Toys of the 1970s have brought many hours of laughter and fun to children and families decades ago. Some of these games have stayed, while some have fallen to the novelty wayside. There are so many popular toys of that time period that you may have forgotten about!
The toys in this list are going to bring you back to a time where things were much simpler. They didn’t have the bells and whistles that most of the toys and games of today have. If you grew up during that decade, this is going to be a wondrous trip down memory lane! For those of you who weren’t, prepare to be amused by what the toy industry had to offer us back then! These toys are excellent!
Click ‘Start Slideshow’ for some fun 1970s toys you are sure to want now!
The Nerf Ball is a foam toy that gained popularity in the 1970s. It had a revolutionary design, and toy maker Parker Brothers bragged you could play with it indoors. When it first came out in 1970, commercials used celebrity faces to tout the product.
The advertisements must have worked! By the end of the year, over four million balls had been sold! The first rendition of the ball was only four inches in diameter. A couple of years later, Parker Brothers came out with the Nerf Basketball and Nerf Football. The football became the most popular ball in production after its debut. Now, Nerf has expanded its line to not just balls but accessories as well. We can’t get enough of the foam!
Click ‘Next’ for a four-wheeled wonder that has evolved over the years! How incredible!
The New Skateboard
In 1971, Frank Nasworthy created a version of the skateboard that made it popular among kids and adults alike. Before he came on the scene, skateboards were made with either steel wheels or out of a mix of clay and plastic. Harder wheels were favored by roller skaters at the time. The skateboard makers thought it was the same for their toy.
Frank knew that the wheels could be improved upon. He thought that the softer polyurethane wheels were the way to go. They were largely rejected in earlier years. He saved up $700 and opened his own skateboard company, Cadillac Wheels. After spreading the news of his new business by word of mouth, his skateboards were flying of the shelves! By 1975, he sold over 15,000 boards monthly, and he lived in skating infamy!
Click ‘Next’ for a toy that recently came back into our lives! These were groundbreaking!
Playskool started a toy trend in 1971. The company introduced Weebles to the world, and the toy industry was never the same! The egg-shaped toys were perfect for infants and toddlers. Fitting perfectly in tiny hands, the Weebles were weighted at the bottom for easier handling and grip. The toy was guaranteed to move or wobble, but they did not fall!
It was a simple design that parents appreciated in their homes. Soon, the toys came with accessories that were must haves for any American home! Weebles homes, schools, cars, and more were all the rage. In recent years, the toy has been relaunched to a new audience of children. This timeless classic is sure to bring smiles to children for many more years!
Click ‘Next’ for a tricky toy that was inspired by a real wonder!
Evel Knievel Cycle
Evel Knievel was the man in the 1970s! The American stuntman was legendary in his field. Motorcycle jumps and stunts were his strength, and he always amazed his fans during his shows! It was no surprise that young children went in droves to toy stores to get his branded stunt cycle when it hit the market.
Ideal Toys manufactured the small toy bike in 1973. That year, Evel made 13 jumps on his Harley bike and was a national celebrity for many families! The model bikes came with accessories and outfits for the toy Evel. Ideal Toys has said they sold over $125 million worth of Evel Knievel toys during its heyday! The stunt toys were replicas of Evel’s actual bikes and outfits. The toys were discontinued in 1977 after the showing of their last bike, the Strato-Cycle.
Click ‘Next’ for a toy that became surprisingly popular. It doesn’t make any sense!
The Pet Rock
If you were a child of the 1970s, you remember the Pet Rock! In 1975, the bizarre toy was advertised like it was an actual pet. It came in a cardboard box that was packed with straw and holes for the rock to breath out of! Yes, really!
The smooth stones were nothing special to look at. Some even came with furniture and decorations. There was a training manual for the rock that helped you raise your precious bundle of joy. The instructions were, understandably, full of jokes and gags for the rock owner. The fad didn’t last too long, however. There is only so much you can do with a stone. At four dollars apiece, almost two million were sold over two years before its decline! It’s incredible what a simple idea could do!
Coming up is a toy that brought hours of fun to any child! Do you remember this gem? Click ‘Next!’
