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Reminiscing: Retro Christmas Presents from the 70s, 80s and 90s

written by: ShawnTe•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 10/9/2012

Ahh, the good old days, when not all of your Christmas presents connected to the internet and set your parents back hundreds of dollars... Re-live your past (or get some unique gift ideas) with this list of top toys from the 70's, 80's and 90's.

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    Remember When?

    Anyone who was a kid during the 1970's, 1980's or 1990's remembers the most sought after gifts each year. You were nobody without the newest toy. Re-live the Christmas-morning excitement of your youth with these retro toys.

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    Popular Christmas Present of the 1970's

    Pet Rock Collection from Amazon Perhaps the silliest, yet widely popular retro Christmas present from the 1970s was the pet rock. An oblong rock with eyes glued to it became the craze in 1975. You do not have to buy one of these. Just go outside, find a large rock that is smooth, glue eyes on it and voila!

    The Barbie Style Head was a favorite Christmas gift for many girls during the 1970s. The Barbie Head, as it is more affectionately known, is still sold at such stores as Amazon, Kmart, Boscov's and Toys 'R' Us.

    Other popular gifts from the 1970s included electronics such as stereos with turntables, Polaroid cameras, 8-track stereos, and disco balls. Popular fragrances from this era included Love's Baby Soft, Jean Nate, Avon's Sweet Honesty, and Emeraude to name a few. Other miscellaneous gifts that were hot items were the Big Wheels and Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

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    Presents From the 1980's

    And the Care Bear Who can forget the Rubix Cube? This little puzzle cube still frustrates millions today. Anything to do with the Smurfs from the dolls to the cereal was popular in the 1980s. In 1981, according to Esquire.com, 300 millions Smurfs were sold. Cabbage Patch Kids hit it big in 1983 with just about every little girl wanting one. This doll was so popular around Christmas time that parents would literally fight to get their hands on one for their children's presents--a now popular retro Christmas present that you can still find on eBay.

    Other popular Christmas presents in the 80s included:

    • Care Bears
    • Pound Puppies
    • BMX Bikes
    • The Transformers
    • Boom boxes (the one you carried around on your shoulder)
    • Gameboy - (last popular Christmas present of the decade according to Esquire.com)
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    For the 90's Children

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle For the boys it seemed nothing could beat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Perhaps the craze of the decade were the Beanie Babies. Not only were these adorable bean-filled animals a popular Christmas gift, they also became one of the hottest collectibles with adults and children waiting with anticipation for each new Beanie Baby to come on the market.

    Other popular Christmas gifts of the 1990s included Tickle Me Elmo, The Furbies, and the trading card/toy phenomenon called Pokémon. In fact, Ash and Pikachu were still very popular going into the new millennium, who could resist cute little warriors who can only say variations of their own name? Pika-pi!

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    Looking for a unique Christmas gift? Almost all of these retro toys can still be purchased on eBay, Amazon or other online stores. I'm sure your hair-dresser sister would love a Barbie Style Head, and the whole family is sure to enjoy playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. Help someone rediscover their childhood by buying them one of their favorite toys from days gone by. They will even continue to work if the internet goes down!

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    Sources

    1. 1970s Consumer Products - http://lisacafe.tripod.com/70sproducts.html
    2. Top Selling Christmas Gifts for Every Year - http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/top-christmas-gifts

    Image Credits:

    • Pet Rock Collection from Amazon
    • Care Bear from Amazon
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle from Amazon