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Retro Is Back – Our Best Nostalgic Gifts Guide
Retro is having a moment, from the vinyl revival and board game boom to the resurrection of vintage video games.
Do you remember the days of cassette tapes, Rubik’s cubes, and space hoppers? Today’s kids might think they’re weird items and laugh, but for those of us with nostalgia sewn into our veins, these were items that helped form a generation!
Retro is back in a big way. Millennials are now looking to relive their childhoods through gifts that evoke nostalgia. But what retro gifts should you get for your loved ones or yourself?
In the spirit of collective nostalgia, we’ve compiled the best nostalgic gifts. Give your loved ones a wonderful taste of antique cultural kitsch from their favorite era.
Nostalgic 70s Gifts
The 1970s were one of life’s best decades, according to those of us who grew up there. Period. We all had a bowl haircut, summers lasted forever, and NOBODY was hotter than the Fonz. The 1970s may teach children a lot.
The 1970s were also a watershed moment in film, with Star Wars, Alien, and The Godfather dominating the box office. But the film that most accurately represents the 1970s for us is Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster, Jaws.
Despite absolutely little special effects and just seeing the shark for a few minutes, in the end, an entire generation was scared to go swimming again. Nothing was more exhilaratingly terrifying. Bring some famous Jaws memorabilia to Amityville for your friends and family.
A fantastic Jaws Art Print showcases one of the most iconic pictures in film history – ideal for giving their walls a vintage feel.
They may not be able to return to the ocean, but they may sip it in style with an insulated Jaws Water Bottle, and a Funkoverse Jaws Strategy Game is a modern take on the iconic film.
David Bowie, one of our favorite performers of all time, has more fashion eras than we’ve eaten hot dinners.
The best Bowie, by far, is his 70s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. Eyeliner, skin-tight clothing, and his signature lightning bolt over his eye, as well as some of his best music (hello, Life on Mars?)
A chic Bowie Mug and Coaster in a Tin, featuring artwork from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane, is the ideal present for any fan of the late, great artist.
The Where’s Bowie? Book will keep Bowie fans occupied for hours as they seek the Thin White Duke in Berlin, Studio 54, Outer Space, and other locations.
Or how about Michael Allred’s Bowie Colouring Book for the unexpected, yet somehow rewarding, combination of coloring and rock n’ roll?
While the Rolling Stones have been active since the 1960s (and, despite the tragic loss of drummer Charlie Watts, are still touring today), their artistic pinnacle was undoubtedly in the 1970s, with the publication of their studio classics “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main Street.”
We like the Rolling Stones and their unique lips logo, and a Rolling Stones Lips Oval Mug is at the top of our list. We wouldn’t mind if you also included a Warholesque Lips Art Print or an eye-catching Rolling Stones Doormat (just saying).
Sure, it was a decade of questionable fashion, musical, and gastronomic choices, but for many of us who grew up or lived during the decade, the 1970s represented a simpler period.
This is the gift suggestion for you if you or someone you care about has happy memories framed by the colors avocado green and burnt orange.
A Pet Rock
Pet Rocks were the “it” toy… or pet… or whatever the hell you call a rock in a box for a brief while in the 1970s. In case you missed the ’70s the first time around, they’re still around (there’s even a tie-in with American Girl dolls).
A disco ball is undoubtedly the most famous symbol of the 1970s – and this one is authentic.
It measures enough to stand out in your room and is ready to start that disco inferno. A gleaming mirror ball decorates the home and improves the environment, increasing one’s interest in life.
Fleetwood Cat Mug
It’s no secret that in the 1970s, all the cool kids were obsessed with a certain album. With a humorous mug, you can show your love for both Fleetwood Mac and cats.
What better way to appreciate your “tea”? You may even go on tour with the design, which is available on T-shirts, hoodies, and face masks.
Jigsaw Puzzle of David Bowie in Berlin
Here’s a treat for any true David Bowie fan: three of his best albums of the decade (if not his career) were recorded in late 1970s Berlin. Can you find the singer among the 500 pieces in this puzzle?
Handheld Electronic Football Game
This game will bring back all the memories of a brother who grew up in the 1970s. It also comes in a classic game arcade variants such as Frogger, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders.
