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Memories Of The 1960s
1960s Toy Box Memories
Gibsons Puzzles

Image of completed jigsaw vase of purple flowers featured image

As happens from time to time, I am making a short diversion away from the ‘bookish’ posts you will usually find here, to share one of my other pastimes with you.

Yes! I am a not so secret dissectologist – or someone who enjoys jigsaw puzzle assembly.

Box Front Image Of The Gibsons 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle 1960s Toy Box memories

Clicking on this Amazon link will allow you to magnify individual items, for a closer look at all those 1960s toys, which I for one, remember so well!

This puzzle is part of a collection, which follows the ‘toy box’ trends and traditions over the decades, one representative jigsaw for each decade.

I have so far worked the puzzles for the 1940s and 1960s and I am sure that I have acquired more from the collection, I just need to sort through my TBD pile to find them!

Alternative Box Image of the Gibsons 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle 1960s Toy Box memories

1960s TOY BOX MEMORIES – (Memories Of The 1960s)

Box Front Image Of The Gibsons 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle 1960s Toy Box memoriesBy the 1960s, spin-offs from television programmes were an established part of the toy trade, and children expected to find their favourite characters in the local toyshop. For Dr Who and the Daleks there was an appropriate range of creation to exterminate unwanted adults. Foremost amongst TV adventures were the puppets of Gerry Anderson, from Supercar and Stingray to Thunderbirds (with Lady Penelope), Captain Scarlet and boy wonder Joe 90.

It was the improvement of plastic that transformed many parts of the toy business. Stronger rigid plastic enabled the success of Lego bricks, while malleable plastic helped the phenomenon of Barbie dolls (accompanied by an entourage of outfits), soon to be followed by Sindy and, for boys, Action Man. During the sixties, there was plenty of heart-throb action from the likes of Dr Kildare or Illya Kuryakin in The Man from UNCLE.

With the popularity of James Bond films, interest in fast cars increased – at least an Aston Martin or E Type Jaguar was more affordable as a miniature model. This was the era also for the twist dance craze and Twister, the “game that ties you up in knots”.

Alternative Box Image of the Gibsons 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle 1960s Toy Box memories

Remember running down to the local Toyshop with a handful of money – the anticipation and excitement.

Such fond memories will be revived with this series of toy box jigsaws. Those treasured ‘friends’ and memory moments will be found in each decade, where we all had our own personal world of make believe.

The items that make up these jigsaws come from the Robert Opie Collection, which is housed at the Museum of Brands in London’s Notting Hill and the Museum of Memories in Weston-Super-Mare. Having saved the packaging and promotional materials around him since he was at school, Robert Opie gathered together the earlier story of mass manufacture from many sources.

In 1975 he held an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then in 1984 founded Britain’s first museum devoted to the story of our consumer society.

The displays give a sense of the evolving culture and lifestyle since Victorian times, represented through the everyday items that we all take for granted – from motor cars, telephones, holidays and entertainment, to all manner of branded groceries, sweets and household goods.

The collection traces the changes in social taste and tempo, the whims of style and fashion, the advent of aviation, the jazz age and the gradual emancipation of women. It’s through the fabric of daily living – the song sheets, toys, souvenirs, postcards, magazines and posters – that the rich tapestry of the British way of life is woven together.

Alternative Box Image of the Gibsons 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle 1960s Toy Box memories


Box Front Image Of The Gibsons 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle 1960s Toy Box memoriesGibsons Games is an independent, family-owned British board game and jigsaw puzzle manufacturer, and the oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom.

In 1903, Harry Gibson managed to obtain an unsecured loan of £500 from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Bishopsgate, London. This generous sum enabled him to start a business, which at that time was called The International Card Co. Trading from offices in Aldersgate Street, he supplied retailers with a range of products including card games and postcards; an unlikely combination these days, but back then, most towns would have a number of stationers in the High Street and they became Harry Percy’s first customers.

The International Card business was sold to the De La Rue Company and H. P. Gibson & Sons Limited was formed in 1919. The International Series brand continued to be used on some products right up to the early 1980s, but H P Gibson & Sons Ltd made its name with the ‘HPG’ brand of indoor games, with old favourites such as L’Attaque and Dover Patrol; huge sellers before and after the Second World War. Sadly the company’s premises, along with all its manufacturing equipment were destroyed during the Blitz in 1940 and when the war ended, it was almost a case of starting from scratch.

Robert and Harry Gibson, sons of the founder, re-established trading from Barrett Street in London’s West End. The company continued to sell its own family games and pastimes, alongside ranges from other established names, including Waddingtons and Chad Valley. 1966 Harry Percy’s grandson, Michael Gibson joined the family business. He remembers his father paying him £11.00 a week out of which he had to pay his mother living expenses. In the late 70s H P Gibson & Sons shortened its name to ‘Gibsons’, and shortly after, in the early 80s, Gibsons introduced their first jigsaw puzzles.

