The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s a great time to dive into the history of iconic gifts and for Americans to prepare for it. For savvy shoppers, that means starting shopping early and keeping an eye out for the best deals. For retailers, that means aligning physical and virtual shelves with the hottest toys and latest gadgets.
The buying of toys has transformed over the past 100 years, whether because of advances in the products themselves or the market. Use of the national toy archives and data held by The strong, from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that captured the public’s attention through novelty, innovation, kitsch, eccentricity, or just good timing, and then found success. Some remain curious relics of the past while others are essentially as iconic today as they were when they first started. Each also functions as a window into American culture.
So how do you choose the perfect toy for your family and friends today? If you’re looking to avoid tech, you can always go for one of those historic classics that never go out of style, like yo-yos, Tonka trucks, or teddy bears. If you want to impress with the latest innovations of the last decade, however, you can opt for robot puppies, game consoles or children’s tablets.
For more inspiration, shoppers can turn to Amazon – perhaps the foremost modern authority on consumer trends – for a clue to this year’s hottest toys with the site. Top 100 toys for this season. The curated collection includes LEGO Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon and the Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit.
Here are the best holiday toys for the year you were born, 1920 until today. May they fill your heart – and your stockings! – of joy.
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