WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Oh nostalgia.

It’s the feeling we get when seeing our old toys after years apart.

It can be a Barbie, a bike or a baby doll.

Each year on Christmas parents rush out to find “the toy”. It’s the most popular item that almost always sells out early.

It probably won’t surprise you that many of our favorite toys from the past made their debut for the holidays.

Many of those are displayed at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum.

In the 90s it was Tickle me Elmo. In the 80s it was Cabbage Patch Kids. That’s the two that a lot of people will remember.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

It goes as far back as the 1920s when Raggedy Ann was the favorite. That’s also the decade of teddy bears, crayons and tinker toys. 

While each generation had some of its favorites, many of the popular toys were a sign of the times. 

Right after World War II Lionel Trains made the list. They’d been out before that, but because they quit production during the war, when they came back everyone wanted one.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Some of the past’s most popular toys may surprise you like microscope sets in the 30s and even pop-up books in the 40s. 

That kind of shocked me. What really shocked me was when I was researching it, the earliest ones were from like 1400s.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Other toys quickly became classics that spanned generations.

Beanie Babies are still, although it’s more adults collecting it than kids buying them, but they’re still popular. Uh like the Tickle Me Elmo, they have new generations of that.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Of course Barbie hasn’t gone out of style since her release in 1959. 

Now they have holiday Barbie’s, which started in 1988 I believe was the first year for that and that’s a super special thing that kids want.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Some toys though weren’t popular upon first release. It took decades later for them to become the coveted item.

Some of the Star Wars toys, later years, not in the 70s when they first came out. 

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

No matter which toy is your favorite, remember that each of the classics has a story of how it came to be. 

Monopoly was 1937, and what’s cool with that, Parker Brothers refused it the first time Charles Darrow pitched it to them. He said no, so he went and produced it himself. Then they found it how popular it was become and said ‘oh wait sure we’ll buy it from ya’.

Becky Gerlak, Manager, Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

If you’d like to visit the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum and see some of these toys for yourself, visit toyandtrain.com.

The museum is also planning some fun 25th anniversary activities starting in the new year, so stay tuned!