Retro Candy Gift Box
If their decade included frequent excursions to the drug shop to stuff their pockets with candy, they’d love this perfect gift box loaded with Ring Pops, Bottle Caps, Laffy Taffy, Lemonheads, and other treats.
Uno Playing Cards
This popular card game was created in 1971 and has since entertained families and friends. The anniversary edition would make a great Christmas stuffer for any card game aficionado who has outgrown their existing deck.
Scale Model of a Chevrolet Chevelle
They’d adore a scale replica of the 1970 Chevelle SS if they liked muscle cars back then. Do you have no idea what to present your father for his birthday? Perhaps you have a hobbyist or collector in your life. This model kit is an excellent choice for any occasion!
Tapestry from the 1970s
With a geometric wall hanging, you may boldly evoke your favorite decade. This is a gorgeous room wall hanging with bright colors, crisp lines, and elegant edging that creates a quiet and tranquil atmosphere.
Door String Curtain Decorative
If you know someone who remembers wrestling with fringe to get from one room to the next, this present, which comes in a couple of dozen fun colors and styles, will have them ready to go.
Macrame Wall Hook Shelf
Macrame was popular in the 1970s and has been on the rise for quite some time. Any vintage décor aficionado will be excited to put up some retro-style knickknacks and plants on a one-of-a-kind boho-chic shelf.
Some vintage sweatbands may have your recipient yearning to see some legendary tennis matches between McEnroe and Borg. You can also select from a variety of color schemes.
Mayor of Funky Town T-shirt
You didn’t live if you didn’t flip out and get on the floor when “Funkytown” came on at the roller rink. Allow this tee to transport you or a loved one back in time. Excellent for fans of 1970s Disco Funk designs.
A “Mayor of Funky Town” design is ideal for those who enjoy faded seventies designs and hope more people will listen to funk & 70s Retro Funk clothes.
Round Tinted Sunglasses
This modern-day version comes in a variety of colors, making it a must-have item for anyone who took their fashion seriously in the 1970s.
Iconic round frames with colored tinted lenses will help you reach the John Lennon Hippie look you want, with a whimsical twist, display your individual taste with a classy look, and many colors to select from to complement any clothing you possess!
Classic Old School Krate Bike
If a loved one’s 1970s were defined by banana seats and ape handlebars, a vintage-style bike would have them set for some excursions down memory lane.
Launch into the Coal Krate, which has a distinctive Sting-Ray frame and springer fork. You will definitely turn heads while riding your antique Krate bicycle through the streets!
With a pair of these vintage-styled skates, you can relive those days of circling the roller rink (or avoiding falls on the pavement). You’ll be the envy of everyone at the rink with your brilliant colors and designs. You can even pair them up with some vintage clothing.
These skates stand out in a crowd because of their bright, summery colors and patterns. You’ll adore showing them off at the rink, at the park, or on the boardwalk, as they’re designed for both youngsters and adults.
From bright monochrome palettes to flashy floral motifs, these skates are unlike any other pair on the market.
Nostalgic 80s Gifts
Okay, we’re going to say it: the 1980s were, in our opinion, the best decade ever. Video games became popular, music videos dominated our screens, and some of the best films of all time were published.
When neon scrunchies were accepted, everyone had a Walkman, and Top of the Pops was the highlight of your week; what can’t you love?
It’s difficult to pick favorites among the many excellent 1980s films, but Spielberg’s E.T the Extra-Terrestrial has to be near the top. You’ve been crying over that cute little extra-terrestrial since he stole our hearts in 1982, and we still can’t get enough of him.
A cute ET Sound Keyring is exactly what we’ve been looking for (as well as our keys, so two problems solved there). It’ll make you grin every time you reach inside your purse because it features the iconic slogan “ET phone home.”
A lovely Art Print of the bicycle scene gives us chills every time we see it, and an ET Shaped Mug and Jigsaw Puzzle Set is the ideal present for fans of the classic film.
Back to the Future is a must-see if we’re talking stone-cold 80s classics. The era-defining classic had us running out to stock up on body warmers and skateboards faster than you could say, “1.21 gigatonnes!”
With a fantastic Funko Pop-Doc Figurine, you can keep Marty and the Doc in your own house. Like in BTTF 2, an unusual Hoverboard Doormat is ideal for welcoming guests to your humble home, and a Flux Capacitor Heat Changing Mug – Excellent work, Scott!
