As a child, nothing felt as magical as a toy shop at Christmastime, and the displays in some Dundee stores were a sight to behold.
And as a parent, there’s nothing more wonderful than seeing a child’s face light up with delight on Christmas morning when the parcels under the tree are ripped open.
In the days before online shopping and Amazon deliveries, Dundee city centre would be packed with shoppers hunting down the must-have toy that year.
Join us on a trip down memory lane as we step into the city’s toy shops of the past and remember the toy crazes of the 1990s.
These youngsters gaze longingly at the enchanting display of a castle and toy soldiers in the window of Meldrums in 1964.
The store on reform street was a bit of a one-stop-shop stocking everything from leather goods, toys and games, waterproofs and sports equipment.
Meldrums opened an extensive new toy department on the first floor in 1960, which stocked a wide array of fun playthings and games to entertain the city’s youngsters.
Little Neale Elder had fun trying out the elegant rocking horse which took pride of place at the toy department of Dundee’s C&A at Christmas in 1966.
Many children would have loved to find such this beautiful and traditional dapple-grey equine toy underneath the Christmas tree that year.
It’s not Christmas for most youngers without paying a visit to Father Christmas to make sure the big man in red gets the all-important list.
And for many Dundonians a trip to Draffens to see Santa in his grotto was a highlight of the festive season.
These hopeful youngsters stopped by the toy department in 1978 to meet the man himself and longingly admire the magical toys in the shop.
Despite making his debut in the 1960s, Action Man was still the toy many little boys wanted to find under the Christmas tree in 1979.
Action Man proved that he still reined supreme with children in the 70s – at least in the toy department of John Menzies at Dundee’s Murraygate.
And youngsters were spoilt for choice with this huge display of dolls and accessories at the long-gone shop which opened for Sunday shopping for Christmas that year.
‘Cabbage Patch Dolls’ were the craze that swept the toy world in 1984 and Toymaster in Dundee’s Commercial Street was inundated with requests for the coveted doll.
In a twist of irony that year, the Toymaster had an order for two of American-imported toys – all the way from America.
Isabel Duncan, pictured, said they had US tourists stocking up on the toy at her shop during the summer months after supplies ran short across the pond the previous Christmas.
With Christmas shopping in full swing in December 1989 at John Menzies, the toy department was a welcome distraction for bored young children.
These kids had fun trying to catch the snapping fish in this classic children’s game which is still as popular today.
Who can forget the frenzied Buzz Lightyear craze of the mid-90s as smash-hit blockbuster film Toy Story his the cinemas in 1996?
Thomas Brade, 6, and Ruth Hastie, 10, were photographed with the trendy toy at Tesco in Lochee that year.
Across the UK, frantic parents queued up and searched high and low for Buzz Lightyear but he was a sell-out everywhere.
In some cases people paid four times the retail price on the black market to get their hands on the precious plastic toy.
Children of the 90s will remember the sheer joy of a trip to Toys R Us, where the shelves were stacked higher than little ones could ever reach.
Parents probably didn’t feel quite so thrilled as any visit to the popular toy emporium was guaranteed to empty wallets.
The staff at the new Kingsway Retail Park store are pictured here gearing up for Christmas in 1998 showing off some popular toys.
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