Toys in the 1970s

1970s Toys

The 1970s were an exciting decade for toys. In fact, without the seventies, eighties toys could have never happened.

There were loads of great toys made in the 70s, but most of them were invented earlier, and then perfected. Many of the toddler toys went unchanged from the sixties, as Fisher Price made the most out of the molds they clearly had been using for 15 years.

LEGOs were becoming more and more popular as the seventies rolled along. Popular TV shows received their own dolls, Barbie was the undisputed Queen of Dolls, and educational games were in high demand (by the parents, of course).

Games and toys in 1972 were playing to parents’ increased ecological sensitivities. The Johnny Horizon Environmental Test Kit allowed children to perform their own tests for air and water pollution.

Toymakers were faced with never before seen regulations. In California, a state law went into effect prohibiting the manufacture and sale of toys related to violence such as bombs, grenades and torture devices. It was the first such law in the US.

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Everyone loves the See-n-Say. Almost everyone I’ve ever met had one. I swear, they must have sold ten million of those things.

As the late seventies emerged, it was a necessity for the toy to be electronic in some way. Electronic toys had been gaining in popularity ever since the early sixties, but by 1979 if the toy didn’t have blinking LEDs, then little boys didn’t want them.

Young girls were still pushed toward “Mommy Toys.” This was no different from the 40s, 50s or 60s. Little girls still loved to play with kitchen sets, dolls and in general, pretending to be mommy. (But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t the occasional girl out in the backyard blowing up G.I. Joe’s with firecrackers.)

Kids had a much larger selection of toys to choose from in the 1970s! And that brings us to one type of game that completely revolutionized gaming forever: video games. Video games were first introduced to the public in the 1970s and games and toys would never be the same again.

Check out our huge list of 1970s toys below. Click on the plus-sign to expand the list. It’s what we played with back then! Did I forget something? Add it in the comments!

List of Toys in the 1970s

Electric Race Car Sets
Many Types of Talking Phones
Child-Sized Steel Kitchen Appliances
Electric Football
Winnie the Pooh Toys
Electric Touchdown (handheld LED game)
Hot Wheels
Matchbox
Playskool
Big Wheels
Brix-Blox
Fisher-Price Playsets (Many Varieties)
Fisher-Price Toddler Toys
Barbie
Crissy
Jack-in-the-Box
See-n-Say
Toss-Across Tic-Tac-Toe
Tonka Trucks
Skittle Pool
Cowboy & Indian Playsets
WWII, Civil War & Revolutionary War Playsets
Toy Guns
Unicycles
Roller Skates
LEGO
Big Jim P.A.C.K. Action Figures
G.I. Joe
Electric Pinball
Star Trek Action Figures
Star Wars Action Figures
Perfection
Lite-Brite
The Rookies Action Figures
Six Million Dollar Man Toys
Hub-Bubs
Romper Room Toys
View-Master
Kenner Family Treehouse
Batman Action Figures & Toys
Superman Action Figures & Toys
Spiderman Action Figures & Toys
Starsky & Hutch Cars
Easy Bake Oven
Play-Doh
Steel Pedal Cars
Radio Controlled Cars, Trucks & Airplanes
Sewing Machines
Raggedy Ann & Andy
Micronauts
Ventriloquist Dolls
Lincoln Logs
Astrolite
Gramma Rag Dolls & Toys
Various Types of Robots
Godzilla Toys
Spirographs
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Pogo Sticks
Air Hockey
Bionic Woman Action Figures
Stuffed Animals
Elaborate Doll Houses
Erector Sets
Toy Horses


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1970s Video Games Collage by Paul Phipps

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Please raise your hand if you weened your skills at the arcade? Thought so. In the 1970s, you went to the arcade for good games. Home games were far behind.

