23 Technic Toys You Wanted For Christmas But Never Got

We've all had those moments when we tear open the wrapping paper and discover that Santa didn't quite deliver the electronic witchcraft we'd be nagging at our parents.

Whether we grew up in the 70s, 80s, 90s or noughties there were wonderful, gadgety toys advertised in the months leading up to Christmas that just eluded us at the last moment. It could be because it was sold before your mom or dad got to the store. Or it might be too expensive.

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Whatever the reason, you looked on jealously as the popular kid at school loudly bragged about what you wanted. We know we feel your pain.

Therefore, in the virtual group of the session I shared painful memories, here is a whole bunch of tech toys from 40 to 50 years old that just slipped my hand on Christmas morning.

The best news is that, as adults, you can hunt them down, buy them used or even new in some cases, and covet them first, as is the case with resurrected gadgets like the classic Playstation or the classic Nintendo SNES Mini.


The Big Truck (or Big Truck in the US) was a programmable car that basically taught kids how to program many years before it became popular. Originally released in 1979 but most popular in the early 80s, it had a keypad on the back where you assigned different actions: go ahead, turn left, and the like.

A cargo trailer accessory has also been released that slips on the back and delivered things like a cup of tea with your father. Mind you, considering how long it took to develop a complete program of motion, no tea would ever get to his hot destination.

A slightly redesigned model came out a few years ago but didn't get much traction.

Electronic Battleship

We got an electronic Battleship for Christmas in the 80s, but our nylon carpet was made static enough to blow up on the second day of Christmas. When our parents took it back, everything was sold out and we had to skateboard instead. Disappointed is not the word.

The game, which mostly adds squeaks and howls to the traditional pen and paper or plastic and footboard versions, was most notable for its cheesy TV commercial: "You sank my battleship." And literally blew it up.

Nintendo Games

We ended up getting Nintendo games, but not for Christmas. It was the bees knees and changed the gaming market forever. Before the game started boy, handhelds were effectively one game affairs, but ammo replacements were literally a game changer. Choosing Tetris to come free with the machine was a masterful Nintendo. We still have music built into our brains. Decades later, Nintendo is at it again, this time with the Nintendo Switch, but unfortunately Tetris is not included.

lego monorail

We could have included so many different Lego sets, including an assortment of Mindstorms tech kits, but this monorail block as part of the Outer Range in the late 80s is our biggest regret.

It's selling like hotcakes, if only because it came with a few minifigs, flashing lights, sounds, and drove around the track on its own. Now it has become a desirable collectible in a boxed form, which makes our miss all the more painful.

Stylophone pocket organ

The Stylophone pocket organ was very popular in the 70s and 80s for almost no reason as it sounds like an electronic cat being choked. It consisted of a metal keyboard and a stylus. When running the stylus on the keys, the contact between them made a yapping, annoying, almost offensive noise.

Sphero BB-8

The latest entry in this given that it was a hit this past Christmas, the Star Wars BB-8 version of the app-controlled sphero was incredibly popular. And as it was £130 a lot of kids were really very lucky.

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New features have even been added to it at a later date, with some great augmented reality modes and a run by group that can control a small one, so we're guessing it's still being played with often.

Storms Tracy Island Township

The original Storm Tracy Island Playset is selling out so fast that Blue Peter decided to show his parents how to build their own from the recycled trash lying around the house. However, even that was overloaded with requests for instructions on how to do so.

A new version of Tracy Island was released in 2000, but it doesn't have the same air of majesty as the 90s predecessor.

Atari 2600

Atari pretty much started the console market all into video games in 1977 with the Atari 2600, or VCS for whatever it was. It was priced at $199, so about $830 in today's money if inflation is factored in. Let's put it this way, if you got one of those gifts for Christmas you were really a very lucky kid.

The games were the equivalent of about $75 apiece, which was also a massive outlay, but that didn't stop companies like Activision from forming to meet demand. The rubber joystick will also not be bypassed, we feel.

star wars x-wing fighter drone

A new entry on our list just because we think they'll sell like hot cakes, the Star Wars series drone fits the bill of a must-have gift that's unlikely to be under the kids trees come December 25th.

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For only $199 to start and the manufacturer's advance crafted something highly desirable indeed, especially the Starfighter's X-wing model. It even looks good if they don’t fly on its plinth.

Nintendo Game & Watch

Long before the game, the boy was a twinkle in the eyes of Mr. Nintendo, the Japanese gaming giant tested the portable water with his game and watch series.

Each device only provided one game with controls and LCD graphics, but they did prove to be very popular. Clamshell, two screens, featuring characters like Donkey Kong, which could even be seen as a forerunner to DC.


