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The top 20 toys of all time

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Business Wire/File

(Read caption) The world's largest Etch A Sketch is shown in Boston in this 2006 commercial file photo. Etch a Sketch made the list of the top 20 toys of all time, but it didn't snag the top spot.

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What was your favorite toy from childhood?

If a Nintendo Entertainment System doesn’t count, I’d have to say LEGO or Lincoln Logs. I’d probably still play with them today if I had them around. And that’s just the kind of toy the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was looking for when they chose the 100 most iconic toys of the past century – toys with memories, stories, and intergenerational appeal.

Here’s the Top 20, as chosen by museum visitors and fans. We added a few tidbits ourselves – like when they first became widely available (according to Wikipedia) and how much they cost today. For bonus nostalgia, click the toys’ names to watch their classic TV commercials.

It’s worth noting there’s nothing more recent than 1984 at the top of the list, although new versions of many are still made today. And collector’s editions aside, they’re all pretty affordable today as well…

1. G.I. Joe

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2. Transformers

3. LEGO Toys

4. Barbie

5. View-Master

6. Bicycle

7. Cabbage Patch Kids

8. Crayons

9. Play-Doh


11. Raggedy Ann

12. Spirograph

13. Etch A Sketch

14. Little Golden Books

 15. Hot Wheels

 16. Lincoln Logs

 17. Candy Land

 18. Roller skates

 19. Silly Putty

 20. Mr. Potato Head

Brandon Ballenger is a writer for Money Talks News, a consumer/personal finance TV news feature that airs in about 80 cities and around the Web. This column first appeared in Money Talks News.