26 AWESOME Childhood Toys You Wish That You Still Had (And Can Still Buy)

Every generation believes the toys of their childhood were superior to the toys of today, but those of us who came of age in the ’80s and ’90s know that it’s true. Today’s toys can’t compete with an epic My Little Pony collection, or a box full of Koosh Balls and those funny little finger-monsters that were everywhere in the mid-’80s.

Fortunately, many of the best toys of our childhood are still on the market, albeit in more modern, altered versions. So take a look and see how many of your favorites you recognize, and how many you might have to re-acquire. After all, you’re a grown woman or man, and dog gone it, you work hard and you deserve a toy!

You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).


The House Of Your Barbie’s Dreams

Perhaps the most iconic of the many Barbie playsets, the Barbie Dream House was the object of obsession for girls throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Today’s Dream House takes it up a notch, adding a third story and a whole lot more pink. Check out the new Dream House


These Dolls That Started Brawls In The ’80s

Cabbage Patch Dolls were such a popular Christmas gift in 1984 that self-respecting parents got into actual fist-fights over the limited supply of the dolls. Today’s Cabbage Patch Kids are a whole lot less wholesome looking, with hip modern fashions replacing the charming but dowdy costumes of the originals. Check out the new Cabbage Patch Kids


These Delightful Stuffed Bears That Couldn’t Help But Care

  via : Pinterest  

Originally the product of a Hallmark card campaign, the colorful and cuddly Care Bears quickly worked their way into the hearts and collections of millions of 1980s kids. Those luckier than yours truly even had enough Care Bears to bring together for the impressive ‘Care Bear Stare.’ Today’s Care Bear offerings are even more colorful, though some argue they lack the simplistic charm of their ’80s counterparts. Check out today’s Care Bears

This Repackaged Easy Bake Oven That Let You Make Your Own Rubber Bugs

The amazing Creepy Crawlers Workshop brings back some serious memories of toy-envy amongst my more fortunate (read: spoiled) elementary school friends. Sure, they’d occasionally gift me a rubber bug creation of their own, but it wasn’t the same as making the insects myself. Fortunately for me, a new version of the Creepy Crawlers set is still on the market. But instead of a heat oven, it uses LED light to harden the rubber gel. Check out today’s Creepy Crawlers

This Amazing Light Toy That Actually Seemed High Tech Back In The Day

My sister and I loved the Lite Brite, and its ever-dwindling supply of colored plastic rods. Who else remembers being frustrated with just how difficult it was as a child to re-create the clown masterwork on the Lite Brite box? I for one, suspect those children did not make it themselves! Either way, I am happy I use my (somewhat) average adult intelligence to redeem my childhood failures through today’s Lite Brite. Check out today’s Lite Brite

This Toy Appliance That At Once Reinforced Gender Stereotypes And Created Tiny Cookies

OK, despite the sarcastic title, I can confess to being just as enamored of my sister’s Easy-Bake Oven as she was. There was something so magical about being able to make real treats inside of a toy. Sadly, Hasbro recently discontinued production of the Easy-Bake Oven, but you can still find them for sale at most online retailers. Check out today’s Easy-Bake Oven

These Lowly Stencils That Transformed You Into A Chic Fashion Designer

  via : Sew Weekly  

For those kids who could barely draw a smiley face freehand, Fashion Plates were a pretty epic way to feel creative, and provided seemingly endless combinations of outfits to trace and color in. Today’s Fashion Plates are almost identical to the old-school sets, though the fashion choices are a bit more up-to-date. Check out today’s Fashion Plates

Those Funny Cheap Finger Monsters You Got For Free At School Carnivals

  via : EbaumsWorld  

Any kid who came up the ’70s and ’80s will recognize these lil’ fellas, especially those of us who coveted free handouts. Sure, they were sloppily made, with badly painted eyes and arms that fell off, but there was something oddly fun and charming about these Finger Monsters. Today’s Finger Monsters aren’t a whole lot different. They look about as cheap and fun as the originals, and I like to imagine that the same factory’s been cranking them out all these years. Check out today’s Finger Monsters

