1970s Toys: What Toys Were Popular in the 1970s?


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.

What toys did kids play with in the 1970s? The most popular toys in the 1970s were:

  • 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

Pictures of 1970s Toys


1970s Toy Ads from Catalogs



More 1970s Toys

1970s Video Games Collage by Paul Phipps

1970s Video Games: History, Pictures & Consoles »

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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69 thoughts on “1970s Toys: What Toys Were Popular 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

    1. Joe

      It is the “Hairy Canary Super Stunt Plane” from Mattel. I had one too, and loved it. Been looking to figure this one out for years. Wonders of ebay!

  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

  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

  4. Jenni Snyder

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

  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.

  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!

  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!!!

  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 !

  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

  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…

  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

  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

    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 “

  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

  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?

    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!

    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

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

    1. cindy

      squirmin hermim, i had pink one. when you petted it, it squirmed forward. had felt or leather strip on bottom. wow havent thought of this toy in 52 years.

  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.

    1. caroline

      No that isn’t it. I know what the original poster is talking about, I have been looking for years. Kate means a wider 2.5-3 inch flat piece of fur with eyes and a felt strip for a mouth ( if I am correct)

  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

  23. Jonas Driscoll

    I’m looking for a toddler truck toy that had a rocket-launcher on the truck and came with two figures. The figures were hollow plastic and about 2″ high: the driver which was blue and looked like an old fashioned mailman and the ‘rocket man’ who was yellow and had a rounded head.

  24. Audra Fox

    I am looking for a toy from the late 60’s early 70’s it was like a race track only instead of cars there were people (kids) on roller skates raced down an orange track similar to the hot wheels race tracks

  25. susan

    I am trying to remember the name of the toy or item you could stand on and walk across the floor or up and down stairs by twisting your body. Mine was hard plastic and orange in the 1970’s

  26. Gayle

    I have a bunch of random 70’s toys that are well loved (by 5 children) and have missing or broken pieces BUT to a collector or toy lover I may have the piece needed! I am looking to sell (for a very minimal price) the whole lot of items. I’d rather try to give these toys another chance then filling up the landfill. Some items include the fisher price airport with some accessories, the weeble wobble car and camper, blow up barbie furniture, puzzle town (no characters just the pieces), mickey mouse magic kingdom, fisher price record player and an amusement park (I have to do more research on). I’m still pulling items together but thought I’d start looking for a resource to pass these along.
    If you are interested or know someone that would be please let me know.

  27. lesly

    Does anyone remember the colouring sets you could buy in WHS, think they had 4-5 felt tip pens and you could colour in and stand up a set of thin card cutouts of things like dolls of the world, wives of Henry VIII, cars etc… I think they were made by Platinum. I have tried to find pictures of them online but no luck so far, I think I must have been teh only sad kid colouring those in!

  28. Nora

    Does anyone have a photo of a Hump-A-Jump. A neighbor had one in Michigan. It’s like a teeter-totter that you stand on and make each other go airborne. It was blue and yellow with big yellow squares you stood on that felt like sandpaper.

  29. Natalie

    Looking for the name of a 1970’s toy my brother and I received for Christmas one year. It was a pair of plastic tubes with five or six chambers with white and black marbles. One tube was pink, the other green. You would race to see who could get their marbles from one end of the tube to the other. I still have mine. No markings on the plastic tube. Anyone remember this toy? Thank you.

  30. DBuzz

    Looking for 2 toys probably mid to late 60’s to early 70’s.
    One was a fan controlled balloon (I think with a lunar lander base) – I think it had a tether to keep the balloon from continuously flying further away.

    The 2nd was an airplane where you put a clamp on top of the door, a string down to a runway with a joystick and a catapult. You would launch the plane from the catapult, it had a top hook that hung the plane from the string, when it lost momentum going up, it would swivel, turn around and your goal was to land it back on the strip by controlling the tightness of the string.

  31. A Mills

    Does anybody else remember a talking Happy from Snow White. I had this toy back in the early 70s and have been looking for one for years but have had no success. He had a fat plastic body with a rubbery head, when you pressed his belly button he would say various phrases. I don’t know who made him, possibly Pallitoy/Bradgate/Tomy, his voice box was the same as the ones in the talking daleks made by Pallitoy. The only 2 of his phrases I can remember were why don’t we have a party and have you met the other dwarfs. Would love to find him again.

  32. Silberstein

    In 1976 I bought at the San Francisco museum of modern art a wonderful simple toy that demonstrated light color interference.
    It was a transparent flat lastic octagon or pentagon the size of a palm hand, with a flexible white thin plastic film attached to it’s back. In between was a thin layer of water and oil. While presing at the back with your finger gently you could make subtle changes in the thickness of the oil layer and form beautifull light interference color paterns. You could play with it for hours.
    Rings a bell to anyone? Know what it was called? Where to be found?

