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Best Selling Toys From The Decade You Were Born

How many of these did you have?!

In celebration of tomorrow night’s Late Late Toy Show, we’re taking a look back at some of the nation’s favourite toys from the past 50 years, to see what toys were on everyone’s Santa list!

So kick back, relax, and enjoy our little Christmas reeling in the years.


Launched in 1970, the Nerf ball was dubbed the first ‘indoor’ ball. Their slogan was, “You can’t damage lamps or break windows. You can’t hurt babies or old people.”  So no wonder it was pretty popular, selling over four million worldwide!

The weirdly, wonderful ‘my pet rock’ landed in 1975, and took the world by storm.  Did you have one?

In 1976, Kenner launched Stretch Armstrong.  The action figure who could be stretched up to four feet!  Did you know he was filled with corn syrup?  A fact that some figured out the hard way!


In 1984, the world was taken by storm by the Transformers!  Every ’80s kid was secretly hoping they’d turn into a Transformer at any point. These Robots in Disguise are still with us today, with a huge movie franchise and new Transformers toys to get excited about.

1987, saw the launch of probably one of the most clever toy trends of all time – Sylvanian Families.  Not only did every little girl have them on her Santa list, but they made birthdays and Christmas wish-lists for years ahead.

If you didn’t have Sylvanian Families however, you definitely had a Cabbage Patch Kid!  Cabbage Patch Kids remain the longest-running toy franchise in US to this day, and peeked in the 1980s.  “You can give them all your love!” – do you still have yours’ adoption papers?!

Other amazing toys from the ’80s (which are still going strong today!) include My Little Pony, Care Bears, and Trivial Pursuit!  What a decade for toys, right?!


“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heroes In A Half Shell – Turtle Power!”  Good luck getting that out of your head for the rest of the day!  Yep, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were peak 1990s.

The Game Boy was the first 8-bit handheld console, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a kid without their head stuck in one in the 90s.  And don’t even get me started on the Game Boy Color – it’s safe to say, our minds were blown!

There are SO many 90s toys that we want to mention, but no list would be complete without Polly Pockets!  Your best friend that you could take anywhere.  We got hours of enjoyment from ours.


Who remembers taking the ankles off themselves with the Razor scooter?  Hours of enjoyment, yes, but I think I speak for all of us when I say no one will ever forget that deep, deep pain of a razor to the ankle!

Move over Barbie, because Bratz dolls were in town circa 2001!  They were glam, fierce, and we wanted their wardrobe with all our hearts!

Selling 5.5 million units in their first 6 months, 2005 saw the launch of the incredibly popular XBox 360 gaming console.  They’re sill super popular today, but even more powerful than ever, with a new generation of Xboxes entertaining millions of people!

Mario Kart, anyone?  Who remembers taking out the wheels for the Nintendo Wii and challenging all of our mates to a race?  It’s no wonder these consoles sold 10 million units in their first year.

Looking for the best selling toys for this year?  Look no further, because we’ve got ’em right here!

Fiona Hyland

Fiona loves nothing more than discovering new cities, brunch on Sundays, and a good documentary. If you don't find her cooking up a storm in the kitchen, you'll find her in an interiors store, feeding her very real blanket addiction.

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