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28 thoughts on “Toys in the 1970s

  1. Bart Hollyfield

    I’m looking for a toy airplane from the 1970’s biplane I think . It had a base and a small box about 20 ” away you cranked the small box the airplane would go around you then had a stick pull back it climbed forward it went down the airplane flew around and around in the living room. Wanting to know the name. Stunt master. ? ? Help

    Reply
  2. Jeannie

    I am looking for a spaceship that you could play inside. It was made of plastic covered cardboard I think. It had an entry hatch with star team mission printed on the doors. It also says USA and EXPLORER something around the top. I have a picture of it but cannot read rest of it. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Pattie Sykes

    I am looking for a toy that had a tree in background with holes in certain places and little round acorn discs that you tried to get in the holes by using the squirrels tail that you ,made ‘flip’ by pushing the buttons at the bottom

    Reply
  4. Jenni Snyder

    Slip and Slide
    Snoopy Snowcone Maker
    Baby Alive
    2XL
    Ice Bird
    Hippity Hop
    Pop Wheels
    Dressy Bessy
    Weeble Wobbles

    Reply
  5. Brenda Williams

    I am looking for a 1974 Raggedy Ann and Andy see-n-say. I had one when I was little and just loved it. I would like another one but can’t find one. You pull the string and hear what Raggedy Ann and Andy say.

    Reply
  6. Bridget

    Im looking for a couple of toys from my childhood. One was a lite brown dog with dark brown ears that laid flat on his belly an had a transistor radio inside his belly. Also looking for a Chubbles toy, the one I used to have was one of the original ones (without the logo on front of cape) an the cape was purple. Id like to be able to have them once again if possible. If anyone knows where I mite find either of these, please email me at louisianaracegirl at yahoo. Thanx!

    Reply
  7. john donaghey

    I’m looking for an old mould game from the 70’s if anyone remembers it you could mould small clowns cats and teddy bears, can’t find it anywhere!!!

    Reply
  8. Lisa

    I am looking for a toy jeannie bottle I believe it was green ! when you removed the top it would whistle and smoke would come out ! Please e mail me at marzellim at aol dot com
    if any one has one or would like to sell one , or where i could purchase this item !

    Reply
  9. DarcelYanac

    I have a question. I’m looking for a game, it had tiny plastic balls that you shoot into a plastic basket. I forgot the name but it starts with Epoc. Something thanks

    Reply
  10. Bryan Robertson

    I have been trying to locate a replacement toy I had as a child and need help. It was a plastic, orange Corvette Stingray. It measured about a foot in length and operated by a hand-held pump that connected to the car by a plastic tube, under the back end of the car. When you pumped the hand-held device, the car would go forwards, go backwards, turn directions, etc. I’ve not been able to find this car anywhere… e-bay and Amazon included. Corvette issued a Stingray in 1970 as a promotional, but was a shelf model only. It looked exactly like that model , but mine moved about…

    Reply
  11. darlene baker

    I am looking for a game it had a bouy on two cords. It is for two players you stand apart and open your arms and the bouy zips down to the other player and they zip the bouy back to you. I think it was called bouy zip line. This game was from the 70’s can anyone help? Thank You

    Reply
  12. gina

    I’m trying to find the name and year of a toy when I was a child… I can only describe it.

    It was a small green talking computer it looked like a real home PC lol back in the day…roughly 70s or 80’s and you could play spelling games and hangman….

    I remember it used to say “please choose an activity” ??
    And was powered by the big batteries lol

    Plz help!!! My sanity depends on it

    Reply
    1. Phyl M

      If its the same as I used to have it use to say bizquit instead of biscuit. Cream & bright green with yellow red white buttons.. Battery or adapter. Im wrecking my brains as to what it was called. Grandstand I Q builder. My first computer. Theres still some of them for sale. Now Im trying to remember a game. Its was about 12″ by 9″. The fly buzzed around (unseen) and you had to guess where it landed. If you missed it would say ” Ha ha you cant catch me or Oo oo you missed again “

      Reply
  13. Dino DiFronzo

    I am looking for a plastic robot from the early 1970’s that if you put some oil in a stack on it’s head it would puff smoke, the color of the robot was blue/grey. Thanks

    Reply
  14. Dw Dunphy

    I’m looking for information on a toy from the late 1970s. There were a series of miniature cars, about the same size as Matchbox or Hot Wheels. They were all plastic and had a metalized-looking surface. They had a small internal wind-up motor that, when you dragged the car backward, wound the motor up and you would let it go to race it.

