If you were an 80s child you will undoubtedly recognize the best 80s toys. Have a break and take a stroll down memory lane. Duran Duran is on the radio, the threat of nuclear war is eminent, good times…
Best 80s Toys no.7 – Wrestling Superstars
Wrestling Superstars were the original toys based on the WWF (World Wrestling Federation). They were produced from 1984 to 1989 and were made from solid rubber. These figures saw some super 1980’s schoolyard matches with the likes of Hulk Hogan and the Junkyard Dog taking on The Iron Sheik and George ‘The Animal Steel’! Because these figures had no moveable joints they were pretty much held by the feet and used like a tennis racquet, sending the opponent flying across the room and into Mum’s vases.
Best 80s Toys no. 6 – My Little Pony
My Little Pony by Hasbro was released in 1983. The palm sized ponies featured colourful mains and tails and had a unique symbol on either sides of their body. There were many variations of the ponies subsequently released including Pegasus, unicorn, flutter and sea ponies. Basically the same thing with a few minor changes, Hasbro had little girls everywhere shelling out cash to keep up with the trend and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Hasbro has been peddling these ponies ever since.
Best 80s Toys no.5 – Star Wars Figures
Based on the mega hit Star Wars films, The Star Wars action figures produced by Kenner were basically a licence to print Republic Credits. Released in waves to coincide with the release of the first three Star Wars films, these toys allowed children everywhere to recreate their favourite battle scenes. To date, Star Wars toys have grossed more than 12 Billion dollars! That’s almost as much as ticket sales, DVD and book sales and video games sales all put together!
Best 80s Toys no. 4 – Teddy Ruxpin
The best selling toy of 1985 and 1986, Teddy Ruxpin was a bear that would read stories to you via the cassette stowed away in his back. Later, Teddy was upgraded to digital cartridge giving him an increased vocabulary. Teddy Ruxpin was the teddy bear equivalent of Chucky and I’m sure he scared the crap out of any child who forgot to turn him off at night.
Best 80s Toys no. 3 – Cabbage Patch Kids
The original concept for the Cabbage Patch Kids is credited to Xavier Roberts who created “The Little People”. In 1982 Roger Schlaifer secured the distribution rights and changed their name to Cabbage Patch Kids. Schlaifer then co authored the story of the Cabbage Patch Kids with his wife. In the story, the evil Lavender McDade would force these babies to work in her gold mine unless they were adopted and went to a good home. This marketing power play saw the dolls race off the shelves as small children everywhere convinced their parents that they had to save a Cabbage Patch Kid from certain slavery.
Best 80s Toys no. 2 – Rubik’s Cube
The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Hungarian professor of architecture, Erno Rubick. It is possibly the world’s best selling toy of all time with more than 350 million cubes sold to date. The Rubik’s cube was an endless source of frustration for many children of the 1980’s. The only real way to solve it was to ‘steam’ the stickers off the cube with a kettle and replace them in coloured order. The Rubik’s cube also made a great projectile to throw at your sister when she came into your room without asking.
Best 80s Toys no.1 – Masters of the Universe
In the late 1970’s Mattel declined a deal to produce action figures based on a never heard of film called Star Wars. After the head honchos pulled themselves back from the ledge they decided that an action figure franchise was in fact the way to go. A lead designer by the name of Roger Sweet built a model out of clay and plaster and the legend of He Man was born.
With the exception of a few female characters, The Masters of the Universe were essentially extremely buff men dressed up in little more than underwear and furry boots. Too young to think anything other than that Eternia must have had very hot weather all the time, kids would waste away their days commanding He Man’s army against the evil forces of Skeletor.