Blast from the past: 30 toys that defined the ’80s

Blast from the past: 30 toys that defined the '80s

While toys have seen a lot of change over the last few decades, the nostalgic feeling that 30-somethings get when they see their favourite childhood toys remains. StackerWe used historical and online retail websites to compile a list containing 30 toys that were very popular in 1980s.

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There are many stories about toys that have been a landmark in history. For example, in 1983, parents were shopping for Cabbage Patch Kids dolls around Christmas. This meant that they were putting their safety at stake with the many. riots that ensuedThe HBO documentary was inspired by this story. It was Teddy Ruxpin that inspired the HBO documentary. By the time Worlds of Wonder realized the potential of its new talking bear, the demand for Teddy Ruxpin had skyrocketed and the company was leasing jets to transport the plush toys to America.

Some ’80s toys started as American Greetings card series, including the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, while its competitor Hallmark kept pace with Rainbow Bright. Safety wasn’t necessarily paramount in the ’80s, as a number of these toys resulted in trips to the hospital, but not a decline in popularity.

Care Bears

The original Care Bears were originally intended to be American Greetings Card characters in 1981. However, they were transformed into plush, stuffed Parker Brothers dolls by 1983. The animated television series featured the following characters: Cheer Bears, Bedtime Bears, Birthday Bears, Wish Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Good Luck Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bear’s Bear, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Tenderheart Bears, Good Luck Bears, Love-Alot Bears, Friend Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bear and Grumpy Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bearshine Bear. Although the soft and furry fad was relaunched several times over the years with new names and films, it slowly died at the turn of the century.


Atari’s first home gaming console was released in 1996. It was designed by the creators of Pong, an arcade game. Coin-operated arcade games were a huge hit. Atari 2600 included two joysticks and paddle controllers, a wood panel-printed console, and game cartridges. “Space Invaders,” “Pac-Man,” “Asteroids”Each sold separately. The gaming system, with normal and hard difficulty settings, sold millions, making the Atari brand a staple in many ’80s households.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake and her sweet-smelling, dessert-themed friends like Lemon Meringue and Blueberry Muffin were all the rage for little girls in the ’80s. Atari animated television series and memorabilia, including pajamas or bedding, accompanied the craze for tiny plastic figurines. may have made a billion dollars in franchise profits. But the freckled, frumpy hat-wearing Strawberry Shortcake was more than just a toy, with Fahrion sharing on the 40th anniversary of the doll that she’s heard playing with the character created an escape for some youth who had family struggles.

Pogo Ball

The Pogo Ball, a Saturn-looking jumping device, is manufactured by Hasbro. It is the cousin to the Pogo Stick. which is now an official extreme sport. Unlike gaining gravity with a steel coil and footpads, the inflatable ball placed in the centre of a sturdy plastic circle helped kids catch air in the ’80s. After the fad’s popularity began to deflate, the use of the toy remained, with physical education teachers using it to teach balance to students and adults using it as an exercise ball.

Space Legos

To capitalize on the success of George Lucas’ smash-hit “Star Wars,”The Lego Group is a manufacturer of plastic toy bricks. created minifiguresWith visor-less helmets, and wheeled cars. It wasn’t until 1999 that the toy manufacturer would issue its first intellectual property licence to “Star Wars,” bringing Lego and Lucas together for real—and the toy’s cultural impact remains even to this day.

Monster in My Pocket

Matchbox’s release of Monster in My Pocket had kids in the ’80s hiding plastic figurines in their garments. The brightly coloured toys were inspired by real-life monsters from literature, religion, and film. “scary”Point series, with The Great Beast worth 25 and Less Scary figures like The Witch at 5. However, high officials from the Hindu religion requested Matchbox apologize in 1993 when the toy line depicted Indian divinity as tiny plastic monsters, which was offensive to their culture.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Italian Renaissance-named reptilians Michelangelo and Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo are hot as ever today. They were sketched by two artists in 1983, when they were first sketched on paper. sold for more than $70,000 in 2012. The comic book series was originally a comic book series. It became a pop-culture phenomenon with the 1987 Saturday morning cartoon series that featured the pizza-loving martial arts experts. Nickelodeon picked it up in 2012. The four evil-fighting siblings were represented in merchandise more than $1.1 billionIn the first four years of “Turtlemania.”

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Rubik’s Cube

Lining up nine squares on the six-sided, primary-coloured 3D puzzle had kids competing against themselves when the Rubik’s Cube debuted in 1980. Originally named the Magic Cube, the toy’s popularity made finishing fast a sport, with the first speedcubing Rubik’s World Championships in Budapest in 1982. After mid-’90s anniversary relaunches, including a diamond-studded cube, Rubik’s remains popular today, enjoying its most successful year in 2017, with over $250 million in sales.

