Back in the 70s, you could get all kinds of great toys at hardware stores

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (2)

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While it was no Toys R Us, some hardware stores back in the day — like the old True Value stores, as shown here — used to stock tons of great toys and Christmas gifts for kids!

In the 70s, you could find all kinds of fun stuff in those aisles, like dolls and trucks, bikes and ride-on horses, car sets and craft kits. Take a look!

True Value Hardware Stores: Santa’s Preview – Christmas gifts for kids

Toys at hardware stores: Sports & tabletop games

Tudor Play NFL Football, Ideal Big Action Games, Milton-Bradley New Pivot Pool, Aurora Skittle Pool

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (7)


Vintage 70s girl and baby dolls

Horsman Tammy Tears doll, Uneeda Jennifer doll, Ideas 2 lovable tots, Ideal Harmony Stars

ALSO SEE: Tiny Tears, the doll that cried ‘real’ tears, delighted little girls back in the ’50s

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (3)


Trucks and boys toys

Tonka Super Thrust Set, ERTL Ford Farm Set, Vertiberd Copter, Cool Cast Creatures

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (1)


‘Play house’ toys found at hardware stores

Talk to “Hi Dottie,” Brumberger Co Doll’s house, GE Deluxe Shoen ‘n Tell, ATF Toys Deacon’s Bench toy chest

MORE: These vintage Fisher-Price dollhouses offered hours of playtime fun

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (4)


Activity toys

Westpoint 26″ lightweights 3-speed bicycles, Frederick-Willys Pool Table, Wonder Horse Mustang

SEE MORE: Wonder horses! See vintage ride-on spring horse toys from the 50s to the 80s

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (5)


Do-it-yourself & crafty, creative toys

Ideal Cake Maker Set, Gilbert Potterycraft, Big Jim Camper Set, Sculpt-Sure Craft

REMEMBER THESE? Easy-Bake Ovens: See the vintage kitchen toys that let kids bake their own mini cakes

Christmas toys from the hardware store back in the 70s (6)


Cars, trucks, and racing toys

Tyco H.O. Santa Fe, Aurora Rally 500, Skeeters, Big RRRumblers 

Hardware store Christmas presents from 1972 - Boys Life (4)


Cool retro bicycles for kids

Irwin Chopper bike and Westpoint 20-inch bicycles

DON’T MISS: See 50 vintage banana seat bikes for kids from the 60s & 70s

Hardware store Christmas presents from 1972 - Boys Life (2)


Sports games: Football & hockey play

ATF NFL Greats and Murno Hockey game

Retro 70s toys at hardware stores


Boys’ car and truck toys

Hubley Hub Country, Hasbro Stick Shifter, Kenner’s SSP Derby, Matchbox Speed set

Hardware store Christmas presents from 1972 - Boys Life (3)

MORE: 100 vintage Christmas scenes so sweet and old-fashioned, you’ll wish you had a time machine

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. Hi there,

    I feel in love with a “Pirate Monkey” adjustable folding desk. Corkboard under the desktop logo or character. Steel(?)green legs. Made in China. I can’t find one like it online. Doesn’t look Disney to me. The legs are the same color as vintage Raggedy Ann/Andy desks. Top shows wear, but I still like him.

    Thanks so much,

    Heidi DeYoung

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