The 1960s was one of the golden eras of the toy industry. Many of the toys developed during that decade stayed relevant for many years after. Some are even valued collector’s items today!
Barbie was technically introduced in 1959 but became popular throughout the 1960s, with Ken being introduced as her partner in 1961. These two dolls were the humble beginnings of today’s Barbie empire.
1960s was big for dolls specifically. Chatty Cathy was a talking doll that competed directly with Barbie and eventually became the second most popular toy in the United States.
Toys that focused on the home were also popular. Barbie had her Dream House that allowed children to decorate with Mid-Century furniture. Future bakers could practice with an Easy Bake Oven that made real desserts!
The toy market also provided creative options for 1960s children. Lite Brite allowed children to “paint with light” with dozens of multicolored pegs. Etch-A-Sketch also gained renown in the 1960s for those interested in mechanical drawing.
Board games like Operation became more common and included elements outside the standard board and cards. Mechanical elements cause the patient to buzz when players make a mistake. Battleship was also introduced in the 1960s as the first version with plastic boards and pegs instead of pen and paper.
Whether decorating a Barbie Dream House or playing a rousing game of Operation, the toys of the 1960s bring nostalgia and good memories. Many of these iconic toys can still be purchased and enjoyed today!