We have seen more and more gift options at Christmas time over the last six decades with the variety on offer widening each year.

Whilst computer games may be some of the most common gifts these days, in times gone by, the variety was not always so boundless.

This led to it being far more common to have a particular item being heralded as the must-have gift of that year and causing the sales of said item to rise significantly in the Christmas build-up.

Each year from the late 1960s onwards seemed to have at least one gift that captured the interest, and wallet, of the nation.

We have compiled a list of arguably the five most famous of these from four different decades, to give a wide selection of these iconic gifts.

So without further ado, here is our nostalgic list of five Christmas presents that took the UK by storm.

Space Hopper (1960s)

One of the first Christmas gifts to capture the whole nation’s attention was the simple space hopper. An inflatable round rubber item with handles for its user to ride by sitting atop of it and bouncing.

The iconic form of fun transportation was introduced to the UK in 1969 but anyone familiar with the initial birth of the space hopper knows that the item was far more prevalent in the following decade.

Like several items on this list, the space hopper remains an item that is still used to this day, making it as timeless as it is vibrant.

Salisbury Journal: The Space Hopper's classic orange design.The Space Hopper's classic orange design. (Image: sweatband.com)

Atari 2600 (1970s)

Heralded as the original games console, the Atari 2600 was released in Europe in 1978 following a successful first year over in North America.

Upon its launch, nine simple, low-resolution games were released in 2KB cartridges. The item was paramount in bringing computer consoles and games to the forefront of Christmas lists with of course PlayStations and Xboxes now commonplace on wish lists.

Production of the console ended on January 1, 1992, with an estimated 30 million units sold.

Salisbury Journal: The Atari 2600 was one of the first computer game consoles in the world.The Atari 2600 was one of the first computer game consoles in the world. (Image: Atari)

Rubik’s Cube (1980s)

Despite delving into the digital with the Atari console, physical games remained popular with families across Britain.

Something new came in the way of single-player physical games through with the introduction of the Rubik’s Cube to the UK in 1978.

The multi-coloured puzzle cube dumbfounded adults and children up and down the country with its complicated layout, rendering those in the family who could crack it as geniuses.

It won the 1980 Game of the Year award for Best Buzzle and, as of January 2009, over 350 million cubes have been sold worldwide.

Salisbury Journal: The original Rubik's Cube was popular in the 1980s.The original Rubik's Cube was popular in the 1980s. (Image: Toys N Tuck)

Tickle Me Elmo (1990s)

Very few items have ever quite caused the craze that Tickle Me Elmo did in the 1990s.

The popular red children’s character of Sesame Street was created in toy form in 1996 with modern functions that made the toy extremely interactable and therefore valuable.

When squeezed, Elmo shakes, vibrates and recites his trademark giggle and this was all too much for some who battled to get a hold of the fuzzy friend for their Christmas gift lists.

It was reported that violence broke out over the limited available supply and Elmos were being resold on the internet for thousands of pounds.

Salisbury Journal: Tickle Me Elmo was such a popular product that it led to violence.Tickle Me Elmo was such a popular product that it led to violence. (Image: eBay)

Robosapien (2000s)

One of the last big-selling items before the widespread influence of NextGen consoles, the Robosapien gripped the attention of both children and adults quite like nothing before or indeed after.

Released in 2004, the miniature robot came quipped with 21 different buttons on its remote control unit and, with the help of two shift buttons, was able to follow 67 different robot-executable commands.

Between April and December of that year, the product sold over 1.5 million units across the globe and remains a popular item almost two decades later.

Salisbury Journal: The Robosapien took the world by storm.The Robosapien took the world by storm. (Image: WowWee)