Toy's From the Past
Surprise! Remember these teeny Terrapins?
Toys from the 80s and 90s
I am sure we have all felt nostalgic at some point in our adult lives. Maybe you have searched for a childhood friend, taken your own children to places you grew up, or looked back over old photos of your childhood.
I felt like this recently, when I found myself looking for an old game I used to have. The game was called 'Don't Break The Ice.
When I googled the game, I also i found lots of other old toys, that bought back many memories of gifts from Christmas past.
Playing with my big yellow teapot, and my big red chimney. Play cooking with my red and yellow au la carte kitchen, and running around the house shooting my brother with a Ghost-busters blaster, which fired yellow sponges ha-ha.
Those were the days, when we got toys in our cereal boxes, and those little burger and fries figures that you wound up in our happy meals.
We also got collectible figures, like teeny terrapins, crocodiles and hippos in our kinder surprise egg, rather than these stupid little vehicles, that you try for ages to put together only for it to fall apart again.
Here I have made a list of some of the top toys, from the 80s to early 90s. I obviously couldn't include them all, but feel free to add your favourites to the comments below.
If there was a toy you loved as a child, but cant remember what it was called, then describe it in the comment section below, and I will do my best to find out what it is for you.
I hope you enjoy it back there in memory lane, I know i did.
Keypers/ Finders Keypers- This was one of my favourite toys from the 80's, I had the diamond horse and Bonnie the bear with an umbrella on her back to hide things in. Keypers were made in the 80s by Tonka Corp, and each came with a little keyper man, a key and a brush. You can still buy them today from EBay and antique toy shops.
He-man was popular in the 80s and 90s with both boys and girls. Girls wanted to be She-ra and boys wanted to be Master's of the universe. Shops would sell these figures like hot cakes. There was He-man, She-ra. Skeletor, man-at-arms, orko, and Battle Cat among others and everyone i knew back then wanted a Castle Greyskull. He-man toys have been updated many times since the 80s so it is not hard to get hold of them, but if it is the originals you are after then your best bet is EBay.
Oh Penny/Oh Jenny- Okay call me childish but i still have the whole set of this toy made by Bluebird, i have the fairground, house, limo, wagon, stable, parlour and lots more. I played with these sets for hours when i was a child and stored them in my parents loft for many years in the hope of having a girl to pass them down to. I actually had all boys but still couldn't part with this part of my childhood. In the UK we called it 'Oh Penny' but i believe in the US it is referred to as 'Oh Jenny'. The US advert for this toy set went 'A is for auto, oh jenny's car B is for barn where the animals are C is for cart, jenny's is cool D is for dip, take one in the pool E is for exit, a treehouse surprise F is for family, with Jenny there are 5 G is for great, the way it will be The world of oh Jenny, from a-z'. And the UK version went 'Oh Oh Penny what a wonderful world you live in..........Oh Penny at Bluebird.'
Boglins were ugly rubber hand puppets, they had long arms and their eyes and mouth moved. I think every boy wanted to own one and they really did freak the girls out. The advert went like this "f you take us home, we'll kiss your Aunt Martha, we'll eat your peas, and we hope you know lots of girls." Each Boglin came in a box which looked like a cage.
The Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls were first produced in 1982 and since then have been manufactured by many toy chains. These dolls were the most popular in the 80s and each had a large round vinyl head with a soft fabric body. They then bought out the talking cabbage patch doll which could sense when another doll was present through its IR transmitter/receiver, the doll would say "I think there's someone else to play with here". That was just plain freaky. There was also The Garbage Pail Kids that were like the bad version of the cabbage patch dolls, i remember my Mum taking the cards of me that i was collecting because she said they wasn't suitable haha. I am sure one of them was called Potty Scotty.
Ghostbusters first film came out in 1984 and soon every toy stores shelves were packed with every toy possible on the hit film. I loved this ghost blaster gun which i remember my parents buying me from Toys 'R' Us. There was also all the ghostbusters vehicles and figures and even a dartboard. Kids everywhere were going crazy for the merchandise, and everybody knew the theme tune 'If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, Who you gonna call?....GHOSTBUSTERS!! (you will be singing this all day now)
Snugglebumms were weird but strangely cute little troll like toys. They were made by Playskool in the 80s. There was about eight or nine baby snugglebumms with names like 'Gladly, Happily and Shyly' who all giggled when you shook them and lit up when you squeezed them, there was also adult Snugglebums one of which when you shook it, its hair would stand up on end.
Gordon the Gopher was a cute little hand puppet who was Phillip Schofields companion on a TV programme called 'The Broom Cupboard'. He became so popular in the 80s that Teletoys started to make puppets of him so that children could own their very own Gopher. The Gordon the Gopher puppet was dressed in a green top with his initials on and some red boots. He also had a squeaker inside so you could press it to pretend he was speaking.
