Sure, our video games might not have looked like much and our more sophisticated games were also pretty educational (Speak & Spell anyone?), but that stuff was great! So great, in fact, that plenty of toys from the 70s have even made a comeback in the 21st century (hey, you can’t mess with perfection!).
The toys here were most popular in the 70s, but plenty of them were around in the decades before and after as well.
Click ahead for some good old-fashioned childhood nostalgia.
And while it might make you feel old, just remember that we all survived things like lawn darts and probably only got into a few fights over sharing our Viewmasters. Now we’re on the other side of it all, wiser and more mature than ever!
1. Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots
Either way, if you were a kid in the 70s, you probably played this game at some point.
It came out in 1964, but they’re even re-manufacturing it today!
2. Pet rock
After hearing people complain about caring for pets, the creator decided to give people something they didn’t have to feed or walk.
3. Magic Slate
Just lift the top page and no one will know what you wrote to get out your aggression.
4. Hands Down
But this one also started a lot of arguments when you tried to fake someone into slapping their paddle too early.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you were, there was just no way to keep those balls from going KERPLUNK!
But most people just ended up hitting themselves.
7. Shrinky Dinks
So you ended up with a baked object about 1/3 of the original size.
And for some reason, we were all really amused by that.
8. Stretch Armstrong
Hasbro even re-released the toy a few years ago, so maybe he really was as cool as we all thought.
As 70s kids, they were still available and they were a blast to play with because even if you had no discernible artistic talent you were still able to create something really cool.
At least until your mom told you to stop wasting all of her paper.
The toy was manufactured starting in 1978 and stumped many kids after just a few rounds as it became more and more complex.
Our parents didn’t get the appeal, but that only made them more appealing.
12. Pocket Camera
From bad photos with our thumbs in the corner to blurry pets and awkward close-ups of just about anything we could find, little did we know we’d be preparing ourselves for Instagram rather than a career in photography someday.
In fact, more than one kid probably broke the game by doing it over and over again just for fun (or was that just us?).
14. The Farmer Says
They were pretty sophisticated electronics back in the day!
15. Fisher-Price Action Garage
Remember that little bell that rang as you would roll up the care elevator just to practice parking?
Who knew finding a parking spot IRL would turn out to be such a drag?!
You couldn’t have been a kid in the 70s OR 80s if you didn’t utter those words.
Then electronic Battleship came out in the late 80s, ensuring your little brother couldn’t cheat anymore.
17. Little Professor
Kids might laugh at the lack of sophistication, but the Little Professor was much-coveted among the under-10 crowd.
We hardly noticed it was educational.
18. Lincoln Logs
It definitely stoked our interest in architecture (at least of the log cabin variety).
And it’s no wonder – Lincoln Logs were invented by architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s son John!
But she was wildly popular because you could lengthen or shorten her hair with a knob.
And for whatever, that seemed like really amazing in the 70s.
Turns out we were fairly easily amused in those days.
21. Sit and Spin
Companies still make these toys, insisting that they encourage balance – but you definitely have to learn the hard way.
22. Mr. Mouth
Some of us also learned that trying to imitate Mr. Mouth was a very dangerous chocking hazard.
23. Speak & Spell
They stopped being manufactured in 1992, but are responsible for many of our spelling abilities (at least until spell check came along and ruined us).
24. Lite Brite
Some of those designs felt so sophisticated that you could work on them for hours.
The only bad part about the Lite-Brite was being asked to clean it up.
25. Nerf Ball
And knocking something over while trying to peg your sibling with it probably introduced you to a few choice phrases from your parents’ mouths – including “false advertising.”
For some reason, it continued to be fun even after you had seen all the photos 20 times.
27. Evel Knievel Stunt Miniatures
Cheers to those who’ve made it one!
The rest of us settled for driving our stunt cars off of pets, refrigerators, siblings, etc. with a whole lot of “mom, look at this!”
Even if you never got great at skateboarding, it always felt pretty cool to try or to learn tricks.
And one thing’s for sure – we came home with a lot more scrapes and bruises than kids today. And probably some concussions too.
29. Magna Doodle
While most of us never made it past the straight lines and angles stage (“Look, mom, it’s a skyline!”) there was always that one kid who could draw something really amazing with it.
And boy did it feel good to shake it out like a petty brat when they did.
At least we can all say it helped improve our hand-eye coordination!
Somehow we managed to be entertained by moving two lines and a sphere.
And they were a true 70s toy, manufactured between 1976 and 1980 (when the company that made them went out of business).
Buoyed by an interest in sci-fi storytelling, the Micronauts gave us a peek into what the future would look like.
And apparently we suspected we’d have a lot more robots by now.
32. Two-tone TV
The only real problem is that you’d have Row Row Row Your Boat stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
33. Electronic Football
Released in the mid-70s, it would spark a revolution in electronic games that reached its height in the 80s.
And that’s when no one looked up from their device ever again.
34. Star Wars action figures
And who couldn’t walk out of the screening a huge fan?
You might have had to do some begging and pleading, but chances are you got your hands on at least an action figure or two.
35. The Millennium Falcon
If you managed to get your parents to buy one, chances are your friends harbored some serious resentment towards you.
In mint condition, you can now get many hundreds of dollars for them on eBay. But who didn’t play with theirs?
36. Star Trek Handheld Phaser Guns
Sure, you could like both, but as a kid, you were forced to choose when asked.
And if you were a kid on the cusp of the 80s you know you simply could NOT play with a lightsaber and a phaser at the same time. That was sacrilege.
37. Hungry Hungry Hippo
And while things could get rowdy with all that smacking and yelling, it was still a really fun game to play. That is until someone started tipping the board.
38. Atari 2600 console
For many of us, it was also the ultimate test as to whether there was or was not a Santa Claus.
If you still believed in him after he didn’t bring you one, it definitely shook your faith in his ability to know what you wanted – or your sense of justice when he brought all the rich kids better toys.
39. Rubik’s Cube
Raise your hand if you didn’t throw it on the floor in frustration a few times.
And what was up with those kids who could solve it in minutes?!
And if you don’t get that song stuck in your head, then you were definitely born in the 90s or later.
Introduced in 1971, these were a quintessential 70s toy for little ones.