40 of the Top Christmas Gifts Over the Years!

Get ready to take a walk down memory lane. We have put together for you a list of the most wanted Christmas gifts over the past years. Shop now.

Kids ask for the latest iPhone, video games, and name-brand clothing on their Christmas wish lists. Children nowadays miss out on the joys of a yo-yo and Pet Rock. Those were the excellent ol’ days.

Over the past few years, we have assembled some of the most popular Christmas toys. Get ready to take a walk down memory lane with these. You may even have asked for a few of them when you were younger.

1.) 1929 – Yo-Yo

Even in 1929, the Yo-Yo is still a popular toy today. In 1928, the Yo-Yo was first sold in Los Angeles, California. In one year, the company was producing 300,000 Yo-Yos.

2.) 1936 – Monopoly

In 1936, the most popular board game, Monopoly, was invented! A group favorite is the real-estate-focused board game that has you buying properties and trying to bankrupt your challenger. Most people either love or hate this world-famous board game.

3.) 1943 – The Slinky

Richard James was a Mechanical engineer who invented the Slinky by accident. The engineer was working to devise springs that could keep sensitive ship equipment steady at sea in 1943. He accidentally knocked some samples that he had off of a shelf. To his amazement, they gracefully “walked” down instead of falling.

4.) 1952 – Mr. Potato Head

Did you know that Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television? It has remained in production since its debut in 1952. Initially, the toy was made as separate parts with push pins. You could stick the pieces into a real potato, vegetable, or fruit. In 1964, after complaints about rotting vegetables and safety regulations,  Hasbro began including a plastic potato body.

5.) 1959 – Barbie

Barbie was launched in 1959 by Mattel as a fashion doll. Barbie is one of Mattel’s most profitable lines. They have sold over a billion Barbie dolls. 1987, the Barbie brand spread through films, television, video games, and music.

6.)  1963 – Easy-Bake Oven

In 1963, the Easy-Bake Oven was bought by an Ohio-based toy company. Initially, the Easy-Baked Oven was heated by two 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. It was designed to look like a conventional oven. Hasbro still sells it today. The stove comes with cake mixes and small round pans. You can buy additional mixes and pans for a variety of bakes.

7.) 1964 – G.I. Joe

The original G.I. Joe was introduced in 1964, representing four branches of the U.S. armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The 12-inch toy was a realistic action figure produced by Hasbro. G.I. Joe is now available in television series and movies.

8.) 1965 – Operation

Operation was invented in 1964 by an industrial design student. He sold his rights and was produced by Milton Bradley. You get to “operate” on “Cavity Sam” with tweezers and try not to touch the edge of the openings. If you feel the border, a loud buzzing and right light flashes on the patient’s nose. Hasbro currently creates it.

9.) 1967 – Battleship

Battleship was originally a pencil and paper game, dating back to World War I in the 1930s. In 1967, the board game was released by Milton Bradley. To play the game, you need to guess where the other player’s fleet ships are set up and set yours up strategically so as not to get sunk. To destroy your opponent’s fleet is the objective of the game. Today, electronic versions of video games and even movies have been created.

10.) 1967 – Lite-Brite

Originally, Lite-Brite was marketed in 1967. It is a lighted box with small colored pegs that light up and can create a picture. While creating images, you can use a template or create your lighted-up masterpiece.

11.) 1968 – Hot Wheels

Mattel made Hot Wheels in 1968. They are a brand of die-cast toy cars. Initially, they were created for young children but have become popular with young and adult collectors. Mattel even started producing race tracks, sold separately.

12.) 1971 -UNO

UNO was developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in a suburb of Cincinnati. He took $8,000 and made 5,000 copies of the game. He sold the game to local businesses. Eventually, he sold the rights to UNO to a group for $50,000 plus 10 cents per game royalties. In 1992, that group became a part of Mattel’s family of companies.

