Special Report

15 Popular Toys When Baby Boomers Were Kids

Tamagotchis, POGs, and Furbies are just a few of the short-lived toy fads that have come and gone in the last 30 years. Some toys, however, first targeted at Baby Boomers, had a simplicity and lasting appeal that has kept them on holiday wish lists for over 50 years, and a number of them made our list of 21 of the most popular gifts of the century.

To compile a list of 15 of the most popular toys when Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – were kids, 24/7 Tempo consulted the archives of companies such as Hasbro; data curated by The Strong National Museum of Play; encyclopedia sources such as Britannica; and media outlets including Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, Time, Good Housekeeping, and Smithsonian. 24/7 Tempo exercised editorial discretion in making the final selection where appropriate.  

Many toys of the Boomer generation remain staples to this day; from exercise toys like Hula Hoops and Frisbees, to iconic dolls and action figures including Barbie and G.I. Joe. Some toys that were introduced in the ‘50s and ‘60s experienced a lull in sales in later decades but have been reintroduced and are still available today. 

Click here to see the top toys when Baby Boomers were kids

While major toy companies including Wham-O, Mattel, and Hasbro dominate the list of the top toy gifts from when boomers were kids, many of the toys were invented by individuals who then sold their idea or patent to a larger manufacturer. Scrabble, invented by an out-of-work architect named Alfred Mosher Butts, is now sold by Hasbro and remains one of the best-selling board games in America.

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