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Vintage Toys That Will Make You Wish You Were a Kid Again

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Playthings With a Past

Few things evoke a sense of nostalgia like toys. Most of us have a vivid memory of opening a gift over the holidays that gave us an initial thrill and then continued to occupy our time for weeks because, well, we just loved it so much. From toys that debuted in the early 20th century or before to electronic games and otherwise that came decades later, here are playthings that many of us are likely to remember with a smile.

Related: Retro Gifts for Kids With Too Much Screen Time

Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone
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CKO Motorcycle and Sidecar
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CKO Motorcycle and Sidecar

Tin toys from the German-manufactured CKO brand are still popular collector's items that can be found on Etsy and eBay. They were manufactured from 1910 until 1979 and, according to website FabTinToys, a Chinese manufacturer reissued some of them in the 1990s.

G.I. Joe
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G.I. Joe

This photo shows a bar brawl scene constructed for the 1994 G.I. Joe Collectors' Convention using vintage G.I. Joe toys. The Hasbro-owned line of products led to the "action figure" term assigned to so many toys today. Debuted in 1964, the line still exists today and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Pop Culture Hall of Fame in 2017. Vintage G.I. Joe toys can be found on eBay and Etsy.

Related: Gifts for Veterans and Service Members

Daiya Japan Space Gun
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Daiya Japan Space Gun

The Tokyo-based Daiya brand made mechanical and battery-operated toys that included "robots, space toys, cars, motorcycles, horses, military vehicles, helicopters, airplanes, and figures like clowns," according to website FabTinToys. Many originals, like this one from the 1950s, can still be found on eBay and Etsy

Murray Fire Truck Pedal Car
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Murray Fire Truck Pedal Car

This fire truck-themed pedal car was just one version made by now-defunct Murray Ohio Manufacturing Co., which also manufactured bicycles and lawn and garden equipment. You can find vintage Murray pedal cars on eBay for around $150 on up to more than $1,200. 

Lead Toy Soldiers
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Tin Toy Bus
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Tin Toy Ducks in a Row
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Tin Toy Ducks in a Row

It wasn't just vehicles that got the tin treatment — this colorful wind-up family of ducks also is a toy some might remember from childhood. These little guys, too, can be found on eBay and Etsy


Hot Wheels
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Hot Wheels

This vintage 1968 Hot Wheels store display valued at around $50,000 was exhibited at the Las Vegas-based ToyCon2020 in March, but you don't have to spend that much on individual vintage Hot Wheels cars, which are available on eBay and Etsy for prices ranging from a few bucks on up to hundreds of dollars.

Related: Cool Gifts for People Who Love Cars

Robert the Robot
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Stereo Record Player
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Stereo Record Player

Though it might seem odd to Generation Z, foldaway record players like this one from the 1950s were one of old-timers' only options for listening to their tunes of choice. There's one similar to this for sale on eBay (for $200), but you can also find modern versions with retro styling for sale online from brands like Wockoder.

Related: Cool and Creative Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

Rocket Racer
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Rocket Racer

These friction-powered motor vintage rockets were made in China and were also eventually recreated by Massachusetts-based toy company Schylling, Inc. Versions of the original and the Schylling design can still be found on eBay at reasonable prices. 

Vintage Barbie Dolls (Ken, Too!)
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Vintage Barbie Dolls (Ken, Too!)

This collection of retro Barbies and Kens was photographed at the New York Public Library in the mid-1980s. Today, notes auction and gallery website Invaluable, older mint-condition Barbies can fetch up to $25,000. Not surprisingly, you can find many vintage options on eBay and Etsy for much less.

Related: 11 Barbie Dolls That Could Become Collector's Items

Spacehopper
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Spacehopper

If you grew up in Italy, the U.K., or the U.S. in the late 1960s or early 1970s, you might have bounced around on one of these, which were known by many other names, including the moon hopper, hippity (or hoppity) hop, sit and bounce, and more. There are plenty of modern versions available online, including a wide selection on eBay.

Simon
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Flyer Cars on the Flyway Loop Track
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Flyer Cars on the Flyway Loop Track

In 1969, a 5-year-old boy is pictured playing with a Lone Star Flyers Flyway Set, which came with two cars and two looped tracks. While there are a number of Lone Star vintage vehicles for sale on eBay, the only full Flyway set we could find was available from The Toys Time Forgot, "Ohio's #1 Vintage Toy Store," for $350. 

Slinky
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Slinky

A boy holds up an early-model Slinky in 1946. The toy was invented by an American naval engineer named Richard James in the early 1940s. Although anyone who's ever gifted one of these to a kid might find it hard to believe that vintage versions still exist, they do — many are available on eBay and Etsy for less than $10.

Related: Stocking Stuffers They'll Actually Us

Tea Party Set
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Tea Party Set

Many a former little kid will remember serving "tea" to their dolls and stuffies growing up. While elaborate modern sets are for sale on Amazon these days, there are vintage sets for sale on eBay that might bring back a memory or two for those who grew up in simpler times. 

Gilbert Chemistry Set
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Gilbert Chemistry Set

Elaborate chemistry sets like these, packed in wooden or metal boxes, fueled many a budding mid-20th-century scientist's mind. The toy was invented by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, the same mind behind the 1913 debut of the Erector Set. Today you can find sets like the one pictured above, as well as other vintage science-focused toys, on eBay at varying prices.

Related: Gifts for Teenage Boys They'll Actually Like

Pogo Sticks
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Pogo Sticks

In this photo, quadruplets bounce down a London street on their pogo sticks in 1958. If you have fond memories of this toy, you can still find vintage versions online for around $50 or more, and more modern versions are of course available, too. 


 Big Jim Sky Commander Jet
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Big Jim Sky Commander Jet

If you grew up in the 1970s, you might have had one of these massive Mattel toys, which folded into a carrying case when not in use, and fueled many a child's imagination when in play. Perhaps not surprisingly, you can find these and other vintage Big Jim toy products — he was quite the adventurous dude — on eBay.

Cabbage Patch Kids
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Legos
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Legos

This 1969 photo shows a little girl playing — on shag carpet, nonetheless — in an era before the brick-building company flooded the market with movie- and character-themed sets, mini-figures, and more. Named "Toy of the Century" in 200 by Fortune magazine and the British Association of Toy Retailers, vintage sets are sold by the thousands on eBay and other online sites today. 

Furby
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Lincoln Logs
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Lincoln Logs

A little boy plays with a Lincoln Logs set in 1950. Vintage sets like this one can be found for sale online, but new sets are still available, too.

Raggedy Ann Doll
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Raggedy Ann Doll

Looking like she's living her best life, a young girl plays with other toys while holding her Raggedy Ann Doll at her side in 1955. These dolls — Raggedy Ann and her brother, Raggedy Andy —which were thought to have been introduced in the first quarter of the 20th century, entered the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Today, vintage dolls made by the original licenser, P.F. Volland, can fetch more than $1,000.

Hula Hoops
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Hula Hoops

A young boy tries to control multiple hula hoops at once around 1960. While vintage hula hoops aren't really much of a collectible, Etsy makers offer a large variety of modern hoops that come in different sizes, patterns, materials, weights, and more.

Related: Incredibly Fun Toys and Games for Adults