Retro toys have been super popular for many years now. Some consider “vintage” as anything earlier than the 80’s while others save that title for toys from the golden age of tin toy cars and pull toys from the 50’s and 60’s. Technically speaking the term antique is saved for items, including toys, older than 100 years old and vintage means greater than twenty years old. In other words, vintage could mean toys from as recent as the early 1990’s! Think…beanie babies, trolls, or even Super Nintendo.
If the toys are actually new toys, but reminiscent of a vintage toy, they are called retro toys. This is an awesome trend in the toy industry. Retro toys like Fisher Price telephones and radios have made a big comeback and are available at regular big retail stores and online. These toys bring back nostalgic feelings of simpler times. Many parents and grandparents get excited seeing these classic toys on the shelves again,reminding them of their own youth and happy times. This alone is a cool enough reason to purchase a retro toy for your own child or grandchild, but there’s another reason they are so appealing.
Simple Retro Themed Toys
Many parents are aware that too much screen time is a bad thing developmentally for young children or children of any age for that matter. They may also be aware of studies that show, creativity and imaginative play is encouraged with simpler toys with less bells and whistles. That means they are seeking out these simple, colorful, basic toys to let their kid’s imaginations take over instead of buttons and sounds on more complicated techy toys. Another appeal is that the more basic a toy is the less chance there is of breaking some part or component. Remember the skip it? That thing was nearly indestructible. Even the Fisher Price telephone could take a few tumbles down the stairs and still hold up for years of playtime.
Many retro themed toys are perfect for imaginative playtime and sturdy enough to hold up to the rough play of toddlers and young children. They actually may be even sturdier than the originals and are probably safer too.
Vintage Fisher Price Toys
Fisher Price Classics Retro Record Player
Originally from the very early 1970s this toy is such a classic. It is fun and simple and features playable plastic records with ten different classic children’s songs.
Fisher Price Classics Retro Chatter Phone
The adorable rolling eyed, chattering phone from the early 60s has been a classic for decades. This simple pull toy with a dial that rings has and will delight toddlers and now is back with retro colors and images.
Most Popular Retro Toys
Since retro is such a broad term we will narrow this popular list down to retro toys from the 1950s through the 1970s and keep the 80s and 90s separate. This could be quite an extensive list still so we will just hit a few of the hottest retro toys here.
The Classic View Master
This is a true timeless classic, the View Master can come in boxed sets including images from dinosaurs to underwater creatures.
Okay, in reality the classic wooden Lincoln Logs are more like an antique toy, since they date way, way back to 1916! However, they are a must have on this retro toy list. Many different sets have been released through the years, but a Collector’s Edition comes in a classic style tin.
Robby the Robot
This is an exact replica of the super popular android robot from the 1950s, it actually “walks” and lights up behind its red face shield. The Tobar Planet robot is a total blast from the past.
The Classic Etch A Sketch
This retro toy list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the classic Etch A Sketch, first introduced nearly 60 years ago this toy has endured. Perfect for car rides, and compact enough to take along to entertain little ones this is a timeless classic.
Of course this is far from a complete list of the best vintage toys making a comeback as retro toys, but these were just a few of the top choices available. These toys are still around for a reason, they spark a child’s imagination and will probably spark some happy memories for the gift givers as well. Don’t forget about tinker toys and tiddlywinks too!