Remember the ‘Classic Toys’ of your childhood – vote for your favourite

This August Royal Mail will be releasing a brand new set of stamps which will undoubtedly prove popular with collectors young and old.

The stamp issue celebrates ten of the UK’s most iconic and beloved ‘Classic Toys’ from the last 100 years – from Meccano to Action Man.

classic toys first day cover

And although this brand new issue will undoubtedly evoke strong feelings of nostalgia across generations, given the variety it certainly begs the question, which was your favourite?

Take a look at the stamps above and VOTE for your favourite on the poll at the bottom of the page

Here’s a little bit more about each of the stamps: 

1)1st Class: Merrythought Bear

Merrythought is a toy manufacturing company established in 1930. Its most famous individual bear was arguably ‘Mr Whoppit’ which was based on the “Woppit” character from the Robin comic in 1956.

2) 1st Class: Sindy Doll (first appearance 1963)

Sindy was the best-selling toy in the UK in both 1968 and 1970. With her wholesome looks proving a big hit. Originally designed by Dennis Arkinstall for Pedigree Toys and Dolls, she was modelled on an adolescent girl, and new outfits were issued every six months.

3) 1st Class: Spirograph (first appearance 1965)

Spirograph employs complicated mathematical formulae to create hypotrochoids and epitrochoids, using ‘rotor’ and ‘stator’ pieces. This sounds much too complicated for a toy aimed at children, but the mathematics works unseen in the background – all a child has to do is stick a coloured pen through a hole in one of the Spirograph tools on a piece of paper, twirl it around a few times and watch a pattern emerge.  Awarded ‘Toy of the Year’ by the British Association of Toy Retailers in 1967.

4) 1st Class: Stickle Bricks

Stickle Bricks are primarily intended for toddlers and were invented in 1969. An individual stickle brick is a colourful plastic shape which is a few centimetres long and which has a “brush” of small plastic “fingers” on one or more edges. The fingers of adjacent stickle bricks can interlock, allowing them to be joined in various ways.

5) 1st Class: W. Britain Toy Figures

The William Britain company originally produced lead soldiers but subsequently switched to plastic, acquiring a manufacturer of plastic soldiers, Herald, in 1959. The soldiers proved particularly popular in the 1970s, the key selling point being that they came ready-painted. US Cavalry, Greek warriors and cowboys and Indians were among the most popular characters.

6) 1st Class: Space Hopper

Although the origins of this concept are Italian, it was initially intended as an exercise device rather than as a toy and featured a wooden handle. The version we know and love was a British creation, from Mettoy who added the ribbed, antennae-like handles and the iconic kangaroo face, in 1969. The ‘Space Hopper’ name captured the imagination of children.

7) 1st Class: Fuzzy-Felt

Fuzzy-Felt was created in 1950 by Lois Allan and comprises a flocked backing board onto which a number of felt shapes – silhouettes or more detailed printed versions, it can be placed to create different pictures.

8) 1st Class: Meccano

Invented by Frank Hornby, this was originally marketed as ‘Mechanics Made Easy’ (1901), but the name was switched to the more familiar Meccano in 1907. Meccano retains the basic elements including the spacing on the perforations and the 5/32inch Whitworth thread on the screws, meaning that new Meccano sets can still incorporate old pieces. Meccano is one of the crown jewels of the British toy industry, although now French-owned, Meccano remains amongst the most collectable of British toy manufacturers.

9) 1st Class: Action Man

American toy firm Hasbro invented the concept of a doll that boys could play with – 1964’s GI Joe, with features based on decorated war veterans. The first dolls for the UK market appeared in 1966, initially named Action Soldier. Among the most popular are footballer kits and the Red Devil parachutist, Action Man was awarded ‘Toy of the Year’ by the British Association of Toy Retailers in 1966. A 2004 poll of the public to find Britain’s Favourite Toy placed Action Man at number 2.

10) 1st Class: Hornby Dublo

Frank Hornby first introduced the scale model train sets in 1920. Originally, sets were built on the ‘O-gauge’ scale (about twice the size of the current Hornby sets). Hornby’s genius was to switch to the OO-gauge (known as ‘Horny Dublo’) from 1938, which allowed for complex layouts to be built on a smaller budget and in a smaller space, taking into account the modest size of the average British living room. Hornby trains are able to appeal to many different character types across multiple generations.

Which was your favourite? VOTE NOW in our poll below: 


If you’re interested…

Pre-order your ‘Classic Toys’ First Day Cover todayclassic toys first day cover

The ‘Classic Toys’ stamps are sure to be of interest to anyone who fondly remembers the iconic British toys explored in the Royal Mail issue.

You can reserve all of the new ‘Classic Toys’ stamps now on a limited edition First Day Cover.

Click here for details >>

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12 Responses to Remember the ‘Classic Toys’ of your childhood – vote for your favourite

  1. Tony Hill says:

    I picked Meccano as it was my inspiration for my long career in engineering. I rembrr the catch phase inside every instruction manual – The final thrill, it works!!! Thanks for your great invention Frank.
    PS It only just beat Hornby Dublo as this was (and still is) my hobby 70 years on!

  2. Mrs Deborah Raikes says:

    I picked spirograph because I played hours with it as a young girl even though it was original bought for my brother it got past around all my brothers and sisters so was a wonderful all round toy Thanks for bringing out such wonderful stamps and letting us remember such wonderful toys

  3. heather says:

    Where is the Lego? Surely Leno was everyone’should favourite?

  4. V says:

    Voted for Spirograph as it’s the only one on this list that I had growing up. Where are the iconic toys for those of us born in the 80s

  5. Barbara smith says:

    I didn’t have many toys I like the bear even though I didn’t have one.

  6. William Beaney says:

    i am a member already and would like toy stamps set sent to me

  7. S C says:

    It had to be fuzzy felt, many many happy hours!!

  8. Mrs G. Retallick says:

    My father and I liked playing with the train set on the dining room floor when he returned from work, 1952/57.

  9. Shiraz Bhanji says:

    I picked Hornby Royal Mail as I still have the train set.

  10. Carroll Savage says:

    It’s very hard to choose from all the great toy stamps! ! I picked action man because it was one of my first toys. Thanks for being these stamp’s out great memories

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