Toys that Cross Over Generations

Parents magazine ran a blurb on the birthdays of popular kids’ toys. For example, Dora the Explorer is 10 years old, the Rubik’s Cube is 30, Etch A Sketch is 50, Thomas the Tank Engine is 65 (!), Curious George is 70, Monopoly is 75, and Tinkertoys is 95(!!).

I put exclamation points by the toys my kids played that I had no idea were that old.

All this talk about toys that have crossed over generations, and movies such as the Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, made me think of all the games I have passed onto my children just because I loved them as a kid.

For me, those games or toys include Barbie, who is only 51-years-old, by the way, the board game Sorry (76-years-old), and of course, Monopoly — which, by the way, has all these new game pieces like a battleship, canon and purse. Actually, I looked up when these pieces were introduced, and as it turns out, they are older pieces from World War II — I just didn’t have them in my game in the 1980s. Here is an interesting piece on the Monopoly pieces in The Straight Dope.

Other favorites are Hungry, Hungry Hippos (32-years-old), UNO (39), and Go Fish, for which its origins I could not find online.

What are some of your favorite childhood toys or games that you have passed onto your children?

52 thoughts on “Toys that Cross Over Generations

  1. Legos

    1949 says wikipedia.  I still have my childhood set.  My DS has a closet full.  Also, I thinking Lincoln Logs are very old… I think my Mom had them.

    • Good ones!

      Legos are huge in my house, too. Sadly, I never kept any of my childhood toys. For the kids, I think I am going to keep their Spanish book collection since I’ve been collecting books for them every time I travel to a Spanish-speaking country. I even bought kids books when I was a student in Spain in 1998.

  2. Legos

    1949 says wikipedia.  I still have my childhood set.  My DS has a closet full.  Also, I thinking Lincoln Logs are very old… I think my Mom had them.

    • Good ones!

      Legos are huge in my house, too. Sadly, I never kept any of my childhood toys. For the kids, I think I am going to keep their Spanish book collection since I’ve been collecting books for them every time I travel to a Spanish-speaking country. I even bought kids books when I was a student in Spain in 1998.

  3. we love Sorry

    I remember playing it with my brothers and sisters as a kid.  And it’s one of my kids’ favorite board games.  

    DH and I both regretted not keeping the Fisher Price Little People we had as kids.  We ended up buying a bunch off of e-Bay because we liked to cool old wooden choking hazard ones better than the plastic ones.  Our kids still pull them out and play with them occasionally.

    • my mom kept all mine

      and we still have a bunch AND she’s got a nasty ebay habit now.  The little people castle is one of DS’s favorites (was mine too, along with the carousel.)

    • I loved Little People

      so much when I was a kid.  I did buy a set of the new ones for the girls when they were little, but they never seemed to take to them the way I did.  (Then again, I just don’t think the new ones were as cool–I loved the A-frame, the camper and the Sesame Street building.)

      Although I’ve passed down many books from my childhood (some in the original copies), I can’t think of many toys/games that I played with that my stepkids have really taken to.  The girls do often come up with fairly elaborate costumes and scenarios for their stuffed animals, which was one of my favorite things to do when I was little.  (I was not a “doll” kid and neither are they, really.)  My play with stuffies, though, seemed more relationship and family oriented; theirs is more performative (e.g., dance recitals, circuses, Olympics!).  The girls do have a couple stuffies that were actually mine–I have retained my favorite-favorite stuffed dog and my stuffed pig in my own room, but my Paddington Bear and stuffed hedgehog have moved upstairs.

      DH grew up in a card-playing family (which I did not) and has passed down some card games to the kids, particularly Frustration and Russian Bank.

      • My mom kept my Fisher Price stuff

        I had the castle, the Sesame Street building, the Sesame Street Castle, the house, the boat and the airplane as well as the old windup merry-go-round and ferris wheel.  My kids love playing with my old Fisher Price stuff at Nana’s way more than they enjoy their own updated ones although the updated castle still gets a lot of use but the other ones not so much.  They really like the old fashioned little people too.

