by Mark Nobes, chief editor

On this page, you will find a whole array of old-fashioned toys, including the classic wooden and metal toys from your grandparents childhood - the picture links will take you straight to Amazon UK, should you wish to buy any of them.

Some of these date back as far as the 19th century -
Newton's Cradle (pictured right) dates back to the 18th century - whilst others were popular in the 50s and 60s, such as the tin robot and rocket. However, I remember many of these games and toys still being very popular when I was a young lad in the 70s.

The plasticine and marbles were definitely part of my 70s childhood, and I remember being amazed as I watched a friends slinky walk down the staircase!


Classic Wooden Marble Solitaire by Jacques of London



When you were fed up with playing marbles you could always use them for a game of Solitaire. The wooden boards are just so much better than the modern, plastic ones, and also make for a high quality gift. I certainly remember playing solitaire back in the day, and there are dozens of traditional wooden games available to buy through the link above. The actual game featured in the picture above features hand made marbles.

Rubber Band Shooter Gun (Metal)


Rubber Band Shooter

Toys don't get much simpler than this do they? Made out of good, old-fashioned wood, and carved in the shape of a pistol,  the idea is simple, shoot rubber bands at the girls in the school playground!

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench Wooden Toy with Mallet


Wooden Hammer Bench Toy

Well, we all liked to bash things when were were toddlers, although it was usually something we shouldn't have been bashing such as dad's head! To the rescue comes the wooden hammer bench. The bright colours are really attractive to kids, and it's great to let them loose with one of these, as they can bash away to their heart's content. 

Traditional Tiddly Winks Family Game


Tiddly Winks

This is an age old game and the original version was very popular in the 1890's. The above game includes a lovingly crafted wooden tray which can be used to store the counters and play the game on. A low-cost, but well-made vintage game.

Old Maid Classic Card Game


Old Maid Card Game

This traditional card game dates from the Victorian times, and the version above has been reproduced from a 1905 version. The cards feature beautiful illustrations, and this is a game that all the family can play. A nice gift idea.

Traditional Bike Horn

Nothing quite beats the sound of an old-fashioned bicycle hooter, and I used to have one of these on my racing bike back in the 70s. The classic design is great fun, and this is an ideal gift for bike lovers of all ages.

Lagoon 6453 Wire Puzzle


Wire Puzzles

Cheap versions of these puzzles were sometimes included inside Christmas crackers. But this retro-design box includes 5 challenging puzzles that'll provide hours of frustration! A nice retro gift idea for kids and adults alike.

Classic Tin Kaleidoscope



This is one of those nostalgic gifts that you order for someone, but find that you want to keep for yourself! The psychedelic patterns are fascinating even to adults, and this is one of those toys that you can buy for just about any age group.

Blow Football Table Game


Blow Football

This has been a family favourite for many generations, and this version of the game is based on an early 1900s original game. Features metal goals with goalkeepers, six blow tubes and foam balls. However, the link below will lead you to a choice of blow football games.

Newton's Cradle Executive Toy


Newton's Cradle

We used to have one of these in the Physical Science classroom at secondary school, and it taught us about the laws of momentum and energy. Hmm, supposedly, but I'm not sure that the laws of physics really sunk in to many of us! It's a fascinating device to watch, nonetheless, and this was also a classic executive toy which graced the offices of many YUPPIES back in the 80s.

Wooden Acrobatic Monkey Trapeze Toy


Wooden Trapeze Toy

Now this is a very traditional and fun toy. Watch the monkey perform somersaults when you push the wooden poles together at the bottom. I remember a childhood friend having one of these in his bedroom back in the 1970s, and I became fascinated by it.

Traditional Style Snakes And Ladders Board Game


Snakes & Ladders

Snakes and Ladders actually originated in India in ancient times and is now known worldwide. Ludo also has its roots in India, and is based on the game Pachisi from the 6th century. Apparently, the Ludo board game was invented in 1896.

Classic Ludo Board Game



Ludo also has its roots in India, and is based on the game Pachisi from the 6th century. Apparently, the Ludo board game was invented in 1896.

Super Retro Metal Jacks Game


Traditional Metal Jacks

In this game of skill you must firstly throw the jacks across the ground. Then throw the ball in the air and try to grab one of the jacks and the ball before it hits the ground. Throw the ball again and then try to grab two jacks and the ball, then three jacks and so on. Can you grab all the jacks and the ball? A very addictive little game, and one I remember playing many, many years ago!

Balsa Wood Glider - Rubber Band Powered Flying Plane


Flying Model Aeroplane Kit

So who remembers playing with one of these? This retro-style, rubber band powered balsa wood flying glider/aeroplane kit requires no extra tools or glue.

The Beetle Game - Retro Board Game


Beetle Dice Game

A very simple, but highly addictive and intense game that has provided hours of entertainment to families since the 1950s. Each number of the dice represents a body part, and the object of the game is to build your beetle before everyone else.

Pin Art 3D Pin Sculpture


Magnetic 3D Pin Art Sculpture

Remember having one of these back in the day? The beauty of this toy is that whatever art form you create can be displayed until you get bored with it, then you can simply create something else. You can use parts of your body (no, not that part!) or objects around the home to push into the pins to create almost endless shapes - genius!

