Can You Name These Popular Classic American Toys?

By: Bambi Turner
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Mr. Potato Head has come a long way since Hasbro first manufactured and produced the popular kids toy in 1952. But, did you know that originally, the toy only consisted of the accessories - eyes, hair, hands, nose, etc.? It was meant to be stuck into a potato. (For parents across the country, you could probably figure out how much they appreciated having to clean up the results.) The 1952 Mr. Potato Head also marked the first time a kids toy was advertised on television. By 1953, Mr. Potato Head had a partner in Mrs. Potato Head, and by the '60s the potato was done away with and replaced with the plastic we all know so well. Thirty years later, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head hit the big screen in the movie franchise "Toy Story."

This is just one  story of thousands of toys you loved as a kid - many of those toys your own children will fondly remember playing with when they are adults too. How well do you remember the toys you played with decades ago? Could you figure out which is an Etch-a-Sketch? Do you remember Lite Brite? How many hours did you spend looking at cards on your Viewmaster? How many times did you try to stretch Stretch Armstrong to his breaking point? 

These are the toys you grew up with, but how many can you identify from an image? Take this quiz and stroll down memory lane!

Called the Magic Cube when it was first invented in 1974, this six-sided colorful cube has been stumping people of all ages for decades. In just the first 35 years since its invention, more than 350 million Rubik's Cubes made their way into the hands of eager buyers.

In 1943, a mechanical engineer watching a dropped tension spring developed the idea for the Slinky. After his wife picked the name off the dictionary, they sold out of their first run in minutes when they debuted the toy at Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia.

Made of a plastic alloy called Marlex, the Hula Hoop came out in 1957. More than 25 million units were sold in just the first two months.

Yo-Yos have been around since the ancient Greeks, but they got a major upgrade in the 1930s with the addition of a loop around the axle -- which allowed the toy to "sleep" and perform more complex tricks. Advanced versions in the '80s toyed with ball bearings for even more flexibility.

Jacks is one of the oldest games of all time, and there's archaeological evidence that Cro-Magnon kids played their own version with rocks and bones. The game is also known as knucklebones because ancient Egyptian kids played jacks with sheep knuckles. Today, most sets consist of metal jacks and a rubber bouncing ball.

You'll shoot your eye out! The Red Ryder BB Gun is more than just a toy from "A Christmas Story." It's a real and very popular BB gun model introduced by Daisy in the 1940s. It was modeled after the classic Winchester, which was found in every great cowboy movie of the era.

In the 19th century, wealthy children played with large metal army figures made from metal or lead. By the 1930s, manufacturers figured out how to make these small soldiers out of plastic to reach a much wider range of customers.

Play-Doh started as a wallpaper cleaner until someone realized it was much more pleasant to play with than stiff modeling clay. The product got its name in 1956, and expanded to a line of eight different colors in the '80s.

Made from pressed steel, Tonka sold more than 37,000 trucks the first year they introduced this classic toy in the 1940s. The company is named for Lake Minnetonka in the state of Minnesota, where the trucks were invented.

Inspired by the classic NYC pretzel cart, the Easy-Bake Oven came out in the 1960s. Kids who had the patience to bake using the heat of an incandescent bulb were rewarded with a warm and gooey mini-treat.

The View Master came out at the 1939 World's Fair, and was basically a hand-held version of the classic stereoscope. The toy really took off thanks to Disney character licensing in the 1950s.

When Matchbox Cars came out in the '50s, the diecast models came in tiny boxes that resembled a matchbox. In the '80s, the company switched to plastic and more contemporary blister-pack packaging.

Manufacturers have been making Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots since 1954 when the Red Rocker took on the Blue Bomber in a battle to the death. The toy now has a slightly different construction, resulting in the lack of that classic buzzing sound that older players may remember.

Kids have been playing with the Barrel of Monkeys toy since 1965. Consisting of 12 plastic monkeys with long, looped arms, the goal is to link as many monkeys as possible before the chain breaks.

Want to know what's inside Stretch Armstrong? The classic toy is filled with boiled corn syrup! Thanks to its latex skin and gel interior, the toy can stretch as much as five feet.

Before computers, phones and tablets, kids had limited access to educational technology. The Speak and Spell was revolutionary when it came along in 1978 -- from calculator company T.I. -- and was essentially an early computer that taught kids to spell and pronounce hundreds of words.

Simon was an electronic memory game introduced in 1978. Players had to memorize patterns of flashing red, green, blue and yellow lights and repeat them until their memory failed.

Polly Pocket combined kids fascination with tiny toys and girls' love for makeup into one extremely popular toy. Designed to resemble makeup compacts, the sets came with small dolls, and many had removable clothes and plenty of accessories to keep kids busy on the go.

When Cabbage Patch Kids came out, the whole concept of buying a toy doll went out the window. Instead, you adopted a kid from the Babyland General Hospital. Kids spent much of the '80s clamoring for these round-cheeked toys.

