collection of 1960s and 1970s toys

If you were a child in the '60s or the '70s, you'll no doubt have fond memories of the vintage toys you played with, and probably a few more of the toys you saw on TV and desperately wanted to play with.

Take a nostalgic trip back in time and see how many of these top toys from the'60s and the '70s you remember. '60s and the '70s you remember.

The Museum of Brands is a wonderful trip down memory lane!

Sticker Albums

Collecting trading cards stickers was a popular pastime for kids in the '70s, with stickers often used as a virtual playground currency.

 

The Italian company Panini published its first FIFA World Cup sticker album in 1970 for the World Cup in Mexico, also becoming the first company to produce self-adhesive stickers in the '70s.

If you happen to have any of them in your attic, there are still collectors today who are willing to pay a pretty penny for them!

Clackers

One of the first ‘fads’ that ever took the toy world by storm. The toy of 1971 was sold as clackers or click-clacks and they became a huge playground craze‚ until they were banned.

Girl playing with 1970s toy clackers

If you had a set, you'll remember the distinctive clacking sound they made, but the hard plastic that was used to make them in those days also tended to shatter, creating an explosion of shrapnel!

This ‘70s toy was to prove a sensation and totally unpredictable. More recent years we’ve seen similar sensations with the finger spinners and the slinky.

Non-shattering varieties are still available today if you'd like to put your old skills to the test.

Space Hoppers

Often hailed as the toy of 1971, Space Hoppers were, in fact, available in UK toy shops as early as 1969. 

They were invented in Italy in 1968 where they were sold as the Pon-Pon, also known as the Hippity Hop or Ride-a-Roo in America.

Orange spacehopper 1970s toy in a line

They were advertised as 'the amazing inflatable riding ball' and everyone wanted one, but most of us discovered that skinned knees came as part of the bargain!

Incidentally, the world record for the fastest 100m hop on a Space Hopper was set in 2004 at 30.2 seconds, fancy taking on the challenge?

Scalextric

The Scalextric was to give every boy racer their very own racing track in their front room. It was a toy that united boys and Dads across the land. The toy began in the late ‘40s but wasn’t until the 1960s that it really started to take hold.

1970s toy red Scalextric car on track

The simple car race modelled on the enduring success of the train set was to offer, all the speed and glamour of a real racetrack by the 1960s and 1970s.  

It’s reinvention at the 1957 Harrogate Toy Fair began a toy sensation that was to span decades and is still going strong today.  The Scalextric is certainly a contender for the most popular toy of all time.

 

View-Master

If you didn't own a View-Master in the '70s, you probably knew someone who did. With just a click on the dial, you could scroll through images of faraway places or gaze at pictures of popular TV shows and simpler times! What was your favourite reel?

 

During the 1960s and ‘70s Everyone from Walt Disney to the US military got on board with Mattel’s View Master.  The Us military used the invention as a way of teaching new recruits how to identify aircraft and tanks in the field.

Roller Skates

 1960s roller skates

The roller-skating trend has been coming and going since the '60s, but the arrival of disco music in the '70s made it popular with both young children in the playground and teenagers on the dancefloor. 

Who remembers singing along to Melanie's hit single‚ Brand New Key‚ in 1972, also known as, The Roller-skate Song?

 Sindy

The Sindy doll was launched in 1963 as Britain's rival to the American Barbie doll. It was the ‘60s toy that every young girl had on their Christmas list in 1963.

 

She came in three different hair colours and with a huge choice of outfits for every occasion. By the '70s, she'd developed a fully posable body, but it would be the '80s before her friend Mark came along.

Other popular dolls at the time were the Tressy doll and the Pippa doll, both sold by Palitoy in the UK. Tressy had a key in her back that allowed her hair to grow and the pocket-sized Pippa was marketed as the pocket money fashion doll that puts fashion in your pocket.

By the mid-'70s, Pippa had around 30 friends, including Tammie, Marie and Pete which ones did you have?

Action Man

Launched in 1966, Action Man was Britain's rival to the American G.I. Joe. He came in four hair colours, but strangely, originally only in a range of outfits worn by American Armed Forces. 

 

By the '70s, British uniforms became available, and other themes such as adventurer, sportsman and Georgie Best, footballer joined the line-up‚ not forgetting the Eagle Eyes innovation that appeared in 1976!

Popular TV shows led to the creation of various other action figures, including the Steve Austin model based on the popular Six Million Dollar Man TV series. If you had one of these, you'll remember the bionic eye feature that you could look through the peel back skin on his arm, and perhaps even the bionic grip version that launched in 1977.

The Action Man was to continue to march right on through the 1970s to the 1980s making it OK for boys to have ‘dolls’. A concept previously frowned upon!   

Which of these ‘60s and ‘70s toys do you remember best?

The above list may have sparked many happy memories for you, but here are a few more '70s favourites to reminisce over:

  • Meccano
  • Chopper Bikes
  • Evel Knievel Stunt Cycles
  • Fisher Price Chatter Telephone
  • Crossfire Rapid-Fire Game
  • Stretch Armstrong
  • Fuzzy Felt
  • Etch-A-Sketch
  • Dinky Toys

Which childhood favourites would you add to the list? Weeble Wobbles? Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Or some Hot Wheels?

If you loved our whistlestop tour of 1960s and 1970s toy land, why not visit the Museum of Brands it is like stepping back in time. Why not visit the Museum of Brands Time Tunnel you’ll be surprised at all the lovely memories it will trigger?

 

Image Credits

Header Image - Museum of Brand courtesy of Robert Opie

1960s Clacker Toy  - Wikimedia CC1.0 Public Domain

Space hopper ‘70s Toy - Pixabay

Red Scalextric toy – Rawpixel

Roller Skates ’60s toy - Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

 

   

 

1960s1970sChildhoodDo you remember?Memory laneNostalgiaToysVintage

5 comments

Richard

Not even a mention of the very best Xmas present of the sixties……Scalextric….come on….

bob

wow these tots are greet

Olive Herridge

Some of theses toys were from the 50’s I had Minibrix and the Scoop newspaper game.

Trevor Manley

Although I think Scalextric first became available in the 60s it was still very popular in the 70s and later.

Pete

Corgi toys and airfix models

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