The 9 Best Retro Toys to Buy in 2018

Get a blast from the past with these all-time favorites

Courtesy of Amazon

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Today’s hottest toys are often technologically advanced, but don’t you miss the good old days of battery-free toys like tricycles and Magic 8 balls? Thanks to this common nostalgia among parents, retro toys are making a comeback, with many companies re-releasing some of the classic games you played when you were a kid!

The following are some of the popular retro toys to buy today. Not only will your little ones love playing with these fun products, but it will bring you back to your own childhood, allowing you to bond with your children in a new way.


  • 01 of 09

    Best Classic: Mattel Games Magic 8 Ball®

    Will you win the lottery this week? The Magic 8 Ball says, “don’t count on it!” This classic old-school toy is simple, but it can provide endless fun for kids and parents alike.

    The Mattel Games Magic 8 Ball is the original design of the question-answering novelty toy. The premise is simple: Ask the ball a yes-or-no question, then give it a shake and see what answer appears. You’ll be treated to classic responses such as, “it is certain,” “don’t count on it,” and “ask again later.” Children will love consulting the magic ball with all their pressing concerns, such as whether they’ll pass school tests or if you’ll buy them a puppy!

    Reviewers say this classic toy is exactly how they remember it from their own childhood — it’s a fun blast from the past for Baby Boomers. Many say they gifted it to indecisive kids, who love to consult the ball for a bit of fortune-telling fun.

  • 02 of 09

    Best for Toddlers: Fisher-Price Classics Retro Cash Register

    Fisher-Price has a line of classic toys for kids of all ages, and one of the top-rated products for toddlers is the Fisher-Price Classics Retro Cash Register. This cute cash register is perfect for teaching young minds about colors and counting, and the retro design will look simply adorable in your playroom.

    The Classics Retro Cash Register works just like the real thing. Children ages 2 and up can place color-coded coins into the various slots, push the buttons, open the drawer, and crank the handle to explore a variety of functions and noises. The newly designed retro-style toy was actually inspired by the 1975 Fisher-Price Cash Register, which was an instant classic among families!

    Toddlers love playing “store” with this cash register, according to reviewers. Many say they bought the toy because they used to play with the original product, and the majority agree you won’t be disappointed. This retro cash register will entertain kids for years to come, giving you a twinge of nostalgia all the while.

  • 03 of 09

    Best for School Kids: Toysmith Retro Magic Rail Twirler

    While simple, the Toysmith Retro Magic Rail Twirler will provide endless entertainment for school-age children — and there are no electronics involved.

    This super affordable product is a reproduction of the classic Magic Rail Twirler, which uses magnets to move the spinning wheel, allowing kids to perform gravity-defying stunts. Designed for kids 5 and up, this retro toy seemingly works by magic, and children will love tilting the wire frame back and forth, watching the wheel pick up speed. As they master the toy, they’ll be able to learn tricks to really impress their friends.

    Reviewers call this toy the original fidget spinner, saying they used to play with their own Magic Rail Twirlers for hours. Several buyers remark that the magnets on this updated toy are actually stronger than the original, making it easier to play with.

  • 04 of 09

    Best Musical: Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone

    Spark an early love of music in your children with the fun Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone. This battery-free toy will teach little ones about music, colors and more, all while improving fine motor skills and coordination.

    The Classic Xylophone provides a colorful new look for the classic musical pull toy. The rainbow-colored instrument is perfect for babies 18 months and older, as it includes eight keys and an attached mallet— it will never get lost that way! Since the xylophone is on easy-roll wheels, tots can tow it around behind them, improving their motor skills while they take their musical act on the road. Plus, holding the mallet and tapping the keys will help build eye-hand coordination. It truly is a fun, educational toy!

    Reviewers love the affordable price of this class toy, writing that it’s lots of fun for toddlers and parents alike. However, a few do note that the cord is a little short to reach all the keys, so some suggest cutting it or replacing it with a longer string.

