Gifts Today magazine

On your bike!

The humble bicycle is the most popular retro Christmas gift of years gone by, having appeared on more letters to Santa between the 1960s and 2000s than any other type of toy

A survey of 2000 UK adults born between 1960 and 2000, carried out by One4all, the multi-store Post Office gift card, found that the classic bicycle prevailed through four decades of toy trends and fads – with almost 1 in 4 (22%) UK adults who grew up between 1960s to 1990s having asked Santa for a bike.

Cult British motor racing system, Scalextric, followed in second place, closely followed by the ultimate construction toy, Lego. Meanwhile, Barbies and roller-skates followed in fourth and fifth place.

Wholesome family favourites which encouraged group play, such as Monopoly and footballs, were the sixth and seventh most requested retro toys from this period. Crafty favourite, Etch-A-Sketch, while popular soldier franchise, Action Man, followed in eighth and ninth place.

Meccano’s mechanical construction sets completed the list of the top 10 toys kids of the‘90s through to the 2000s asked Santa for.

While these toys stood the test of time, each decade also saw its own trends emerging. The lists kids sent to Santa in the 1960s were dominated by Scalextric and Barbie dolls, while the 70s saw Action Man and Etch-a-Sketch rise to popularity. Care Bears, My Little Ponies and iced-drink maker Mr. Frosty were the most popular toys of the 80s. The 90s saw a shift into technology and gadget-based gifts, with the Nintendo Game Boy, Tamagotchis and Furbies all proving big winners amongst kids of the time.

The research does, however, suggest times are changing, with 38% of modern parents claiming their children have asked Santa for money and gift cards this year.



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