There are different kinds of wind up toys – plush, tin, plastic. They’re all popular because you never run out of batteries or need any sort of electrical outlet to get them to operate. Just a good old fashioned twist of the gear and it’s ready – over and over again.
Wind up toys have become collectibles over the years – especially the tin varieties, which I cover in this list, too. But they now have them for lots of situations – even the bath! Some just walk or move, some do something silly, and others play music.
Let’s take a look at the various categories and I’ve linked each title for you for your convenience so you can see the full listing of the topic, rather than just what I talk about here.
#1 – Wind Up Animals
Wind up animals are the most popular form of wind up toy bar none – as far as volume is concerned. You can buy them individually or in bulk packages. They make cute party favors.
The most popular wind up animals (but this list isn’t comprehensive) are the following:
- wind up shark
- wind up rabbit
- wind up shark
- wind up butterfly
- wind up dog
- wind up elephant toy
- wind up fish
- wind up honeybee
- wind up horse
- wind up kitten
- wind up lobster
- wind up mouse toy
- wind up owl
- wind up rat
- wind up snail
The link above will show you all of the wind up toy animal options – which include tiny little plastic wind up animals in groups or individually. But the #1 bestseller in wind up toy animals is a musical plush toy right now, shown below. It’s the Mary Meyer Okey Dokey 10″ Dino Wind-Up Musical toy.
This is a really cute toy that plays You Are My Sunshine – one of the lullabies I sang to my three children. While some wind up toys are hard for kids to actually do, consumers say this one is easy for little ones – the wind up handle is big, and the toy is super soft.
#2 – Wind Up Airplanes
We got all three of our kids wind up airplanes. They’re fun because it makes it look like they’re taxiing down the runway. These are great if a child’s parents are leaving on a trip and the little one is worried, too.
There are all sorts of wind up toy airplanes, but this one is my favorite – the Zoomsters Jumbo Jet Friction Wind Up Toy. I’s a good toddler edition of a wind up airplane (because older kids are going to want RC versions anyway).
#3 – Wind Up Bath Toys
This is how wind up toys have evolved – and I love it! I’m a big fan of kids playing and having fun in the bath and wind up toys kind of bring some action to this “play area.” You can get scuba men, submarines, dolls – you name it. Really fun stuff!
The best one I’ve seen being sold online is this Light-Up Color-Changing Koi Fish Toy. I love it because it lights up and moves. And when you take it out of the water? It shuts itself off. Yea! It gives off a rainbow of colors and you get 40 hours of use on that one battery – that’s a lot of bath time.
#4 – Wind Up Cars
Wind up cars are tons of fun for boys and girls. They love to see them speed and zoom around the room. You can get racecars or other forms of wind up cars like Taxis, bumper cars, and even farming or construction vehicles.
One really cool feature manufacturers have integrated into wind up toy cars? The “never fall” aspect. When it gets to the edge of a table, for example, it turns and goes elsewhere. That’s what this one is – the favorite wind up toy cars – Toysmith Never-Fall Bumper Cars:
Ha! A classic. I never determined whether chattering teeth creeped me out or I thought they were cool. Guess it depended on the rest of the setting. They have some really cute ones now – some have eyeballs popping out of them.
Some have feet on them – and some have eyeballs AND feet! Normally the wind up chattering teeth have the typical red and white coloring, but you can also find them in a variety of other colors. And you can buy them solo or in bulk.
My favorite is a little UNclassic. It’s a set of wind up chattering vampire teeth – how cute is that?
I love wind up Jack in the Box toys. Some kids find them creepy, though. To each his own. I always loved that feeling when the Jack popped suddenly out of the box, surprising me. And then I’d stuff him right back down and do it again.
They have all kinds of toys with the Jack in the Box wind up theme now. One even has an evil looking clown in it – how mean! LOL! I see YouTube videos in that person’s future.
They have them with Bears in them, cute clowns, sock monkeys and more. I dislike the hard plastic varieties, preferring the classic looking ones myself. But you can take a look at the link above and judge for yourself among them all.
They have tons of themed ones – Winnie the Pooh, Curious George, Caillou – etc. Find one you want. But this is my favorite – the Schylling Jack-In-The-Box – a traditional, classic version. It plays Pop Goes the Weasel and is in a tin box.
#7 – Wind Up Robots
Robots are the perfect toy to turn into a wind up variety – because their movements are so stiff and methodical, just like how a wind up toy moves! They have some that you make from scratch and some that come ready to play with out of the box.
They have retro and modern looking ones. Although I’d love to list one of the retro ones here, we’re talking about today’s kids – not my generation, so I have to go with the modern element and what consumers are raving about, which are the Wind Up Futuristic Robots – which comes in a set of 12, not the 3 they show in the picture – and it’s under $16 so that’s awesome.
#8 – Wind Up Nutcrackers
Technically, I’d probably put this into the “décor” category – but if your house is anything like mine, you know that Christmas decorations actually end up played with when they come out of the box once a year.
So let’s include the wind up Nutcracker toys because kids do love them! The weird thing is, they have a ton of them for sports teams. How they make that connection I don’t know – but maybe that’s the kind you want!
Some of the wind up nutcrackers go for over $300 – so be careful during checkout! LOL. A kids’ toy version, like the one shown below, is about $20. Not bad.
#9 – Wind Up Trains
If there’s anything better than a wind up car, it has to be a wind up train. You don’t even need a track to run it – just spin the gear and let it go!
I love the modern looking ones in this case. Check out the Wind Up Streamline Train below – that is sharp looking! They also have cheaper little plastic wind up trains – and some of them have magnets to hold the cars together.
#10 – Wind Up Tin Toys
I put this as a separate category because most of the wind up toys you’ll find today are made of plastic. The tin wind up toys bring us back to our childhood – and many are collectibles.
They have wind up tin robots, cars, soldiers and more. I guess the best one I see that I feel nostalgic about is the Duck on a Bike – his cap propeller spins and he pedals on the bike. And even though this is a collectible, it’s still priced like a modern toy – under $15.
I hope you enjoyed this post – were you a wind up toy fan as a kid? I know I was. Tell me about your favorites – or what your own kids seem to love these days!