I was a 70s kid: records, wooden blocks, Lego, free toys from gas stations, Big Wheel, etc. Fun was a cement slide and metal climbing structure or just running around the neighborhood.
Here is an interesting article from a blog which found us (we do not officially endorse the site but you are welcome to view it):
Classic stuff! What do you buy for your kids today? What were your favorite toys or things to do when you were younger?
I find myself attracted to "retro" items for memory's sake (I remember that!). Items from the 80s are not to my liking, after all I was in middle and high school and too old for things such as Cabbage Patch Dolls. My first son was born in the 90s and he was all about dinosaurs - surely, I thought, my son will grow up to be a paleontologist! He just graduated from high school and play electric bass, but I bet I could still get him to identify obscure dinosaurs.
Best sellers at our store are often in simple form: puzzles, cars, dolls, wooden toys, Lego/Duplo, Fisher Price Little People, bicycles. Thomas brand is a hit and thankfully many knock-offs (and resale stores) help with the cost of these sought after items. Rocking horses still rock. Lego is still liked. Bikes are the best.
When buying something for your child try not to be a deer in the headlights seeing NEW and IMPROVED. Think back to basics and buy classic.
P.S. We were recently visited by undercover CPSC agent and we had a 100% pass on items on the floor (nothing recalled), plus I identified safety sites and procedures in a manner that, dare I say, impressed the inspector. I love what I do! - Stephanie