Watching my sons circle toys in a catalog this past weekend, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic as I remembered sitting at my grandma’s counter doing the very same thing as a kid. I recognized that excited twinkle in their eyes as their markers went crazy over the page.
But later, as I peeked over their choices, I couldn’t help but feel a teeny bit disappointed at the unfamiliar gadgets scattered across the pages. Where was Mr. Potato Head? How will my kids ever make important life decisions without a trusty Magic 8 Ball? Will they never know the companionship of a Cabbage Patch Doll?
Kids today are seriously missing out.
If you’re a 90s-or-before kid, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean when I say they just don’t make toys like they used to.
The good kind. The classic kind. The kind that are well-built and just so much better than the majority of toys made today. The kind I have a lifetime of memories with and am now so eager to share with my own kids.
I went on my own little search for some of the tried and true toys of my childhood—and lo and behold, I found a bunch of them! Sure, I’ll probably be ordering a few of the hunks of modern plastic my kids circled, but you better believe a few of these classics will also be making an appearance under the tree come Christmas morning.
I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more accomplished in life than when I discovered how to make a curved line on the Etch A Sketch. I also don’t know that I’ve felt more disappointed than when my brother came along and shook all my hard work away. BROTHERS . . . amiright?
This iconic toy really needs no explanation. Pop on his arms and legs, and mix up his expression. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. For hours.
The View Master was a hit at slumber parties as we took turns scrolling through the pictures on the old school projector-style discs.
Whoever can get their Slinky to go all the way down the stairs without twisting, rolling, or tangling is the clear champion.
Because they were hand-stitched, no two of the classic Cabbage Patch dolls were ever exactly alike. Pretty cool, right?
Lincoln Logs are the like the wise old ancestors of today’s building toys, and hooray for a toy made from wood instead of more plastic!
What’s more fun than a teeny tiny doll, in a teeny tiny world?
Jacks have been around forever, and this cute little set is the perfect size to fit in a stocking!
The Spirograph is hands down the BEST classic toy for the little artist in your family.
Tinkertoys are awesome for giving your kids free rein of their imagination and creativity. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
In hindsight, I’m sure these handheld game controllers were absolute sanity-savers for my parents on long road trips.
Nothing says childhood quite like Radio Flyer anything. These wagons are a personal favorite of mine, and the handle makes them great for emerging walkers all the way up through older kids.
If you haven’t pressed your face into a Pin Art box and strategically pulled it away to reveal a creepy-looking metal mold of yourself, you haven’t lived—just don’t forget to close your eyes.
What are Sea Monkeys? Are they animals? Are they plants? Are they the result of some mad science experiment? No one really knows, which is what makes them so dang magical.
Thanks to a Netflix remake of the old Care Bears classics, my kids are already familiar with these furry little guys. Now they’ll have one to snuggle while they sing along to the show.
As a kid, nothing gave me as much anxiety as this timed memory game. And I LOVED it.
Sing it with me now: “Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite, turn on the magic of colored lights.”
Ahh, the good ol’ days when the standard for coolness was who could most impressively “Walk the Dog” and go “Around the World”.
These. Because who wouldn’t want strings of colorful monkeys hanging from every surface of their home?
Remember shaking the Magic 8 Ball over and over until you got the answer you were hoping for? Yeah—me neither.
The My Little Pony toy I got as a kid was my favorite Santa gift ever. These are on my shopping list this year, for sure!
Alllll the feels for Strawberry Shortcake, who was my first and most loved doll ever!
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