• Wed, Dec 12 2012

Mommyish Gift Guide: The Top 10 Best Retro Toys For Your Child Or Your Inner Child

A lot has changed since you and I were kids — and we need only walk down a modern toy aisle to prove it. Our beloved favorite toys are now “retro toys.” Even you younger mothers out there should notice some pretty sharp upgrades to the standard kiddie toy chest. Obviously, a lot of it has gone techy; iPhones, Leap Frogs, iPads, Wiis, and iPods all seem to be popular with children as young as two years old. Which means that a lot of oldies but goodies like Mr. Potato Head, sock monkeys, and ball and jacks sets have officially been dated.

That isn’t to suggest that your kids wouldn’t enjoy an hour or two with a viewfinder instead of Netflix, or hopping aboard a red tricycle as opposed to a fancy kids-sized Mercedes. Who knows. There could even be a resurgence of retro toys on the horizon. But nevertheless, the heyday of toys like these has long since passed making them ironic additions to your holiday gifting given all the hype about the “hottest toys.”

Given the insta-memory jog, you may be the one buying all those viewfinder reels and perhaps rooting around your own family’s home for your once upon a time collection. But for the kid with the old soul who hasn’t yet displayed much of an interest in tweeting, one of these retro toys might just put you on top.


Mary Meyer Easy Ride'Ums, Easy Ride'Um Brown Horse, $19.99

We're going quite a few decades back with this one. Throw a bow around that pony's neck and you're done.

RED Classic ViewMaster 3D Viewer and Collector Reel, $12.50

Eighties kids. A show of hands please for this childhood cornerstone. Be prepared to upgrade this for your little one with these Toy Story reels.

Schylling Sock Monkey, $16.99

A new addition to that baby crib and, chances are, it was probably in yours too.

Channel Craft TTJ Jumbo Jacks in a Classic Toy Tin, $9.98

Ok, so these might be going back to your grandparents' era. But there's nothing to suggest this iPad generation couldn't benefit from a little ball and jacks action.

Original Slinky, $5.99

If you don't have stairs in your house, you might want to invest. If this gift calls for nothing else, it's lots and lots of stairs.

Magic 8 Ball, $9.42

A definite must for the teens and tweens in your house. Perhaps best paired with a Quija board.

Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Abacus, $12.84

For kids aged three years old and up, have them begin on those numbers the old fashioned way. You know, without the help of an app.

Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle, $62.99

Nothing looks quite as picture perfect under a Christmas tree like a big shiny red tricycle. Go Norman Rockwell on everyone if you must.

Melissa & Doug Wooden ABC/123 Blocks, $14.98

Now tell me these weren't in your baby pictures. For ages two and up.

Mr. Potato Head, $8.99

With the big red nose, yellow glasses, and clunky blue tennis shoes that you remember. All exactly where you left them...unless you were one of those nose in the ear hole kids.
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  • Lastango

    Three for the tree:

    – checkers.

    – jump rope.

    – marbles.

    BTW, I see some grousing at Amazon that the Viewmaster is cheap lightweight plastic compared to the vintage model. I haven’t seen the new one, but the old one was a dark brown, rugged item that got thrown out, not worn out.

    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:View-Master_Model_F_01.jpg