The Best Toys and Games of the 1970's

Arguably the first decade where merchandise was mass produced for kids of all ages. The era of Star Wars, skateboards and baggy trousers has some standout efforts which has us looking back through misty eyes here at RetroPlanet towers. Lets take a look at some of the best toys and games of the 1970's:


 Slinky

Slinky

Although the slinky was originally designed and marketed prior to the 1970's, it was still a well loved little gadget and still continues to sell today.

Just set the slinky at the top the stairs, give it a little nudge and watch as it flops its way down like a drunken sailor at kicking out time


Stretch Armstrong

Starting out at an original size of around 15 inches, Stretch can be pulled, twisted and have the stuffing

Stretch Armstrong

beaten out of him until your hearts content.

First available in 1976, Stretch soon became an instant hit with kids harbouring inner anger management issues and later inspired both Walt Disney and Universal Studios to attempt film productions on the character. Both studios canned their scripts, presumably because he's a man that can, well... stretch. And thats about it. It hasnt stopped the mighty Netflix throwing its hat into the stretchy ring (giggity!) though - a 26 episode TV series based on Mr Armstrong debuts in late 2017.


Space Hopper

Space Hopper

Originally released by the Sun company as the Hoppity Hop in the late 60's, this iconic balloon-on-steroids took off in the 1970's and became better known as the Space Hopper. Available in all sizes it was used by kids and adults alike and still has steady sales to this day.


Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels Second Wind 1976
Hot Wheels Second Wind 1976

In the history of Hot Wheels , the 1970's were the golden years with the likes of Sizzlers, Heavyweights and Silver series making an appearance in the early 70's before the Flying Colors line in 1974 and the Blackwall's in the latter part of the decade.

Hot Wheels Ford Gran Torino 1972
Hot Wheels Ford Gran Torino 1972

Although originally aimed at under 15's, Hot Wheels have since become a worldwide collectors item and are consistently top sellers in the field as well as producing new releases to date. 


 

 Star Wars Action Figures

Star Wars Action Figure Darth Vader
Darth Vader
With the release of Star Wars in 1977 (later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope), a license was offered to Mego Corporation to produce characters based on the movie. Despite being the leading producer of 1970's action figures at the time they turned down the offer (laughably in retrospect) and instead the contract fell to Kenner Products, who initially failed to recognise the scale of the task in keeping up with demand after the unprecedented response to the film.
Action Figures Han Solo Star Wars Luke Skywalker
Han Solo & Luke Skywalker

Around 20 of the main characters from the first movie were eventually produced by Kenner, and the franchise has led the way in movie based merchandise ever since.


 

The best of the rest

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