  33. Stephen

    I’m looking for any information on a couple of 70s toys I had. These were on the cheap side I guess but… An Apollo rocket that was white and red plastic. It had a disc that was a LEM inside and if you did something (push a button maybe) the top crew pod would pop off. The other is a racetrack in which the cars were hard plastic and had ball bearing inside. Any help is appreciated and welcomed.

  34. Roy

    Little Big Man! a mini version of Action Man! 60’s/70’s
    Battling Tops
    Mini verion of a Tonker Truck but with an engine that once wheels pulled back it went forward for ages climbing over any obstacles put in it’s way!

  35. Roy

    A 6″ space man with a battery pack on it’s back. placed in a variety of moon vehicles the pack powered each vehicle ! That’s all I remember!

  36. Jimmy Young

    I found Battling Tops to be very exciting, especially when all four get a strong rip on their top string. I remember a time when flying a Bat Kite higher then your friends and getting the kite to dive then recovering. That was a lot of fun. I reminisce of the perfect launch and landing of my Johnny Astro lunar control module. I know it was just a fan and a weighted balloon. But it was a lot of fun. How about Mattel’s Creepy Crawlers or their Incredible Edibles. We were tough kids then entrusted to a 250 degrees hot plate. Hence, the Clackers. Boy 60’s and 70’s toys were the best ! Jimmy Young.

  37. Laura

    I am looking for the name of a small baby doll with blond hair. She came with blue and pink little baby bottles and when you put the bottle in her mouth and turned it, she opened or closed her eyes. She was my favorite doll when I was around 5 and 6 so that would be 1977 or 1978. She came with a blue and pink gingham dress and several bibs. He hair was short and she was around 8″-10″ long.

  38. Eric

    Does anyone remember a toy with a yellow, plastic basketball player. You would place a small basketball in his throwing hand, and throw a lever, trying to throw the ball into a small basket/backboard? I think the figure was about a foot tall or so?

  39. Andy Robb

    A long shot, but does anyone remember this 70’s toy? It was the figure of a boy with a round, oversized head. If memory serves, he was wearing a blue crash-helmet, painted onto his head. I think his body was red and he had blue arms and legs. In his torso was a yellow wheel. What you did was put his arms forward and his legs back, like he was taking a dive. You also pushed his head back and then you could zoom him along on his wheel. I can’t remember the name – any takers?

  40. Layne Scott

    WOW !!!! Who wrote this List ?? Does anyone remember Evel Knievel ??? The Best Toy ever Produced let alone in the 70’s. Kris Kringle couldn’t even get these for Xmas.
    I still have a 30 yr Collection of EK. Most are still mint in the Box and sealed. Hard to part with. I’ll pass them down to my 3 Boys !

  41. Bradleigh Utz

    This is really a long shot, but maybe someone will remember this. I’ve been wondering about it for years. Around 1972 or 73 I had a toy that was the shape of a cereal box only a little bigger. It was bright green plastic, and the front was clear so you could see through it. It had several large plastic gears inside with decals on them with various designs. There was a chute at the top where you dropped in oblong plastic pieces that had teeth that would make the gears turn as they fell to the bottom. My parents ordered it from a catalog. It wore out later and I took it apart and saved the gears. The biggest one was maybe seven inches in diameter. I never saw this toy anywhere else. I’d sure like to know what it was.

  42. Brian

    I would love to find a toy I never got but wanted! They were a pair of planes that would turn into parachutes. Flying falcon and screaming eagle I think. I also remember that they could be called flying furies ? I honestly am not sure. Then there was the bicycle that was a chopper(Kent maybe?)….I’ve seen the new ones (2003) that were orange city choppers….but I remember a red one from way back. I had a trike called a hot seat that was a cool little pedal car….so many cool memories

  43. Ermor

    In experiments, if you take a truck and show a girl a group of other girls playing with the truck, that girl will be more likely to play with it and see it as a girl’s toy, according to Brown.

  44. Matthew LaComb

    Trying to find a toy from the late 70’s early 80’s
    It was a car you wound up and there was a man
    That stood on the roof And when the car went under a bar the man would grab the bar and flip off the roof I wanna say it was something like daredevil Dan danger Dan does anybody remember this?

  45. David Reabe

    Does anyone remember a Lost In Space Chariot like Van, battery operated that was on a track it climbed and even went upside down,similar to the Dingbat Robots. It stayed on the track till yo removed it!

  46. David Reabe

    I do not know why this was removed! I am looking information for a classic 1960’s 0r 1970’s battery operated van like toy that ran on a track that climbed and even went upside down, similar to what the Dingaling robots do! May have been made by Mattel!

  47. James

    I am looking for a LARGE white vinyl fire engine toy I once had made in the 1970s. The manufacturer is unknown. It was made of a stiff but flexible vinyl type plastic and had foil decal stickers on it. It had a chrome plated plastic front grill/bumper. It also had molded black side ladders and squirt nozzle on top of the fire pumper body. The truck was molded in one single piece with separate plastic wheels/axles that snapped on the bottom. I remember parting with it to clear out a closet. Now it haunts me. ANY IDEAS????


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