The Magna Doodle
The Magna Doodle was invented in 1974 by Tyco. The art toy was something never seen at that time. Using magnetic particles, you could draw with the attached pen and accessories. Once you are done with your masterpiece, you could either leave it as is, or wipe it clean to start again! It was a great way to keep occupied for hours.
Tyco sold millions of these boards before they were bought out by Mattel. Today, the Magna Doodle is now part of the Cra-Z-Art family. There have been many copycats of the toy, but nothing can compare to the original! There is no way you can pass the drawing board and not be compelled to draw something!
What a trip down memory lane! Click ‘Next’ for more long-lost toys! This next one is huge!
The year 1976 brought many things, but it gave us one thing in particular—Stretch Armstrong! The action figure that is made out of stretchable gel was a favorite among toy lovers. Stretch was a blonde muscle man who was clad in only black underpants. You could stretch the doll from 15 inches to almost five feet!
If you’ve ever wondered what gel Stretch was filled with, you are going to be amazed! It was nothing more than corn syrup! The liquid let the toy remain stretched out temporarily before going back to its original size. If you have ever been tempted to cut into one, be prepared for a huge mess! Stretch was discontinued in 1980, and new-in-box models are fetching thousands of dollars! Stretch Armstrong is more popular today than when it was in the 1970s!
Click ‘Next’ for an arcade game that started a revolution! This is a blast!
Pong was released by Atari in 1972. The arcade video game was one of the first of its kind. The game was made to look like a table tennis match. It was highly addictive, and many other companies quickly began to make their own versions!
The 2-D game is simple in its makeup. The player controls a virtual paddle by joystick. Moving the paddle up and down, you hit the ping pong ball back to your opponent. Your rival could be another player or the computer itself. Although it started out as an arcade style game, the home version was made in 1974. There was no way to escape the Pong madness! Even today, the game is still as entertaining as it was decades ago.
Click ‘Next’ for more electronic fun! This game paved the way for many other toys we have now!z
Simon is a game of memory. It was actually launched in 1978 at Studio 54 in New York of all places! Once it got in the hands of those party goers, it became an instant success. That year, it became one of the most wanted and top-selling games during Christmas.
The toy has four different colored buttons. When pressed, each color makes its own noise. The toy lights up the four sections in a random order, and you are expected to remember that sequence. As the rounds go higher, the sequence becomes longer and more complicated. There are many different variations of the game on shelves today. From a pocket version to one that uses swipes, the main idea has remained the same. It is a great toy that also works out your brain at the same time!
Click ‘Next’ for a puzzle that can last for days! Have you solved one yet?
The Rubik’s Cube is a six-sided puzzle that was created in 1974. Each side of the cube is covered by six colored stickers. When purchased, the sides are grouped by color, and you are expected to jumble the puzzle to put it back together again.
If you haven’t figured out the key to the cube, it is tough to figure out. When the toy first came out, most people could only piece together a side or two. Many books and instruction manuals were published to help those who were challenged. The craze lasted for nearly 10 years before it died out in the mid-1980s. Now, there are Rubik’s Cube associations that support those that are enamored with the handheld game. How interesting.
Click ‘Next’ for an action figure that came from a television show! This is wild!
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Six Million Dollar Man was a television show about a bionic former astronaut who became a secret service agent for the United States government. Steve Austin was the main character of the popular 1970s show, and he became a celebrity and role model for children of the time.
The series saw huge success, and the franchise decided to spread into the toy world. The action figures were one of the most popular items that were offered to the masses. The 12-inch toy is now a collector’s dream item. The product is extremely rare nowadays and can attract top prices if in perfect condition! If you have one in your closet, you may unknowingly have thousands of dollars in your hands!
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Connect Four is a game that is so easy to learn and play. It is made up of a vertical plastic board that is notched out for tokens. One side plays one color, and the other plays another. The point of the game is to get four of your tokens in a row before your opponent does. When the game is over, you can clear the board to start again.
This game has been the source for many family arguments over the years! It is one of the only toys where both players have full disclosure of what the other side is doing when being played. If you don’t block the other side’s moves in time—you lose! It’s easy to get caught up in winning. It is no wonder this game still provides us with hours of fun!
