Toys come and go, and each year there is a new crop of popular toys that are marketed at children as the next big thing. However, most toys are quickly forgotten and relegated to the household attic or a garage sale. But there have been a few toys that have defied the odds and managed to appeal to generations of children and endure despite the latest trends and fashions. And what is interesting is how simple many of the most popular toys of all time are. In fact, many of the most memorable toys are known as novelties—toys that were meant as a gimmick but managed to grab hold of the popular imagination and make an indelible impression. Here are 10 of the best such novelty toys of all time.
10. Army Men
Introduced in 1938 by the Bergen Toy and Novelty Co., Army Men have always been inexpensive and immovable plastic soldiers in set poses. The two inch figures have always been produced in U.S. Army green and have continued to capture children’s imaginations over the decades. Sold in large plastic bags, demand for the little green men has always been high and surged in 1995 after Army men were featured prominently in the movie Toy Story. Over the years, enemy Army men have also been produced, including German troops molded in grey and Japanese soldiers made in yellow plastic. Collectors remain especially fond of the World War II era Army men that have pod feet attached to keep them standing during battle.