    • Oh yeah

      I’m totally pushing these on my kids because I swear my brothers & I played with these until I was practically in junior high. My mom still has our old wooden parking ramp (we have the plastic one) and it’s nicer & better made. I may steal it from her someday.

  4. we love Sorry

    I remember playing it with my brothers and sisters as a kid.  And it’s one of my kids’ favorite board games.  

    DH and I both regretted not keeping the Fisher Price Little People we had as kids.  We ended up buying a bunch off of e-Bay because we liked to cool old wooden choking hazard ones better than the plastic ones.  Our kids still pull them out and play with them occasionally.

    • my mom kept all mine

      and we still have a bunch AND she’s got a nasty ebay habit now.  The little people castle is one of DS’s favorites (was mine too, along with the carousel.)

    • I loved Little People

      so much when I was a kid.  I did buy a set of the new ones for the girls when they were little, but they never seemed to take to them the way I did.  (Then again, I just don’t think the new ones were as cool–I loved the A-frame, the camper and the Sesame Street building.)

      Although I’ve passed down many books from my childhood (some in the original copies), I can’t think of many toys/games that I played with that my stepkids have really taken to.  The girls do often come up with fairly elaborate costumes and scenarios for their stuffed animals, which was one of my favorite things to do when I was little.  (I was not a “doll” kid and neither are they, really.)  My play with stuffies, though, seemed more relationship and family oriented; theirs is more performative (e.g., dance recitals, circuses, Olympics!).  The girls do have a couple stuffies that were actually mine–I have retained my favorite-favorite stuffed dog and my stuffed pig in my own room, but my Paddington Bear and stuffed hedgehog have moved upstairs.

      DH grew up in a card-playing family (which I did not) and has passed down some card games to the kids, particularly Frustration and Russian Bank.

      • My mom kept my Fisher Price stuff

        I had the castle, the Sesame Street building, the Sesame Street Castle, the house, the boat and the airplane as well as the old windup merry-go-round and ferris wheel.  My kids love playing with my old Fisher Price stuff at Nana’s way more than they enjoy their own updated ones although the updated castle still gets a lot of use but the other ones not so much.  They really like the old fashioned little people too.

    • Oh yeah

      I’m totally pushing these on my kids because I swear my brothers & I played with these until I was practically in junior high. My mom still has our old wooden parking ramp (we have the plastic one) and it’s nicer & better made. I may steal it from her someday.

  5. Mousetrap!

    we also had a weird old game named “Camelot” that was really cool.  We played a lot of cards (gin rummy, war, crazy 8s).  

    Loved the original Trivial Pursuit.

    And I had a bunch of little dolls called “Sweet Treats” that were AWESOME with green hair and they lived in a cookie house or a sundae house.  very cool.

  6. Mousetrap!

    we also had a weird old game named “Camelot” that was really cool.  We played a lot of cards (gin rummy, war, crazy 8s).  

    Loved the original Trivial Pursuit.

    And I had a bunch of little dolls called “Sweet Treats” that were AWESOME with green hair and they lived in a cookie house or a sundae house.  very cool.

  7. Care Bears

    My grandma was awesome enough to save my collection of original Care Bears. When I was little, she’d sometimes take me to Toys R Us and get me a new one when I came over. So, I have about a dozen of them from ’83 and ’84, and their cloud car. The ones they make today are crap!

    My kids are having a great time with these — they have really held up well!

    Photobucket

  8. Care Bears

    My grandma was awesome enough to save my collection of original Care Bears. When I was little, she’d sometimes take me to Toys R Us and get me a new one when I came over. So, I have about a dozen of them from ’83 and ’84, and their cloud car. The ones they make today are crap!

    My kids are having a great time with these — they have really held up well!

