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The Holidays Unwrapped

Holiday time is near and many are searching for the best new toys and games to purchase for their little and teenage loved ones. While shopping for toys, people often have nostalgic moments, remembering the hottest toys of their childhood. Some of which are even still around today.

For nostalgia’s sake, we’ve compiled a list of the top toys of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Take a look below and see if any of your favorites made the cut.

Uno by Mattel (1971)

UNO commercial [1981]

1981 television commercial for UNO card game.

Mattel’s Uno was created in 1971 by a man from Reading, Ohio. He eventually sold the rights to a group of friends who created International Games, Inc, which eventually became a part of Mattel in 1992. The point of Uno is to become the first player to score 500 points by being the first to play all of one’s own cards. The first person to drop all cards then scores points for the cards still held by their fellow players. Today, many different versions of Uno exist including “Emoji” and “Mini.”

Baby Alive by Kenner/Hasbro (1973)

Baby Alive Toy Doll Commercial (1977)

"Turn her rocker into a stroller." Kenner's Baby Alive Stroller Walker toy doll commercial. Spot aired in 1977. *Visit for 1970s pop culture ...

Baby Alive was originally made by Kenner in 1973 and was reintroduced by Hasbro in 2006. Baby Alive is a doll that eats, drinks, and wets, giving children a make-believe feel for parenthood. In 2003, a speaking feature was added to the baby doll.

Rubik’s Cube by Rubik’s Brand Ltd (1980)

Rubik's Cube commercial 1980

Rubik's Cube commercial from 1980. Watch hundreds of other classic '80s commercials at

Although the Rubik’s cube was invented in 1974 it wasn’t launched worldwide until 1980. The 3-D combination puzzle that was created by a Hungarian sculptor and professor is all about getting each side of the cube to only feature one color. The original version and an updated version exists today.

“Totally Hair” Barbie by Mattel (1992)

1992 Totally Hair Barbie Doll Commercial

This is the commercial the the 1992 Totally Hair Barbie. Totally Hair™ Barbie® was released in 1992. The doll's extra-long hair reached all the way to her to...

Mattel’s “Totally Hair” Barbie was all about the doll’s long hair that kids could style. The Barbie came adorned in a neon yellow, purple, and blue colored dress and it included a small tube of Deb styling gel for children to style the Barbie’s hair.

Giga Pets by Tiger Electronics (1997)

1997 Giga Pets Commercial

A very neat 1997 ad for the infamous digs pet a virtual pet that you have to take care or else it dies.

As the digital age evolved so did toys. Tiger Electronics created what they called a Giga Pet where children would have to take care of their virtual fur baby or it would die.




Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.