The most popular Christmas toys and tech from the last few decades

Over 100 of these Star Wars toys were made between 1977 and 1985, but in the first year of release, they were flying off the shelves. (image credit:
This will game was inspired by the children's game "Simon Says" and had a simple premise - each of the four coloured buttons needed to be hit in sequence. (image credit: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)
The Christmas of 1979 saw this console selling like hotcakes thanks to its exclusive content and that year it sold one million units. (image credit: Courtesy of
By 1983 it is estimated that 200 million Rubik's Cubes were sold worldwide.  (image credit: AlternativeDimensions/Amazon)
It was the television shows that began the merchandising barrage in earnest and Smurf toys were high on Christmas lists across the world in 1981.  (image credit: jptimes6/ebay)
BMX was a fad that started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bikes in a style inspired by motocross sports stars of the time. (image credit: Shleiderbmx [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
Cabbage Patch Kids were the must-have kids toy of 1983. Incredibly hard to get hold of too. (image credit: Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc.)
In 1984, Hasbro toys started a venture with Takara of Japan to create toys and merchandise for the Transformers animated series. You know what happened next. (image credit: 2013 existing toys)
The Care Bears Movie in 1985 helped these plush teddies to begin selling like crazy. (image credit: TRJ CLASSICS/Ebay)
Teddy Ruxpin was one of the first talking teddy bears and the Grandfather of hundreds if not thousands of similar toys since. (image credit: Backpack Toys/Amazon)
Koosh balls were invented by Scott Stillinger when he was having trouble teaching his young children how to catch and finding normal balls were far too bouncy. (image credit:
Nintendo managed to sell seven million systems by the end of 1988 out-selling home computer competitors by a million miles.  (image credit: Evan-Amos, via Wikimedia Commons)
In Christmas 1989 though, the Game Boy was the most popular toy around and a gaming classic that would live in nostalgia for years to come.  (image credit: Wikimedia Commons)
In 1990, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film took the cinemas by storm and the action figures were just as popular. (image credit: HardToComeBy/Amazon)
Talkboy was a cassette player and recorder that appeared in Home Alone and saw massive demand when it was released in time for Black Friday that year. (image credit: Onetwo1 [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons)
Thanks to a wave of marketing, Elmo, from popular kids show Sesame Street was in high demand as a Christmas present in 1996. (image credit: Tyco Toys)
Furby was so popular that demand outstripped supply and price skyrocketed in the run-up to Christmas. (image credit: Unique and Funky Gifts)
The Bratz were a product line of fashion dolls that flew off the store shelves in the run-up to Christmas 2001. (image credit: MGA Entertainment)
2005 was the year of the Xbox 360, the insanely popular new console from Microsoft that started selling just in time for Christmas. (image credit: Microsoft)
In 2007, the first generation of Apple iPod Touch reached the market just in time for Christmas. (image credit: Apple)
By 2008 Elmo could wave his arm, sit, stand and move around with just a simple tickle or squeeze. (image credit: Fisher Price)
Let's Rock Elmo came equipped with a mic, tambourine and drum set. As if children's toys didn't already make enough noise! (image credit: Business Wire)
This voice-controlled bot made by Sphero was the most popular toy about in the Christmas period of 2015 and was packed full of features. (image credit: Bryan Rowe/Sphero)
For 2017, the toy of choice is Anki’s Cozmo robot, a fully-customisable and programmable robot that helps kids learn to code. (image credit: Anki)
The Glamper (yes, that is a word now) was certainly something. With 55 parts in the set and plenty of hype for Christmas. (image credit: L.O.L. Surprise)