Furby toys are still around and selling well, but in 1998 the original was a massive sensation. This is a learned behavior and says Furblish, which would essentially mean chatting in the middle of the night and waking everyone up.

It's one of those toys that appealed to boys and girls alike, and the original models - with big round eyes rather than digital displays - are still sought after by collectors.


six million dollar man figurines

A non-technically advanced toy, the six million dollar figure Man fits into this list somewhat thanks to the fact that he has the schematic in his hands and the transparent, telescopic eye can be used to look at ants and stuff.

Based on the 1970s TV show of the same name, Plastic Steve Austin was seen as the more advanced action man that's why we all like it. Unfortunately, the rubber sleeve that the circuitry hid wants to die in time, there are so few untouched models left.

Wii Balance Board

Considering how badly the Wii U sold, it's easy to forget that the previous console, the Wii, was a hit, especially with families.

That's why Wii Fit and Wii Balance Board are being sold in bucketloads, promising to make moms, dads, and APUs healthier through the game. It was wireless and sensed contact, so different games use it for different activities. Like most toy fads though, this ended up in cabinets everywhere besides guitar hero guitars and dance mats.

looks like

Looks like there was a revelation about its release in 1982. He made the home computer affordable and parents thought that buying it for their kids would encourage them to do their homework. But it didn't help much if their homework consisted of playing Horace skiing for hours at a time and programming the computer to write "PU P boom" a thousand times on the screen.

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The original chiclet model is a classic and most fondly remembered, but Speccy went through several iterations before Amstrad came along, bought the company, and ruined everything.


Text (or Tekno, as it's known in the States) is popular in its current form, but first started in 2000 with a more robotic look and fewer features.

Still, it was cutting edge for its time and 40 million of them were sold in the first four years after release. It was so hard to get on her first Christmas that many knock off versions were also popular. And it was reported at one time that parents fought each other in stores in order to catch a rare fund.


Hypnotic and sophisticated, Simon was a simple electronic game, but everything seemed to be one. Except us.

You must click the colors in the order they are lit up, with the pattern number increasing after each successful go. There is also a smaller travel version that you can sling into your bag and we honestly think the reissue will do just as well today as it did in the 80s.

Conspiracies And Spells

Designed for younger children, speaking and writing is also Allure for older children, thanks to the gallows game and various difficulty levels.

It was one of several Texas tool electronic devices that were designed to make learning fun. There also wasn't that many talking toys back in the late 70s when it started. True novelty and classic.


Laser tag is still available today, in a slightly more modern look, but you can't beat the 80's original.

The kids slipped on a vest with an infrared sensor on the front and armed themselves with IR blasters. Vests hold up the result and you were beaten too often. It seemed so fresh and expanded when it first arrived. Now I just want to fool around with a couple of remote controls.

Total Control Racing

Total Race Control (TKR) was a tougher rival circuit, which eventually fell to the curb. This is mainly because, unlike its peers, the magnetic track that allowed cars to switch lanes also meant that it was difficult to actually spin off, so the races weren't nearly as dangerous.

It also meant that it wasn't as much fun. Still, it has always been the theme of which playground or TCR and the latter the kids tend to be given the most respect for.

Galaxy Invader 1000

Loved the game & watch, Pocket Cars was in the same case game back in the 80s and one of the very best was Galaxy Invader 1000.

It offered a limited but tricky space invader style of play with aliens trickling down one of three bars on the screen and you had to swing around with a small stick to control your fighter to stop them.

She ate batteries, but he was well worth it.

Omnibot Tomy already

Tomy's Omnibot, which lasted several generations before being discontinued, was much like the Big Truck in the 80s. It can be programmed to go where you want and, in fact, encourage the practice of coding.

However, Omnibot also had a few additions, her metal sleeves. For starters, there was a cassette player on your chest so you could breakdance on your own slow moves.

Anki Overdrive

Anki Overdrive is a later version of this app, an AI controlled racing game, but Drive is where it all started. It was also a huge success a few years ago, at Christmas time, much to Anka's surprise and delight.

Cars have brains of their own, so you can stick a vinyl track on fine, but the phone app that makes the game play is the smartest part. The only downside is that this is an expensive gift for a teenager.

NES Classic Mini

When the pre-2016 NES Classic Mini came out, it was a huge success - so much so that it was next to impossible for those who didn't pre-order to get it. The system recreated game world was reasonably priced, with 30 games preinstalled for £50, selling out quickly.

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Luckily, if you still feel like working with the starting point of the 80's Games now you can get one more share has been taken after all.

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