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

Culture | March 27, 2018

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.

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

  • Chatty Cathy Doll

The Chatty Cathy doll was first released in stores and appeared in television commercials beginning in 1960.  There was a ring on the back of the doll and when the "chatty ring" was pulled, Chatty Cathy spoke one of eleven phrases at random. The ring was attached to a string connected to a simple low-fidelity phonograph record in the doll’s abdomen driven by a metal coil.

The doll said 11 phrases in 1960 such as “I love you” or “Please take me with you.”

• Easy Bake Oven

• Steel Kitchen Appliances

• Plastic Dishes

• Rock Em’ Sock ‘Em Robots

• Typewriters

• Wacky Windups

• Spirograph

• Lionel Train Sets

• Pinball Machines

• Liddle Kiddle Toys

• Batman Toys

• Talking Toys & Pull-String Toys

• Record Players

• Stuffed Animals

• Disney Toys (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc.)

• Warner Brothers Toys (Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Yosemite Sam, etc.)

• Walking Dolls

• Go-Go The Burro

• Punch-Me Inflatable Punching Bags

• Dennis the Menace Toys

• Popeye Toys

• Troll Dolls

• Bozo the Clown Toys

• Flintstones Toys

• Electric Trains (Lionel)

• Rag Dolls (Raggedy Ann & Andy)

• Peanuts Toys (Snoopy & Charlie Brown)

• Thingmaker

• Electric Race Cars

• Miniature Doll Houses

• Wind-Up & Friction Powered Cars & Trucks

• Pedal Cars & Trucks

• Playskool Toys

• War Toys like Guns, Swords, Cannons & Tanks

• Little Miss Echo

• Posy Pixies

• Skipper

• Tressy

• Francie

• Jack-in-the-Box

• Johnny Speed Race Car

• Image Projectors

• Rocking Horses

• Petal People

• Hippity Hop Inflatable Ride-A-Ball

Board games were popular with kids and families in the 1960’s

• Broadside

• Battle-Cry Civil War

• Summit

• Troke

• Stratego

• Tip-It

• Crazy Clock Game

• Mouse Trap

• Mosquito


• Hoopla

• Flea Circus

• Quija Board

• Flipper Flips

• Uncle Wiggly Game

• Mary Poppins

• Winnie the Pooh Game

• Candy Land

• Patty Duke Game

• Skipper Game

• King of the Hill

• Twister

• Game of Love

• Avalanche

• Operation

• Leap Frog

• Where’s Willie?

• Frantic Frogs

• Smack-A-Roo

• Animal Talk

• U.N.C.L.E.

• Thunderball

• Kerplunk

• Bible Game

• Swap

• Aggravation

• Combat

• Noah’s Ark


• Shenanigans

• Bird Brain

Tags: 60s Kids | Commercials | Popular Lists Of Everything From The Groovy Era | The 1960s | Toys | TV In The 1960s

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Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.