What Kinds Of Toys Were Kids Playing With In The 1960s?

By | March 27, 2018

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Dad on the floor playing w. his 3-yr-old son who is sitting in the middle of circular toy railroad track, watching an electric train go around in living room at their home. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection)

The 1960’s era brought about a lot of change in the United States, including with the toy industry.

There was an entire movement that was seen as young people undermining authority and the accepted norm of behavior and morals. That being the case, there was still a generation of children out there who were interested in nothing more than just being kids.

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Little red wagons were one of the more popular toys kids wanted.

Kids couldn’t wait until Christmas, their birthday or some other gift giving holiday. Many homes in America had a Sears catalog with pages that had bee dog-eared in hopes of receiving a toy from that very page.

Girls considered all of the possibilities of the newest Barbie Doll, baby doll and dress up clothing. Boys wanted a new addition to their train set, plastic army men, sling shots and yes… the popular toy guns! It was acceptable for children to play with guns because we had a healthy respect for the real thing.

Barbie Dolls and G.I. Joe dolls/figures were epically popular!

Despite the pop culture revolution, there was something simple about the era. With television becoming more attainable for families, advertisers began talking right to the kids they hoped were watching. Parents had a little more financial freedom with their spending; all of which made for a perfect storm for kids!

The only problem was which "hot" toy to choose!

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Many of the toys introduced in this era are still played with, in some form today. Action figures, Barbie Dolls and board games are still popular with kids.

There were a lot of “hot” must have toys in the 1960’s.

These days, many of the toys being offered are based on a popular movie, television show or some other media influence. Below are some of the toys we played with in the 60’s that were “must haves” for kids:

• G.I. Joe

• Die-Cast Model Cars & Trucks like Corgi & Matchbox

• View Master

• Legos

• Satellite Jumping Shoes

• Barbie & Accessories

• Electric Sports Games (Football, Baseball, Hockey & Basketball)

• Hamilton’s Invaders