    Photobucket

  9. DH’s original transformers

    They’re made of metal and hold up so much better than the plastic the current ones are made of.

    I also have some gorgeous Breyer horses (sooooooo much better than today’s versions) that I may give to my DD if she catches the horse bug.

  10. DH’s original transformers

    They’re made of metal and hold up so much better than the plastic the current ones are made of.

    I also have some gorgeous Breyer horses (sooooooo much better than today’s versions) that I may give to my DD if she catches the horse bug.

  11. My mom

    has lots of our old toys, especially games. We have some games that you don’t see anymore including Musingo, Mary Poppins Carousel Game, and Hands Down.

    We also have my mom’s Monopoly Set from when she was a kid in the 40s. The box is pretty shabby and some of the money is missing but the cutest thing of all is the Chance card that says “Advance to St. Charles Place” has written in the corner of the back of it “SCP” — my mom was a little cheater, I guess, although I can hardly see how knowing that the next Chance card was “Advance to St. Charles Place” would give you any advantage in the game.

    My brother has his Major Matt Mason and I still have my Mrs. Beasley doll.

    It is a lot of fun to go visit my parents because they do still have so many of our toys.

    As far as stuff our kids played with that was the same as what we played with — Lincoln logs, hot wheels or matchbox cars, and a few board games are it.

  12. My mom

    has lots of our old toys, especially games. We have some games that you don’t see anymore including Musingo, Mary Poppins Carousel Game, and Hands Down.

    We also have my mom’s Monopoly Set from when she was a kid in the 40s. The box is pretty shabby and some of the money is missing but the cutest thing of all is the Chance card that says “Advance to St. Charles Place” has written in the corner of the back of it “SCP” — my mom was a little cheater, I guess, although I can hardly see how knowing that the next Chance card was “Advance to St. Charles Place” would give you any advantage in the game.

    My brother has his Major Matt Mason and I still have my Mrs. Beasley doll.

    It is a lot of fun to go visit my parents because they do still have so many of our toys.

    As far as stuff our kids played with that was the same as what we played with — Lincoln logs, hot wheels or matchbox cars, and a few board games are it.

  13. Jacks..

    I played this for hours with  my friend.  Board game?  Clue.  Card games?  Gin.  Play dough and coloring books.

    DD loved board games when very little/…one imparticular but forgot the name but the board pieces were snails.  She wasn’t that big a toy person.. nor dolls.  But fantasy, dress up, watching ballets and dancing along and any sort of art materials and books. Lastly being an only she had a cadre of imaginary friends..”Perry” was her favorite.  Miss the days of hearing those convos :)

    • hee

      my DD had an invisible friend, definitely NOT imaginary and she would correct you. Michelle, which we thought was funny since it was a feminized version of her twin brother’s name.

      Michelle always vacationed with her family or visited relatives near any place that we traveled. It was amazing how we’d run into that girl all over the country!

      • too cute..

        eh?  loved the imagination…right?  dd also took to calling herself persephone after reading her persephone and the pomegranite.  everyone thought she was saying stephanie due to her little girl lisp.  it was lovely if you know the story and fact that her father and i divorced when she was little.  loved how these myths helped us all through.

        • oh, that

          fascinates me.  I never thought about the Persephone myth in the context of divorce, but it really works, doesn’t it?  DSD-12 likes it a lot–I wonder if the shifting between worlds resonates with her as well, even unconsciously.

  14. Jacks..

    I played this for hours with  my friend.  Board game?  Clue.  Card games?  Gin.  Play dough and coloring books.

    DD loved board games when very little/…one imparticular but forgot the name but the board pieces were snails.  She wasn’t that big a toy person.. nor dolls.  But fantasy, dress up, watching ballets and dancing along and any sort of art materials and books. Lastly being an only she had a cadre of imaginary friends..”Perry” was her favorite.  Miss the days of hearing those convos :)

    • hee

      my DD had an invisible friend, definitely NOT imaginary and she would correct you. Michelle, which we thought was funny since it was a feminized version of her twin brother’s name.

