12 Ridiculously Popular Toys For Christmas From The Last 100 Years

by Chantal Beerntsen
Originally Published: 

‘Tis the season to be bankrupt. Since the holiday season is approaching, I’m sure everyone is already in a panic about Christmas shopping. My kids’ Christmas lists have already changed, like, 260 times since Halloween.

The Christmas season is such a stressful and expensive time for those of us with kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. I heard a story on the radio a few weeks ago that some parents this year will be making it their personal goal to buy their kids every single thing they want no matter what the cost or what it takes to pay for it.

This makes me literally want to throw up. So I started thinking about how much our world has changed over the years, how the top-selling Christmas toys have progressed, and how that has impacted the lives of our children.

I did some research, and between the facts and my wild imagination, I am 98% certain toys over the years have led to the destruction of our planet.

Here are some of the top-selling toys for Christmas of the last century:

1910s: The Teddy Bear

This apparently was the only toy option back then, and I honestly can’t think of a single bad thing to write about it. I love teddy bears! I always have. Anyway, fun fact: Apparently, Theodore Roosevelt was off hunting somewhere in Tennessee and couldn’t bring himself to shoot a poor, defenseless black bear. It became a huge thing since apparently Mr. Roosevelt was an avid hunter. He even said bear hunting was unsportsmanlike. So a man named Morris Michtom made a stuffed bear, named him Teddy’s Bear, and history was made. I’m not sure if I have all the facts right, but I couldn’t leave 1910 blank.

1920s: The Yo-Yo

The yo-yo as we know it was created in 1928, and is still one of the leading causes of frustration in children and randomly tied knot messes all over my house. I hate yo-yos, which is unfortunate because they cost all of a dollar.

1930s: The Red Ryder BB Gun

Well, this escalated fast. I wonder who thought guns for children was a good idea? I’m not judging — both of my kids have BB guns, and they are 6- and 9-year-old girls. Besides, with the warning, “Be careful or you could shoot your eye out,” what could possibly go wrong?

1940s: The Slinky

Every single household has at least six of these tangled-up messes sitting in the bottom of their toy boxes, and throwing them away is usually the start of an emotional breakdown in any small child. So there they sit, unused and driving all parents insane.

The funniest thing I read about the Slinky was that its inventor, Richard James, a mechanical engineer, was making springs to help balance ships in rough waters. When he dropped one, it became a Slinky. He also dropped all work on stabilizing ships to start manufacturing Slinkys for children.

So now all children in the world are happy and I can never go on a cruise because I will throw up from sea sickness. Thank you, Slinky.

1940s: Legos

Screw you, Legos, you overpriced painful toy that was put on this planet to make walking in children’s rooms dangerous and ruin expensive vacuums everywhere. I hate you.

1950s: Mr Potato Head

This toy was created to try to encourage children to eat vegetables. What? My 6-year-old is a vegetarian and if she thought for one second that when she was eating potatoes, she was eating Mr and Mrs Potato Head, she would never eat a vegetable again. I just don’t get the logic behind that, but thank god for Mr Potato Head. Both my kids loved theirs.

1960s: Barbie

Thank you, Ruth Handler, for inventing the first toy on this planet to make every little girl out there feel ugly, fat, too short, and not pretty without pounds of makeup and slinky clothing. You are worse than Paris Hilton, you bitch.

1960s: The Easy-Bake Oven

There is absolutely nothing “easy” about the Easy-Bake Oven. I hated this toy and never once used it with my kids even though we owned two of them.

1960s: Rock’em Sock’em Robots

You know, the red and blue robots that stand in one place and punch each other in the face until one of their heads pops up, and then you lose? Haha. I like this toy. Is it a coincidence that one side is blue and one side is red? Hello 2020, goodbye electoral college, goodbye poplar vote — we have Rock’em Sock’em now. May the best man or woman win.

1970s: ???

I have no idea what everyone was doing in the ’70s, but not a single significant toy was invented.

1980s: Nintendo

Goodbye forever, imagination. You will never be seen or heard from again.

1990s: Tickle Me Elmo

What the shitballs was up with this?! This toy was huge when I was in junior high. I remember every detail about it. I remember people crying over it. I don’t remember where I was when JFK was shot, but I remember where I was exactly when this toy sold old. It caused mobs, caused people to go bankrupt, and created unhappy children everywhere when their parents and Santa were unable to provide this creepy little laughing puppet on Christmas morning. Now you can buy him on eBay for 20 bucks. See, people? We live through crises all the time and we overcome. This goes for all things. Hint hint.

2000s: iPod Touch and iPads

I can’t even say anything. I have two Kindle Fires in my Amazon cart for my girls for Christmas as we speak. I’m a failure.

Good luck this year as you venture out to fulfill your Christmas shopping lists. Try to stick with the new fad: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something they read.

Your kids will probably still hate you no matter what you put under the tree.

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