Roller Racer

The Roller Racer, a human powered toy made of rams horn-shaped handlebars and wheels attached to a tractor seat, was popular with children. scientists studying its physics in the ’80s. The side-to-side thrust vector concept, inspired by a retired Boeing engineer as a present for his grandson, was sold by the brand Wham-O, which also produced other pop culture classics like Hacky Sack and Slip ‘N Slide. Roller Racers have been a hit with physical educators for decades. They are used in relay races and obstacle courses as well as roller tag.

Speak & Spell

The handheld Texas Instrument toy came with learning cartridges, including Homonym Heroes, Noun Endings, Magnificent Modifiers, and Vowel Ventures. Sister toy to Speak & Read, and Speak & Math. The educational game was centered on English. The learning aid was the first to use digital signal processingThe, which converts analog sound information into speech that can teach kids spelling and pronunciation.

Lite-Brite Magic Screen

A gridded, 25-watt light bulb box and translucent-coloured plastic pegs had kids creating all kinds of pictures in the ’80s. The pegs could be placed into a panel using either pre-patterned or free form black opaque paper to slowly create illuminated images. The original Hasbro toy manufacturer offered many refillable pictures. However, the company would eventually add Mr. Potato Head sketches.

Koosh ball

An engineer invented the Koosh ball made of approximately 2,000 natural rubber fibers. He wanted to make playing catch easier and safer for his children. Archie Comics published a series of six Koosh balls based on the idea just a few years following the 1986 invention. The toy line also produced key chains, yo-yos and key chains. In 1993, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked about the copyrightability of the toy line. and a woman suedAfter being hit with one on your stomach “Rosie O’Donnell Show”2003

Glo Worm

Glo Worms bridged the gap between stuffed animal and night light when Hasbro’s Playskool released the toy in 1982. A soft squeeze would light up the toy’s vinyl head, gaining so much popularity that Hasbro released Musical Glo Worm in 1983, which could play a lullaby or tell a bedtime story. “They’re all your goodnight friends”The catchy tune that played over commercials featuring little boys and girls getting ready to go to bed, with their Glo Worms tightly cinched.

Pound Puppies

Pound Puppies were the perfect compromise between children begging for a family dog and parents that didn’t want to pick up after a dog. They were placed in a cardboard rescue container. “adoption,”With big floppy ears and adorable eyes. $30 (and an additional $3.50 for name tag). Mike Bowling, the inventor, showed the product to 14 other companies before making a decision. He estimated in 2016 that there were three-times as many Pound Puppies living in the United States than actual dogs.

Fashion plates

Fashion plates have been around since 18th century. But the toy version released in 1977 by Tomy Toys really took off in the 1980s. Young girls could become fashion designers by simply snapping a variety of outfit pieces and using a black crayon or pencil to trace the outline onto a piece paper. Fashion Plates were brought back to life by Kahootz in 2014. They were made from fabric patterns and colored pencils.

Moon Shoes

Safety didn’t always come first with Moon Shoes, a set of mini-sized trampolines that strapped to kids’ feet with Velcro straps. The 1980s plastic version, which led to a number of injured ankles, was a vast improvement over the metal ones released in the ’50s. While the danger didn’t deter kids from bouncing around the neighborhood, Nickelodeon made safety updates for a resurgence in the ’90s.

Polly Pocket

Polly Pockets, which premiered in 1989, were a staple for young kids who could mix and match the tiny dolls with many tiny accessories. Created in 1983 by Chris Wiggs for his daughter,His original set was a compact that contained a powder to make a tiny house. Mattel licensed Polly Pockets in the 1990s, before Bluebird Toys bought them in 1998. After a three-year hiatus, Polly was given a new beginning in 2018.

Masters of the Universe

By the power of Grayskull, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe action figures were on many Christmas lists when Mattel debuted the line in 1982. Following the exploits of He-Man and his fight against Skeletor, Masters of the Universe’s 70 original action figures spawned comic books, television shows, movies, a She-Ra spin-off, and eight video games. Mattel answered calls from fans of the ’80s hit and released a new Masters of the Universe Origins collectionStarts in 2020 with He-Man, Skeletor.


Monchhichi’s catchy tune attracted children to these stuffed monkey toys. The Japanese company Sekiguchi released the dollIt was a suckling thumb-friendly doll that was released in 1974 and brought to the U.S. under a Mattel licensing agreement in 1980. The dolls were the inspiration for a Saturday morning cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera, which was published in 1983. However, the fad soon wore off and Mattel discontinued the line in 1985. Sekiguchi released it again in 2004.

