1950s Toys: What Toys Were Popular in the 1950s?


There are a huge variety of collectible toys from the 1950s. Anything and everything from the fifties has some value.


Some of the most popular toys from the 50s include lithographed tin toy cars, friction cars, die-cast cars, trucks and farm equipment.

For girls, plastic mannequin dolls for dressing finally got popular enough for a major toy manufacturer to start making them. This doll was called Barbie. Maybe you’ve heard of it. 🙂

Other toys include rocking horses, wooden blocks, building toys like Tinkertoys, Erector sets and even battery operated cars that are as big as 2 feet long.

Learn more and reminisce about your childhood by looking at our authentic 1950s toys catalog pages below.

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What toys did kids play with in the 1950s? The most popular toys in the 1950s were:

  • Play-Doh
  • Silly Putty
  • Magic 8-ball
  • Frisbee
  • Slinky
  • Pogo Stick
  • Hula Hoop
  • BAS-KET Miniature Basketball
  • Spell-It
  • Fisher Price Little People
  • Foto-Electric Baseball
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Corn Popper
  • Sharpshooter Target Practice Game
  • Feed the Elephant
  • Space Pilot
  • Pitchin’ Pal Action Game
  • Electric Football
  • Colorforms
  • Toy Guns & Western Clothing
  • Miniature Piano/Accordion
  • Portable Phonograph Player
  • Toy Drum
  • Roy Rogers Plastic Figures
  • Circus Sets
  • View-Master
  • Dolls
  • Domestics (Brooms, Vacuums, Stovetops, etc.)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
  • Wood Blocks
  • Spinning Tops
  • Toy Trains
  • Barbie
  • Doll Houses
  • 1:24 Scale Gas & Service Stations
  • Farm Toys/Sets w/ Equipment, Animals

1950s Toys Pictures


In-Depth 1950s Toys Profiles

Rat Patrol Board Game

Board Games in the 1950s »

Educational board games and quiz games were popular in the 50s. Many games were to be played by all ages, designed to get the whole family to play together.
Ichiko Tin Toy Cars, X-5 Model

Ichiko Tin Toy Cars »

Starting in the 1950s and moving on into the 1960s, Japanese toymaker Ichiko began making really nice (and now, really valuable) tin cars.

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63 thoughts on “1950s Toys: What Toys Were Popular in the 1950s?

  1. Tiffany

    What do I remember?!
    I remember nothing. the ’50s are at least 50 years before my time!
    I love everything about the ’50s though!

    1. Mighty Mouse

      LOL… you missed one of the best decades for kids in American history. The 50s and 60s were the coolest decades for cars, music, TV, kids, teenagers, family… Shall I go on? I feel sorry for those he missed any of it. I remember the late 50s.

      1. Ann

        The 50s and early 60s were the very best years. I’m 74 and have the greatest memories of growing up in that era.

        1. Maddie

          The 50’s were the best. I’m 78 now. We played outside, we built go carts, stilts, etc everything in the alley. Never scared of walking dpwn the street. Mom’s stayed homes, Dad’s worked. Now , eveyone works 2+ jobs, to keep up with the neighbors. WHY? We’ve been married 57 years, bought furniture piece by piece, no fancy cars, hardly ate out, McDonalds just started. Good quicky food for working Mom’s. I was a stay at home MOM, Girl Scout Leader, PTA, Mother’s Club, my 3 kids are successful.

      2. Gillian

        That’s my generation but much to my dismay there was also Little Black Sambo games and a book of the same name we actually read in school. And Cowboys and Indians was a favourite game. And shows like Jack Benny with his man servant Rochester. We really need to think about how these things shaped our view of society.

    2. TonyM

      I remember the little gray cylinder that you lit with a match and an ash like “snake” grew from the cylinder, Can’t remember the name of the toy but it was a fun to light and watch it grow./

  2. Christine

    Looking for paper for paper dolls I’m 57 can remember a book or magazine being given to me off mother they were a card doll with head you cut out paper dresses ect that had tabs on them to bend over to hold on dolls . heads base was very basic don’t remember being very old when I was given one thrilled played with it loved it I don’t think many toys out then . anyone else remember these ? Carnt seem to find reference to them in uk ?

