Every few years, a toy is released that takes the country by storm. They’re everywhere; billboards, TV adverts, merchandise. You can’t get away from them. You know the ones we’re talking about: Pokemon, Rubik’s Cube…even the original Mr Potato Head (which by the way, was an actual potato).
And like it or not, toys can make or break Christmas. Get the right one in your stocking and you may as well put the rest of the day’s activities on hold.
But what about those Christmases where you didn’t get the toy you’d been waiting for?
Because sometimes toys sell out. And no matter how much you begged your parents, you weren’t getting your hands on one.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at 5 toys that were so popular, they nearly broke Christmas:
Pet Rock-1975
If you’re of the ‘Pet Rock’ generation, this probably made sense to you. For everyone else…we still don’t get it. The Pet Rock was, as the name suggests, a rock that you kept as a pet.
These were incredibly popular in the mid-70s, selling over 100,000 in 1975.
In fact, they’re still sold today. For about £12 online. And there’s a range of spins offs, including Pet Rock USB sticks. Astounding, isn’t it. We suppose its proof that we really didn’t want for much back then…
Atari 2600-1979

If you play the PlayStation, Xbox, Switch or any other form of games console, you have the Atari to thank. The Atari was in a league of its own, releasing titles such as Pong and becoming one of the first mass-market electronic gaming systems.
1,000,000 systems sold in 1979 alone, the Atari became THE must have toy. It was, by quite a distance, the best-selling toy of the year and one of the best-selling for the whole decade.
Game Boy-1991

Popular at the time because it had a super long battery life and came with Tetris(!) automatically programmed in, the Game Boy has made crazes by itself. Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros all owe their popularity in part, to this hand-held games-console.
It sold over 1,000,000 copies in 1991 alone.

Tickle Me Elmo-1996
You tickled Elmo, it laughed. You cuddled Elmo, it laughed. You put Elmo down so you could finally get your child to sleep, it laughed.
The bane of many a parent’s life, Tickle Me Elmo’s were in such scare supply in the Christmas of 1996 that they were being sold for upwards of £2,000. The creators, Tyco, caused a lot of the problems. They didn’t have much faith in the toy and only released it in small batches.
The best way we can think to describe a Furby would be to think of a hamster crossed with an Ewok from Star Wars. If you’ve never seen Star Wars, maybe go for a gerbil crossed with a Gremlin. And if you haven’t seen Gremlins…we can’t help you.
Furby’s were popular. But the dawn of the internet (insert dur, dur, duuuuur sound effect) amplified the Christmas craziness. When supply reduced and demand increased, people turned to the World Wide Web for the first time. And there were reports of these furry friends being sold for more than £3000.

Can you think of any more toys that you couldn’t get hold of no matter how hard you tried? Let us know in the comments.