Were you eagerly anticipating reading about the most popular 1970’s toys? If you need a big dose of nostalgia today, here’s your post. Then I want to hear what your favorite toy was as a kid.
The trend toward games of a more electronic bent continues in the 70s. It feels so funny to talk about the 70’s as being electronic, compared to today and all. But take a look:
1. Lite-Bright From Hasbro in the early 70’s. Christian and I were just reminiscing about the excitement of putting a fresh paper onto our Lite Brites- no holes punched in yet. Of course, now there is a Lite Brite app…. but how can that possibly be as satisfying as punching little plastic pegs through black paper to light up dazzlingly?
2. The Magic 8 Ball was invented in 1946 by Abe Bookman, and was reborn 30 years later by Mattel. This is something I don’t think will ever lose favor with kids since, after all, it’s magic. This little gem is all Fen wanted for her birthday 3 years ago.
3. Atari! This was my absolute favorite. I have the most vivid memories of playing Haunted House, Raiders of the Last Ark, Space Invaders and Pac Man. If you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, this changed your little world forever.
4. Spirograph kept us occupied for hours. It felt like you turned into a human computer when you put that pen tip in the plastic and pushed it around to create amazing geometric designs. Most of the time, I’d fall into a Spirograph trance until my pen would work right through the paper. British engineer Denys Fisher designed Spirograph, which first came out in 1965.
5. Uno We would play this for hours, and I’m really not sure why based on how boring it is. I still have a soft spot in my heart for it, so I’m glad it’s still around.
6. Hungry Hungry Hippos This is one of those games I wanted and never got. So sad, but I guess my mom was smart enough to not buy us games that would get us all spastically hyper- more than we already were. Do you remember the theme song?
“It’s a race, it’s a chase, hurry up and feed their face!Who will win? No one knows! Feed the hungry hip-ip-pos!Hungry hungry hippos! (open up and there it goes!)”
7. Simon I remember the kids in school who were Simon masters, and the rest of us could only watch in amazement at their mad light-up-button-chasing skills. Then we’d practice at home in hopes of being able to at least impress our parents.
You can read my other posts in this series here:
Feeling nostalgic? Writing this post caused me to click over to Amazon to order a Spirograph. Click below to order these toys through Amazon.
15 thoughts on “Popular 1970s Toys”
Umm…I’m pretty sure those were my favorite 80s toys. Clearly they had stamina. lol!!
They did! And do- pretty much all of them. You can’t really buy the full-size Simon anymore, but other than that they’re all going strong. I wonder how much of that is parents buying them for their kids because they loved them so much as kids.
Love this! Hungry Hippos was my fave game. And you’re right Lite Brite was mesmerizing 🙂
I don’t know if it came out in the 70s but Etch-a-sketch was another great toy I remember as a kid. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!
I covered Etch a Sketch in the 60’s toys post! Definitely a favorite that’s lasted.
oh man, thanks for the flashback!! I needed that today 🙂 I had all of those and loved them. I think my fave was Simon lol
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The 5th Level of Motherhood
Simon was fun- I’m tempted to get the little Simon carabiner for my kids…
I love these retro toys! Yes, all of them and I think I had them all too which is surprising because we didn’t get many toys as kids growing up.
Well, it’s good to know you had the ones that had staying power…
I would love that Simon Says toy. I haven’t played that in ages.
And Uno is always a favorite in my home.
Hi Khloe, Thanks for the comment! My daughter saw the photo of Simon yesterday and I explained what it was to her- I think I’m going to have to pick up one of the carabiners for her. It’s such a great memory game!
Oh my gosh. Hungry Hungry Hippos. I remember playing that game like it was yesterday.
I haven’t thought about simon, in, who knows how long. Hahhaa!
I would say that my favorite one is Alphi the robot. Do you remember him? I loved him.
I wonder why they don’t have toys/games like this anymore.
Hungry Hungry Hippos always seemed like a crazy free-for-all. Great for kids with lots of energy.. which is pretty much all of them. I do not remember Alphi; must go look him up. Any robot toy is pretty much wonderful.
How is it possible that I don’t recognize the Simon game? All the rest of these are definitely old favorites!
I think I wanted like everything from this post! What did I have? I had a lot of toys!
I never knew Hungry Hippos dated that far back – so loving this walk down memory lane. With the exception of Atari, my kids have played with and enjoyed them all – timeless treasures!