    1. sharon goetzinger

      Yes, I remember those paper dolls and the paper clothes with tabs. I was nuts about them and thinking they never had enough clothes, so I’d design all sorts of clothes on scrap tablet paper, making all sorts of designs on them and color them and cut them out, including tabs so they could wear them- spent hours working with that – so fun! (I said then that I was going to be a clothes designer (!) Pipe dream, but that was my dream at the time!!! Was fun o use my imagination! I’m 71 now!

        1. Ann

          I played with paper dolls (cut-outs) more than baby dolls. One of my favorites was a internantional children’s paper dolls. I’ve been trying to find them but so far with no success.

      1. Eve

        Just because you’re seventy one doesn’t mean you can’t make your dream come true. Maybe you can design clothes for dolls or maybe even bring back the paper doll toys. If you have grandchildren it could be something you can do together as a little project. Never let your age stop you from following your dreams. Especially if it’s creative, it’s doable.

      1. kh

        That was McCall’s Magazine–the Betsy McCall paper doll appeared in nearly every issue from May 1951 until at least 1995. I remember patiently waiting for my mom to finish with her copy of McCall’s so I could cut out the Betsy McCall doll and her outfits.

    2. Dawna R Wertman

      I’m 86 and I remember playing with paper dolls very clearly. The doll was made of light weight cardboard perforated so it could be punched out. I didn’t like the little nubs that it left if punched it out so I cut them out making smooth edges all around. Then there were dresses, skirts & blouses, hats, coats, bathing suits, even shoes in all different styles and colors. There were men, women, teenage girls & boy, young children & I thank there were even baby’s dolls. Yes, there were tabs on the clothing usually at the shoulders, wrist and anywhere else they might be needed to hold the clothes on the doll. You had to be careful cutting around the tabs, a little extra long cut and you had no tab to hold the clothing.
      I also made things with an erector set. I remember making a Farris wheel and then letting my paper dolls take rides. I did all of this lying on the floor in front of the floor model radio while listening to programs such as Tom Mix, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Shadow, The Lone Ranger and many many more. You really had to use you imagination and make up what was going on with all the noises. Like when Fibber or Molly opened their closet door and everything came tumbling out. How did you know what and why it all fell out? Imagination!

    3. Pat

      I loved paper dolls! Even though I was a tomboy, ha ha. They were theatre, imagination, story-telling.

      My next-door neighbor circa 1958 had some Ivanhoe paper dolls — I recall Ivanhoe being a comic strip (over my head at that age) — with, I think it was, medieval clothing styles. So exotic!

  3. Kathleen

    I remember this wonderful doll I had. Not like the dolls of today. She was beautiful She was probably an 18″ or larger and sat at a complete school desk. I loved her!

    1. Ginny

      Suzy Smart came with a school desk and chalk board. She said a few things and spelled cat, dog. So many memories so much fun.

  4. Ted Gillam

    In the late 40’s or early 50’s I played a game similar to Fox and Geese only the pieces were different. The board had a navel motif and the pieces were two white plastic submarines and a bunch of red plastic ships. I don’t remember the name and have never seen it anywhere. Does anyone have any more information on this?

    Thanks, Ted

  5. Raymond McGrath

    There was a toy back in the 50’s my Dad brought home one Christmas. It was called “Little Orbie” (or Orvie) and you would pull out the string to wind it and set it on the wall and it would walk up the wall. I’ve been searching for this item for a while but nobody seems to remember it.

    1. America Sun

      Do you mean Little Orby?? I just google searched it because it sounded cool and is it Little Orby?

    2. sharon goetzinger

      This would be back in the upper 50’s to mid 60’s. One of my older brothers got for Christmas a set of 2 or 3 plastic birds or parrots, maybe 6″ long, where its feet were in cylinder form consisting of maybe 3 or 4 suction-cupped feet, that fit halfway under/inside its belly, somehow affixed w/a rubberband. What you would do is manually wind the feet up, sticking it onto the wall and let it go! The bird would walk up or along the wall, going as far as you had tightly wound up the feet, sticking to the wall all along! It was so fun to work it and see how far it would go! My brother & we siblings had the best time of our lives playing with those birds!!!! I believe one was red, one blue and possibly a yellow one!

  6. Wolfman

    I Loved to put together tin Forts and Gas Stations hours of fun for me especially on rainy and lousy weather days and could not go out.

