As moms, it's difficult not to get nostalgic about toys from the past. Sometimes the toys are still available and the fun can continue to be shared even today. Some moms may even have kept some of their toys, which wouldn't be able for purchase anymore, just to reminiscence with their own kids now and show them what toys used to be like "back in the day."
As safety regulations and tastes change and technology moves on, some toys become redundant. Many of the toys that were available in the past and served children well, can no longer be found today.
Tastes change and the toys that moms loved as children would perplex their youngsters today, but it’s still fun to look back and see what amused us as youngsters.
More toys were made of wood before plastic produced more durable toys that are easier to clean. Progress in child psychology has revealed that more stimulation is beneficial to babies, and moms are keen to invest in toys that will produce genius children and keep them making progress in accordance with their age.
However, before toys were made by companies like Baby Einstein, children made do with whatever was available and seemed to have thrived just as well. It is a source of fascination for many children to believe that their parents could have survived without computers, iPads and constant television and made do with what they had.
20 Fisher Price Chatter Phone
The original Fisher Price chatter phone seemed to be in everyone’s house in the 1970s. The cute little wooden phone was on wheels and as the wheels moved, the eyes on the top of the phone moved from side to side.
The phone incorporated an old-fashioned rotary dialing mechanism that made a noise and a headset that could be picked up so little ones could imitate mom and dad on the phone.
The phone was also attached to a cord so it could be pulled along, making a great noise as it moved. There is a modern version of the phone, but nothing beats the wooden original.
19 Fisher Price Little People
These Little People were the forerunners of Fisher Price’s Happy Land, but a little more primitive. The originals were made of wooden bodies with plastic heads and primitive in design. They came in generic characters and had airports, houses, garages and other exciting buildings in their world.
The toys came with their own village where they lived, and they were sold in groups of traditional families but did introduce ethnic minorities and babies as new characters. The stumpy feel and bright colors of the toys made them very popular with children.
Sadly, Fisher-Price no longer makes the Little People. They have substituted them instead for the more detailed Happyland figures.
18 Frisky Frog
Frisky Frog was a cute child’s toy made by Fisher Price in the 1970s. In essence, it was just a plastic green frog with a huge smiling red mouth that was attached to a yellow balloon pump in its back. When the ball of the pump was filled with air and pressed, Frisky jumped!
It was a simple toy but gave hours of fun to children with its surprising jumps. The toy was aimed at ages 2-4, but many moms loved it too!
Fisher Price has stopped making the Frisky Frog but now produce ‘Silly Sounds Frog,’ which reminds many of the original Frisky version.
17 Model Smurfs
Smurfs have had something of a comeback recently thanks to the CGI films based on the blue magical creatures. However, in their cartoon heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of collectible figures were released and they were perfect for little hands to play with.
They were produced in every type of Smurf imaginable and with many accessories to help them carry out their daily lives, complete their magic tasks. These ranged from guitars and flowers to lollies and cakes.
Smurfs originated in Belgium and had names that represented their characteristics. In the modern version of the Smurfs, female characters were introduced to appeal to a wider audience.
16 Tom Thumb Metal Typewriter
Tom Thumb typewriters were originally produced by a printing company in the 1950s. They became an instant hit with children who loved to pretend to be an adult with toys that mimicked what they saw grown-ups doing.
They mimicked their parents' behaviors by going to the toy post office and using toy cash registers.
Tom Thumb manufactured the typewriters to a great reception. The typewriter had a real ribbon and the full alphabet and punctuation just like a grown-up version. They came in a variety of colors to appeal to children and helped them to learn the alphabet and the Qwerty keyboard. The typewriters even came with their own carrying cases.
15 Amanda Jane Doll
Amanda Jane was a cute doll designed to be a child rather than an adult like Sindy, Barbie or Pippa. She was a good size for a youngster and came equipped with everything from nightwear to a Brownie uniform. She had shoes, underwear and all the other accessories a child might need.
Amanda Jane came in different forms, ethnic types and with different hair colors. She had furniture, a horse, and a playroom. She was launched in the 1960s and reached the height of her popularity in the 1970s. She filled a gap in the market for a mass produced child-aged doll with a myriad of clothes and accessories.
Parents will remember Weebles from the advertising song, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down,” which was indeed true.
These hand-sized little characters were in the shape of eggs, but all had their own characters and wobbled around without falling over.
They were launched in the 1970s and were weighted in the bottom so that the Weeble always followed gravity and remained upright. They were made in the shape of people and animals and had their own specially made buildings, furniture, and vehicles.
Many Weeble sets were made until 1982 and although they were reintroduced in the 2000s, they were different in design.
13 Chatty Cathy Talking Dolls
Chatty Cathy appeared in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was a big hit. Only Barbie beat her as a best-selling doll in 1962. Cathy was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll with a slightly parted mouth that supposedly mimicked a ‘talking’ pose.
The talking was actually a set of eleven pre-recorded phrases which Cathy would utter at random when a string was pulled in her back. Chatty Cathy also had a limited array of outfits to change into.
In 1970, Mattel attempted a relaunch of the doll that was joined by baby versions. More relaunches of the doll were attempted, but they did not take off as the original Cathy had.
12 Pound Puppies Plush
Pound Puppies were a popular toy in the 1980s and featured a plush version that was super soft and cuddly. They ceased production in 1989 and a revival was attempted with a slightly different model and a wider assortment of animals and sizes, according to Ghost of the Doll.
The original puppies had big eyes and long floppy ears. They were enormously popular and inspired a TV program and film. Pound Puppies came in several colors and each came in a cardboard ‘kennel’ and were ‘adopted’ by the owner from the pound.