13.) 1974 – Tonka Toy Trucks

Tonka has been a favorite for over 70 years. The company produces toy trucks known for its steel construction-type trucks and machinery.

14.) 1974 – Connect Four

The game Connect 4 was first sold in 1974.  Two players take turns putting their color disks into the grid. The winner is the first to get four in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally of their color.

15.) 1975 – Pet Rock

Keeping it simple, the Pet Rock was created in 1975 by Gary Dahl. The rocks are collected from Mexico’s Rosarito Beach. Your Pet Rock came in a custom cardboard box with small breathing holes on the sides. Over a million pet rocks were sold for $4 each, and Dahl became a millionaire.

16.) 1977 – Star Wars Figurines

Star Wars action figures were based on the original characters from the movie trilogy. In 1977, they were produced and sold. Up until around 1985, more than 300 million Star Wars action figures were sold. In 1995, new Star Wars action figures were made. So much Star Wars merchandise is sold now, from movies and television shows to clothing and toys.

17.) 1977 Atari

Atari is a console home video game. It was released in 1977. It had two joystick controllers, a joined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge. The original cartridges were Combat and later Pac-Man.

18.) 1978 – Simon

Simon was sold in 1978. It became a pop culture in the 1970s and 1980s—an electronic game of memory skill. With a series of noises and lights, the game has you memorize and repeat patterns. If you are successful, the designs become longer and harder. Once you fail, the game is over.

19.) 1978 – Hungry Hungry Hippos

In 1978, Hungry Hungry Hippos became a tabletop game for 2-4 players. The player needs to collect as many marbles as their hippo can get. The winner is whoever gets the most marbles.

20.) 1980 – Rubik’s Cube

A 3-D puzzle, the Rubik’s Cube, was initially invented in 1974. It was first called the Magic Cube. 1980, it won the German Game of the Year and was released worldwide. Each face of the cube can be moved independently. To solve the puzzle, you must first mix it up. Then, you must return all colors to one side, showing only one color. Three hundred fifty million cubes have been sold since 2009. It is still sold today and is in use.

21.) 1983 – Cabbage Patch Dolls

Xavier Roberts created The Little People in 1978. It was renamed Cabbage Patch Kids when the dolls went into production. The dolls were “born” in a cabbage patch, and you would get to “adopt them. These dolls became one of the most popular toys of the 1980s. Before Christmas in 1983, America went crazy for them. The demand was so high, and the dolls were so scarce that riots broke out in stores. Cabbage Patch Kids went on to produce cartoons, music, and board games.

22.) 1984 – Transformers

The Transformers are a toy line that can shift and change from an animal, vehicle, or device to a robot action figure and back. “Robots in Disguise” was their motto. There were Autobots and Decepticons to choose from. Transformers branched off into books, cartoons, and movies.

23.) 1985 – Teddy Ruxpin

An animatronic toy, Teddy Ruxpin is a bear that reenacts stories from audio cassettes. It was eventually updated to a digital cartridge instead of a cassette.  1986, a cartoon debuted with all of the story’s characters.

24.) 1986 – Lazer Tag

In 1986, Lazer Tag, an infrared pursuit game, was introduced. Laser Tag inspired a television series. It was an animated series, Lazer Tag Academy. It aired only one season on NBC. In addition, three Choose Your Adventure books were also released based on the game.

25.) 1987 – Koosh Ball

In 1987, the Koosh Ball, made of about 2,000 rubber strands, was released in various colors. Eventually, a line of Koosh balls with cartoon faces and hands, the Koosh Kins, was released. As of 2017, a new line of toy blasters that fire toy balls was cross-promoted with Angry Birds Star Wars.

26.) 1988 – Nintendo Console

Nintendo Entertainment System was a massive hit in 1988. With groundbreaking games such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, it was one of the best-selling consoles of its time. Nintendo sold 7 million units in 1988, revolutionizing video games. This led to more Nintendo home consoles like the Game Cube and the Wii.

