If you grew up in the 1970s, you'll no doubt remember most of these retro toys. From that hopper toy to Uno, we all remember the joy of craving these for Christmas and on birthdays and then playing with them for years to come.
We've compiled a list of the best-selling retro toys from the 70s, plus where you can buy them if you want to relive your youth as 1970s nostalgia gifts to yourself or send them on to a loved one for a true taste of the 1970s.
Which one was your favourite toy of the 70s?
The Atari VCS
1979 saw the beginning of the (never-ending) craze for video games, starting with the Atari VCS.
The Atari VCS has recently been reimagined for the modern day. Check it out here.
Although your grandchildren are probably familiar with Dreamsworks Trolls films, how much do they know about the Trolls 1970s dolls you used to play with?
Troll dolls originated all the way over in Denmark in the 1950s. Started by a man named Thomas Dam, he called them Good Luck Trolls and they became a big hit.
In 1956 the demand became too high so Thomas opened a factory, switching to a rubber body stuffed with wood shavings to help him keep up with demand.
The 70s retro toy signature hair first came in three colours: black, white and orange.
Vintage Troll Dolls
This vintage troll doll is sure to be a blast from the past. Why not pop it on a 70s inspired again or even nestled on a shelf?
Related: Vintage toys from the 50s and 60s
Originally released in 1967, Lite-brite consisted of a light box with small coloured plastic pegs which fit into a panel and then illuminate to create a lit picture, made by either using one of the templates included or creating a "freeform" image on a blank sheet of black paper.
Lite-brite Ultimate Classic
This updated version of Lite-brite includes new, round pegs that are designed to shine even brighter as well a range of templates with interesting designs to create.
Pogo Ball had children bounding around on an inflatable ball divided in the middle by a circular platform. Tricky to master at times, you needed to plant your feet solidly on the platform and hop about on the lower ball, with nothing to help you but a good sense of balance.
Made of high-quality PP board and PVC ball, that will not bend or crack with non-slip surface texture, this pogo ball will support up to 90kgs/200 lbs.
Related: Toys that take us back to the 90s
Waterful ring toss
Remember this one? Press the button of the Waterful ring toss which shoots out a jet of water and try to manoeuvre the bright red, green, yellow and blue rings onto the two plastic sticks. So simple, but so frustrating!
Pippa the Doll
What dolls from the 70s did you have? Well what about the original Pippa The Doll? Similar to Polly Pocket, Pippa was a "pocket-sized" fashion doll, released by British toymaker Palitoy between 1972 and 1980. She was a 6.5 inchs and had numerous friends, fashion options, an apartment, car and even her own hair salon.
One woman remembered: "My friend and I used to play with these dolls for hours, I remember Pippa and Britt but can't remember the other names. I had their house, which was little more than cardboard but I loved it all the same."
Pippa The Pumpkin
Inspired by the original Pippa dolls, you can buy a Pippa the Pumpkin knitted doll pattern to make your very own. Don't forget your UK size 11 (3mm) single pointed needles, your favourite 8 ply (double knitting) yarn, toy stuffing and a small button.
If you woke on Christmas morning in 1971 to a large weight on your feet, you were probably one of the lucky children to receive that year’s must-have toy – the Space Hopper. How we loved bouncing around the garden on these bright, beautiful 1970's toys. We still remember the smell of the plastic.
Funtime Retro Space Hopper
The original Space Hopper design will never go out of fashion. This Retro Moon Hopper comes with a manual air pump and is suitable for children over five years.
Katie copycat doll and desk
This hard-plastic blonde doll was seated at a desk and would copy whatever you wrote down on your side of the desk. A clever concept that got a little dull quite quickly! They now retail for lots of money on ebay.
Uno was a great hit in 1972 – and a good way to get your revenge on siblings by making them pick up four extra cards.
One reviewer wrote: "I'm sure everyone has played Uno by now, but if now then it's one of the absolute classic family travel games in my opinion, up there in the God Tier with Pass The Pigs. It's so simple that younger family members will have no problems in picking it up rapidly, and still loads of fun for adults too."
Uno Card Game
The classic card game of matching colours and numbers has stood the test of time and is still a firm family favourite.