Piano Dance Mat

Robert Loggia, Tom Hanks, and Robert Loggia are almost entirely to blame for the success of the Piano Dance Mat craze of the late 1980s. The Piano Dance Mat was first displayed in the FAO Schwarz New York toy store, and it played a different sound as the user moved along a series keys. The store struggled to stay afloat and offered its space to Hollywood. Hanks and Loggia made movie history by playing the role of Loggia. “Chopsticks”The 1988 hit movie features a larger version. “Big.”

Little People Family House

Fisher-Price’s Little People line stretches back more than 50 years with multiple different playsets, but the Family House was a staple of 1980s toy boxes. The House opened in the middle to allow children to move their Little People around the house. It doubled up as a carry case so that Little People could be packed inside and taken anywhere.


These rubber balls are gross and were developed by AmToy to try and find a product for boys in 1985, after having had success with Holly Hobbie and Care Bears for girls. Madballs’ detailed designs and names like Screamin’ Meemie and Horn Head made them a must-have for young boys. After boys began throwing them at each other, the hard rubber was quickly replaced by a softer version. Madballs can still be found today by nostalgic fans thanks to new collections from many different companies.

Rainbow Brite

Hallmark Cards introduced Rainbow Brite—who brought happiness and colour wherever she went—as an animated series in 1984. Mattel took over the reins. merchandising, and the Rainbow Brite dollsTheir vibrant hair and Starlite, their trusted steed, made them a must-have toy for young girls. Rainbow Brite was Mattel’s most successful product to that point, spawning multiple movies, books, TV shows, and more, with a marketing budget of $35 million in 1985.

Teddy Ruxpin

Because Teddy Ruxpin was able to move his eyes and talk, he captured the attention of girls and boys all over the world. The cassette tape that was inserted in his back allowed Teddy to read stories to children and was very popular. Worlds of Wonder had to charter jetsTo meet demand, Teddy Ruxpins were stuffed from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. While the original Teddy Ruxpin is a collector’s item, newer versions with LCD eyes and a slew of new stories to tell would hit the shelves in 2017.

Cabbage Patch Kids Doll

Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were very popular in the 1980s. $2 billion in salesDuring the decade. Huggable dolls were sought after because they came with a birth certificate. consumers rioted across the countryWhen supplies ran out in 1983, before Christmas. The original Cabbage Patch Kids dolls weren’t made for consumers, but were the creation of Kentucky artist Martha Nelson Thomas, who would adopt them out to her friends, before her idea was stolen.


Milton Bradley inspired a phenomenon when it launched the deceptively simple Simon console at New York’s Studio 54 in 1978. Simon, which sold for the equivalent of $96,The game was designed to be both a single-player and multi-player memory game. Users had four buttons that they could press and then repeat a long sequence of lights and sounds. The simplicity of the original Simon inspired multiple generations of the game, including the Simon Optix, a wearable headset that flashes lights before the user’s eyes.

Game Boy

The Game Boy was Nintendo’s second venture into handheld video gaming, and it found immediate success by selling over 1 million unitsWithin weeks of its 1989 launch, it was sold almost immediately. The small gaming system, which came packaged with the wildly popular Tetris, combined elements from Nintendo’s NES gaming console and the Game and Watch,The original 1980 handheld from the Japanese manufacturer. It was not as advanced as competitors from Sega or Atari, but the 30 hour battery life launched a craze that has sold more than 110 million units.


It was almost impossible not to notice the Smurfs during the 1980s. What started as a 1960s Belgian comic turned into action figures and countless stuffed animal commercials. There were dozens and dozens of action figures to collect, from Papa Smurf to the Smurfs’ peace-loving nemesis, Gargamel, some of which can fetch over $100 today. The Smurfs have seen a revival in the U.S. thanks to two major motion pictures over the past decade. steady interest in BelgiumMore than 400 figurines are now in the collection thanks to this effort.

Power Wheels

Kids of all ages got the sensation of driving around the neighbourhood just like their parents—albeit at around five miles per hour—when Pines of America brought Power Wheels to the masses in the early 1980s. Before 1986 saw the debut of the first Jeep model, children could choose from an All-Terrain Vehicle (MTV), a monster truck or a convertible. There have been over 100 new models since then. The impact of these battery powered marvels is still felt today with events like Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing and Rednecks with Paychecks Downhill.

Star Wars Figurines

Kenner released the first “Star Wars” figures in 1978: Luke Skywalker (Princess Leia), Chewbacca, R2D2 and Princess Leia. They continued to release figures until 1985, and it wasn’t until 10 years later that new figures were released when Hasbro began to manufacture the toy series. Vintage was in high demand “Star Wars” figures hasn’t faltered much: In 2017, a rare “Star Wars” Jawa action figure sold for £21,600(equivalent $28,000). The 1980s prototype for Bib Fortuna (from “Return of the Jedi”) was purchased for £36,000 (equivalent to more than $46,000) in 2019.

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