Toys of the '80s

I decided that on Fridays I'm going to be doing a Flashback series, reflecting on things of the past. Originally I had planned on just going year by year of the past 25 years of my life, starting with 1984, and sharing some of the highlights I remember as a kid, but I was barely 4 months old by the time 1984 was over and I don't really remember much of anything until 1986. So I figured, since I was pretty young during the 80s, rather than try to go year by year, I'd break it down into categories, since a lot of things I recall from the 80s really carry through a lot of the years there. So let's kick this off with  
Toys of the '80s.

Cabbage Patch Dolls
Growing up, especially as a little girl in the 80s, Cabbage Patch Kids were a must have! I don't remember how I got the first one I had, but I remember she had long dirty blonde hair in pigtails and a sort of flowery dress. The second one I got later on was a bald baby boy named Issac who came with orange overalls. They both had funny dimples and big eyes!

I LOVED my Gloworm when I was little - I always slept with a nightlight on cuz, like most little kids, I was afraid of the dark. Gloworm would keep me safe though cuz all I had to do was squeeze him and he'd light up!

My Little Pony
I had several of these growing up, including one that would shoot water out a hole in its mouth if you filled it in the tub (and yes, I brought my Pony's in the tub with me and they had adventures!). I hated brushing their hair though as it often got tangled - I think most of them ended up with some pretty bad knots!

Popples were stuffed animals that you could turn inside out and change them into a ball with a tail. There was a TV show these guys were based off of, but I don't really remember the plot. I had a regular sized one and a smaller one - the smaller one was a pain to turn into the ball though!

Pound Puppies
Growing up in the 80s, I used to watch the Pound Puppies on Saturday mornings and then rent the VHS tapes at the video store when they were no longer on TV. I had several of the smaller Pound Puppies dolls, but was a bit disappointed that none of them looked like the ones on the show - they didn't have clothes like they did on TV!

Rainbow Brite
I LOVED Rainbow Brite when I was little - my best friend and I used to watch and rent those tapes ALLLLL the time! My parents had gotten me a bigger orange Sprite and then I remember one year my grandma got me a small Rainbow Brite doll with a mini Twink sprite and I took that thing with me EVERYWHERE. Eventually we found her horse, Starlite, at a garage sale and all was perfect! Over the years I've been lucky to find some of the Color Kids on Ebay, so my Rainbow Brite collection is still growing!

Teddy Ruxpin
I longed for one these talking/reading Teddy Bears but never got one. A few friends did though, so I did get to see the thing in action, but I remember these were all the rage back then!

The Wuzzles was another Saturday morning cartoon I used to watch as a kid (although I vaguely remember it). They are winged creatures that are crossed between 2 other creatures, for example, the main Wuzzle, Bumblelion was a cross between a lion and a bumblebee. The stuffed animal one that I had was called Tycoon and was a cross between a tiger and a racoon.

Roller Racers
My best friend had one of these - they were a seat with wheels and handlebars that you could use to steer it. We always tried to spice things up a bit though and decided to tie a jump rope to the center of the handlebars, so one person could pull while the other rode. Sometimes the person pulling would go too fast though and let go of the rope, while the person sitting would go flying down the road until they steered into the curb to stop and crash. We had quite a bit of fun with that thing though!

I LOVED playing with Play-Doh! I remember as a kid, my parents would set up the picnic table we had for the back porch in the basement during the non-summer months, put a plastic cloth over it and let me use it as my Play-Doh table. I had a whole case of colors and occasionally my parents would get me some fun sets for it, such as a Burger King set where you could create burger and fry creations out of Play-Doh and I think there was an ice cream set as well!

Silly Putty
This was a toy, while not originally from the 80s, it was still very popular back in the 80s! I remember getting my first Silly Putty egg (basic plain pink) and my dad showing me how to use it. I had fun putting it on top of the newspaper and comic strips and copying them. Ah, the simple things!

Lady Lovely Locks
http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/4/5/9/0/2/5/webimg/309297559_tp.jpgLady Lovely Locks was a doll with lovely flowing hair and was a toy tie-in for a TV series. She came with several different hair brushes and styling clips, as well as colored hair attachments called Pixietails. She also had several pets, such a kitty, dog and horse, that you could attach Pixietails to. I remember these dolls smelled really good too for some reason! I also had her house, but I recall us selling these at a garage sale one year because I had stopped playing with them and they were just taking up space - I remember saving one of the pets though!

http://www.thisoldtoy.com/new-images/images-ok/800-899/fp826-fpt14354-tape-rec.JPGFischer Price Tape Recorder
This was another toy that I got a lot of use out of. Not only was it a cassette player, but it could also record audio and came with it's one cassette tape - there was a story on one side and the other side was blank so you could record your own story. It technically was my first stereo, come to think of it! I remember when I was little, I had some stories on Vinyl that my parents transferred over to cassette for me, as well as Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album - I remember listening to that album A LOT on this little tape recorder!

