12 classic toys that will never go out of style
Inspire creative play with these retro favorites.
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The holidays are a great time to relive your childhood, and that’s easier than ever these days, since many of the toys you loved years ago are back and better than ever. Our list of retro-inspired toys will arouse nostalgia for your own childhood—as well as help you select the perfect toy for all the kids on your gift list this year.
1. Pound Puppies
Everyone’s favorite classic canine toys are back, with authentic reproductions that look just like the puppies we loved as kids—but with a softer material that makes them even more cuddly. Housed in a pet carrier-shaped package, the puppies come with official adoption papers and care instructions.
2. Speak & Spell
Many of us became better readers—expanding our vocabulary while gaining stronger spelling skills—thanks to this educational toy that was essentially our first “computer.” The new version has different play modes, so kids can make it more challenging once they master the basic-level words.
3. Madame Alexander dolls
Madame Alexander's "Sweet and Happy" dolls feature a weighted body that give them a realistic feel and they arrive dressed in a cozy ensemble. The line features an assortment of skin tones and eye/hair coloring, so kids can pick one that looks like them.
This is Jenga, but supersized. Your favorite anxiety-inducing game requiring strategy and steady hands has now reached new heights. Each block is over 14 times the volume of a Classic Jenga® brand game block, and the set can create stacks up to five feet high.
5. Atari Star Wars Home Arcade Game
Two of your favorite pop culture staples—Star Wars and video games—combine in this system that will keep kids of all ages entertained for many hours. Nobody does classic video games like Atari, and this unit features the original arcade versions of classic Star Wars games. Great for parties or to put a modern, high-tech twist on game night. The cabinet features artwork from the original arcade game. Enjoy the fun of hanging out at the arcade—no quarters required.
No doll is more iconic than Barbie. She has been around for decades and now has many different careers. Her newest job is Veterinarian at Sweet Orchard Farm, where she cares for seven farm animals in and around the barn structure. Great for animal lovers and aspiring vets.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game
Another arcade game machine that features one of your favorite franchises. Play in single-player mode, or recruit up to four friends to compete against you for even more Turtle fun.
8. Chutes & Ladders
This version of a favorite traditional board game features lots of retro touches, like a game board with the 1956-style design and an old-fashioned spinner.
9. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
Red Rocker and Blue Bomber are back to battle it out in the ring once again. Your objective is still the same: knock the other robot’s block off. Great for improving dexterity, and even provides a good upper arm workout. The classic version is always a good choice, but there’s also a Batman vs. Superman option, too.
10. Polly Pocket
There’s so much packed into the Polly Pocket Mega Mall to stoke your imagination that it can allow for endless entertainment. The micro versions of Polly and Lila dolls can explore six floors of this mega mall, which includes shops, a food court, and sports areas. There’s also a food truck, a skateboard ramp, an elevator, and a parking garage.
11. Care Bears
These magical bears charmed us in movies, an animated TV show—and of course the cuddly plush versions that each had a special theme portrayed on their tummies. In honor of their 35th anniversary, this 14-piece set includes 3-inch figures of some of the most popular Care Bears like Good Luck Bear, Bedtime Bear, and Cheer Bear. Plus, there’s a special limited-edition Rainbow Heart Bear.
12. American Girl Dolls
American Girl still has their iconic historical characters from our childhood—like the Samantha Parkington doll—but the Girl of the Year line has modern-day additions, with a new character each year that highlights stories and themes important to children of today. Luciana is an aspiring astronaut who encourages girls to pursue their interests in STEM areas, while Blaire—the 2019 Girl of the Year—is a chef-in-training who loves bringing people together to share special meals at her family’s restaurant.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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