      Michelle always vacationed with her family or visited relatives near any place that we traveled. It was amazing how we’d run into that girl all over the country!

      • too cute..

        eh?  loved the imagination…right?  dd also took to calling herself persephone after reading her persephone and the pomegranite.  everyone thought she was saying stephanie due to her little girl lisp.  it was lovely if you know the story and fact that her father and i divorced when she was little.  loved how these myths helped us all through.

        • oh, that

          fascinates me.  I never thought about the Persephone myth in the context of divorce, but it really works, doesn’t it?  DSD-12 likes it a lot–I wonder if the shifting between worlds resonates with her as well, even unconsciously.

  15. Uno

    has long been DS’s favorite game.  Recently, as his word scores grow, he loves Scrabble

    My fave….Yahtzee!!  I like that it’s time-limited and that there is some strategy as well as luck.

    • I love Yahtzee!

      I remember playing with my aunt and uncle when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and I still like to play it now.

  16. Uno

    has long been DS’s favorite game.  Recently, as his word scores grow, he loves Scrabble

    My fave….Yahtzee!!  I like that it’s time-limited and that there is some strategy as well as luck.

    • I love Yahtzee!

      I remember playing with my aunt and uncle when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and I still like to play it now.

  17. Any board game

    Sorry, Monopoly, Clue, Payday – we’ve loved them all.

    Uno & Boggle have also carried over between generations.

    In fact, Alex said to me today since we only have two more nights together “Can we play some games tonight?” I bet you anything it will be Payday. Or Cat-opoly :-)

  18. Any board game

    Sorry, Monopoly, Clue, Payday – we’ve loved them all.

    Uno & Boggle have also carried over between generations.

    In fact, Alex said to me today since we only have two more nights together “Can we play some games tonight?” I bet you anything it will be Payday. Or Cat-opoly :-)

  19. My stepmother kept a closet full of toys

    Her kids made fun of her about The Closet… until they had kids of their own.  Now Grandma’s Closet has the coolest toys around!  My own favorite toys are long gone (fisher price little people, mountaintop and treetop people, tinkertoys), but that closet has preserved some great classics:

    There’s the Digger the Dog pull toy, Lincoln Logs, the Fisher Price barn with the animals (and the doors that say “moo”), the metal John Deere trucks and tractors, and the Fisher Price record player.  My kids loved playing with the record player.  ”What’s a record player?”  Funny, that the “records” are about the size of an actual CD…

    Most of the old-fashioned toys we own here at home are board games:  Chess Junior, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.  I never like Sorry as a kid so we don’t have that one, lol.

  20. My stepmother kept a closet full of toys

    Her kids made fun of her about The Closet… until they had kids of their own.  Now Grandma’s Closet has the coolest toys around!  My own favorite toys are long gone (fisher price little people, mountaintop and treetop people, tinkertoys), but that closet has preserved some great classics:

    There’s the Digger the Dog pull toy, Lincoln Logs, the Fisher Price barn with the animals (and the doors that say “moo”), the metal John Deere trucks and tractors, and the Fisher Price record player.  My kids loved playing with the record player.  ”What’s a record player?”  Funny, that the “records” are about the size of an actual CD…

    Most of the old-fashioned toys we own here at home are board games:  Chess Junior, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.  I never like Sorry as a kid so we don’t have that one, lol.

  21. Puzzletown!

    OMG, Richard Scarry’s Puzzletown!  My brothers and I played with that set for hours and hours and hours.  And my mother, bless her soul, KEPT it, and Sophia plays with it when we go see her.  LOVE IT.

  22. Puzzletown!

    OMG, Richard Scarry’s Puzzletown!  My brothers and I played with that set for hours and hours and hours.  And my mother, bless her soul, KEPT it, and Sophia plays with it when we go see her.  LOVE IT.

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