Soviet Toys

Toys from Russia 1

During the Soviet times all the toys were manufactured only on a dozen of state owned factories. All toy designs were certified with Communist Party of Soviet Union and they were lazy to certify a lot so there were not a big freedom of choice for Russian kids at that time. And it wasn’t just toys that were the same for almost everyone. Going from home to home you could see the same furniture, same cloths and same home appliances and all those homes were in the same multi-stored buildings. It was the time of total unification, so if anybody is from that times he would for sure mark most of those toys as “Man, I had them too!”

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83 thoughts on “Soviet Toys”

  1. Hello EnglishRussia Community!

    I’m totally impressed by your toys. You know, we had a lot of ladas and other soviet vehicles in Hungary. But today if you are poor you going to by one of those cheap japanese cars etc. So I miss the old soviet cars and i decided to buy a scale model a few years ago. But unfortuantely we don’t have these model cars….
    So I’m really evny. 😀 (UAZ-3909 and the Lada rulz)

    • When you were a boy, did you baby your toys or did you tend to wear them out? Toys for boys tend to have a short service-life. This gives them a higher scarcity value no matter what they were worth when they were new. If there is anything left of a boys’ toy after a generation, collectors want it. Girls’ toys don’t gain that scarcity-value until they are far older. So the odds are, a collector will go after boys’ toys first, before another collector gets the last one of a certain type. With girls’ toys there is a perception there will be more time.

      When I see the Cable-TV Antiques Roadshow, if there is a girls’ toy being examined, it was often kept in a family for 3 or more generations of being passed from mother to daughter. There are emotional attachments we don’t see with toy cars or trucks. Most of us half-destroyed our favorites just in normal wear and tear. So toys for boys, still worth photographing after as many years as these–somebody thought it noteworthy. I’m glad to see the pictures. Best regards.

  2. Juan is right: no girl-toys, how come?? Does it mean that toy designers were male only? Or that they were macho to the point of forcing girls to play with boys’ toys? Hehe… 🙂

  3. Could it be the person that took the photographs only had boys toys and was a male? No couldn’t be that, it must have been the male oriented/dominated USSR forcing their will on hapless Russian women.

  4. The Army play set is like the Bucket of Army Men I had as a kid except on steroid.

    I had more fun with that Bucket of Army guys, sadly many brave soldiers lost their lives to Cherry Bomb Mortars.

    • I’m a little bit ashamed to say that I used to make little death camps for my Army men, where I would march them into a pool of my mothers nail polish remover and set them aflame.

      • Wow! I vote for Pacific NW as the most imaginative killer in the group (although the microwave was pretty good). You guys should consider writing crime novels.

        So far we’ve admitted to bombing, sniping, nuking, and now burning them alive. We all must have watched too many war movies when we were kids. Or . . . do those instincts come naturally?

        Scary. Really, really scary.

      • Had the plastic army vehicals at the bottom in a slightly different colour plastic.

        Had many plastic army men.

        Had squirt guns.

        Had gasoline.

        Had matches.

        Don’t have the army men any more.

    • We also had the toy people. We built little houses, shopping markets, schools, and kebab stands and filled them with the people.

      Then we packed firecrackers into our radio-controlled cars, lit the firecrackers, sang some martyr songs, and drove the cars into the crowds of toy people while they were shopping and eating. Such fun!

      Ah, childhood memories.

  5. Great collection. My favorites are the remote controlled sci fi tank, the car model with all its pieces in the box and probably the toy soldier collection with vehicles for its neat organization. The rest are excellent too.

    I wonder how would an average person could get a hold of one of these fine toys in their era? How’d they pay for them or how much would they cost?

  6. There were lots of dolls, teapots, etc. for girls. But as far as I remember, toys for boys were much better quality! Especially tanks and cars. But I could be wrong.

  7. Awesome!

    Most of the toys are from the until the 70’s i believe… which is the basics toys for capitalists kids as well…

    USSR = Capitalists till the 70’s

  8. Oh man, I have played with all of these toys I think 🙂 In fact I have slightly poorer vision in my left eye thanks to the metal tank pictured on this page as one kindergarten buddy dropped it on my eyebrow from 1 m higher.

    Greetz from Estonia,


  9. Dear Texas1, you can get them at the duty-free shop at nearest airport, but you have to insist to lady behind counter that you know she has them. Once she knows you are serious and that you are not a undercover sex police, she will make phone call to basement storage and someone will come up to “take care” of you.

    Do this soon at DFW airport, and you will see! Trust me. 🙂

  10. good old toys … nearly all of them were made of metal

    I had 11, 14 and and 16 from the tank collection … what fun that was …. and machine gun with sound and fire ….

    and a RC track vehicle


  11. Thanks for this post, I loved those toys.

    Today when you come to the shop and look at toys, they don’t make you feel like you want to hold them. They are all the same – dolls with identic lifeless faces, cheap cars and toy soldiers. When I was a kid, it was all different.

