Popular Boys Toys of the 1970s

The 70s were definitely a decade of big changes across the globe and the boy’s toy market was no exception. Products became much more complex and the emergence of brands that still fuel young male imaginations really took flight during those years. It wasn’t about wooden guns or cowboys and Indians anymore, there were a much wider variety of toys for boys to choose from. Let’s take a look.

GI Joe – This was the decade that GI Joe took off and offered a way for boys to play with ‘dolls’ like their sisters did and still not feel like weenies. They called them ‘action figures’ and they were a big part of the decade. Back then, GI Joe was still in his large form and looked a lot like Barbie, plus he had a huge range of outfits, weapons and vehicles to play with. Clearly, Joe made an impression because the brand lives on with collectors today.

Tonka – We’ve all seen those big yellow trucks, the durable ones made to last. Well, it was the 70s we can thank because Tonka ruled the day when it came to toys perfect for playing outside with. These practically indestructible toy dumptrucks, bulldozers and cranes were the big dream for a lot of boys on Christmas.

Atari Flashback

Atari – Let’s not forget that home arcades made their entry to the world in the 70s. Pong and plenty of other huge hit games became a big part of the family room. These video games may have been simple, but in their day they really lit up the imaginations of boys and girls alike, though boys were the ones who made them especially popular.

Star Wars – The hit movie from George Lucas closed the decade with a boom in the toy market thanks to Lucas’ merchandising genius. Action figures of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca and even Princess Leia became must-have toys for boys of all ages. Once again, these toys are huge hits with collectors worldwide and have been for more than three decades.

K. Paul Mallasch
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