Visit Gibsons at their website

Follow Gibsons on Twitter

Connect with Gibsons on Facebook

Alternative Box Image of the Gibsons 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle 1960s Toy Box memories

1960s Toy Box memories, like so many of my jigsaws, was a charity shop purchase, from charity shop  Dorothy House Hospice shop in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article promoting Gibsons puzzles.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a purchase, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from person to person. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract 5 out of 5 stars.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I think I would have great fun assembling this puzzle! While clearly geared towards Brits, there are a few overlaps with toys I recognize. (who doesn’t know Barbie!?!) The “action man” reminds me of the GI Joe I played with. Oh…. and, of course, Twister. I think that game is still out there! (along with much different looking Barbies)

    I hope you enjoyed working it as much as I enjoyed your post about it. 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      I always had the original US bodies and clothes of the ‘Barbie’ dolls, courtesy of my Aunt, who used to send parcels regularly for Christmas and Birthdays. Before they became adapted to be inexpensive enough for the UK market, our own home-grown Sindy doll came out, pale skinned and blonde, with a slightly more voluptuous figure than Barbie. I remember my Aunt also sending over a Tressie doll, with the button in her tummy to make her hair grow?

      ‘Twister’ is still very much around on the boxed games shelves, although it is much better when played by a group of rather drunk adults on New Years Eve, which is what happened one year, back when Dave was in the R.A.F.!

      In fact, I was quite surprised at just how many of the brands are still around today, although ‘Scalextric’ has definitely been updated , if the version my Gt Nephew has, is any indication. Gone are the days when the cars kept crashing off the track, as his is now controlled by a blue tooth app, which makes the track joints seamless!

      I wonder how many of these brands will still be left standing when the Covid pandemic is finally over, as we get notifications of major company closures on a daily basis. The only booming market at the moment, are the jigsaw puzzle companies, who can’t get the stock manufactured quickly enough to meet demand. I knew that I would be a trendsetter for something 🙂

      • Haha…well, yes. Twister becomes a whole different game depending on the circumstances! (been there, done that)

        I have trouble imagining a doll any more buxom than the original Barbie. And that incredibly tiny waist!! Entirely unrealistic.

        I haven’t thought about “Tressie” in years! I never had one, but I do remember the button on the belly and growing hair!

  • You do find some unusal puzzles, Yvonne. I haven’t seen this one before. Lots of familiar TV shows represented there, at the tender age of 13 or 14 I would have opted for the Illya Kuryakin doll. LOL

    • Hi Cath,

      Yes! David McCallum was quite dishy to a 1960s teenager, but not quite as heart-stopping as Start Damon in ‘The Champions’! 🙂

      And ‘Dr. Kildare’ could never quite achieve the same wow! factor as James Brolin in ‘Marcus Welby MD’

      I think I must have had quite a mis-spent youth, as I am only supposed to be looking at this jigsaw for the toy memories – but as you started the conversation, I guess your mind was working in pretty much the same way 🙂

      • Oh, I remember Stuart Damon in The Champions. American wasn’t he? Very good looking. I never watched Marcus Welby MD but Dr. Kildare was a big favourite. Lots of good dramas around in those day which the whole family could sit and watch. Perhaps we were easier to please, I don’t know, but we were never short of fun dramas and comedy shows. Quite the reverse of today.

        • I suppose there are a few dramas around, however none that I would sit and watch religiously, like we did back in the old days. I guess that’s just because there is so much choice now, we can be a little more discerning!

          We have stopped watching all the ‘soaps’ now and about the only series we are really addicted to is ‘The Repair Shop’, which we both enjoy equally.

          Comedy on the other hand, seems to have pretty much taken a nose-dive recently. I know that any of the series we watched back then would be totally non PC in these liberal times, however they were all taken for what they were, a bit of transient fun, and we were all prepared to laugh at ourselves too, which seems to be another taboo now!

          Life seemed so much easier then didn’t it? although I guess our parents probably wouldn’t agree with that 🙂

  • How nice. And glad it brings back happy memories. when I was little I did not like Barbie dolls so I never had any. I’d prefer baby dolls with feeding bottles etc or Cabbage Patch Kids. Interesting about the Robert Opie Collection.

    • Hi Naida,

      OMG! My niece’s must be about your age, but they never wanted ‘Cabbage Patch Dolls’, they were just so ugly! The eldest like the proper baby dolls and always had a doll in a buggy with her, no matter where we went. The youngest never really bothered about dolls at all, she was more interested in playing like a street urchin, out in the back alleys behind their house, with nothing on her feet and always filthy dirty – If you could see her now, she is over six feet tall, slim and the most prim and proper miss you could ever imagine!

      The Robert Opie Museum is an amazing place. It has examples of just about every product and packaging imaginable, together with posters and newsreel footage of all the first advertisements, back in the day when cigarettes were widely advertised on TV and as pre-show in the cinema. It seemed as though it was only ever the smooth debonair man with a cigarette or pipe, who ever got the girl. In fact come to think of it, in those days, you could actually smoke inside the cinema itself!

      Great to have you back in Blogland. I hope the ankle is healing up nicely 🙂

Written by Yvonne