This Record Player For Tiny Humans That Made You Feel Like A Big Human

  via : Vice  

Fisher Price was responsible for some of the most enduring, classic toys of the latter 20th century, and their Record Player was one of the true classics. And somehow, in the age of children’s tablets and streaming music, it’s still for sale, and compares pretty favorably to the original. Check out today’s Fisher Price Record Player

This Cash Register That Had A Bell I Bet You Can Still Hear As You Read This

  via : Etsy  

One of my favorite childhood toys, the Fisher Price Cash Register seemed like a mechanical marvel to a three-year-old me. The coins that seemed to disappear magically with the press of a lever, only to reappear soon after, rolling down the precipitous ramp on the side. The crank on the opposite side which opened the spring-loaded cash drawer with the ting of a bell and the rushing sound of plastic on plastic, the drawer just begging you to hide a Playskool Little Person in its secret depths… I’ve (obviously) got a few memories associated with this thing. And I’m happy to report that the classic Cash Register is back on the market in a very similar form. And I’ve already bought one for my as-yet-unborn daughter. Check out today’s Cash Register

  via : Youtube  

Nickelodeon’s Gak may be my favorite toy on this list. As a child whose primary goal in life was to compete on Double Dare with my older sister, (another goal never achieved), a collection of the slimy, gelatinous Gak was as close as I got to getting slimed by Mark Summers. Sadly, like the most beautiful of summer wildflowers, Gak would always die too soon, unwitting victim of a poorly-sealed container that caused it to dry to a hard chemical kernel. Happily, one brave company has kept this miracle goop on the market, though in limited quantities. Check out today’s Gak  

This Smiling Stuffed Worm That Was Also A Charming Nightlight

  via : RetroPlanet  

The original Glow Worm was a popular ’80s toy option: part stuffed animal, part nightlight, all awesome. The modern iteration of the classic Glow Worm looks a bit more sophisticated, albeit smaller. And it’s traded its dowdy nightcap for a cool modern hoodie! Check out today’s Glow Worm

These Amazing Koosh Balls That Basically Embody My Childhood

  via : Mommyish  

As a kid in the late ’80s, Koosh Balls were the koolest (sorry about that). But seriously, these balls of what was basically broken rubber bands were everywhere. I can still remember their smell, and how cool it was to have that unbroken finger-loop so you could basically use your Koosh like an elastic yo-yo. Thankfully, because some good does still exist in this world, you can still buy Koosh Balls today. Check out today’s Koosh Ball

This Impossibly Complex Game That We Never Successfully Played

  via : Ebay  

Mouse Trap might have had the greatest television commercials of my childhood, with all of its Rube Golberg goodness. In reality, I remember it as a confusing and seemingly impossible-to-set-up game of frustration and failure. Now that I’m an adult, however, I believe I can master it. And it’s still for sale, albeit in an updated and modernized form. Check out today’s Mouse Trap  

This Electronic Fishing Game That You Loved But Never Knew The Name Of

  via : Twitter  

The official name of this very recognizable game is Let’s Go Fishing. In retrospect it was a pretty awesome and inventive toy, with a rotating ‘pond’ filled with fish just begging to bite on the end of your (often tangled) red string line. Let’s Go Fishing is still for sale, in its travel version. Check out today’s Let’s Go Fishing

This Awesomely ’80s Kitchen You Definitely Made Some Imaginary Pancakes In

  via : Pinterest  

How many (imaginary) meals did you whip up in one of these kitchens? Despite their hollow plastic construction, and stickers that always seemed to peel off, the Little Tikes Kitchen Playsets were a playroom staple for so many of us ’80s kids, so it’s encouraging to know that they are still on the market. Today’s Kitchen Playset has departed from the dull-colored verisimilitude of its predecessors, opting for a far more colorful (and less realistic) aesthetic. It does fold up for easy portability, which is a plus over the originals. Check out today’s Kitchen Playset

These My Little Ponies That Had Better Hair Than Your Barbies

  via : Etsy  

It doesn’t get more charmingly ’80s than the original My Little Pony toys, from their squishy hollow bodies to their fabulous style-able manes and tales. And while the ‘Bronies’ (aka, grown male fans of modern My Little Pony cartoons) may dominate the zeitgeist when it comes to these lovable denizens of Equestria (the official My Little Pony home country), little girls and boys can still enjoy a wide offering of ultra-colorful ponies to play with. Check out today’s My Little Pony

