple toy was a huge craze in 1929, and has been popular ever since. It may not be on every kid’s wish list, but there are still plenty of kids working on tricks.
Finger Paint – It’s hard to imagine when kids didn’t want to use their fingers to paint, but this wasn’t a popular manufactured toy until 1936. Still makes a great stocking stuffer!
The View-Master – This was originally designed to show 3D images from National Parks. After they made a licensing deal with Disney to display images of Disney movies, characters, and amusement parks, it became a huge hit! Today, it’s being sold in a virtual reality version.
Bubble Solution – Blowing bubbles as we know it today started in 1940 when a cleaning supplies company named Chemtoy bottled a bubble solution. It’s so simple we hardly think of it as a toy, but think about how much fun people have had blowing bubbles since 1940!
Little Golden Books – This series of kid’s books was the first inexpensive series that was published so all kids could afford books. Two billion copies of these books have been printed through the years and their classic illustrations still look great.
The Magic 8 Ball – This psychic plastic ball has been around since the 1950s helping kids make difficult decisions!
Legos – Are these blocks the greatest toy of them all? Still very popular, the Lego company has been producing these since 1958. Lego is Danish for, “play well,” and that’s exactly what kids have been doing with them ever since.
Fisher-Price Little People – These toys have been around since the 1950s and so many kids have played with the barn, house, castle, and even an airport playset. These are still made today but the classic little wooden people with round heads will always be our favorite.
Mr. Potato Head – This toy was invented by someone who wanted kids to like their veggies! We don’t know if many kids ate more potatoes because of Mr. Potato Head, but he’s sure fun to play with!
Matchbox Car – Hot Wheels are great, but Matchbox was the original tiny car toy. The first one built was of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation coach for a girl who could only bring a toy the size of a matchbox to school with her.
Play-Doh – This was first used for cleaning wallpaper! After kids were using it instead of clay in the classroom it became Play-Doh “the toy” in 1956.
Tonka Trucks – Named after Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, the Tonka truck appeared in 1965 – quickly becoming the MUST HAVE sandbox toy. Kids have been dumping sand and making truck noises ever since.
Frisbee – Years ago, students at Yale played catch with pie pans from the Frisbie baking company. In 1955, Wham-O bought the rights to the toy and named it after the original pie company.
Hula Hoop – In 1958, Wham-O sold around 100 million Hula Hoops! It was a national craze! While they’re not quite that popular today, there are still a lot of people who love these toys!
Barbie – This fashion doll was first introduced in 1959 and quickly became the most popular doll of all time. It’s estimated that 1 billion Barbies have been sold since then.
Etch-A-Sketch – What’s your best Etch-A-Sketch memory? Could you do amazing pictures or was a simple house as elaborate as you got?
Easy-Bake Oven – Speaking of memories, what treats did you make in this little oven? Do you remember the smell of the little chocolate cakes?
Lite-Brite – Just like the Etch A Sketch, some kids had the patience and talent to make beautiful pictures with this toy, and then some of us just made a smiley face.
Nerf Ball – When the first indoor Nerf ball was introduced in 1970 4 million were sold. Nerf is crazy popular today and if you have kids they probably have some kind of Nerf toy on their wish list.
Star Wars Action Figure – If you were a boy in the late 70s and early 80s this is the toy you wanted the most.
Rubik’s Cube – Since 1980 millions of these #D color-coded puzzle cubes have been sold. Have you ever solved one? If you have you should be proud! It’s not easy!
Cabbage Patch Kids – In 1983 this doll was so popular that parents were fighting over it and waiting in line outside of stores to make sure they could buy one for their kids for Christmas.
American Girl Doll – These realistic dolls are on the spendy side and are only sold at a few stores around the country which has made them a very coveted and popular doll.
Bratz – In 2001 these dolls were introduced and were seen as the anti-Barbie. They have huge eyes, glittery make up, and a lot of attitude! They became incredibly popular and Barbie’s sales have been waning ever since.
We know we left out a lot of amazing toys! This list could go on and on. What’s one of your favorite toys? Let us know in the comments for a chance to win a Sheep Baby Gift Basket (ERV $120, currently available for $100).
Gift Basket Includes:
- Sleep Sheep 4 sound – Award–winning dream machine that plays four soothing white noises to lull baby into peaceful slumber.
- Satin Burp Cloth Set with Sheep Rattle – Stay fresh with this set of 3 super soft and absorbent burp cloths, specifically designed to clean baby’s mess. Includes Sheep rattle to match!
- Baby Sherpa Blanket – Snuggle up in supreme softness and keep little one cozy with this luxurious and soft blanket.
- Sleep Sheep Peekaboo Lovie – This soft and snuggly security blanket will be your child’s favorite comfort object while also doubling as a bedtime soother.
- Sheep Hugginz Small Plush – Irresistibly soft and lovable plush with heirloom quality to last through many years of love.
ENTER TO WIN! Here’s how >
UPDATE: Congratulations to Sharon B. for being our lucky winner! Thanks to everyone for participating — watch our blog for January’s giveaway launching soon!
In the comments below, share one of your favorite toys. (Could be one from your childhood or one your child has now.)
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For each additional entry, leave a separate comment letting us know what you’ve done (and what your profile name is where relevant). If you’ve already done any of these in the past, just leave a comment stating so. You can enter up to 9 times by taking all of the actions listed above and the more entries you make, the more chances you have at winning!
One random winner will be selected on December 31, 2015!
No purchase necessary. Must be US resident, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Click-through for full sweepstakes rules.