    1. Pat

      My brothers had a tin gas station. Oh, the details! It was almost like today’s “virtual reality” except that you really had to be there with it. All stage set. No pre-programming. 🙂

  7. Janet

    I was seven years old when the first barbie doll shipment left the factory. I was one of the first girls to get one. I still have it. I passed it on to my daughter, and now my granddaughter is pregnant. I hope I’m around for her seventh birthday, so I can see her eyes light up with joy, like I saw in my daughter’s and granddaughter’s. 🙂

  8. Tom

    There were 2 plastic “cone” shaped “launchers” about 12 inches long. At the small end of each cone there was a spring steel strip connected to a trigger. You placed a ping pong ball in the cone, aimed the large toward your partner and pulled the trigger. The ball would launch and your partner would try to catch it in his cone and launch it back to you.

  9. Nancy

    I was reminded of my Howdy Duty toy that walks down the wall. Really did love Buffalo Bob & Howdy Duty Time TV show. Then there was my Betsey Wetsy doll. But I use to love getting the special toys in the cereal box. (not the cheap paper junk they ended up with.). Oh my Cracker Jacks toys!!!!😘😘😘😘

    1. Pat

      I remember the Howdie Doodie show on TV (we had only one TV station in my town), and the perpetual advertisement for Nestle’s chocolate: N E S T L E S, Nestle’s spells the very best … CHOCOLATE!

      I had a Betsy Wetsy too (looking back from half more than half a century later I’m wondering about mold and mildew, heh — ew!).

      And I’m with you re the Cracker Jacks toys. Some, as I recall, had movable parts and were made with a different grade of plastic than today.

      As to that, remember when “Made in Japan” suggested that something was cheap? That sure changed! Which further reminds me that we’ve almost all here lived through a whirlwind of changes in our lives and we’re now old and sentimental.

      A real win for our species would to always keep the best from each generation as we move forward. Kids of today (lucky ducks) have space and the yet unimaginable to explore. But even we creaky Boomers had toys powered solely by our imaginations. And that’s cool too.

  10. Wyatt Williams

    I was born in 1958 and the toys i remember was as follow:
    1. A gallon or half gallon milk or orange juice container, the clear one that was sealed with three or four little items in it that made noise when you shake it.
    2. Lincoln logs not legos these toy logs were made of wood, where you could build a log cabin by following the directions
    3. Wooden yoyo’s
    4. Wooden skateboards
    5. Paper cut out dress up dolls
    6. The big boy dolls for boys
    7. small metal cars you sit in and paddle with your feet
    8. Baby dolls only two colors black and white with milk bottles were the milk disappeared when turned up side down
    9. The complete set of children Bible stories
    10. And many more things
    Yes i miss those days where life seem to be simpler

  11. Denise

    I’m trying to find the name of a plastic building toy that I think is from the 1960s.
    The pieces were made of a pliable plastic in the shapes of circles, squares, rectangles, etc.
    There were pictures of clowns, boats, etc made from the shapes and the child duplicated
    the picture by interlocking the shapes together. If I could upload a picture I would.
    Thank you!

  12. Mighty Mouse

    Yep.. we had the Lincoln Logs, they were sort of sticky to keep them in place. Had a wooden skateboard, We had a small metal army jeep that you peddled with your feet with a chain drive. Look online and they sell for 100’s of dollars now. We got ours in the late 50s for xmas. I bet it cost about $10 back then.

  13. Proctor Henderson

    I have a lead slush cast toy Queen mary ship about 4 inches long marked Tink-e Toy USA underneath. Has anyone heard or know about them.It seems many of their toys are copies of Jumbo Tooysietoystks

  14. David Barton

    does anyone remember the house building game?It had a base which you put steel pegs in the base then you slid redbrick shapes down the pegs to build the walls it had white windows and door and a red roof.

  15. Maggie

    Late 1950s-early 1960s. Snuggles.
    It was a weird-looking little stuffed cloth creature with u-shaped bands in its ‘arms’ and ‘legs’, which gripped your upper arm (not tightly) and would cling there, like a little friend. A toy for girls, mostly. The eyes were small black and white pompons, and I think it had a color pompon nose. The one I had was light blue, with a yellow nose and a red string fringe skirt. I think it had a red feather on its head. My best friend had a white one with a green feather and brown skirt.
    Some of the girls also used the toy as an ‘autograph animal’.
    Anyone else remember Snuggles?

    1. Ruth Achurch

      I had one that I won for reading the most books in the 4th grade. I don’t remember where it is now. Does anyone have a picture of one? Thank you.

