Back in the 70s, long before computer games and the internet were invented, there was a thing called 'toys' us nippers used to play with. Here are our 7 best toys of the 70s.
1. Six Million Dollar Man
Back in the 70s every kid watched The Six Million Dollar Man. Not that we ever called him that. To us kids, Colonel Steve Austin, played by Lee Majors, was simply The Bionic Man, and we thought he was cool as Hell!
In the opening credits, we see astronaut Steve crash horribly to earth. Surely no mortal could survive such an impact (actually, no mortal could. Believe me!) and yet a voice reassured us: ‘We can rebuild him, we have the technology.’ And they did – fitting battered old Steve with two new bionic legs and a bionic right arm, as well as a spanking new left eye that could see for like, ooh several feet more than a normal eyeball could!
There was also a strange accompanying metallic sound whenever Steve lifted up something heavy (like a bus) or jumped over something really high (probably the same bus), so imagine our disappointment when the Steve Austin doll didn’t make the same noise. Still, he did have a groovy panel in his arm showing his inner bionics, and a slightly creepy bionic eye which was good for freaking out your little sister!
2. Space Hopper
They were big, bouncy, bright orange and had a bonkers grinning face on the front! Yep, Space Hoppers were one of the best toys of the 70s becoming a brilliant, boiiingy craze! The only problem was trying to get your dad off it whenever he’d had one Cider Barrel ice lolly too many!
As toys of the 70s go, this one was MASSIVE, despite the fact it was essentially just a large spring that would ‘walk’ down the stairs. Hardly thrilling. But to us 70s kids this was magical, high-tech stuff!
It was also the source of constant rows, as siblings battled to ‘have a go’ on the Slinky next. This would usually end in a Slinky tug-of-war where said spring would become so stretched as to be totally unusable, prompting 70s mums to mutter darkly, ‘Just wait till your father gets home!’
Simon, as the name suggests, was a computer version of ‘Simon Says’. So Simon would flash and beep out a sequence of sounds and colours, and you had to remember and repeat it. And that was it! Only it was really difficult (well, it was when you were 8 years old!) and as the pace quickened and the flashing and beeping became more frenzied, your chances of winning would vanish almost as quickly as your poor parents’ sanity who by now would be gibbering, ‘Will you please turn that bloody thing off?!’
Buckaroo! was a game of skill where the player has to delicately balance various items such as a tiny plastic shovel, dynamite or water canteen onto the a donkey’s back. If you were too heavy-handed the donkey’s back legs would flip up, sending the accumulated plastic tutt you’d balanced on it flying.
Older brothers and dads (always the worst cheats!) were renowned for coughing or breaking wind as violently as possible when little sisters or mums were attempting to balance their items. This usually ended with mum threatening to ram the plastic dynamite somewhere eyewatering if the menfolk didn’t behave!
They might look like something you’d buy from an Ann Summers store, but Clackers were one of the best toys of the 70s, and when countless kids ended up with broken fingers and bleeding knuckles, one of the most controversial! So controversial in fact they ended up being banned! Boo!
But fear not, us 70s kids just made our own out of conkers and string, and so the bloody-knuckled trips to A&E happily continued!
7. Girl’s World
Girl’s World was essentially a large decapitated doll’s head which little girls were encouraged to apply toy cosmetics to, as well as styling its hair. Inevitably after about half an hour this became incredibly boring, leading the more wicked amongst us to attempt some rather more radical hair styling…with the kitchen scissors!
We can pretty much guarantee 9 out of 10 Girl’s World dolls ended up looking like Dave Hill from Slade.
Which was your favourite out of these 70s toys? Let us know in the comments section below…