The ’80s, like earlier decades, are easy to look back on and cringe at. Shoulder pads, narrow ties, and a plethora of massive Aqua Net-infused bangs were not the proudest moments in our collective cultural history.
It wasn’t all horrible, though. If the 1980s were your or someone you care about’s favorite decade, here are some absolutely nasty gifts that won’t make you feel like a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.
If there is one toy that embodies the 1980s, it is the Rubik’s Cube. This colorful puzzle is just as intriguing today (with just 43 quintillion possible moves!) as it was when it first appeared on store shelves in the United States in the 1980s.
Vintage Street Boombox
We all love this type of boombox, but it now includes Bluetooth connectivity and other 21st-century capabilities, but it still appears to be from the 1980s. It is available in a variety of hues. Do you really want to splurge on vintage? Choose this gnarly version.
The Cookbook of the Golden Girls
Here’s the perfect gift for anyone who has ever fantasized about hanging out in the kitchen with Rose, Blanche, Sophia, and Dorothy and eating anything they want. (Yes, there is a recipe for cheesecake.)
Retro Candy Gift Box from the 1980s
If Skittles, Starburst, Hubba Bubba, and Gobstoppers make their mouth water for the good old days, this memento box gift will put a nostalgic grin on their face.
T-Shirt with Mixtapes
If they’ve ever sat with their finger hovering over the record button, they’ll appreciate a mixtape-themed tee, which is available in men’s and women’s sizes and a range of colors. Do you want a sweatshirt, mug, or mask? You can also get those.
Sure, it’s not the genuine thing, but a Walkman-like device will undoubtedly suffice to resurrect the 1980s. Complete it with a belt clip for that authentic 1980s cool-guy look.
Vintage MTV T-Shirt
Sure, MTV isn’t what it was when it first launched in 1981, but vintage clothing like retro-style shirts can transport you to a time when music videos were just music videos, and we couldn’t get enough of them.
One look at crimped hair photographs will either convince you that crimping your hair for the first way in 30 years isn’t such a horrible idea — or send you fleeing in the opposite direction. In any case, your ’80s fan might like one.
The 80s decade saw some genuinely horrifying fashion trends, but leg warmers were not one of them. This type of vintage clothing was popping. You can also add some neon colors to this gift to increase the ’80s flair. You may even find them in thrift shops.
Vintage Retro Cabbage Patch Kids Doll
Gift one of these dolls with the original yarn hair to transport yourself back in time. She comes with adoption documents, a one-of-a-kind name, and a birth certificate.
Kids of all ages can now enjoy the classic aesthetic of the original Cabbage Patch Kid dolls! The Authentic Retro Style Cabbage Patch Kid Doll is a wonderful present for Cabbage Patch fans of all ages.
Ten Color Pen
Remember when these pens seemed to be the pinnacle of innovation? Oh, for simpler times. In any case, these little gems would make excellent 1980s-themed Christmas stuffers.
The Fanny Pack
You didn’t think you’d get out of here without us offering a fanny pack for your ’80s fan, did you? Make certain you obtain your preferred hue and design.
1980s Style Costume Bracelets
There wasn’t much nuance in 1980s fashion, and neon bangles are a prime example of that. Still, with the correct attire, these would be just as charming in the twenty-first century as they were in the twentieth.
Nostalgic 90s Gifts
Geri Halliwell, in that Union Jack dress, Trainspotting, and Leonardo painting Kate Winslet as one of his French girls. The 1990s were a cultural gold mine that we’re happy to continue exploring.
Yes, we had awful highlights, and our brows are still recovering from the excessive amount of plucking, but it was a great time, and we’re all for 90s nostalgia in all its manifestations.
Nirvana was perhaps the most renowned international band of the era, with anguished frontman Kurt Cobain personifying grunge-cool.
A Nirvana Maxi Poster transports us back to our adolescent bedrooms, and a Nirvana Mug and Coaster are exactly what we’re searching for now that instead of in a mosh pit, we’d rather be on the couch with some hobnobs.
Talking about posters, no 90s dorm room was complete without some wall art from Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic, Pulp Fiction. A Pulp Fiction Twist Contest Poster transports us to the World-Famous Jack Rabbit Slim’s dancefloor with Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace, and a Big Kahuna Burger Coffee Mug evokes Samuel L Jackson’s “tasty burger” in a way that we find extremely satisfying.