The Jack in the Box dates back to around the 14th century, when a devil would pop out rather than a clown. Most modern Jack in the Boxes operate to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel."

Introduced in 1959 as Good Luck Trolls, the troll was a hugely popular toy in the '60s. Early versions had wool hair and glass eyes, while later ones were mass-produced using several varieties of plastic and synthetics.

Let's face it -- not every family can afford a pool. For families without their own backyard oasis, the Slip 'n Slide offered a simple and affordable way to keep kids cool and entertained. This strip of vinyl simply attached to a garden hose for hours of wet fun.

Introduced in 1967, the Lite-Brite was a light box with colorful pegs, which allowed kids to create illuminated designs. Some used templates to "trace" images, while others went free form with plain sheets of black paper.

When Etch-A-Sketch was invented in 1959, none of the big toy companies cared. By 1960, it had become the most popular toy of the holiday season. The toy is still made the same way it always was -- with two knobs used to control static charges and create pictures.

Kids who were afraid of the dark could lose the nightlight after the Glo Worm came out in 1982. The toy was so popular that the late '80s saw an entire range of Glo Friends to go along with the original sleepy-eyed worm.

Introduced in 1981, My Little Pony was an '80s phenomenon. Kids played with ponies, identified by the designs on their flanks, and the luckiest kids arranged the horses in the Pony Paradise Estate.

Tired of watching his kids struggle to catch traditional balls, an inventor-father came up with the Koosh in 1986. It's made from tons of rubber filaments around a rubber core, making it more friendly for little fingers. The Koosh even got its own Archie Comic series in 1991.

Mr. Potato Head originally came with pieces kids could use with an actual potato. A styrofoam head option came out in the '50s, and the modern plastic version was introduced in 1964.

The Wiffle Ball came out in 1953. The lightweight ball with holes was not only easier to pitch, it was also much less likely than a standard baseball to break a window or leave a bruise.

Ruth Handler came up with the idea for the Barbie doll while watching her daughter play with paper dolls. Introduced in 1959, Barbie is not just a fashion icon, but has also held well over 75 jobs since that time.

Second in popularity only to the Barbie doll, Chatty Cathy was a doll with a pull-string that allowed her to utter one of 11 random phrases.

Go Joe! Inspired by the G.I.'s of World War II, G.I. Joe action figures -- no, not dolls -- came out in 1964. They were originally almost a foot tall, but were shrunk down to just 4 inches when they were re-released in the 1980s.

Mattel invented Hot Wheels to keep up with the uber-popular Matchbox cars of the '60s. The company hired a top designer from Chevrolet to create toys inspired by hot muscle cars of the time.

Magna Doodle featured similar technology to the Etch-A-Sketch, which had come out two decades earlier. With a stylus and stamps kids can use to create designs on a magnetic board, the toy has sold 40 million units and counting.

These cuddly bears started as greeting card designs in 1981 before someone realized they would make a great toy starting in 1983. An '80s cartoon told the story of the lovable bears and their adventures in the land of Care-A-Lot.

The best-selling toy in the mid-'80s was none other than Teddy Ruxpin. This animatronic bear could play audio cassettes, tell stories and actually move his mouth and eyes.

Like the Easy-Bake Oven, the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine made playtime delicious. Using a hand crank, kids could shave ice cubes down into shaved slivers, then add syrup for a snowball treat.

Who would have predicted that this fortune telling toy would still be selling well more than half a century after it was introduced? The 20-sided die floats in water and offers answers to your most burning questions.

Invented in 1949 by a Danish carpenter, the original LEGO blocks came in only red and white. Since then, the company has made more than 50 bricks for every single person on the planet.

During WWII, engineers in the U.S. were desperate to create a material that could be used as a synthetic rubber. Enter Silly Putty, which became a popular toy for kids starting in the '50s.

Lincoln Logs might have the coolest story of any toy on this list. Introduced in 1924, they were invented by John Lloyd Wright -- son of iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright -- who drew inspiration from his father's work when coming up with the wooden toys.

In the 19th century, New England college students played with metal pie plates, but it wasn't until the 1940s that someone made a similar disc from plastic and gave it its well-known name.

Invented in Germany in the 1970s, Playmobil features small figures -- known as klickies, plus a variety of play sets. The company that created Playmobil was in another trade many decades ago -- making decorative fittings for caskets!

Parents could breathe easy in 1969 when Nerf introduced the first ball safe for indoor play. Made from soft foam, the ball was much less likely than other balls to damage property. The iconic Nerf football came out in 1972.

Just a few years after the old-school Meccano building sets came out, manufacturers introduced Tinkertoys in 1914. These kits of wooden spools and sticks encouraged kids to build. Modern versions are available in both plastic and classic wood construction.

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