The 1970s were known for their wide range of fads, many of which reflected the social and cultural changes of the decade. Here are some of the most popular fads of the 1970s:
- Pet Rocks: In 1975, a man named Gary Dahl introduced the Pet Rock, a smooth rock packaged in a box with air holes and instructions for care. The fad took off and became a cultural phenomenon.
- Mood rings: Mood rings were popular in the 1970s, with the color of the ring changing based on the wearer's mood. The rings were said to work by responding to changes in the wearer's body temperature.
- CB radios: CB radios, which allowed people to communicate with each other over short distances, became popular in the 1970s, particularly among truckers and other motorists.
- Skateboarding: Skateboarding became popular in the 1970s, with kids and teenagers riding boards in parks and on city streets.
- Smiley faces: The yellow smiley face, with a round yellow face and black eyes and mouth, became a popular symbol of positivity and happiness in the 1970s.
- Lava Lamps: Lava Lamps were very popular in the 1970s. The psychedelic colors and flowing shapes of the lamps were a perfect fit for the era's "groovy" aesthetic and love of all things psychedelic. The lamp's hypnotic and mesmerizing movements also captured the laid-back and carefree spirit of the 1970s counterculture movement.
The 1970s saw a lot of popular toys that are still loved and cherished by people today.
- Stretch Armstrong: This was a popular toy that could be stretched to over four feet in length.
- Hot Wheels: Hot Wheels cars were introduced in the late 60s, but they became incredibly popular in the 70s, with kids collecting and racing them.
- Barbie: Barbie dolls were popular throughout the 70s, with various outfits and accessories becoming popular.
- Lego: Lego sets were introduced in the late 60s, but they became increasingly popular in the 70s, with sets including space and castle themes.
- Spirograph: Spirograph was a drawing toy that allowed kids to create intricate designs using various gears and wheels.
- Star Wars action figures: Star Wars toys were introduced in 1977 and became incredibly popular, with action figures, spaceships, and playsets.
- Fisher-Price Little People: These were small plastic figures that were popular with young children, with sets including a farm, castle, and airport.
- Etch-A-Sketch: This was a drawing toy that allowed kids to draw using a stylus that scraped away a powder coating on the inside of the toy.
- Tonka trucks: Tonka trucks were made of durable metal and were popular with young boys who enjoyed playing with construction toys.
- Big Wheel: This was a tricycle with a large front wheel that was popular with young children in the 70s.
Another significant development in 70s pop culture was the rise of video games. The release of "Pong" in 1972 marked the beginning of a new era of interactive entertainment. Arcade games like "Space Invaders" and "Pac-Man" became cultural phenomena, paving the way for the video game industry as we know it today.