I’m a Big Kid Now: 10 Toys Every Woman Should Have Had as a Girl

February 16, 2012  |  
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As a kid, everyone had their favorite toys: whether it be a doll, a cool tea party set, a teddy bear–you name it, we claimed it, and when we got old enough to act like we didn’t care for toys anymore, we were still sad when mom decided to give our favorite toy to someone who needed it more. Yeah, childhood was great and simple, and our toys made it that much better. After seeing that there is a toy fair going on in NYC currently, it inspired me to create this ode to the dopest toys from our childhood. Time to walk down memory lane ladies!

Source: Ourstory.com


Easy-Bake Oven

Born and bred in the 1960s, the Easy-Bake Oven was most young girls’ first real foray into cooking. While the boxed oven of goodness came with cake mix, if you were like me, once those sweet concoctions ran out, you were working with anything you had in the house. I can’t tell you how many Frosted Flakes and grape jelly cakes I was cooking for folks in my house (they weren’t too excited to eat them though…). Definitely a defining toy in many homes for the little gals and the hungry big brothers.

Source: ioffer.com

A Dope A** Barbie Car

It wasn’t enough to just have a Barbie with a few interchangeable outfits. No, if your Barbie was going to be the ish during play dates, she was going to have be seen with the flyest means of transportation. Barbie can’t foot it in heels forever! Whether it was a Mustang, a Jeep, a Volkswagen Beetle or an old school convertible, the iconic chick with the unrealistic body proportions needed to ride in style–all pink everything. I’m sure if your people had money, you were probably lucky enough to get the “My Size” version…

Source: androidmassacre.com

Speak & Spell

A toy has to be all that when it can be both fun AND educational at the same time. The Speak & Spell toy helped little gals everywhere learn how to spell and how to do basic math. It was one of the earliest handheld devices to have a visual display (aside from your brother’s Game Boy), and cartridges were available and gave you the chance to learn and do all kinds of things. Who else was struggling with those mystery visual memory games?

Source: dolldiaries.com

Tea Party Set

You could definitely use your mother’s good china as a kid, but if you were lucky enough to get a small tea party set, then you know it was everything; perfect for sharing fake cake, fake Earl Grey, and to do so with your fake homies: Sheila and Tommy. I’m sure as you got older, you really started putting liquid in those cups and food on those dishes, but that just took the fun out of it–real stuff isn’t fun!

Source: thetoysstores.com

Fisher Price Recorder

Who else was trying to record their first mixtape with this joint? the Fisher Price Recorder has changed up its look many a time and had various different names, but the point is the same: to sing to your little heart’s content! Or to just record some random jibber jabber just because you can. Jam sessions were never the same after this little colorful creation came on the scene.

Source: dimensionguide.com


If a girl ever needed a small reminder as to why being a young mother is a horrible idea, it came in the form of this uber-popular handheld digital pet from the ’90s. Shaped in an egg-like plastic form, it was like getting one of those babies from your high school family and human development class but ten times more intense. You literally had to play with them, feed them, clean up after them, provide them with medicine AND attention! Oh yeah, just like a real child. Despite their difficulty, these little toys blew up and were attached to every chick’s huge keychain in junior high.

Source: izismile.com


One of the oldest toys on this list, the Etch-a-Sketch never actually got old, and it was crazy, because who knew you could have so much fun making lineographic images!? And with a small screen and two knobs (and no color), you really don’t have the absolute most to work with to make a Picasso-esque image. However, there is something really dope and poetic about the creations you can make–and how easily those creations can disappear…

Source: intelligence-and-fun.buzzsugar.com

Cabbage Patch Kid

Uh, can you say “greatest doll ever”!? Seriously, these dolls had simple yarn hair (early on), a cloth body, and random names like Otis Lee and Lavendar McDade, but they were still cooler than a block of ice. To be honest with you, these dolls weren’t all that cute either, however, they gave out the nicest hugs (probably because their arms were stretched out wide all the time). Really, who didn’t love these babies?

Source: alibaba.com

Care Bears

More than your average bear (move over Teddy Ruxpin!), the Care Bears were colorful bundles of joy with a lot of character and cool belly tattoos! Birthed from greeting cards, these cuddly things were so beloved that they had to be made into plush form. The plush dolls in an array of shades represented love, friendship, cheerfulness and even grumpiness for some reason…? If you didn’t have one of these way back when, you were probably a square. Kidding!

Source: furnitureminiature.com

A Fly Dollhouse

I don’t care if it was made out of plastic, wood, metal–whatever. A prime staple in a young girl’s childhood has to be a dollhouse. It doesn’t need fancy lights and windows that open and close (that would be nice though!), it just needs enough space to have a tea party between your smallest dolls. And possibly a long enough banister for sliding down Mary Poppin’s style…for the dolls of course.

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  • Ifuaskme2

    A rope long enough for double dutch and a beach. And I came from Upper Middle Class. What is this rubbish. Barbie???? Oven??? Thank GOD my parents encouraged non sexist activities

  • Julianne2saw

    I never had a baby doll i played with.  Was a tom boy and rowdy girl but graduated from High school at 15 in long island city  ny.    Never wanted kids at all until the last sec at age 28 then because my older sister oppted out  (she is very ,  very high strung so that was a good choice actually)  but i wanted to be the fun aunt who traveled and modelled string bikinis and spoiled a bunch of neices and nephews and then left  (I may possibly be mature enough to own a dog,  not really sure about that).   But,  noooooooo,    I did have two very wonderful sons tho and did my best but pie baker i am not.   And I am so glad they are all grown up!!!!   and they didnt turn out to be charlie sheens either .

