70s toys for some serious playtime nostalgia

You'll definitely remember all of these 70s retro toys - we take a nostalgic look back, and find out if you can still buy any of them.

Toys from the 70s

by Jade Moscrop |

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.

Related: The school dinner evolution – retro lunches over the decades

Which one was your favourite toy of the 70s?

The Atari VCS

70s toys
©Atari

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.

Troll dolls

70s toys: Trolls
©Ebay

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

Vintage Troll Dolls
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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

Lite-brite

70s toys: Lite-Brite

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

Lite Brite Ultimate Classic 1970s toys
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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

70s retro toys: Pogo ball

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.

Pogo Ball

Pogo Ball 1970s toys
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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

70s retro toys: 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

70s toys: 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

Pippa the Pumpkin 1970s toys
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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.

Related: The best toys of the 80s that will take you straight back in time

Space Hoppers

70s toys: Space hopper

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

Funtime Retro Space Hopper 1970s toys
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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

70s retro toys: Katie Kopycat doll

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.

Related: A straightforward guide to the best toys for eight-year-olds

Uno

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

Uno Card Game 1970s toys
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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.

70s toys: Plasticraft

Walkie Talkies

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’.

70s toys: Walkie Talkies
©https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274409526143

Kids' Walkie Talkies

Kids' Walkie Talkies 1970s toys
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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.

Related: The hobbies and games children loved in the 1940s

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.

70s toys: Mastermind
©https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/124202547332

Mastermind Game

Mastermind Game
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A classic for a reason, this version is similar to what we were used to, although now under a different company name.

Tonka Toys

These sturdy truck toys were designed in America but were a hit over here in the 1970s too.

Tonka Steel Classic Mighty Dump Truck

70s Tonka Toys Steel Classic Mighty Dump Truck
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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.

Playmobil

70s toys: Playmobil
©https://www.museumofplay.org/blog/play-stuff/2016/06/playmobil-play-sets

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

Playmobil 6671 Summer Fun Summer Camper
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This Playmobil Campervan is the perfect gift for Christmas. It has a kitchenette, detachable roof and awning, along with lots of lovely furniture.

LEGO

70s toys: Lego
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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

LEGO 10698 Classic Large Creative Brick Box
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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.

Pet Rocks

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!

Pet Rock

Pet Rock

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HandCraftedByMagy

Although the original rocks aren't available these days, there are some really sweet modern versions that would make cute gifts.

Connect 4

70s toys: Connect4
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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.

Connect 4

Hasbro Gaming Connect 4 Game
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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

Peter Powell Original Stunter Kite

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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

Star Wars The Black Series Han Solo
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Celebrate Star Wars with this action figure featuring a retro-inspired design.

Simon and Britains Combine Harvester

70s toys: Simon and Britain's 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 1:32 John Deere 6195M Tractor Toy
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Britains is still going these days, with a whole host of toys available, like this John Deere Tractor Toy.

Rubik’s Cube

We spent hours in 1980 trying to unscramble our Rubik’s cube. It was one part fun to one part mental torture!

Rubik's Cube

Rubik's Cube
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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:

Buckaroo!

Buckaroo
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The original version was released in 1970 by Ideal Toy Company, however the Buckaroo! game we know and love today was introduced in 1989.

Boggle

Boggle
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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

Elefun & Friends Hungry Hungry Hippos Game
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Loved by many children and adults alike, Hungry Hungry Hippo was first released in 1978.

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