27.) 1989 – Game Boy

Game Boys is Nintendo’s first handheld gaming system. When it came out, it beat every other handheld device out there. They sold more than 118 million Game Boys worldwide in 1989 and its successor, the Game Boy Color .

28.) 1990 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Originating from comic books, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) are teenage superhero mutant turtles. They battled criminals all over New York and, when finished, returned to their sewer home. They expanded into a cartoon series, movies, video games, toys, and other merchandise.

29.) 1992 – Barbie Dream House

The Barbie dream house was a huge hit for Christmas in 1992. The house came with three moveable parts. The windows and doors even opened and closed. Every room was furnished, with over ninety accessories in all.

30.) 1993 – Talkboy

The Talkboy was first considered a prop for the 1992 film Home Alone 2. There was a massive demand for a real one, so a retail version was eventually created. It became one of the most sought-after toys. The creators had to pull ads for it because they couldn’t keep up with the demand.

31.) 1994 – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers started with a television series in 1993. The Power Rangers brought action, adventure, and teamwork. This American series became a sensation in the ’90s, featuring teenagers who would morph into superheroes to battle bizarre baddies. Toys and merchandise released that year were sold by the thousands and in the future. In 1994, action figures were flying off the shelves in time for Christmas.

32.) 1995 – Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies were stuffed animals that were filled with beans rather than cramming. Kids and adults wanted to collect them all. In 1995, the sales went off the roof. People were selling rare Beanie Babies even on eBay.

33.) 1996 – Tickle Me Elmo

Elmo from Sesame Street was in huge demand as a Christmas present in 1996. The supply of this Tickle Me Elmo needed help to keep up with the order. It leads to parents fighting for them in the stores. There is a rumor that someone purchased one for over $7,000!

34.) 1997 – Tamagotchis

The original virtual reality pet, Tamagotchi, was a hit in 1997. You had to feed, wash, and care for your little pet. If you don’t take good care of them, they will die. If your virtual pet dies, you will have to start all over. By 2010, over 75 million Tamagotchi were sold.

35.) 1998 – Furby

In 1998, the Furby was introduced. Furby is an electric furry friend. It would talk and blink its eyes. The demand was so high that by Christmas time, the price of a Furby jumped significantly. Over 40 million Furby’s have been sold across the world.

36.) 1999 – Pokemon Cards

The Pokémon cartoon transformed into a trading card game. It was the top-selling toy of the year in 1999. There were Pokémon toys and other merchandise that took the world by storm. Pokémon is still going strong today.

37.) 2000 – Razor Scooters

In 2000, the Razor Scooter was the gift every kid wanted for Christmas. Alone, the scooter sold over five million scooters that Christmas. It became so popular after Dan Green landed a backflip on one.

38.) 2001 – Bratz Doll

Barbie became the title of top-selling toy for girls when Bratz dolls came out. Bratz is an American product of fashion dolls. The four dolls released were Yasmin, Cloe, Jade, and Sasha. They had large eyes with heavy makeup and glossy lips. Also released were movies and other merchandise.

39.) 2002 – Beyblades

A Japanese toy that came out with spinning tops. Beyblades were used by kids all over the world. They would have battles between the two spinning tops. Eventually, they would hold Beyblade competitions with thousands of spectators.

40.) 2005 – Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 was a massive hit in 2005. The console from Microsoft sold just in time for Christmas. They expected to sell a lot more but managed to sell six million in Europe by 2008.

In conclusion, these most popular toys of Christmas past remind us of how trends in children’s playthings have evolved over the years. From the simplicity of the Yo-Yo and the Pet Rock to the technological advances of gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, each toy reflects the spirit and innovation of its era. These toys provided entertainment and shaped the childhoods of many generations, leaving lasting memories and a legacy of joy. As we move forward, it’s exciting to imagine what new toys will capture the imagination of future generations, continuing the tradition of holiday excitement and wonder.