The next toy needs no introduction! Click ‘Next’ for this awesome prize!
Hungry Hungry Hippos
How could you not like this game? Hungry Hungry Hippos is a game for all ages! Hasbro was on to something when they brought this out in 1978. The table game is for up to four players. The object is to catch as many white marbles as you can before they are all eaten up! The fun is in the marbles—they can go flying everywhere!
When we were younger, we all had our favorite colored hippo to play with. As we pressed down on the lever, the next extended and the mouth opened for the little round balls. Adults have tournaments and keep this game alive! As the commercial goes, “You will have a chomping good time!”
Wow! This is trippy! The following game is definitely going to take you back. Click ‘Next!’
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
This two-player action game was all the rage in the 1970s! Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots had two boxing robots that could fight each other. The point of the game was to knock the head off of your opponent before they got to you! It sounds violent, but it was fun!
As the player, you are considered the “manager” of your robot. The plastic toy is placed on a level surface, and gaming can begin. Since its release, it remained unchanged for almost a decade. In the late 1970s, the boxers were updated to show an outer space theme. The toy company wanted to get in on the Star Wars craze that was so widespread at the time. The game is still around, but it is not as popular as it once was.
Click ‘Next’ for a doll that made you feel like you were taking care of a real baby! How funny!
The Baby Alive baby doll was a toy that made little girls feel like their moms. Originally made in 1973, the baby ate, drank, and even pooped! In the vintage version, you mixed the food packets with water. The doll could drink from a bottle, or eat from a spoon.
The liquid went through the body and ended up in the diaper. After a few minutes, the doll was ready to be changed into a clean diaper. You had to be careful! Not only did it produce dirty diapers, but it also spits up as well! The dolls of the 1970s did not talk like they do today, so there was no warning as to what might happen. Just like in real life!
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Lite-Brite was named one of the top 100 toys of all time by Time Magazine! Why? Well, the idea for a light-based drawing toy was years ahead of its time! A surface that contains a light is the backdrop for colored pegs. The plastic pegs fit into holes on the surface allowing you to make any picture you desire.
There are many different models of the Lite-Brite toy. You could make pictures that look like animals or popular characters such as Mickey Mouse. If you lost pegs, there are refills available to fulfill all of your needs. They thought of everything! The sky is the limit with this toy. Imagination is key!
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In 1973, two housewives created the wonderful toy that is Shrinky Dinks! The sheets were meant to be colored on and then put in the oven. When heated, the sheets shrink into a hard plastic-like plate. You could make jewelry or keep them as collections.
The arts and crafts toy was popular for many years after it came into toy stores. Most Shrinky Dinks came with pre-printed designs and pictures. You could color them with almost anything of your choosing. Markers, pens, and pencils are just a few of the ideas that have been used. The best part of the toy is your creation is kept the same once it is shrunken down. What a novel idea those women had!
This toy is going to make you want to be a kid again! Click ‘Next’ for more!
The View-Master is just fun. The scope toy creates 3-D imagery from small photos that are clipped and shown in a circular paper film. The reels of film can vary from almost any topic you could think of. It really feels like you are a part of the high-resolution pictures as you gaze into the scope.
In the 1970s, the toy really flew up the ranks when it came to popularity. During that time, talking View-Masters were introduced. As you looked at the pictures, there was running commentary in the background. It described what you were looking at photo by photo. This was one the first virtual reality toys! Look how far we have come!
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Easy Bake Oven
Growing up, didn’t your parents always tell you to not play with the oven? Where was the fun in that? Luckily, the makers of the Easy Bake Oven filled that cooking void for children everywhere! The functional toy oven allowed kids to create snack and dessert masterpieces anytime and anywhere.
The original model was heated by two 100-watt light bulbs. It came with different food mixes where you just needed to add water or oil. After several minutes cooking under the lights, the food was ready to eat! Of course, you shouldn’t expect a five-star meal from a simple machine. As a child, however, the treats were beyond delicious! Now, the newer models of Easy Bake Ovens have a heating element in place of the light bulbs. This cuts back on the cooking time, but it can also lead to more injuries! It’s tough being a master chef in your own kitchen.