    2. Karen

      My sister and I were recent reminiscing about our Snuggles which we had all our friends autograph. “Everyone had one!” We grew up in Northern Va where families were always moving in and out while in government/military service so we saw a lot of different fad toys that my contemporaries have never heard of. Karen

  16. Michael Rogers

    A construction kit for spaceships, metal, curved plates you screwed together like Meccano, to make the cylindrical bodies, and fins that you screwed on, on which they could stand – but what was it called? Help!

  17. Mark

    There was a stocking stuffer toy that looked like a spy glass that had pieces of colored glass (later on colored plastic) sealed into sections at the closed end. You could twist that closed end & it would make varied looks like stained glass. Can’t remember what it was called. LOL – I also saw 1 out in California in the early 1970’s that the “potheads” used to play with when they were stoned.

  18. Joan

    I was born in 1950 and remember a game set in a box that had sheets of paper/card with a picture on each piece. There were holes punched in the sheets and lots of small different coloured. balls that you put in the holes to make the picture a bit like a mosaic. This is the best way I can think of to describe the game but I can’t remember what it was called. Can anyone help please

  19. Sheila McKeever

    I remember an elevator, in it’s own rectangular shaft, made of wood. By turning a handle at the top, I could make the elevator go up or down on the screw like middle pole. I would put dolls on it and ride them up or down by turning the top handle Very simple screw construction and I enjoyed playing with it. I have no clue what toy company made it nor have I ever seen a picture of it. Some small memories are lost forever.

  20. Joanne Demayo

    A five and dime toy a bird w real feathers plastic face atatched to a string and you’d hold the stick and twirl it around and it tweeted.Anyone remember??

  21. Patrick Musone

    How in the hell could A.C Gilbert’s great Erector Sets been left off the list? They were,
    undoubtedly, the greatest gift a kid could receive. With them, you could actually build
    stuff, structures, and anything else you might imagine, all with real metal parts, motors,
    and other attachments. It was perhaps the best toy a kid could have, especially since
    the only limitations on its endlessly varied uses were those of the imagination of the
    child (or adult, Ha!) playing with it. Apparently the people contributing to your piece
    aren’t old enough to remember (and cherish the memory of) A.C. Erector Sets. They
    probably also don’t recall The Johnson, Smith, and Co., the best and only mail-order
    company designed for the young, and the young at heart. Where else could you find
    a rubber miniature shrunken head????

  22. Iris V Fernandez

    Early 60’s I remember mostly boys playing with Toy Cap Gun revolver while they played cowboys and Indians…I remember the little red rolls ‘caps’ used to simulate the gunfire with the sulphur smell of matches…I also remember kaleidoscope that we manually manipulated to see the various shapes and colors that kept us entertained for hours and, of course the view master was a favorite.. My children had one in the 70s and we’re able to watch Michael Jackson on it!

  23. OldtoyJJ

    Does anyone remember a “build it yourself” toy called “”Wood Niks” ?? I remember that around 1955 I wanted the “Bride Doll” version of a Wood Nick or Nik. I saw it in a store window. The toy came in a small box with a picture of the finished project on the cover. This toy seemed to consist of a box with a bunch of wooden spools that looked like empty sewing thread spools – round, bare wood, and about 1 to 1,5 inches high, with a hole in the middle. The child decorated the bare wooden spools with sticky decals that created the face and clothing of the doll you were creating. Therer were many different dolls you could create. I don’t know how the spools were strung together. All these years later, I would still like to see what it was that I thought was so beautiful at the time.

  24. Christine

    One thing that I did not see mentioned was a building blocks set similar to Legos. I’ve built many a dream home from these blocks. Most of the blocks were of the same size, rectangular and white, some clear. There were different sized pieces for the roof, doors, windows and chimney and maybe some plants for outside. There were no pieces for inside the house. This was solely an architecture and landscape project. I spent many hours building homes in the 50s. It was one of my favorite Christmas gifts. Does anybody remember this?

  25. Marc Cowden

    Does anyone remember a wooden rocker horse that had foot pads that you pushed down on while pulling up on the handles that went to a rounded piece that was supposed to move the horse forward. Most dangerous thing I was ever given as gift. No adult or kid was able to ride it without being bucked off on your butt or back. We actually had toys that would/could cause injury 🤕

  26. I Ross De Marco

    I remember all the great toy soldiers I had in the late 50s and 60s from MarksBlue and gray battle said, American revolutionary war said, fort Mohawk, what CheyenneI even had a Alamo Ford David Crockett and Mexican soldiers. What a great time to grow up.


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