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  • 05 of 09

    Best Board Game: Sorry! 1958 Edition

    Sorry! 1958 Edition Retro Board Game
    Courtesy of Target

    Sorry! has been a family favorite board game for decades — the first edition of this amazingly fun board game was released way back in 1958. Now, you can get your hands on the retro version of this game, bringing back memories as you laugh and play with your own family.

    Sorry! 1958 Edition looks just like it did in the ‘60s. The product comes with a full-sized game board based on the original edition, a card deck with retro graphics, 16 wooden pawns, and instructions. You’ll love the bold vintage graphics, classic wooden game pieces and unique retro packaging — almost as much as you’ll love the game! This version of Sorry! works just like the modern edition, letting two to four players race around the board, sliding and bumping opponents back to start.

    According to reviewers, you won’t be sorry if you purchase this game. Many write that the quality is top-notch and that it provides hours of fun for players young and old.

  • 06 of 09

    Best Handheld Game: Frogger Handheld Mini Arcade Game

    Frogger Handheld Mini Arcade Game
    Courtesy of Bed, Bath, and Beyond

    Remember going to the arcade back in the day to play Frogger? While your kids may not be able to experience the buzzing excitement of the arcade, you can still introduce them to one of your favorite video games. The Frogger Handheld Mini Arcade Game is perfect for children 8 and up — they’ll love learning the ropes of this old-fashioned arcade game, which has a cool vintage vibe.

    The goal of this handheld video game is simple: steer the frog around to avoid traffic, and don’t fall in the water! However, your kids will soon learn it’s easier said than done. The mini arcade game includes the same iconic sounds and authentic graphics as the original version, sparking a bit of nostalgia in any ‘80s kid. The handheld device has a color LCD screen and uses three AAA batteries, which are included with the purchase.

    Reviewers say this handheld device is lots of fun for kids, and it’s the perfect way to get them to put down their phones and computers for a little while. Several also note it’s a great toy to bring on road trips, as it provides hours of entertainment in the car.

  • 07 of 09

    Best Tricycle: Radio Flyer 10" Red Classic Tricycle

    Your kids will want to stay outside all day so they can play on their old-fashioned Radio Flyer 10” Tricycle. This cute red bike is just like the one you grew up riding, complete with a metal body, rubber tires, and adjustable seat.

    This tricycle is perfect for tots ages 2 to 4 who weigh up to 42 pounds, thanks to its 10” wheel and adjustable seat. The red bike has a classically-styled fender, chrome handlebars, and bell, and your little ones will love zooming up and down the driveway on it. Don’t worry about them tipping over, as this tricycle has a controlled turning radius to prevent accidents. There’s even a rear step to help kids get on and off with ease.

    According to happy reviewers, the Radio Flyer 10" Red Classic Tricycle makes a great gift for toddlers. Many note that it’s a good size and solidly made—their only complaint is that little bean sprouts eventually outgrow the bike! However, you’ll be able to get a few years of use before that happens.

  • 08 of 09

    Best Creative: Etch A Sketch

    Who didn't love their Etch a Sketch growing up? It let you create basic or elaborate pieces of art that you then could just shake away and start all over again. This favorite is still around and popular as ever and perfect for children age 3 and up. Besides letting kids express their creative side it helps them work on their fine motor skills as they use their brain to figure out which knobs to twist and which way to turn them to make the perfect lines.

    Reviewers say it is still a blast to play with and their kids were impressed even though it doesn't have batteries, light up or make annoying noises – making it a win-win in our book.  

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  • 09 of 09

    Best for Builders: Lincoln Logs

    Kids who like to build will get a thrill playing with this 1916 classic. Little kids (and parents!) can craft up an authentic log cabin with the 137 pieces that give you plenty of options to let them be their own architect. What's more, these are made out of actual wood and not plastic (thought the roof and door are).  

    Reviewer's note their children loved getting creative with this, though a few mention there isn't a lot of different sized pieces so you are forced to make similar looking designs.