    I loved those toy cars, we used to build roads for them in the sandbox with bridges and tunnels. I still have a little yellow taxi somewhere, and it still looks like it is real.

        • Hello my friend with a big tooth,

          I am flattered by your desire to associate yourself with me, but I am afraid you made a big mistake–it was not me.

          You see, Kim Jong Il has learned Farsi–the sweet lyrical language of Persia–and he likes to catch people in a dark corner of a disco club and pretend he is me, and then have his way with them. He carefully chooses his words so that he will not give his Korean accent away. If you will think carefully and recall the conversation during your seduction, you will be amazed to realize that he never used any words with a sound like the English letter “L”.

          Next time you are approached in a dark corner by someone who says they are me, ask them to sing along with you as you sing “Fa la la la laaaa . . . la la, la, la. If you hear a response that sounds like “Fa ra ra ra ra ra . . . well, that means he’s probably not really Persian, and you should keep a hand on your pants.

          Better luck the next time you go “crubbing.”

          Yours in linguistic literacy,
          M. Ahmadinejad

            • How easy it is to amuse some simple minds. 🙂

              The same category of humor as writing something rude at someone’s back or jumping at someone screaming from behind the corner.

              • I like to make the joke, and it is easier to write it here than to write it on the wall of a washroom.

                You know, things like: “For a good time, call Hugo Chavez–the Virile Venezuelan Valentino,” or “For a good time, meet V. Putin behind Kremlin wall at 11:00p.m. and BYOC (bring your own condom), etc., etc.

                From one simple mind to another,
                M. Ahmadinejad

  12. We had these Soviet toys in Yugoslavia too. I remember having a Tu-154 airplane, painted in full Aeroflot colors. It looked exactly like a real one, and of course it was made of metal. I also had a Checkoslovakian made remote-control Å koda car – and it was made of metal too.
    All these toys were cheaper (so parents prefered them 🙂 than domestic, or especially than western-made toys, and they were also better – instead of some fragile plastic, you got indestructible metal stuff, which looked and felt like real!
    Does anybody know, were they any “real” (radio) remote controlled toys made in any of Warsaw pact countries? It was nice to have these with cable, but some kids had radio controlled ones. These were usually French or German made, and were veeery expensive – so my parents couldn’t afford them. 🙁

  13. very good idea you had ! When I was so much younger than today, I got a quite complete collection of DINKY TOYS (french cars, of course). I’m very happy to compare with russian one. Is there a toys museum somewhere in C E I ?
    Seraphin BIDOCHON

  14. Of course tere were toys for girls! Its just the photographer probably took the pictures of hiw collections. I had dolls, teddy bears, doll dishes and furniture, i even had a puppy with remote control ( well, “remote” with the wire)

  15. I saw some of these toys in Cuba. I saw the horse and owned the little plastic soldiers. I used to light them up with a match and melt them or break them away from the base. Ahhh good times.

  16. Actually there were many toys made for girls, mainly high-quality dolls in many shapes and sizes, and many pulsh toys based on Soviet cartoon characters.
    I found many of these at my Grandparent’s house, many have been used by up to 3 generations of kids and are in pretty good shape =)… while most modern toys don’t survive a single kid!

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  19. Only on a dozen of state owned factories? What a nonsense. There were thousands or even more. I lived in a small NON-industrial town (less than 70000 inhabitants), and even we had our own toy factory (it produced mostly cuddly toys and dolls).

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  21. Do you get our “PBS” TV show “Antiques Roadshow” in Eastern-TV formats?

    If you do, you already know what old toys MAY be worth if not destroyed. If this is news to you–count it as one more reason to preserve what you have, if you can. No matter what else it stood-for, its quality will probably not be repeated. Future generations will consider them treasures. If that means nothing to you–every year an old toy escapes destruction, it gains financial value. Best regards.

  22. These toys are really vintage, Its hard to find them now. I wonder how much they cost now for the people who loves to collect toys.

  23. Nice model toys. Not to mention they’re vintage! I’m into collecting toy model trains myself and I really appreciate the pictures you posted and its history, I have both vintage and new models.

  24. Hi,

    I am curious, what is the name of the factory that produced those “voennaa tehnika” set of toys (trucks, tanks, rockets)? Is it still active, and if yes , do they still make these sets?


  25. I have the horse in the first picture. I am from Canada anyone know how old it would be? Or who made it? I am tempted to let the kids use it but I think it is an interesting peice from history.

  26. Any car stored for a long time that doesn’t move or is turned on at all should be checked up on at least once or twice

  27. Can anyone tell me the names of the toys from this pic.I thin most of them are russian made.Pic taken in 1989

  28. Nice model toys. Not to mention they’re vintage! I’m into collecting toy model trains myself and I really appreciate the pictures you posted and its history, I have both vintage and new models.


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