Get some old-school-cool under your tree this Christmas

As we all know everything was better in the past, including toys! So here's our round up of the best retro toys.

retro toys

We’re expecting a retro-revolution this christmas with retro toys seeing a huge boost in popularity over the last 12 months. As generations pass it’s all too easy to look back on our early years with rose-tinted glasses. But let’s be honest, sometimes the Golden Oldies were just that.

The gifts in this list have seen their hey day, but we think they deserve to be remembered. We say embrace the old school cool, and join the resurgence in retro toys this year.

Stretch Armstrong

Retro Xmas gifts

Stretch Armstrong is making a comeback… again. Launched in the 1970s, relaunched in the 1990s, Stretch is back in the stores and as popular as ever.

Why is it so popular?

Erm… we’re not sure! You can stretch him, pull him and tie him in knots but we’re not convinced that deserves such a lofty accolade. All we know is the kids are going crazy for him; who are we to argue!

John Lewis £17.60


Classic Labyrinth


English Heritage £20.00

Etch a Sketch

Retro Xmas gifts

The Etch A Sketch is well over 50 years old now, but it still maintains all the charms it had back in the 60s.

Did you know?

Etch A Sketch’s past hasn’t been picture perfect – you might say it has had a sketchy past (excuse the puns!). After its initial popularity in the 60s the toy’s sales waned. In 1995, the Etch A Sketch toy was featured in the original Toy Story, in a scene where one performs a “quick draw” duel with Woody. This 12-second feature was enough to give a significant sales boost, requiring the production line to work overtime to meet demand. By 1999, the company had again fallen into severe financial trouble from canceled orders of various products, reaching a point where the solvency of the company was in question. However, the company recovered with the prudent decision to agree to again have an Etch A Sketch appear in an animated feature film – this time in Toy Story 2. This scene featured an Etch A Sketch being used to present sketches related to the investigation of Woody’s kidnapping. At 45 seconds, the scene in question was much longer than the scene in the original movie. The exposure from the highly successful Pixar movie resulted in sales of the toy increasing by 20 percent and ensured the survival of the company.

Amazon £23.90

Rubber band powered aeroplane

retro toys

Amazon £7.00


With the advances of modern technology, childrens toys have developed beyond recognition, but sometimes in life the simple things are the best! It’s a magical moment when you first look into a kaleidoscope. It’s a fanatasticly simple little toy. This version of the toy allows your little ones to create their own. £6.99



Once upon a time there wasn’t a single Christmas tree that didn’t have a Spirograph wrapped up underneath it. These days they barely get a mention. We reckon they deserve another chance. Countless hours of my childhood were spent doodling with my Spirograph. It’s a fantastic rainy day toy and any child can get pretty results to be proud of.

Give it whirl… go on!

Amazon £29.99

Diecast carsretro toys

You know the proper metal ones; not that plasticy rubbish! The detail on these toys is incredible right down to the rubber tyres, opening doors and working steering. They’re the kind of toy you keep hold of for life. You don’t have to buy new either – pop over to Amazon and seach Dinky Toys, there is a real charm in these classic old toys.

 Hawkin’s Bazaar £15.00