This Video Game System That Started It All

  via : NerdReactor  

Sure, Atari or Commodore may deserve the credit for being the first real in-home video game systems, but the classic Nintendo changed the game entirely. From the glories of Duck Hunt to the terrors of Castlevania, there was something about games on the original NES that can’t be recaptured on today’s insanely advanced systems. And it seems like Nintendo believes this too, having re-released a (much smaller) clone of the original NES last year to major acclaim and massive sales. Check out today’s NES Classic Edition

This Rock In A Box That Was A Major Marketing Coup

Unsurprisingly, the Pet Rock was ‘invented’ by an advertising executive. He sold over 1.5 million of the originals for $4 each, and became and millionaire. From selling rocks in boxes. Some people have all the good ideas. The Pet Rock is back on the market today, with a slightly steeper price tag and almost identical packaging. It even includes a leash, in case you’ve got enough time and/or energy to pretend to take your rock for a walk. Check out today’s Pet Rock

These Adorable Puppies That You Had To Rescue From The Pound

  via : Etsy  

In my opinion, Pound Puppies were one of the best plush toy brands of the ’80s. With cute, kennel-like packaging, a host of accessories and a short-lived TV series, they were the perfect plush pal for those kids whose parents never thought it necessary to allow them a real dog as a pet (read: yours truly). While not nearly as popular as they once were, you can still find new Pound Puppies for sale. Check out today’s Pound Puppies

This Toy For Science Nerds That Required The Patience Of A Saint

  via : Etsy  

If I remember correctly, my childhood Rock Tumbler took about five years to polish its first rock. (I’m probably not remembering correctly.) A variety of kid-level Rock Tumblers are still on the market, if you’re inclined to relive those torturous weeks of waiting. Or just want to teach your children patience. Check out today’s Rock Tumblers  

This Memory Game That Was As Fun As It Was Frustrating

  via : Mego Museum  

I only ever had the pocket-sized version of Simon, but I still loved playing this light-up memory game. That said, I don’t think I ever got past like five levels. Today’s Simon improves on the original, adding a counter screen to keep score. Check out today’s Simon

This Spinning Toy That Was In Every Preschool In The World

  via : allwomenstalk  

The Sit ‘n Spin was a serious form of entertainment for a young me, who spun to his heart’s content on a fantastically ’80s Return of the Jedi-themed Sit ‘n Spin throughout the majority of preschool. Unlike so many great ’80s toys that were deemed far too unsafe for modern use, the Sit ‘n Spin is still on the market. Check out today’s Sit ‘n Spin

These Charmingly Simple Predecessors To The Oculus Headset

  via : extremetech  

The original Viewmaster was a beautifully simple device: hold up to your eyes, click the lever, and watch as scene after scene from some of your favorite movies alights before your eyes. Surprisingly, in today’s high-tech times, the Viewmaster is still available for sale, largely unchanged from its classic version. Check out today’s Viewmaster

This Water Ring Game That Was In Every Dentist’s Waiting Room

  via : imgur  

I swear, this Water Ring Toy was omnipresent in every doctor and dentist waiting room of my childhood, and it always leaked just a little bit. Those looking to recapture such lovely memories can find a variety of versions of the toy still on the market, at a very bargain price. Check out today’s Water Ring Game

This Magnetic Drawing Toy That Was Way Frustrating Than An Etch-a-Sketch

  via : Etsy  

You could draw anything you wanted with ease on a Magna Doodle, and wipe it clean with a swipe of the plastic button on the bottom. While Etch-a-Sketch may have dominated the market for decades, Magna Doodle made temporary art way more fun (and so, so much easier). Check out today’s Magna Doodle

This All Plastic Mode Of Transport That Was So Insanely Fun

  via : Pinterest  

Perhaps best immortalized by Fred Savage in the ’80s classic The Boy Who Could Fly (Google it), the Big Wheel Racer was the proto-bike for the pre-training-wheels set. I remember racing mine down my slightly inclined driveway and jamming on the pedals, sending it into what I’m sure was a very non-impressive skid, but what felt like the coolest peel-out ever. Thankfully, us children of the ’80s can bequeath the magnificence that was the Big Wheel to children of our own, as they are still available for sale. Check out today’s Big Wheel Racer