15 Best Retro Toys That Will Keep Kids Engaged For Hours


We hope you love our recommendations! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Over the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in toys and games from decades ago, in part due to adults that may now have children of their own and want to bring back fond memories whilst also creating new ones with their family.

The nostalgia that comes from old school toys is a welcome feeling and many of the toys that first came out in the '60s to '90s are still just as enjoyable when played with today. These old toys range from classic wooden varieties right through to handheld electronics but what you consider retro toys will ultimately depend on your age.

Our vintage toys list includes toys, games and other items that any family will want to add to their retro toys collection.

To find more toys that kids will love, take a look at these kids' pool tables and these wooden baby toys.

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Kidadl's Top Pick

All of the toys and games in this list deserve their place but this one holds our top spot for being a timeless classic that the whole family can enjoy.

1. Hasbro Gaming Simon Game

Hasbro Gaming Simon Game.

Old or young, this repeat the pattern game is simple yet addictive. Starting slowly, the suspense builds as the combinations slowly get more complicated and remembering the sequence becomes more tricky.

Main Features

  • Price: £23.83
  • Age: 8+
  • Batteries included

Best For Families On A Budget

2. HTI Combat Force Jumbo Army Pack

HTI Combat Force Jumbo Army Pack.

These vintage toy soldiers are great for hours of imaginative play. The figures are all posed differently and hold a variety of weapons, and there are two distinct troops so that battles can be created between two or more players with ease.

Main Features

  • Price: £6.85
  • Age: 3 +
  • Includes soldiers, tanks, tent and fencing
  • 2 colours for easy battle play

Best For Bestsellers

3. Rubik's Cube 3x3

Rubik's Cube 3x3.

The world's number one selling puzzle had to be included in this retro toys list. It is challenging and sometimes infuriating but anyone who plays it will be captivated for hours on end trying to make each face full of all one colour.

Main Features

  • Price: £9.99
  • Age: 8+
  • 43 quintillion combinations but just one solution
  • Smooth twisting mechanism
  • Coloured plastic faces

Best For Electronic Games

4. Bandai The Original Tamagotchi

Bandai The Original Tamagotchi.

This retro virtual pet will keep any child engaged for hours while they grow it from egg to adult by feeding it, playing with it, checking its health and even disciplining it. A simple interface with just three buttons makes it incredibly easy to use.

Main Features

  • Price: £18.53
  • Age: 8+
  • Batteries included
  • Comes on a chain
  • Includes a character game

Best For Retro Arcade Games

5. Atari Flashback X Retro Console

Atari Flashback X Retro Console.

This mini version of the original Atari 2600 features a huge range of classic arcade games such as Space Invaders, Frogger and Asteroids. Whilst kids might be used to all singing, all dancing game graphics, they are guaranteed to still see the appeal of this great retro system.

Main Features

  • Price: £70.88
  • 110 built in video games
  • Comes with two controllers
  • HDMI output

Best For Family Gaming

6. Hasbro Battleships Game

Hasbro Battleships Game.

This classic naval combat game brings together strategy, memory skills and competition in order to find your opponents ships and sink them whilst keeping your ships afloat.

Main Features

  • Price: £23.99
  • Age: 7+
  • 2 portable cases for playing anywhere
  • Advanced play options

Best For Board Games

7. Hasbro Mouse Trap Game

Hasbro Mouse Trap Game.

Another great board game that's worth adding to the collection, in Mouse Trap players must be the first to get six pieces of cheese without being trapped in the basket! A fast paced, quirky game that's fun for the whole family.

Main Features

  • Price: £19.99
  • Age: 6+
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Helps develop decision making skills

Best For Outdoors

8. Swingball Classic All Surface

Swingball Classic All Surface.

If you want a bat and ball game with a twist, Swingball just might be for you. Rather than the ball flying free, it is attached to a cable and players hit it back and forth in a competitive fashion. This version is suitable for all surfaces and when finished, it can be packed back away into the base for easy storage.

Main Features

  • Price: £29.99
  • Height adjustable
  • Packs into base to take anywhere
  • 1 to 2 players

Best For Getting Creative

9. Etch-A-Sketch Classic

Etch-A-Sketch Classic.

This is one of those retro toys that provides entertainment for hours and hours. Children use the two dials to create a picture and when finished, they simply shake it to take it back to a blank canvas.

Main Features

  • Price: £39.99
  • Age: 4+
  • Operated with 2 dialS

Best For Mini Artists

10. The Original Spirograph

The Original Spirograph.

Originally designed for mechanical engineers, the Spirograph makes it easy for kids to create beautifully intricate patterns in just a few moments. Once the outline of the design has been drawn, they can enjoy colouring it in to make a full-blown masterpiece.

Main Features

  • Price: £13.63
  • Age: 8 +
  • 30 piece set
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Design guide included

Best For Under 5s

11. Fisher Price Classics Cash Register Toy

Fisher Price Classics Cash Register Toy.

This vintage toy shop cash register is ideal for roleplaying. Kids can pretend to be a shop clerk by ringing up items from a basket and asking their customers to pay for their goods. It is also a great way for children to explore currency and counting.

Main Features

  • Price: £23.99
  • Age: 18 months+
  • Includes coins

Best For Role Play

12. Learning Resources Pretend And Play Post Office

Learning Resources Pretend And Play Post Office.

With this fold away Post Office front, children are free to let their imagination lead their play. They can roleplay shop scenarios where customers need to pay to send letters, sign licenses, check collection times, exchange currency and so much more.

Main Features

  • Price: £29.11
  • Age: 3-7
  • 167 piece set including stamps, money, postcards, open/closed sign and weighing scales
  • Wipe clean materials
  • Helps develop communication, literacy and numeracy skills

Best For Plastic Free Toys

13. Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker Classic Toy

Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker Classic Toy.

If you like antique toys, this one isn't quite old enough but variations of it did start to appear on shop shelves in the '60s making it somewhat of a classic. It engages young children with the colourful rings that are designed to stack in size order and they are a great way to introduce colours, shape and counting.

Main Features

  • Price: £5.99
  • Age: 18 months+
  • 8 wooden pieces

Best For Learning To Walk

14. Early Learning Centre Wooden Toddle Truck

Early Learning Centre Wooden Toddle Truck.

If you prefer old-fashioned toys over newer plastic alternatives then this wooden toddle truck might be one to add to your basket. It helps toddlers to balance and walk while they push it along and has blocks of different colours and shapes that children can use to build and count with.

Main Features

  • Price: £31.99
  • Age: 1-6
  • Comes with a collection of 24 blocks
  • Has a sturdy handle and bar with wooden beads

Best For Car Lovers

15. My First Scalextric

My First Scalextric.

For many, when they think of vintage toy cars Scalextric will spring to mind. This version, which is ideal for younger children, allows you to pay homage to the original version while two miniature cars are raced around the track. The track is easy to assemble into a figure of eight as it has colour coded lanes and each piece is simple to connect to one another. Once the racing is over, you only need a few moments to take it back apart for easy storage.

Main Features

  • Price: £39.99
  • Age: 3+
  • Mains powered
  • Colour coded track pieces for easy assembly

Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you loved our list of retro toys, games and pastimes but want to shop around for more great toy ideas then our list of the best gender neutral toys might give you some more inspiration. If you're feeling nostalgic now and want to belt out some retro tunes with your kids then have a look at this list of the best kids' microphones to suit every budget to get your singalong started.



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