Items from our childhood can feel like tiny time portals that take us back to happy memories and simpler eras when big decisions were limited to which of the two cartoons currently on TV were worth watching at the moment. Retro gifts, from toys to video games and clothes, can help us relive the magic of yesterday while also introducing these pop culture classics to a new generation. Does your little cousin know about the movie masterpiece that is Bloodsport? It’s time for some education.
We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite retro gift items that have been on our must-have list for decades. Great to give and receive (yes, you can definitely gift yourself any of these throwback pieces), retro toys and tech are always making a comeback, with no shortage of affinity for decades past. Some even have helpful updates that celebrate the nostalgia of our glory days while adding the convenience of today (Bluetooth everything, please).
Whether you’re looking for a retro gift for the person who seems to have everything or want to treat yourself, because you definitely deserve it, these retro gifts are sure to please kids and kids at heart.
1. LEGO Adidas Originals Superstar Building Kit
Pay homage to the shoes that haven’t gone out of style since the 1980s with the new LEGO set that lets you build your own pair of shell toes. This retro gift even comes with an Adidas shoebox for the ultimate sneaker display, but you’ll have to provide your own cardboard floor if you want to show off some breakdancing skills.
2. Polaroid Originals OneStep+
Sure, you can take pictures on your phone, but if you’re like us and miss the feel of a real camera, the Polaroid Originals OneStep+ is a great option. You still get the thrill of a physical picture being printed instantly, but now the classically designed camera also features a Bluetooth-connected app. Groovy, man.
3. Tamagotchi Original
Relive the stress of counting down the minutes until recess when you could finally race outside and check on the status of your Tamagotchi baby with an ode to the original pocket-sized child. This retro gift from the 1990s is back with the original programming. Unfortunately, recess is still out for adults.
4. Cabbage Patch Kids 14″ Skateboard Boy
Cabbage Patch Kids are still very much in demand and still coming out with more adorable babies to care for and collect. The new series has some updated tweaks (yup, that’s a Mohawk on the skater boy) while including original features, like official birth certificates and adoption papers. And yes, the baby powder scent is still there and it’s just as comforting as it was in the 1980s.
5. Care Bears 14″ Plush – Togetherness Bear
Much like Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears are still very much in fashion and delivering their stares to the hearts of children everywhere. The bears have undergone a slight makeover and the Togetherness Bear has a unique design, with no two bears alike. Well, that’s pretty cute.
6. The Blockbuster Party Game
That’s right, Blockbuster is now retro. While we won’t get to relive the excitement of walking into a Blockbuster video on Friday or Saturday night and spending way too long arguing with friends over which video to rent or praying that you made it in time to snag one of the new releases, but you can relive some of the glory of years gone by with the Blockbuster Party Game. Just remember to be kind and rewind.
7. Goosebumps 25th Anniversary Retro Set
A great retro gift for Goosebumps collectors or young readers who have yet to experience the truly terrifying effects of the written word, the 25th-anniversary set comes with five best sellers by R.L. Stine in a lunchbox-style case. Reader beware, you’re in for a (retro but still terrifying) scare.
8. Frigidaire 6-Can Mini Retro Beverage Fridge
For a retro item that will quickly become an everyday object you use, we like the Frigidaire 6-Can Mini Retro Beverage Fridge. Frigidaire offers several retro-style mini-fridges in a variety of colors and they’re the perfect size for keeping in your office, bedroom, or anywhere you need some room for your non-expired drinks (not everything should be retro).
9. Bloodsport Tribute Long Sleeve Tee
Honor your shidoshi with the Bloodsport Tribute Long Sleeve Tee. You may not be able to do the splits across two chairs or fight with chalk dust in your eyes, but you’ll at least look like you could represent the Tanaka clan.
10. Nintendo NES Classic Edition Entertainment System
Video games have come a long way since the 1980s, but there’s something about the original Nintendo NES that can’t be duplicated. The original 8-bit gaming system is back and comes with 30 classic games, including Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. Clear your schedule, it’s time to find some cheat codes.
11. Stoneware TV Dinner Trays
Feel like a Hungry Man (or Woman) with a throwback Stoneware TV Dinner Tray that will bring you back to a time when you had to rush to the kitchen for seconds during commercial breaks. See, commercial breaks are these things that we used to have to deal with ….
12. Create Your Own Reel Viewer
Reel Viewers were a staple of bedrooms in the 1980s and 1990s and now they can be enjoyed with a personal touch. This retro gift can be customized with your own photos in the reels. That sound is your 8-year-old mind being blown.
13. Koss X Retrospekt P/21 Retro Orange Foam On-Ear Headphones
Enjoy music the way it was meant to be heard. At least, the way it was meant to be heard many, many years ago. The Koss X Retrospekt P/21 Retro Orange Foam On-Ear Headphones may not have the sleekness or noise-canceling features of today’s headphones, but they still look super cool.
14. The Jimi Hendrix Cover Tee
Back in 1987, Rolling Stone commemorated their 20th anniversary with a cover that featured the late, great Jimi Hendrix. Now you can commemorate their commemoration (stay with us) with a t-shirt featuring the iconic image of Hendrix lighting his Fender on fire in 1967.
Editor’s Note: Rolling Stone is a sister site to SPY, as both are owned by the same parent company, Penske Media Corporation.
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