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19 Throwback Toys to Inspire Nostalgia

Lindsey Hunter Lopez is a freelance writer and general mother hustler with degrees from University of California, Santa Cruz and New York University. Lindsey resides in Northeast Los Angeles with her husband, bulldog, and two hilarious p...

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Nostalgic toys

Images: Mattel, Hasbro, Target, Fat Brain, Amazon/Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows
#1/21:

Nostalgic toys

What? You mean you're not showering your kids/nieces/nephews/babysitting charges with Tamagotchis and Pogs? You're saying there is nary a Lincoln Log or Care Bear anywhere in your home? *Sigh*

Well, if your parents didn’t save the entire contents of your toy box from childhood, don’t despair! Plenty of toy companies are remaking (or continuing to make) the classic playtime hits of the '70s, '80s and '90s. So today's parents and cool aunts alike can indulge their nostalgia and relive memories of happier times with their own little ones. From Monchhichis to the one and only Spirograph, check out our list of retro toys ahead — and bring one (or seven) home again.

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Monchhichi

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Monchhichi

Is it a monkey? Is it a baby? It's a Monchichi, and it's somehow as adorable as it is creepy. These furry Japanese toys were super-popular in the '70s and '80s, and now you can grab one for your own little monkey. (Amazon, $20.20)

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Madballs

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Madballs

These disgusting collectable balls were all the rage in the '80s, and now they’re back to gross out a new generation thanks to toy company Just Play. Squishy foam eyeball, anyone? (Walmart, $7.97)

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Lincoln Logs

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Lincoln Logs

Claiming to be “America’s National Toy,” this wooden building set has been around for over 100 years — and it's maybe the only piece of 1917 pop culture we actually want in our houses. Modern kids can snag the anniversary tin set, which makes cleanup a breeze after your log cabins have been demolished. (Kmart, $38.24)

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Sea Monkeys

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Sea Monkeys

As kids, we expected these tiny brine shrimp to actually look like the humanoid creatures on the packaging. (They didn’t.) Pass on the potentially underwhelming pet-toy hybrid excitement with a genuine Sea Monkey set. The classic Ocean Zoo kit includes instant-hatch brine shrimp, a nutrient packet, a tank and instructions. (Amazon, $10.36)

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Puppy Surprise

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Puppy Surprise

“Puppy Surprise, Puppy Surprise… How many puppies are there inside?” If you can remember that catchy commercial jingle, you may also remember the sting of disappointment when your dog only “delivered” two pups. Or, if you were lucky, you experienced the sweet victory of scoring five! The fun surprise element might or might not outweigh the unsettling act of kids removing stuffed dog babies from inside the mom dog’s velcro belly. Maybe it's good training pre-veterinary school? Also available in Kitty Surprise and Bunny Surprise. (Kmart, $25.49)

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Rainbow Brite

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Rainbow Brite

That colorful '80s cartoon sprite is back — this time at Hallmark. The card chain carries Rainbow Brite books, plushes and of course, the famous doll. And now the Rainbow Brite theme song is stuck in our heads. (Hallmark, $29.95)

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Tin tea set

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Tin tea set

This retro Very Berry tea set features a strawberry-themed pot and berry cute plates and cups. Lots of kids still love a good tea party — with or without an adorable fruit pattern. This 15-piece set even includes a yellow gingham tablecloth. (Fat Brain Toys, $19.95)

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Totally Hair Barbie

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Totally Hair Barbie

Remember 1992 when Totally Hair (what a title) was the hottest Barbie on the block? Many of us were copying her crimped hair and wild mini dress — and bonus: She even came with hair gel. The 25th anniversary doll doesn’t have Depp, but she still has radical hair accessories. Get out your old scrunchie collection and reminisce. (Mattel, $24.95)

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Tonka Steel Toughest Mighty Dump Truck

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Tonka Steel Toughest Mighty Dump Truck

Millennials and Gen Xers alike will recognize this classic sandbox vehicle. My Tonka dump truck chauffeured many a Barbie, G.I. Joe and Care Bear around the playground. Judging by their popularity, these sturdy vehicles will just keep on truckin’ until 2050. (Fat Brain Toys, $44.95)

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Tickle Me Elmo

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Tickle Me Elmo

Ah, Tickle Me Elmo — the hottest Christmas commodity of the mid-'90s. Well, he’s back! The Elmo remake is available in August, and he’s been revamped for today’s kids. Press his tummy or squeeze his feet to hear the Sesame Street star’s somewhat crazed giggle. Eventually he starts to move and shake. Two AA batteries are included. (Hasbro Toy Shop, $29.99)

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Care Bears

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Care Bears

Care Bears, the beloved '80s plush toys that taught children valuable lessons, are new and improved and available at Target — now with a DVD. Care Bear Stare! (Target, $14.99)

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Magic 8 Ball

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Magic 8 Ball

This classic novelty toy has all the answers. Ask the Magic 8 Ball a question, and you’ll get a mystical reply. “Will my child actually appreciate all these '80s toys?” you ask? "It is certain!" says the 8 Ball. Or wait, maybe that was one of the responses from Ask Zandar. Our '80s brains may be getting scrambled at this point. (Toys R Us, $6.99)

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Guess Who?

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Guess Who?

Do they have a beret? No. What about a mustache? No. Is it Bernard? Yes!

All the classic Guess Who? characters are back in this classic guessing game. Hasbro’s retro edition even has the 1988 packaging you (might or might not) remember fondly. (Target, $19.99)

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Spirograph

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Spirograph

The craft kit of choice in the '80s and '90s, Spirograph is radical, dude. Swirl your pen or pencil around in the wheels and rings to create designs. Bonus: Mathematical principals are involved, so it’s educational, right? (Target, $14.99)

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Lite Brite

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Lite Brite

The glowing toy of our youth has gotten a bit of an update. Now sleeker and featuring a potentially obnoxious blinking effect, Lite Brite nevertheless lets kids create artwork with colorful plastic pegs and design templates. And everything stores in a simple case. (Target, $15.29)

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Fisher-Price record player

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Fisher-Price record player

Originally introduced in 1971, the Change-A-Record Music Box was a favorite for kids in the '70s and '80s. Now it’s back as part of the Fisher-Price Classics collection, which also includes the Chatter Phone, See N Say, xylophone and cash register. There's never been a better time to go retro, kids! (Toys R Us, $21.99)

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Teddy Ruxpin

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Teddy Ruxpin

This fall, the hottest toy of the '80s is getting an upgrade. The new Teddy Ruxpin bear will still read to children (but of course); however, he’ll also include modern features such as Bluetooth technology and LCD eyes with over 40 animated expressions. Teddy will come with three stories and more will be available via — what else? — an app. (Wicked Cool Toys, $99.99)

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Cabbage Patch Kids

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Cabbage Patch Kids

Countless '80s kids (even Dan Humphrey) had a Cabbage Patch Kid, and you can still find these chubby-cheeked dolls in stores. In fact, some new members of the Cabbage Patch clan have just arrived and are now available for “adoption" — eight new girls and one boy. Plus, four new 9-inch furry Adoptimals are also available and make perfect pets for little kids and big kids alike. (Cabbage Patch Kids, $34.99)

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Throwback toys

Ashley Britton/SheKnows
#21/21:

Throwback toys

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