Christmas Toy Shopping: Over 100 Years of “It Toy” History

When it comes to Christmas toy shopping, many of us are trolling the Internet, or are jockeying for position at the local toy stores, for the latest holiday “it” toy. You know the one I mean – it’s the one that the kids are all talking about. It’s the one they say they can’t live without.

Yet, that’s a pretty familiar feeling, isn’t it? That’s because for every era since the invention of the department store catalog, there has been an “it” toy for every decade, every generation of child who’s added it to their list, hoping that St. Nick would come through for them on Christmas morning.

So, to ease your Christmas shopping burden this year, knowing that parents have been toiling and seeking for that scarce commodity that is the holiday “it” toy often at the 11th hour several decades before you were born, here’s a graphic that outlines a cavalcade of Christmas toy goodness from ages past. You might even see one or two that you, in your young Christmas present fervor, added to your own lists with the joy of the season in your hearts, and with the looks of panic on the faces of your parents.

Take a look!

To see the graphic on an epic scale, click it. It will open in a new window. Then, click it again over the section you’d like to read, and it will be viewable in full.

Graphic courtesy of

So, holiday gift-buyers; do you see any familiar items on the list?

Were there some items you longed for, but didn’t get despite Christmas pleading (mine: A Smash-Up Derby set – not on the list above, but on my own Christmas list for years, with no result – I’m not bitter)?

Tell me your holiday stories of triumph and woe in the comments section!



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