12 of The Best Retro Christmas Toys
Christmas is the favourite time of the year for big kids and smaller kids alike! You start making your ‘wishlist’ in August and then hopefully by December 25th, Santa would have brought you the gift at the top of your list.
Space Hopper (1968-present)
Designed by Italian Aquilino Cosani, the Space Hopper made it into the UK and immediately became a hit. This overgrown orange Satsuma-like toy became the favourite of many a child throughout the UK, particularly in the 1970’s and is still in production today.
Rubik’s Cube (1977-present)
For a puzzle toy that was seemingly complicated to crack, its premise was extraordinarily simple. All you had to do was match the six sides of the cube to the same colours.
As difficult as it was to solve, the mystical cube managed to sell in huge numbers throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
Is there an image more in-keeping with the Christmas present than the famous miniature figure-of-eight track? Consisting of plastic piece of circuit with miniature tram lines set in them.
For the majority of us, this was the closest we ever got to participate in a real race and as your car passed over the ‘bridge’ and flew off the track. It required skill to control them at speed and certainly around the corners of the track. You suddenly got this rush, probably through breathing in the potentially toxic fumes.
Nintendo 64 (1996-2003)
The Nintendo 64 or N64 for short was a revolution in gaming during the mid-1990’s. Using the cartridge system that had been in use since the 1980’s but had not entirely been perfected. The N64 was a marvel for young kids who were entering a new generation of Christmas presents.
Released in 1996, Nintendo supplied the gaming world with a new and refreshing console, something that the industry needed. It’s appearance and of course the seemingly unique cartridge system. The N64 became a major selling machine around Christmas 1996 with kids just eager to get their hands on one.
BMX Bike (1972-present)
It is hard to believe that it is over 40 years since the BMX was introduced. First seen in the USA, on the dirt tracks of Southern California through the advent of BMX racing. When the Chopper became obsolete in the early 1980’s, the BMX was of course its natural successor and pretty much every kid wanted one for Christmas.
Battling Tops (1968-late 80s)
Battling Tops is the classic board game, which involves spinning tops where the object of the game is to have the last standing spinning top. Initially, the game was very popular and throughout the 1970’s sales of the game remained strong. In 1977, in light of the recently released Star Wars and the popularity surrounding the movie at the time, the game was re-named Battling Spaceships.
It’s hard to believe that Subbuteo has been around since 1947. What’s interesting is that Subbuteo wasn’t the only like-for-like game in the business when it came onto the scene.
The game became increasingly popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s with numerous specials for the World Cups introduced throughout the period.
Star Wars Toys (1977-1985)
The Kenner Star Wars toys were based on characters from the first three Star Wars movies produced from 1977 to 1985. From the beginning of the production on the first film to the last in 1985, over 300 million Star Wars figurines were sold.
Transformers: Generation One (1984-1993)
As a kid, who wouldn’t want to be part of the Autobots and Decepticons battle? This was your chance to participate in the war between them. Ensuring the evil Decepticons didn’t gain the upper hand.