    Does anyone know who made this and what the official name was of the toy line?

    Reply
    1. Bbuchanan

      Sorry, having issues posting so my reoly earlier wasn’t complete. (The text kept freezing on me.) I believe those were Hot Wheels (because they had those begore they came out with the Hot Wheels & plastic tracks, and those were such a hit that’s why they needef the tracks to then run on). Even though I’m female (I was a tomboy), and had a few of these! (they were the best!, hearing that crank/whirl sound & we’d all fight over the cars that moved vs using the ones you had to roll/pick up *lol*). I vaguely recall the die cast marking –they were collectible even then, (not like MB or HW that just rolled using constant finger contact, but because everybody loved that they moved after the drag back — I recall owning a dark metallic blue draf racer looking one–, so it was the cherry in the group and most kids only had one or two *lol* –we weren’t exactly wealth or even middle class– Plus, the crank tended to fall out/tires popped off/and top disconnected from bottom, so those that had often broke from use and if wasn’t until a year or 2 later they came out with the Matchbox Tote Blue that we’d store our HW or MB inside), anyhow, that’s why I said Hot Wheels, because I think the die cast markins were a W or a 1/2 Moon listed before the name I recall looking and reading the maker’s marks –*shrugs*), if it wasn’t a Hot Wheel, then check with Crescent in London (may be why you are having such a hard time if it was sourced overseas & yes I know they were cheaply made, but only so many toy die casters back then & only so manh today) or some of the other die cast manufacturers: http://www.retrowaste.com/list-of-vintage-toy-makers/

      Good Luck!! If I can find my box of toys from back then & still have one, I’ll remember to come back & let you know. I have a box in storage of toys my mum saved from my childhood, it has a robot that you insert cartridges & pick triva cat, a giggles doll, my original simon toy, electtonic 2 Player head to head baseball, my Charlie MvCarthey Vant. Doll, collectible disney soaps, etc., etc. she never threw stuff out! *lol*, so you never know!

      Reply
    2. Will

      I was looking for something similar and finding it hard to locate or even name. Mine was bigger in build but a wind up with the wheels .(Dynamo ). It was a fire brigade possibly 4 or 6 inches in length and I would love to know what toy I had around ’76 -77 I’d say.
      Any help on this would be much appreciated

      Reply
  15. Joyce Williams

    I am looking for replacement bus for a see’n say talking bus sentence maker. Also some new tiles.

    I bought this for my grand son in the late nineties, and someway the bus has been misplaced.

    Reply
  16. toni rizzi

    Looking for a photo of rubber rectangular 1 ft deep swimming pool from the 70’s. The corners were plastic ledge to sit and had a large rubberplug. Anyone?

    Reply
  17. Darcel

    Hi,I have a question.im looking for a spelling toy,it as blue and had four or. Five button,you put a card in the slot and when you push the buttons.it spells a word.i thing it’s by Sears.

    Reply
  18. Ann

    Can anyone help…I am trying to find a picture or info on a toy I had in the 70’s. It was a plastic tree house, which had 3 birds in, blue and pink birds. It use to play Brahms lullaby, and when it did the birds use to alternately swing out of the bird house. Have searched for years, can’t find any trace of it.

    Reply
  19. RD CLINE

    I am looking for a plastic forest tower from 70s, maybe early 80s. It looks like it went with a GI Joe/Action Man type of setup but is not a part of those brands.

    Reply
  20. Kate

    Heres a random question. What is the the toy that was thin strip of faux fur and velvet that slinked like a caterpillar when you ran your finger down it called?

    Reply
  21. mark

    Kate, the worm was called squirm els. If I spelled that right. It had a fishing like invisible string to pull it through your fingers. Definitely the girl next door, Tammy, had one.

    Reply
  22. Cristina Rodriguez

    I am looking for a doll with red hair, a sweater with multicolor lines, and red/orange pants. She could walk, and she came with a basketball, soccer ball. Was kind of like a tomboy. If I remember correctly, the doll was called Janet. Can’t seem to find any doll like her in my searches. Would be very grateful for any information.

    Looking for Janet

    Reply

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Last modified: Oct 27, 2013 | Written by Paul Phipps