  • Julianne2saw

    I am a tom boy and all i ever wanted was a horse and bow and arrow.  Didnt get all that until much later but did have a revlon DOLL that we put on top of the tv set and looked at now and then.   Still not much into cooking or cleaning myself,   and my mommy told me that (she was an immigrant and a mail),  that if i did well in school i could have a maid instead of being one,   times have changed tho, havent they.???

    • Julianne2saw

      Mom was a maid,  housekeeper and great cook and ran the senior center kitchen when old,  she was not a mail  but a maid.  

  • Freebee33

    I had a Cabbage Patch kid doll that looked just like the one pictured (red head)…yea it knocked out my semi-loose front tooth when I was 5 with it’s hard a** head lol.

  • tastythoughts

    the only thing i didnt have was the speak and spell…but man this WHOLE list brought memories….my lil sis and i used to kill that easy bake oven lol

  • tastythoughts

    OMG a giga pet…i LOVED that thing

  • LaLaLaMeansILoveYou

    Where the heck is My Lil’ Pony, Rainbow Brite, & Strawberry Shortcake? And the doll with just the shoulders and head so you could do her hair (color, cut, braid…and totally ruin in the process), and Lite Brite? Candyland? lol

  • Candijay041686

    I was really blessed because I’ve had every toy on this list wow and even more I even had a baby alive and a nano baby and the talking nano lol awww I can’t wait to spoil my future kids like my parents did me and my sister

  • Sue

    Tamagotchi was my ish!!! I had that version and my best friend had the real deal…The Giga Pet. We used to take care of each others pets and I was just in LOVE with those things!!!!!!

  • Seriously though. We need a Tamagotchi, and Giga Pet app on the Android Market ASAP!

  • Janice

    Wow this is so generation specific. These are toys I got for my older daughters. My list of toys includes: jacks, chains and bobby pins for hopscotch, roller skates with the key, Schwinn bikes, ceramic tea sets, Chatty Cathy and Betsy Wetsy dolls, E tickets for Disneyland, portable record players with a 45 disc, transiter radios, Nancy Drew Books.  Of course these are the days I got my Negro History lessons from the calendars given away by the barber and beauty salons in the neighborhood and we read Jet magazine to be sure we didn’t miss any Negro performers on TV.

  • Gina

    So I am doing a project in my social cultural class about the youth gender and toys. I am so glad I read this article because this has a lot to do with what we are talking about in class. The STEM initiative is a government program that strive to get children more involved with science, technology, engineering, and math programs. In our society it is very noticeable that the men out-number the women in these field (I know because I am one of the few women in a STEM considered major). As a kid, I grew up with some of those toys but I was more of a legos, bionical and puzzles girl. I still am to this day.   Is it sad in this list that there is not one toy that increases the knowledge of science, technology, engineering or math. This list have toys that teaches girls how to be girl/housewives/mom (so to speak). Any thoughts?

    • Janice

      Thus the need for STEM initiatives especially for girls. It will be interesting to see how this generation raised on video games will fall out

    • Julianne2saw

      I did have a castle lego set and sets of small lincoln logs and built houses and had a farm set  (raised in queens ny)  too.    I was never very interested in being a wife or housewife,  seemed too boring for me and not a good deal,  I did marry and try it and wasnt very good at it but did have two cool sons.   Sissy girls get on my nerves and i think it should be like with wolves,  only the rowdy leader types should have the privelege of having puppies, uh ,  kids.  

      They used to say that bully bosies made bully bulls and it is the same with folks.  My mom was tough but had to basically raise two of her sisters kids a lot because they were wimps.  My dad was a pilot in burma in ww 2 but my mom was tough when it came to the real world but she was the best, best,  best.      In some ways,  i take more after the neighbors mom who was Lola Weixel,  one of the famous Rosie the RIveters back in the day.     That movie ,  the Life and times of Rosie the Riveter should still be shown everywhere often!!!

  • YouToldHarpo2BeatMe

    Pj sparkles and Keyna were the best black dolls ever and Keyna came with just for me pink hair lotion 🙂

  • RedButterfly81

    WOW, the Fisher Price Recorder and the Speak and Spell brought back so many memories!

    I also had:

    Etch A Sketch
    Easy Bake Oven
    Baby Alive
    Kid Sister
    Cabbage Patch Kid
    Teddy Ruxbin
    Care Bear Dolls (still have those)
    Jem dolls
    Rainbow Brite doll
    Domino Rally
    Sorry and Monopoly  
    Sega Genesis
    Tinkerbell cosmetics

    I never was into Barbie and a tea party set and man do I miss the 80s and 90s!

    • tastythoughts

      girl yes

    • Sugar_Spice

      Girl I love my Kid Sister & Jem dolls. Don’t forget about She-Ra, i’m such an 80’s baby

  • vlove

    Awww this list made a big koolaid smile on my face.. I had the best child hood ever.. Some of these items took me back to memory lane..lol