Glo-Worms was another favourite of mine. They came out in 1982 and had hard faces and stuffed bodies that when you squeezed would glow up. The glo-worms were so popular that they soon bought out Glo-friends, plus night lights, storybooks and even a video.
Micro Machines came out in the middle of the 80s, and were an instant hit. The miniature size cars also had miniature play sets so you could still play the same as you would with the normal size sets except you needed less space. In the 80's Micro Machines had a well known advert that went "If it doesn't say Micro Machines, It's not the real thing."
Big Yellow Teapot was made in 1982 by Bluebird. This is probably the first toy i remember having and so it was strange seeing pictures of it again. The Yellow teapot opened up into a little house with removable furniture and a little family along with a dog. The follow up to the teapot which i thought was worth mentioning was 'The Big Red Chimney Pot' i loved the big yellow nose that squeaked when you pushed it, this also opened up into a little home. And my Brother had the Big Red Fun Bus also a cool 80s toy from Bluebird.
Transformers Dinobots were the top selling toys in 1985. Each Dinobot transforms into a Dinosaur or another prehistoric monster called Dinotrons. They had names like Grimlock and Swoop. You can still find them selling on EBay now.
Popples- I spent ages trying to find out the name of these cuddly little 80s toys, i had Pretty Brit who was the pink and purple one and could never remember what they were called until now. Popples were brightly coloured teddy bears that you could roll up into a ball and then transform back into a teddy bear. They had long tails with pom poms on the tip of it.
Lolo Ball/Disco Ball- These toys had many names 'Disco Ball, Lolo Ball, Pogo Ball, Spring Ball'. I always called mine a Disco ball and had hours of fun bouncing around on it. We were allowed to take them to school for break time and i remember we even had a disco ball race at sports day one year. They first came out mid 80s and are still being made today.
Major Morgan was shaped like an army major. It was an electronic organ which you slotted music cards into the back of to make different tunes using the different key sequences. I had a red one of these as a child and found you had to press the keys really hard in order for it to actually make a sound.
Speak And Spell- This electronic educational game came out in 1980, and you could insert different cartridges in order to play different learning games. The game would give you a word and then you had to type it out, it would then speak the word that you had just spelt.
The letters and word would appear at the top of the screen in big writing.
Big Foot Truck- This truck was a big hit with children back in the 80s. It had a red lever to make it go forward and backwards and a yellow lever for neutral. Its on/off switch was an orange ignition key. Its main novelty was the fact it would drive over most things.
Sweet Secrets- The sweet secrets came out in 1984 and were little plastic pretend sweets with pretty jewels on the front. You opened the compartment and folded out the head, legs and arms to make a pretty little doll. There was also play sets such as the Jewellery box that turned into a dolls house and a photo frame which transferred into a pool. Not to be confused with the cupcake dolls that came out in the early 90s these dolls had big plastic skirts and when you turned the skirts inside out , the dolls turned into cupcakes or sundaes. And who can forget the Strawberry Shortcake Dolls which each had their own desert themed name and were scented to match.
Pound Puppies-These lovable huggable little puppies were definitely in demand back in the 80's. In their first five years of being on toy shop shelves in 35 countries the production company Tonka made a massive 300 million profit. The pound puppies were made in many designs each having big droopy eyes and floppy ears, and each dog came with a mini briefcase containing an adoption certificate. There was also Fluppy Dogs that were the cool multi coloured dogs with dreadlocks.
ThunderCats Figures- These toys were a big favourite from 1985 and there is probably not a single child from the 80s that wouldn't recognize the ThunderCats theme tune. 'ThunderCats are on the move, ThunderCats are loose, Feel the magic, here the roar, ThunderCats are loose! Thunder Thunder Thunder ThunderCats!' each figure had an action feature for example Lion-O's head and Mumm-Ra's eyes would illuminate when you slotted the keyring that came with it into their backs. Other figures included Tygra, Cheetera and Ma-mutt.
Smooshies- I was about to respond to a question from Jess, who wanted to know what these squishable dolls and animals were called. But after looking in to these cute toys, I decided to add them to the list. Does anyone else remembers these?
Jess asked "I am looking for a toy I had as a kid...they were small squishable animals babies etc. They came with hard plastic things like a dog house or in the babies case a buggy...and you would squish them into them. Please help if u have answers."
The toys that Jess is looking for are called Smooshies. They were made by Fisher Price around 1988. Smooshies are small stuffed cloth dolls or animals, which you bought along with a small plastic accessory that you could then squeeze the Smooshies in to.
Boglins 80's Toy Advert (@panbiscuit)
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Bluebird Oh Penny 80's Advert (@haribokey)
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