Home > Columns > Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger > Top Ten Popular Holiday Toys from the 1960s

I thought it would be fun to look back at the popular toys given for the holidays during the 1960s. This research brought back a flood of memories as both receiving them for gifts and buying them for the younger ones in my family. Hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane, also.

1. Army Men, or plastic soldiers of unbreakable plastic commonly molded in olive green. In the early 1950s Louis Marx and Company sold bagged or boxed sets of plastic military figures and accessories called play sets. Dressed in modern military uniforms and armed with WWII weapons, these army men were sold at low prices in discount stores and supermarkets.

Note: The makers of the green army men announced that army women would be sold in 2020. Gummy army men candy is now also available.

2. Die-cast metal toys  High quality collectible, metal toys were produced using the die casting method, i.e.  putting molten lead or zinc alloy in a mold to make a particular shape. Such toys are made of metal, with some parts made of plastic, rubber, or glass.

Dinky Toys was the brand name for a range of diecast, zinc alloy miniature vehicles produced by Meccano Ltd. They were made in England from 1934 to 1979, at a factory in Binns Road in Liverpool.

3. Barbie Doll spin-offs Mattel introduced Skipper Roberts in 1964 as Barbie’s younger sister. It made quite a splash in the Barbie doll world. More “friends” were introduced as the years went on.

4. Hamilton’s Invaders by Remco was a 1964 series of plastic toys modeled after giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The line was marketed on television during the early 1960s.

4. Hamilton’s Invaders by Remco was a 1964 series of plastic toys modeled after giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The line was marketed on television during the early 1960s.

6. The Easy-Bake Oven is a working toy oven introduced by Kenner Products in 1963, and later marketed by Hasbro. The original toy used a pair of ordinary incandescent light bulbs as a heat source. Kenner sold 500,000 Easy-Bake Ovens in the first year of production. 

7. G.I. Joe is produced by Hasbro in 1963. Initially the figurines represented the four branches of the U.S. armed forces and later on, the Action Nurse. Their marketing focused on the term “action figures” vs “doll” because boys did not play with dolls. Thus, the word “doll” was never used by Hasbro or anyone involved in the development or marketing of G.I. Joe “Action Figures.”

8. By 1964, sales of Batman Merchandise had fallen drastically. Editor Julius Schwartz was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, which was a “New Look”. Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman’s costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. More slight modifications followed when the Batman television show debuted in 1966.

9. Kiddles were small dolls originally produced by Mattel. They were introduced at the1966 New York Toy Fair and put on the market soon after. At only three inches tall, they were tiny by conventional doll standards. The sensation they created in the toy world caused other toy companies to produce their own tiny dolls.

10.Disneyland Plastic figurines of Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck were only available at Disneyland theme park until the advent of Disney World and the Disney mall stores in 1987.

What toys do you remember from the 1960s?


Janet and Will’s Skylar Drake Series

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Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
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DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Hi Janet and Will, Fun post. Loved Barbie, Easy Bake Oven, Color-forms, and my all-time favorite even today is the…..Candy Land game.

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