Check out this cool selection of nostalgic presents for 90s kids to get your fill of everything ’90s and remember about that beautiful decade.
We’ve got everything from Tamagotchis, those iconic paper cups, a Talkboy, and pogs to completely great ’90s faves like a Creepy Crawlers machine and a Nickelodeon subscription box filled with goods from your favorite Nicktoons like Hey Arnold, the Rugrats, and more.
90s Paper Cup T-shirt
Wearing a 90s paper cup shirt can make your vintage clothing pop by bringing back a bit of your favorite decade. The nostalgic artwork on this elegant shirt is reminiscent of the vivid and abstract painting found on practically every paper cup during that great decade.
Take a trip down memory lane with the Nickelodeon subscription box and relive your golden childhood. Every three months, you’ll receive a package filled with things from your favorite 90s Nicktoons, such as The Rugrats and Hey Arnold.
Fill your lonely life with significance and joy by devoting your heart and soul to caring for your Tamagotchi pet. The Original Tamagotchi has been re-released by famed toymaker Bandai – however, this time, they’re half the size of the original!
To become a well-behaved animal, this hand-held digital pet required a lot of care and attention from its owner.
If the owner disregarded the beeping sound and flashing lights, the animal would become naughty and, if left unfed or unplayed with, would die. How many days did your pet live?
Solitaire Playing Cards
You can now enjoy your favorite computer game wherever you are with 90s solitaire playing cards. Each card bears the famous and colorfully geometric design, making it an ideal gift for anybody seeking to relive the glory days of Microsoft Windows gaming.
Slammers and Pogs
Do you recall playing POGs? They were the thin cardboard circles that we all traded on the playground before schools outlawed them. McDonald’s has its own POGs, such as Power Rangers’ ‘power coins’ that came with Happy Meals. You could never get enough of these!
Relive the glory days of the early 1990s by introducing the addictive game of pogs and slammers to a new generation.
A vintage kit includes brand new pogs with phat 90s artwork as well as metal slammers. Boredom can be avoided by dueling your buddies with these antique pogs and slammers.
90s Nostalgia Kit
Open up a 90s nostalgia kit to brighten your days with a brief blast from the past. When you open your vividly colored pencil box, you’ll find a range of goods such as beanie babies, slap bracelets, and pogs.
Have a lot of 90s-styled high-tech fun with a tape recorder. You’ll be able to play all kinds of pranks on friends and family if you have a blank cassette and the speed recorder option that allows you to modify your voice.
Sadly, these items are so rare to find nowadays. Your best bet is checking out a vintage shop.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Beanies
With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beanies, you can fight both the chilly weather and the Foot Clan at the same time. They are available in a variety of styles, including Leonardo, Donatello, Rafael, and Michelangelo, allowing you to select your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Lisa Frank Merchandise
Relive your childhood by flipping through the pages of some Lisa Frank Collector’s set sticker book. The most well-known brand in brightly colored children’s school supplies is back with fun pages of rainbow dolphins, unicorns, and kittens. You can find these in vintage shops nowadays.
90s Plush Toys
With some lovable Nickelodeon 90s plushies, you can bring a small piece of your youth into the twenty-first century. These nostalgic plushies feature popular 90s Nicktoon characters such as Rocco, Arnold, Ren, Stimpy, and Tommy Pickles.
3D Pin Art Toy
With a 3D pin art toy, you may beat boredom in old-school style. This highly entertaining board is only 5′′ x 7′′ in size and comes with dozens of tiny little metal pins that you push on one side to build a cool three-dimensional sculpture on the other.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to give the gift of nostalgia?
Looking to relive your childhood memories this Christmas season? We’ve got a few pointers to assist you in making people nostalgic.
The holidays mean different things to different individuals, but it’s uncommon to meet someone who doesn’t have a fond memory of some kind. A time of traditions and gathering with those we don’t always get to see allows us to reflect on the finest of times.
Perhaps you’d like to instill a little nostalgia during the holidays to get those extra wonderful sentiments. In this article, we’ll look at how to give the gift of nostalgia over the holidays so that you never forget the good experiences you had in the past.
Learn Whatever You Can About Their Pasts
You can’t give someone the gift of nostalgia unless you know where they’re coming from. How much do you know about your parents’ childhood vacation memories? What about your grandfather and grandmother?
