You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Top 10 toys from 1950s and 60s Britain

Posted on 3 September 2015

The toys that inspired a generation

The toys of our childhood were certainly simpler than today. No computer games, no internet, in fact we rarely needed batteries let alone a wireless connection! The ultimate high tech toy was probably Scalextric and you were very lucky to have one of those.

We still loved simple games from the past like Jacks, but toys influenced by TV and film characters were the new thing - from Sooty puppets to James Bond’s Aston Martin and the ultimate… Thunderbird 2. It was F.A.B.!

Times were changing but play time still tended to be dolls and home making for the girls; cap guns and Airfix models for the boys. It was the likes of the Etch-a-sketch and Spirograph we all loved.

Here we’ve cherry picked 10 of our favourite toys from the 1950s and 1960s. Bet you had at least one of them and we bet you wish you’d kept the box!

1. Dinky toys

Few things were more exciting than a bright yellow box containing the latest model. Wall to wall Dinky, Matchbox and Corgi in the toyshop just waiting for our pocket money.

2. Spirograph

The most amazing invention ever. Countless hours spent creating incredible, magical patterns and shapes with a few coloured pens and some plastic discs.

3. Etch-a-sketch

The laptop of its day! The instructions were simple: Turn the knobs to draw. To erase, turn it upside down and shake. I never quite mastered curves though…

4. View Master

Another bright red classic and a must on the Christmas list. Cartoons, Batman and Doctor Who in glorious Stereoscopic vision.

5. Sindy

‘The doll you love to dress’. Our own, far more wholesome, truly British alternative to Barbie and we loved her. Remember her Beatles era boyfriend, Paul?

6. Action Man

Dolls have never come more macho than this. He even had gripping hands. Deep sea diver, soldier, cricketer, martial arts expert. Was there anything he couldn’t do?

7. Scalextric

Days spent mastering the fine art of keeping those little cars on the track. Hours spent mesmerized by cars going round and round and round the racing track. Heaven.

8. Play doh

“Don’t play with that in the front room. You’ll ruin the carpet!”. Oops! Too late.

9. Dolls house

Usually made by Dad, with scraps of carpet on the floors and tiny curtains in the windows. Miniature versions of the home girls dreamt of living in with Prince Charming.

10. Space Hopper

We grabbed it by the ears (or where they horns?) and bounced our way into the 70s!

Has our pick of toys from simpler times put a smile on your face? Before you rush up to the attic in search of your original Mr Potato Head or Hornby train set, why not take a moment to share your play time memories with us?

Or go even further back and read about how life has changed in the past 100 years.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, home insurance.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.