The 1970s was a decade of change, from fashion and hair trends to new technology and inventions. But the one constant throughout the ’70s was a love of toys. Whether it was the superheroes of the comic book craze or the space-age adventures of Star Wars and Alien, grown-ups loved toys as much as kids did. And there are some fantastic toys that were produced in this decade—many of which have become collectible classics today. If you’re thinking about starting your own toy collection, these are some great 70s toys to consider first.
Star Wars action figures
These figures were released in the late ’70s and into the early ’80s. They were the beginning of the action figure phenomenon that would see toys go from being perceived as being for girls only, to being a staple of boys’ playtime. The figures were incredibly detailed, and are now highly collectible. If you’re looking to buy some original figures, keep in mind that the price will vary greatly depending on the condition, rarity, and the character. Some of the most valuable figures include the First Edition Princess Leia, Hans Solo, and the Boba Fett. Another collectible from the Star Wars craze of the ’70s and ’80s is the vintage toy line from Kenner. There are many toys from the line that have become valuable over the years, including the first six Star Wars figures and the rare Droids figures.
Mego superhero toys
Mego was the leading producer of superhero figures in the ’70s, and they produced some of the most iconic toys of the decade. Their line of action figures included lots of DC Comics and Marvel comic characters that are still highly collectible today. The most valuable toys from the Mego line include the Mego Superman figures and the Mego Batman figures. The Mego Batgirl figure is also highly collectible, but it’s also the most expensive due to a rare defect that makes the figure less valuable. Other Mego toys that are popular among collectors include the Mego Stretch Armstrong and the Mego Batmobile.
Barbie and Hot Wheels
Barbie and Hot Wheels were two of the most popular toys of the ’70s, and they’re both still widely collected today. On the Barbie side of things, there were many different styles and types of Barbie dolls produced in the ’70s. The most valuable collectible Barbie dolls were made in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Barbie dolls that were produced in the late ’70s and early ’80s include the Malibu Barbie dolls, the Barbie Fashion Model dolls, and the Safari Barbie dolls. The most valuable Barbie dolls from this era have their original box. Hot Wheels are a classic toy from the ’70s that are still manufactured today. The most valuable collectible Hot Wheels from the ’70s are the cars made with the Spectraflame paint job. The cars produced with the Spectraflame paint job were manufactured from 1970 until 1982, so there are several different cars you can collect from this era. Hot Wheels cars from the ’70s tend to be the most valuable if they’re still in their original packaging.
Talking Toys: Elephant Playskool and Co.
Toys that talked were all the rage in the ’70s, and the Playskool language and reading toys were some of the most popular. These toys were produced by the toy company Elephant, and were designed to teach children how to read, spell, and do math. The most valuable talking toys from the Playskool line include the Learning Pig, the Teddy Bear, and the Elephant. These toys were made with a pull-string mechanism, which is why they are some of the most collectible toys from this decade. The earliest Toys from Playskool are the most valuable, but there are also some rare variations in the later versions that can increase the value of the toy.
Beanie Babies, Squinkies, and Oddities
The ’70s also saw the beginning of the toy fad that would come to define the ’90s: collectible toys. Most of the toys produced during this era were cheap and made in plastic, but they were also affordable enough that children could collect them. The most valuable collectible toys from the ’70s include Beanie Babies, Squinkies, and Oddities like the Slinky Jr. and Stretch Armstrong figures. These toys are still being collected today, and some can be worth thousands of dollars even if they’re still in their original packaging.
Bandai’s Shogun Warriors
While the Shogun Warriors toys are technically from the 1980s, they’re a part of the ’70s toy craze for sure. These large figures were sold with a plastic castle playset, and had a unique feature: their heads popped off, revealing a smaller figure inside. The Shogun Warriors are a pretty rare find nowadays, and they’re usually sold in “as-found” conditions. If you’re looking to collect these, keep in mind that the value is all in the box, so you’ll want to make sure it’s in good condition. The most valuable Shogun Warriors toys are the ones that are in excellent condition and are still in the original box with the instructions.
The ’70s were a decade of big dreams and bold new inventions. And those dreams and inventions inspired the toys of the era. Kids were given toys that allowed them to explore the worlds of cowboys and space explorers, or live the lives of superheroes. And these toys led adults to start collecting toys again for the first time since childhood. The ’70s also saw the beginning of the “toy fad” that would reach its apex in the ’90s. In the ’70s, cheap plastic toys like Stretch Armstrong, Squinkies, and Beanie Babies were produced in such high quantities that even the poorest kids could collect them. These toys may not be as valuable as some collectibles from the ’70s, but they’re definitely part of the decade’s toy craze.