Barbie Dolls
http://www.vecchigiocattoli.it/barbiemyfirstballet.jpgWhat girl growing up, whether or not she actually played with it, didn't have at least one Barbie doll? I remember my first Barbie - coincidentally, back in 1986, it was called My First Barbie and she was a ballerina. She came in a pink swimsuit leotard and had a snap on longer tutu and had pink ballerina slippers that you could lace up her legs (I rarely did though, as I couldn't tie shoes yet so we took the strings out of the shoes and she just wore the slippers!). She also came with a pink plastic comb and puffy armbands with a matching one in her hair. I got my first Ken not too long after - Dream Date Ken, who was in a tux, and boy was he dreamy! My Barbie and Ken lived together in the 3 story Barbie Townhouse that had an elevator you could pull up with a string, and they had all pink furniture that I had gotten over the years. Eventually I got TeenTime Skipper, who joined them, as well as Skipper's brunette friend Babysitter Courtney. While these were my early Barbies, I ended up having a whole bunch of them - Ice Capades Barbie, Dr. Barbie, Barbie and the Beat (one of my favorites!) as well as her red-headed friend Midge, and little twins Stacy and Todd. My dolls all rode around in the blue-green Barbie '57 Chevy with pink interior too!

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid became one of my favorite movies as a little girl, so naturally I HAD TO HAVE an Ariel doll. This one came with a tail that snapped on and off, but because of the plastic they used for her legs it was very hard for a little kid to get on and off, so my mom sewed me a new tail that was just as good! This doll also came with the pink dress she wears in the movie as well as plastic versions of her fish friend Flounder and a Sebastian the crab hiding under a piece of lettuce. I had such good times with this doll!

Lolly Doll
http://www.toyzdollz.com/images/fpclot94.jpgMost every kid growing up has some object they grow attached to and no matter how old they get, they can't seem to go without it. Some have teddy bears, some have blankets, I had this doll. I don't remember how I got her, but I loved that thing to death! She had a rattle in her belly too and I had broken the doll in so much that she was pretty soft. She literally became a rag doll - my mom would have to wash her after I had been sick, but even that was a feat (we had to put her in a pillow case). I slept with this thing, went everywhere with this thing. I even lost it at a truckstop while we were traveling back from Pennsylvania to visit relatives and about lost it - I couldn't sleep with out my Lolly doll - she was my comfort toy. Fortunately, my dad was able to reach the McDonald's at the truckstop and they had found it and shipped it out to us (I think it was in Ohio), so I was relieved. Relatives had bought me a newer one (like the one in the photo - imagine that, but a grayish purple worn color and with random holes and stuffing showing through and you got my doll) to replace my original one, since she was getting really ratty, but they just weren't the same. I think I slept with her up until Jr. High too, then we retired her to a shelf in the closet, where I think she still is with my other stuffed animals I never boxed up.

I remember going over to my best friend's house one day and saw her older brothers playing games on the TV via a Nintendo - it was the coolest thing! They taught me how to play Mario and Gauntlet and some Zelda and I wanted one! Well, Christmas was nowhere near in sight, but fortunately for me, an older cousin had gotten recently gotten one and didn't need his Atari anymore, so they boxed it up and sent it out to me. I don't remember most of the games, aside from Pacman, but I do remember the E.T. game - that game made me SOO frustrated, it was near impossible to do much in it!

http://www.beau-coup.com/Images/nintendo-nes-box.jpgEventually I did get a Nintendo - it came with 2 controllers, a powerpad and a Duck Hunt gun, as well as the game cartridge that had Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt and a track meet game that you used the powerpad for. Eventually we got Zelda (the one with the gold colored game cartridge) as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, The Little Mermaid game, and Ms. Pacman. We also had the Game Genie which was an attachment that you'd plug the game cartridge into and put into the console and then it had a book of game cheats you could choose up to 3 for any given game. Over the years, I've bought some more games for it, such as ones we'd play over at my best friend's house like Anticipation (that game where it would draw a picture and you'd have to spell it correctly), Gauntlet and Ducktales. We'd also play Castlevania sometimes too (her brothers had a bunch of games) and sometimes instead of renting a movie on the weekends, I'd rent a game instead. The awesome thing about this console too - if it didn't work, blow across the cartridge. If it still didn't work after a few blows, blow into the console itself. If it was really messed up, we'd take turns blowing into and across it. Eventually my parents got me a cleaner kit, but to this day, over 20 years later (yep, I still have mine - it's out in my living room), the old blowing method still never fails to get the thing to work!

1 comment:

  1. Flashbacks indeed!

    My favourites were Care Bears, My Little Pony and those cute-ugly troll dolls. One of my friends had a huge collection of them, and I was always secretly envious!

    Great list! :-)


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