Lava Lamp Classic, 14.5-inch, Purple and Pink


60s Lava Lamp

If you lived through the swinging sixties then you probably had one of these. Fascinating to watch, this 60s classic is available today in all sorts of groovy colours. The oroginal lava lamp was launched in 1963.

Light Up Fireball Yo Yo by Spectrum


Yo-Yo with Lights

Yo-yos were first made popular in the 1920's, and made a comeback during the 1970's. This Yomega Spectrum yoyo features a fireball LED light display.

Magic Fortune Teller Fish


Magic Fortune Teller Fish

Young children always find these fascinating, and even in modern times, this cheap and cheerful retro toy from the past is still a big hit. Another great party bag filler, too.

Metal Gyroscope



Back in the day this was marketed as a "scientific toy", and parents flocked to buy it in the hope it would teach some basic physics to their youngsters. Of course, most kids just saw it as a fun toy, and I received one back in the early 80s and never thought once about science when playing with it! Nonetheless, it's an iconic toy and ideal as a stocking filler/extra gift.

100 Traditional Cats Eye Marbles



Surely just about every kid has played with marbles at some point in their lives. Definitely a schoolyard favourite! The idea of the game is to try and win your opponents marble by rolling your own marbles along the ground and hitting it a set number of times. Some kids decided to bring in ball bearings from the local scrapyard, and you would have to hit them an impossible number of times in order to win! Clear, cat's eye marbles were the most popular, although there were also the luxurious-looking Chinese marbles, although I preferred the clear ones myself.

Traditional Wooden Trike


Wooden Trike

This was the first experience of travel on wheels for many of us, and a sturdy, colourful, wooden tricycle is ideal for toddlers. The one above has an old-fashioned quality that is difficult to find these days, and has been receiving mainly rave reviews by customers.

Jester Musical Jack in the Box


Jack in the Box

Simply turn the handle and up pops Jack! It also plays a melody, and this is one of those simple, old-fashioned toys that is almost guaranteed to put a smile on a child's face. The original, tin Jack-in-the-Box toys featured a jester or a clown, although they now come in many varieties.

Wind-Up Collectible Retro Tin Robot


Wind-Up (Clockwork) Tin Robot

Tin space robots were all the rage back in the 1950s and 60s, when people were watching exciting, new sci-fi movies such as Forbidden Planet, which featured the legendary Robby the robot. This was also the beginning of the space age, and little boys were going robot and spaceship crazy! There are lots of retro-style robots available, and they would make a wonderful gift for anyone who remembers this exciting time. Please note tha this is a collectible item, and not a children's toy.

Cause Metal Humming Top


Metal Humming Top

Tin spinning tops were certainly all the rage when I was little, and I was totally engrossed as I watched it spin around with flashing lights and listen to that humming sound.

Metal Tin Winding Music Box


Tin Winding Music Box

A classic and timeless toy that is still fascinating to little ones today. When they wind the handle they can listen to a delightful tune.

Pack of 3 Diecast Metal Spud Guns


Metal Spud Gun

I certainly remember playing with a spud guns back in my 70s childhood. As long as you have a potato lying around you can have endless firing fun. This diecast metal potato gun comes as a 2 pack and also includes reusable ammo. Young boys will love them!

Slinky Original


Original Slinky Toy

This helical spring can perform tricks, and I remember watching my friends slinky walk down the stairs back in the 70s. It uses a clever combination of momentum and gravity and was invented back in the 1940s by Richard Thompson James, a naval engineer.

Plasticine Colour Max (24-Piece)



Just about everyone played with this colourful modelling clay at some point in their childhood. Kids can use their own imagination to make endless creations. Plasticine was actually invented in 1897, and its still highly popular over 120 years later!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Abacus


Wooden Abacus

This wooden "calculator" has been around for many centuries, and is still an extremely useful tool today for helping kids develop counting and maths skills. Old fashioned it may be, but it still works! There are lots to choose from, but the one above is particularly highly-rated by customers for its quality construction.

Retro rocket carousel tin toy


Retro Rocket Carousel Tin Toy

This is a traditional style wind-up tin toy that is based on an old-fashioned fairground ride. It's fascinating for children to watch as it spins around.

Retro Balloon Animal Modelling Kit


Balloon Modelling Kit

Now, kids just love playing around with balloons, especially the modelling variety which can be twisted into all sorts of amazing shapes. These balloons are wonderful for allowing children to use their imagination and creative abilities, and they're having lots of fun in the process, of course.

Touring England Retro Game


Touring England Game

An all time favourite family board game for 2 to 4 players in which the main cities and towns of 1930s England and Wales are visited. Includes a new, up-to-date map. 

Wooden Robot Flexi Toy


Wooden Flexi Robot

I had something similar to this as a child. An elasticated cord joins the retro robot's arms, legs and head to his torso so you can place him in lots of funny positions! A fun retro toy that needs no batteries.

Playskool Friends Mr. Potato Head Classic


Mr Potato Head

This classic face-changing toy has amused many generations of kids, and the original toy was launched by Hasbro in 1952. I had one back in the 70s, and I loved it! Mr. Potato Head appeared on TV for the first time in the 80s TV series Potato Head Kids.

Self Inflating Whoopee Cushion


Whoopee Cushion

There was always some bright spark at primary school with one of these trying to catch you out! Great retro, farting fun, and an ideal party bag or stocking filler.