Plasticraft modelling kits
Do you remember the smell of the chemicals in a Plasticraft set? We’re not sure they’d get away with selling them to today’s children, but back in 1972 you could mix them to your heart’s content before embedding the mixture into moulds to make keyrings and jewellery.
In 1973 there was a craze for Walkie Talkies, which made us feel like secret agents as we passed messages to friends – always ending with ‘over and out’.
Kids' Walkie Talkies
These ones obviously don't look anything like the ones we had in the 70s, but we do love the colour scheme and they'd be a great gift for the kids.
Mastermind board game
Another classic game, Mastermind was a hit in 1973 and is still played today. It was a good one for small families as you only needed two players. We’ve never stared so intensely at plastic pegs since.
A classic for a reason, this version is similar to what we were used to, although now under a different company name.
These sturdy truck toys were designed in America but were a hit over here in the 1970s too.
Tonka Steel Classic Mighty Dump Truck
For over 70 years, Tonka has been the worldu2019s favourite toy truck and today with their range of diecast toy vehicles, Tonka is still providing imaginative fun for children all over the world.
Still a staple of many a toy box, Playmobil was invented by a German man called Hans Beck, who developed the toys in the early 1970s. The design of the characters’ faces was based on a child’s drawing – with a large head, big smile and no nose.
Playmobil 6671 Summer Fun Summer Camper
This Playmobil Campervan is the perfect gift for Christmas. It has a kitchenette, detachable roof and awning, along with lots of lovely furniture.
The earliest LEGO sets were around in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a continuation in their popularity, particularly in sets featuring families.
LEGO 10698 Classic Large Creative Brick Box
This LEGO set contains 790 pieces, including eight different types of windows and doors with eight different frames. It's an ideal gift to encourage creative play.
Did you have a Pet Rock? It seems so silly now, but back in 1975 we loved ours! It came in a cardboard box packed with straw and breathing holes, and was a fad that lasted a surprising six months!
Although the original rocks aren't available these days, there are some really sweet modern versions that would make cute gifts.
The 1970s were a golden age for board games, and we still enjoy the ‘clunk’ of slotting a red or yellow penny into our Connect 4 years later.
The original disc-dropping game has had a little bit of a makeover, but it will still give you hours of fun.
Peter Powell Kites
In 1976 we loved the special, steerable kite – originally available only in black, but later in blue, red or yellow.
Peter Powell Original Stunter Kite
The original company is still in operation today, so you can grab an authentic Peter Powell kite.
Star Wars figurines
After the release of Star Wars in 1977, children around the world went ga-ga for merchandise – everything from notebooks and pens to figurines.
Star Wars The Black Series Han Solo
Celebrate Star Wars with this action figure featuring a retro-inspired design.
Simon and Britains Combine Harvester
In 1978, little boys around the country asked Father Christmas for this pleasing, green die cast toy.
Britains 1:32 John Deere 6195M Tractor Toy
Britains is still going these days, with a whole host of toys available, like this John Deere Tractor Toy.
We spent hours in 1980 trying to unscramble our Rubik’s cube. It was one part fun to one part mental torture!
This Rubik's Cube features the original design, but in wonderful eco-packaging.
Where can I buy 70s toys from?
While we've tried to including shopping links to the same 70s toys you once loved in this piece (or close versions), it's well worth scouring Ebay from time to time if you want the exact version. Simply type in the exact toy name that you're after. Or why not check out auctions when you can for a chance to bag some nostalgic 1970s toys in the UK.
Games you probably didn't know were invented in the 70s:
Many of the classic toys and games that we enjoy today can be traced back to the 70s. Here are some of our favourite toys that were released in this golden era:
The original version was released in 1970 by Ideal Toy Company, however the Buckaroo! game we know and love today was introduced in 1989.
Did you know that the origins of your favourite timed word game can be traced back to 1972? Fun fact, according to Ten Random Facts it started off as part of a three game pack by Parker Brothers, however it was later sold individually due to its increasing popularity.
Hungry Hungry Hippo
Loved by many children and adults alike, Hungry Hungry Hippo was first released in 1978.
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