If it was a few days before Christmas and you didn't have the Cabbage Patch Kid you promised your child, you were in deep trouble. Although there's no price one can put on a child's smile, the black market value of these $30 dolls went to $75 and into the triple digits!
And what about those parents who bought the Oopsy Daisy Doll, which launched in 1988 and sold out quickly for Christmas? The dolls themselves would crawl and fall over, but unfortunately, they had numerous problems with their heads, which were prone to fall off. The expression on a child's face after that wasn't exactly Norman Rockwell.
But if you were a kid during the '80s, the world was bangin' with the best toys ever. Whether your parents took you to the corner toy store, Toys "R" Us or FAO Schwarz, your eyes would light up seeing Pound Puppies, or the favorite toy among boys, He-Man, and those irresistible Beanie Babies. And everyone spent hours building walls, castles and stairways with Legos.
What was amazing was the staying power of these toys. Many of them spawned cartoon series and movies. Now it's time to recall the best years of your childhood where all you had to do was play with your toys and stay out of harm's way. Take the quiz now and enjoy a bit of nostalgia.
Christmas 1983 proved to be a nightmare for some parents. They simply had waited too long to buy their children the latest toy phenomenon, the Cabbage Patch Kids. By the time 1984 rolled along, around 3 million of these dolls had been sold. Each doll is unique, and the fact that each came with its own birth certificate and name, they still remain popular today.
Created by Mike Browning and sold by Tonka, Pound Puppies proved a hit from 1984. Not only did they generate $300 million in sales around the world, they spawned a cartoon series and a movie. And what was not to like? With their floppy ears and droopy eyes, as well as an adoption certificate, one could see why these pups became so popular.
Lego certainly was one of the most popular toys of the decade. The 1980s also saw an explosion in the number of sets available and all the objects, vehicles and other construction gadgets for creative little minds.
Although they have been around since 1938, Army Men certainly never go out of fashion. By the ‘80s they were no longer just based on World War II. Other Army men sets included the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Released at the end of the 1980s, the Nintendo Gameboy put gaming in the palm of the hand. It launched with six games, including Super Mario Land, Tennis, and Tetris. Over 40,000 units were sold on the first day of release in the United States.
Launched in 1988, the Oopsy Daisy Doll was the dream gift for little girls for Christmas - so much so, that they sold out extremely quickly. The dolls themselves would crawl and fall over but unfortunately, they had numerous problems with their heads, in particular, which were prone to fall off. Irwin, the company making the doll, reduced its size the following year, but by then, little girls had moved onto the next big thing.
Care Bears were introduced to the world in 1981. These cute, cuddly furry bears originally appeared on greeting cards. A toy line followed in 1982. They were an immediate hit and quickly starred in their own television special in 1983 and eventually, a cartoon series. These toys are still highly popular today.
Glo Worms were first introduced in 1982. They would glow gently when squeezed thanks to an interior light. More toys and accessories followed, including books, night lights, and smaller figures, or Glo Friends.
Transformers originated in Japan in the early 1980s. They were quickly snapped up by Hasbro who bought the rights to produce them in the United States where they exploded in popularity, so much so that a cartoon TV series followed. Transformers are today one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood.
Created by Mattel, Masters of the Universe toys hit the market in 1981. Toys included He-Man and Skeletor, their sidekicks, vehicles and a Castle Grayskull playset. More toys followed for the next six years with over 120 figures, playsets, and vehicles in the collection.
A popular girls toy in the 1980s, not only were My Little Pony dolls cute as buttons, but you could even style their hair with their own mini comb. Their success led to a TV series as well as films.
Released in 1978, by the time the ‘80s rolled along, Simon was one of the most popular toys in the United States. This circular toy with green, red, yellow and blue buttons produced tones when the buttons were touched. It would play a sequence of notes, and the object was to press the corresponding colors in the correct order. As the player got more correct, Simon would add more notes and at a much faster speed.
Large oversized shoes fitted with springs, Moon Shoes allowed children to make springy jump steps. This concept had originally been tried in the 1950s with steel frames that clamped onto existing shoes. These were considered safer, although broken ankles were still recorded.
A true classic and extremely difficult, water ring toss toys saw kids pressing a button which shot streams of water through a small existing tank. This moved miniature rings around. The object of the game was to land them on small hooks in the tank. Hours of fun and frustration!
Cap guns have been a staple toy of little boys through the decades and the 1980s were no different. A range of options were available, including revolvers, pistols, and rifles.
A favorite for many decades, including the '80s, Lincoln Logs were perfect for those kids who loved to construct things. By the '80s, they were plastic instead of wood. That all changed by the end of the decade as they returned to their traditional wood finish.
Around since 1949, the 1980s saw Mr. Potato Head rise in popularity once again, so much so that he appeared in his first TV movie. Hasbro also introduced fewer parts for each toy during the decade.
Aimed at kids between the ages of 5 and 9, this calculator asked 10 math problems, giving three chances to answer each correctly. By the end of all 10 questions, it would display your results.
Released in the '60s, these fighting robots were constantly updated throughout the decades. They remained an extremely popular toy throughout the 1980s and were loved by children around the world.
Smurfs were first produced in 1959. The 1980s, however, saw a rise in popularity with kids around the world thanks to a Smurf cartoon appearing on TV. A range of figures were available and regularly updated as well.
Such a simple concept for hours of fun. Slip 'n Slides took a plastic sheet, a few liters of added water and created a slippery waterway enjoyed by kids (and adults) alike.
Fluppy Dogs started out as a Disney animation project in 1986 with plush toys soon following. The range included the five dogs from the cartoon as well as one extra. Each had yarn hair which could be played with and styled. Fluppy Dogs were set for expansion in 1987 but Disney canned the cartoon as it never fared very well. As a result, the expansion never happened.
