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New toys, old favorites make kids’ Christmas lists through decades

A range of toys through the decades: a 1960s-era Barbie doll, a 1980s Atari joystick, and a Lego truck and minifig from 2014.

Photo by David Rauzi
A range of toys through the decades: a 1960s-era Barbie doll, a 1980s Atari joystick, and a Lego truck and minifig from 2014.

Do your grandkids’ Christmas lists contain things you can’t even pronounce? When you read the Letters to Santa section are you dumbfounded over what kids are asking for? What’s a Wubble? A Wii? A Furreal Friend?

Top toys

Top toys 1974: Silly Putty, Barbie, Play Doh, Colorforms, Baby Chrissy, Connect Four, Fisher Price Little People and accessories, Hot Wheels, Shrinky Dinks, Easy Bake Oven, Baby Alive, Barbie Dream house, Legos, fishing pole.

Top toys 1984: Transformers, My Little Pony, GI Joe, He Man Master of the Universe, Care Bears, Barbie and accessories, Cabbage Patch dolls, Trivial Pursuit, GoBots, Star Wars, Legos

Top toys 1994: Barbie and Ken, My Size Barbie, Dear Diary from Tiger, Power Rangers, Magna Doodle, Tonka, Polly Pocket

Top toys 2004: Bratz, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, classic games, Dora the Explorer, Leapfrog, Power Rangers, Robosapiens, Tamagotchi, V-Tech toys.

Top toys 2014: Disney’s Frozen dolls and accessories, Barbie, Legos, Furreal friends, Doc McStuffins, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys, Hot Wheels.

Throughout the past 50 years at the Free Press, local grade school children’s letters have been printed. It’s fun to take a look back and see what we do (or don’t) remember.

Here are a few glimpses of the past:


• Steven Hurd asked for a sling shot and a dart gun.

• Mike Warden wrote, “Gee, I like to get all that stuff and I like Christmas Eve because my grandmother gives me five dollars.”


• Dena Eck asked for a pogo stick

• Danny Rogers, perhaps a little ahead of his time, asked for a computer for the entire family.

• Miranda Newby, Rebecca Knight, Donnie Grainga, Jamie Koole, Christi Gortsema, Shawna Newby and Shelby Blewett all wanted Cabbage Patch dolls.

• Jeremy Wallace asked for a Transformer.

• Tracy Baldwin, Heidi Swearingen and Angie Turner were all wishing for skis.

• Kezia Hoogland, Mary Ella Ditcher, Tanya Olsen and Sarah Hendren all asked for Care Bears.

• Shannan Petersen wrote, “I wish my mom and dad could find a farm they like at a good price and buy it.”

• Rachel Fleming wanted a color television for her parents.

• Johanna Russum and Kim Goldammer each asked for My Little Pony.

• Bridget Lyons was the only child in the 1984 section to ask for a Michael Jackson glove.


• Conner Hall wanted a handheld Gameboy.

• Rusty Arnzen was hoping for Power Rangers.

• Reed Allen and Phillip Schacher each asked for Sega game systems.

• Ashley Clark, perhaps foreshadowing her later-found skills, asked for an Easy Bake Oven (Ashley Clark Pineda bakes, cooks and writes a food blog).


• Leighton, Wes and Justin DeFord each asked for a Gameboy.

• Dustin Murphy, Billy Bob and Brayden Shaw all wanted remote control cars.

• Kara Reilly and Jacey Arnzen each asked for Bratz dolls.

• Quaid B. wanted Pokemon cards.

• Danny Paluh and Hahots each asked for pellet guns.

• Phillip Walters and Matthew Hewson wanted an X-Box.

• Jesse asked a for a “Sell phone, but I don’t want to pay the bill!”

• Katie McKinney and Kody Hawker asked for Video Nows.

• Jasper Sabatino wrote, “I want a pellet rifle because it is only thirty eight bucks.”

And what are kids asking for in 2014? You’ll have to read the Letters to Santa section for that one!


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