Most people will gladly recount their childhood holidays, which is where you acquire your ideas. Pay close attention to what they emphasize the most so you can imitate it on your own.
Something That Reminds You of Childhood Memories
We all enjoy receiving gifts, but a gift that evokes reminiscence is frequently even more valuable. While it does not have to be a perfect match, giving something that resembles a treasured object from the past is typically sufficient.
This is where 2nd Avenue Thrift Stores come in. Our selection includes various products from the past that can help you achieve the nostalgic mood you’re looking for over the holidays.
Don’t Underestimate Music’s Influence
Everyone understands that music is a powerful inducer of nostalgia. Many things are associated with distinct musical styles.
That is why so many people enjoy music such as Christmas carols. If you can incorporate music into your gift, you’ll be shocked at how quickly it can transport someone to another era.
Make Your Gifts the Traditional Way
Nothing compares to a handcrafted present. Shopping is enjoyable, but it lacks the allure of a handcrafted present. A homemade present is a great way to show someone you care about them while also giving them a nostalgic sensation every time they look at it.
Giving the gift of nostalgia during the holidays is a simple way to make the celebrations even more memorable.
What are the benefits of nostalgia?
Have you ever had that nostalgic feeling? A certain song, smell, or snapshot catches you off guard, and you’re overtaken by a pleasant remembrance of a period in your past or a favorite day.
Nostalgia is defined as sentimentality and affection for an event or period in the past, yet nostalgia has a negative history.
The term derives from the Greek words for “homecoming” and “pain,” and it is true that there might be melancholy in reflecting on a special moment that has passed or a loved one you miss.
There is a sense that we have lost these things; however, science shows that contemplating in this manner can trigger pleasant emotions!
Nostalgia has been demonstrated to boost mood, ease stress, promote positive mental health, provide comfort, and boost self-esteem. (It also appears to promote physical warmth!)
When we think about people we care about, we feel more supported and connected to them, which makes us more supportive of others.
Sadness for the past is totally natural and acceptable, although it can be offset to some measure by nostalgia’s good consequences.
We may use nostalgia to our advantage if we understand its benefits and how it might make us feel. Nostalgia can hit us like a wave, rushing over us and overwhelming us when we aren’t expecting or prepared for it, but we do have the ability to trigger it and reap the benefits.
Nostalgia is the emotional response to remembrance, so when you need a pick-me-up, a little motivation, or support, you can tap into your memory vault to elicit these feelings. Sharing recollections with our families and friends can also set it off.
Why do nostalgic and handmade items make the best gifts?
Do you want to stop the loop of ordering a basic present for a friend or family member that they can guess before they even open it?
Consider a handcrafted or nostalgic present. When they open it, you can bet they’ll have a bigger grin on their faces—and maybe even some tears.
People Are Reconnected With Themselves Through Nostalgic Gifts
Nostalgic gifts bring joy first and foremost because they allow you to actively reconnect your father, grandmother, or spouse with their prior selves.
Though time passes and memories fade, finding the ideal nostalgic item brings back pleasant memories. As a result, you’re gifting much more than a trinket.
You are restoring a bit of themselves that they may have lost along the path to their current self. That’s far superior to a gift certificate.
Nostalgic Items Have A History
A nostalgic gift is also a welcome addition to the item’s storied background, especially if the recipient collects something or is interested in a specific historical period. Nostalgic items spend years in the hands of others since they are products of a bygone era.
When looking for a nostalgic present, look for the story as well. Inquire with prior owners about it.
If someone is selling an antique record player they’ve had their entire life; they’re probably attached enough to share some of the tales with the buyer—that way, the story lives on.
Handmade Presents Express Your Loving Effort
Meanwhile, the time and care you put into handcrafted gifts are difficult to overlook. It’s extremely moving to know that someone took time away from their usual activities to produce something just for you.
They Are All One-Of-A-Kind Gift Options
Nostalgic and handcrafted products make the best gifts not just for these reasons but also because each one is completely unique. Nostalgic objects appeal to people who desire to preserve practically extinct items, but handmade items are, by definition, one-of-a-kind.
If you gift either, know that you will surprise someone just by providing something that few others in the world—or even they alone—can enjoy. In a world of mass production, that is a rare privilege.