They were identified by a little heart shape sewn into their body, which was a bone in earlier editions.
11 Fisher-Price Xylophone on Wheels
This was the cutest toy from the major manufacturer, Fisher Price, who made so many of the iconic toys of the 1970s. It comprised a wooden white frame, with colored metal chime bars that could be struck with a soft ended stick. To add to the fun of the toy, it was on red plastic wheels, so could be pulled along when the child learned to walk.
As it moved along the toy made a pleasing chiming noise as well. The toy was a firm favorite. The movability, noise aspects, and bright colors made it a hit with children, although the noise may not have been quite so popular with parents.
10 Cabbage Patch Doll
Cabbage Patch dolls were first created in 1978 and were a great hit. They were created by Xavier Roberts and they lived in a fantasy world. They were available for ‘adoption’ from a fictional hospital.
They were very popular, and the adoption gimmick took off well. They were soft and huggable and had adorable outfits. They were chubby soft dolls with vinyl heads and wool hair that made them unattractive but adorable.
According to The Spruce Crafts, however, the company who made them went bankrupt in 1988 and despite being bought out and attempts made to relaunch them, they have never recaptured their craze status.
9 Care Bears
Care Bears were a series of different colored cuddly bears. They started off featured on greetings cards but evolved into TV shows, films and of course the highly collectible cuddly bears. The toy bears featured buttons on their tummies that gave clues as to their personalities.
The 1980s craze has been through a couple of revivals, but nothing came close to them being as popular as the ten original carebears and their cousins. They lived in the Kingdom of Care and their mission was to protect children from bogeymen. They used the ‘Care Bear Stare’ to emit an aura of love and triumph over evil.
8 Strawberry Shortcake Doll
Strawberry Shortcake, the dolls created in the 1980s, lived in a fantasy world with her friends who were all named after desserts! Another bonus of these dolls was their dessert-themed scent that continued in the spin-off stationery items that could be bought with the dolls.
The character of Strawberry Shortcake was a kind, helpful being. She lived out her altruistic life with her friends and they had their own houses, shops and each came with a dessert-themed pet, according to Like Totally 80s.
A TV series of Strawberry Shortcake was relaunched in 2003, but the doll was not the same as the original, and some say the best was the 1980s version.
7 Rainbow Brite Dolls
Rainbow Brite toys were a spin-off from the popular TV series, where the Color Brites lived out their adventures. They were assisted by Starlite, the horse and their job were to preserve all the color in the universe!
Rainbow Brite was a soft, cuddly doll with a plastic head and woolly hair, and all her friends matched her style but with different colors. They each came with a small matching Sprite to help them in their magical quest.
The popular TV show that accompanied the dolls ran through the 1980s and accompanied a feature film, books, and even cereal.
6 Mini Copter
This sweet wooden toy is in the shape of a primitive helicopter. It was a wooden base with a chirpy looking girl, boy or dog piloting. There was a yellow rotor on the top that spins around and red wheels on the bottom and a yellow rotor wheel at the back. The toy was designed to be pulled along by a string, making an appealing whirring helicopter noise as it goes, according to This Old Toy.
The toy was great for its bright colors and appealing noise, and handy for babies learning to walk as it gave them some encouragement to move by pulling the copter along.
Sindy dolls were introduced in the 1960s but never made as much of a mark on the market as Barbie. They had similar body structure but had different faces, and although they were sold across the world, and relaunched in the 2000s, they just never seemed to capture the imagination in the same way that Barbie had.
She had all the clothes and accessories of a jet-setting girl about town, as well as many professional outfits and domestic paraphernalia. Sindy had a brief revival in the 1980s when the Emmanuel's designed a copy of Princess Diana’s wedding dress for Sindy, but it was short-lived.
This was a really popular toy in the 1960s and 1970s. it was a simple design, based on two balls suspended by strings. The player holds the middle of the string and makes the balls ‘clack’ together giving the toy its name.
The toy seems simple but children loved them and developed tricks with them in many school playgrounds.
The toy enjoyed a 2000s revival after it was seen on many TV shows, and school children adopted the toy as a playground favorite. In Egypt, they were even banned and confiscated in 2017 as they were regarded as offensive to the government!
3 Pippa Dolls
Pippa dolls were popular in the 1970s. Pippa was a tiny doll who could be dressed up in a variety of outfits and could ride her horse or her moped with her friends. Pippa had long blonde hair and her friends were the same size but had different colored hair and skin.
Pippa, Britt and their friends had a house made of cardboard and were available in dress up books as well. They enjoyed a variety of jobs including an air hostess outfit and horse-riding garb. Pippa dolls were very tiny and had shoes that were tinier but made of rubber so they fitted on the tiny feet and stayed on easily.
2 Magic Roundabout Carousel
Produced in the early 1970s, this carousel was a great toy. It featured the characters from the popular Magic Roundabout series, who sat on horses on a traditional carousel. The carousel was wound up and made music as it went.
The figures came out so they could be played with independently and were brightly colored and chunky, so suitable for little hands. According to Toy Mart, Dylan, the guitar playing rabbit, stood on the side of the carousel and acted as the winder to make the carousel operate.
1 Easy Bake Oven
This fun play oven was introduced in the 1960s and was discontinued in 2016, according to Wikipedia. Children could learn how to bake with the oven as it came with a specially designed cake mix that produced a cake, of sorts, at the end.
The oven was heated using light bulbs, although a later model actually featured a microwave oven. The oven became a nostalgic item of pop culture.
It was so random in concept and design that parents yearned to recreate the memories of the past with their children using the Easy Bake method.
References: Wikipedia, Toy Mart, This Old Toy, Like Totally, The Spruce Crafts