History, Toys

Toy History: Rock-a-Stack


Something I am loving about being a new parent is playtime with my little guy. We have so much fun playing, and it is great to hear him laugh and to see him learn. He is playing with some of the toys that I remember playing with as a kid. As I sat on his foam mat this afternoon watching him disassemble the iconic cone of rainbow rings, I thought to myself, “I remember playing with this toy as a kid. How long has this thing been around!?” I knew it would be fun to do a little research and share the origins of this playtime classic.

Rock-a-Stack

The original Rock-a-Stack was introduced by Fisher-Price in 1960 and featured six colorful rings. A year later the Giant Rock-a-Stack was introduced with ten colorful rings. A 1964 Sears Christmas catalog list price for the toys were .77¢ for the Rock-a-Stack and $1.64 for the Giant Rock-a-Stack.

The original sets featured a wooden base, plastic tubes, and a plastic center cone. Later on, the bases were also made of plastic. At one point the giant set went from ten to seven rings to cut costs. Although the giant ring set was probably a lot of fun, this set of stacking rings was discontinued in the 1990s. Even the classic version went from six rings down to five to reduce costs.

1964 Sears Christmas Catalog
(WishbookWeb.com)

Since its introduction, millions of these toys have been sold and played with. This stacking toy was named one of the 100 greatest toys by Time magazine. This toy has changed very little over the years, and this old-time classic helps our little man with his coordination and colors. I think I have had just as much fun playing with it as he has! It’s fun to see classic toys designs like this be used for a couple of generations.

I remember my absolute favorite toy was the Fisher-Price Flip Track railroad set. There were tracks on one side and road on the other. I built little cities with roads, railroads, buildings, bridges and vehicles. I had hours and hours of fun with those toys. I only wish I would have kept them for my little man to enjoy.

What was your favorite toy as a kid? Is it still made? What was your favorite memory of play-time as a youngster?

2 thoughts on “Toy History: Rock-a-Stack”

  1. Austin,

    How nice to be able to share playtime with Emmett! Things were so different in my house. My mom, having grown up on a farm during the Depression with 8 siblings had no toys. There was no time to play. So that is how us girls were raised. Playing (and reading I might add) was considered a “treat” only after all household chores were done. And that was rare since another chore always seemed to surface. I doubt we had any toys before the age of 6. That being said, I did have a tea set at age 6 and a “Chatty Cathy” doll at age 10. My little sister had a “Tiny Tears” doll. My brothers on the other hand had a train set, an Erector set, bow and arrow set, and a record player. I eventually got a Barbie that my mom thought was outrageous! My brother got a Monopoly game when he was about 12 and my mom bought a Yahtzee game for the family. That’s it for toys in our entire house! Yes, I could count my toys on one hand! Thankfully times are so different now. Enjoy those precious playtime moments! (I was never read to and used to hide behind the couch to read so I wouldn’t be caught ”loafing”!)😉

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    1. Wow, that’s interesting! It would be interesting to do some research on playtime itself…like when toys really took off. Kids used to work either on the farm or in factories, so when did playtime even become a thing!?

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