A product of Galoob, Micro Machines were extremely small vehicles that became popular in the 1980s. Vehicles included cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, monster trucks and even Star Wars and Star Trek vehicles. A range of playsets could also be purchased.
Manufactured by Mattel in the mid-80s, Popples were adorable bears that could be stored in their own fur bag. Their success led to a cartoon series. The first group of Popples consisted of nine different characters.
Whiz Kid was a great learning device released in the mid-80s. This talking computer helped kids learn new words as well as additional cartridges with a range of subjects. Each cartridge also featured a story.
Created by Xavier Roberts, Furskin Bears were a popular plush toy in the 1980s. There were a range of bears in different outfits as well various sizes, each with its own unique backstory. Roberts was also responsible for the creation of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
Boglins hit toy stores in 1987. Released by Mattel, these hand puppets were made from flexible rubber with facial features that could be manipulated. The range included aquatic and Halloween themed creatures as well as goblins. Mattel also released a range of mini Boglins.
Mr. Microphone used an AM transmitter that allowed kids to sing along with their favorite song on the radio or play pranks on their unsuspecting friends or parents. This was a popular toy in both the 1970s and 1980s.
Mythical underwater creatures with snorkels coming out of their heads, Snorks first appeared as a comic in Belgium before making an appearance as a cartoon series in the United States in 1984. This led to a range of toys, including figurines and plush toys.
No '80s toy collection was complete without a marching band set. Not only could you and your friends march up and down in the backyard but you could annoy your parents as well!
Although Barbie had been around since 1959, the ‘80s saw the popular doll in a number of new guises, including Astronaut Barbie. And don’t forget the incredible accessories that were also available. These included mansions, cars, make up sets and much, much more.
This robot arm, made by TOMY, was controlled by two joysticks and allowed children to use the arm to pick up objects. Sold through Radio Shack, the Armatron included cubes and other small items to pick up.
Built to a 1:64 scale, most boys growing up in the 1980s had a set of Hot Wheels of some type or another. The decade saw some incredible sets released, including Real Riders (with proper rubber tires), Color Change Paint Hot Wheels, as well as vehicles with crash panels.
Released in 1985, Teddy Ruxpin proved a massive hit. And it's not difficult to see why. This bear’s eyes and mouth moved while he read children's stories which were played through a built-in tape recorder. In addition, Teddy Ruxpin was as cute as a button.
With a cartoon series and a range of figurines, GI Joe became a popular toy for boys in the '80s. The toys were originally released in the ‘60s, but a rebranding in 1982, as well as the release of elaborate playsets, saw their popularity soar significantly.
This handheld computer became extremely popular during the 1980s, with much changed from the original from 1978. This device used a voice synthesizer and could even load various games thanks to interchangeable cartridges.
Etch-a-Sketch had been around for three decades before the Animator was released in 1986. This worked on exactly the same principles but featured a dot matrix display. The Animator could store 12 pictures.
Introduced in 1939, the View Master had been a toy box standard by the time the 1980s rolled along. Now, however, a talking version hit the shelves which added sound to each picture viewed.
The Commodore 64 was one of the best home computers money could buy during the 1980s. Although it could be programmed, it essentially was a game system that loaded titles through a cassette player. Many of the popular arcade games of the decade were produced for it, including Paper Boy, Pac Man, and Asteroids.
Other than the pegs hurting as much as Lego blocks when stood on, Lite Brite was a brilliant concept. It allowed children to produce art by placing small plastic pegs along an outline on black paper. With a light shining from behind, this produced art. Popular Lite Brite art in the ‘80s included Mr. Potato Head and Darth Vader.
In the ‘80s, a range of Sesame Street toys were available. These included plush toys, books and Poppin’ Pals toddler toys.
Originally a Saturday cartoon that ran in the mid-‘80s, the Wuzzles were also a plush toy. And these weren't just any creatures, the Wuzzles were a combination of two animals, such as Bumblelion, yes you guessed it, a half bumblebee half lion. A number of characters that did not appear in the cartoon were also produced, along with ‘baby’ Wuzzles.
Mommy and Daddy had one, so why shouldn’t the kids? The Fisher-Price cassette player was sturdily built and featured big oversized buttons, perfect for those little kiddie hands! This battery operated recorder also allowed kids to record their own sounds.
Popular since the 1940s, a range of sturdy Tonka Trucks were added to this collection in the 1980s. These included the Mighty series (including a bulldozer, wrecker and), vans, off-road buggies, Winnebago’s and pick-ups.
Essentially a cassette player, Casey’s digital mouth would move whenever a cassette played. Casey would also talk when his ‘Go’ button was pushed.
The Turtles came to prominence in the late ‘80s. The first toys available for this popular cartoon were a range of action figures, including all the Turtles, April O’Neal, Shredder, and Splinter.
Although invented in the 1960s, Spirograph sets were all the rage in the 1980s. Essentially, these sets featured a series of drawing devices that looked like cogs. Each had various pen holes and by running a smaller cog within a big cog using different pen holes and colors, a range of beautiful shapes were created.
Little People have been around since the 1960s. In the ‘80s, however, the range was extensive with popular playsets including ‘Little People Main Street.'
Although Star Wars toys had been around since the late 1970s, two new movies, "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "The Return of the Jedi" (1983) saw a range of new toys, vehicles and spaceships hit the market in the ‘80s. The range of merchandise was simply incredible, but it’s the toys that every little boy wanted to get their hands on. Today, some are worth astronomical figures, so be sure to check your attic for your old collection.
Atari gaming systems were all the rage during the early 1980s. Despite having very basic games on them, these home systems allowed one or two players to play a range of games, including Combat (with tanks and airplanes) as well as a basic form of tennis.