Popular toys in the 1970s

By | July 10, 2021

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Stretch Armstrong dashing and dangerous all in one. (Wikimedia Commons)

The ‘70s saw wild changes in almost every aspect of American life but, most enjoyably in toys! The decade that exposed incredible instability with Watergate and Vietnam also unleashed a torrent of iconic toys. Paradigm shifters such as Atari and action figures set the template for the future while antediluvian fads like the Pet Rock and the Easy-Bake Oven embody the era. Hot Wheels, Etch-A-Sketch, Connect 4, the Rubik's Cube, even the skateboard all exploded into massive fads, eaten up by children and teens, relishing the toy revolution. These are some of the seminal playthings of the “Me decade.”

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Pong, endless amounts of fun with only 8 bits. (boardgamegeek)

Electronic Innovation

Sure, the 70’s also heralded the arrival of the calculator but for many kids “Pong” and the “Atari 2600” meant much more than doing maths faster. Show kids today any of these bygone video games and they'll fall asleep before you get past the menu. Nevertheless, these forerunners of computerized games set the standard then and laid the groundwork for the 12-hour Fortnite binges every kid savors today. To think that electronically bouncing a small dot back and forth set the world on fire shows how far we’ve come.