Reminiscing the 80s
80s Fashion, Popular Culture and Toy Reminiscing - I take a trip down memory lane.
There really is nothing like the memories of childhood is there? I think the older we get... the more we tend to turn our childhood memories into magical fairytale like thoughts.
I know for myself.. memories of my childhood are just ever so sweet and wonderful. In fact I use any excuse to get all nostalgic and reminicise as often as possible! Hence this post :)
Many of my own families toys ended up in landfill or in Church Op Shops or Second Hand Shops, but thankfully quite a few have held the test of time and we still have them to pass on to the new generation.
Pip's Travel Down Memory Lane...
Let's start by setting the scene...
Here's standout fashion crazes that I remember wearing in the 80s!!
Flourescent Ankle Socks
JELLY SHOES!! Sometimes with the flouro socks on as well! (gasp!)
We called these Ra Ra Skirts
And Jelly Shoes went so well with balloon or Ra Ra skirts.
The Age of Plastic created Plastic Basket Handbags
And I had a selection of these plastic baskets as my must have accessory at around age 10! Perfect to fit all my lace ribbons and extra flouro socks!!
So now for the Gerard toy selection.. thought I'd start with the one's I remember our family owning first (in no particular order).
Family Tree House
The Family Treehouse was a gift to my brother and I when I was about 4, and he 3. We so loved that thing with it's little elevator from ground level to top! (I remember I wished back then that we could live in a tree with an elevator in the trunk. ... to a kid...this kind of thing is magic!)
It was so magical and we loved it so much so... that when I found an old, crusty, completely naked, broken up version in an op shop, my heart went all a flutter and I stood there for 10 minutes deciding whether to purchase it or not! I didn't... but still finding it was like a gold moment for me anyhow.
Fisher Price Sesame Street Playhouse
And...here is the champion of ALL pre-school toys in my opinion! The Fisher Price Sesame Street Clubhouse!
We still have ours at Mum & Dad's house... a little wrinkly around the sticker edges... but still the favourite toy of choice by every single Grandchild! (I kid you not... we couldn't even count the amount of hours every single grandchild has spent on the clubhouse!)
With over 10 different actions for kids to do this really is the dreamhouse for pre-schoolers!
I even went and bought a vintage one in near immaculate condition from the U.S for my boy years back and it's been his joy toy for years too! So there's one at home and one at Grammy & Poppy's house!
Why oh why do they not make toys like they used to?
Fisher Price... pleeease get rid of the batteries and look back to your 80s toys for inspiration - there's absolutely no need for batteries if you do them right... parents will love you for it!!
Fisher Price Record Player
My Fisher Price record player was a prized possession! Just a simple wind up toy with chimes. So simple and so loved!
I still have it... minus 2 of the records. Doesn't sound as good as it used to that's for sure!
Another wonderful sound toy WITHOUT batteries! :)
Fisher Price Circus Train
Still have my Fisher Price Circus Train too... but with only the clown left... all the rest of the characters & animals have dissapeared over the years :(
Yep - this really is a Barbie McDonalds Set
Another minor obsession of my childhood - The Fraggles!!
All began with Dad... he bought home a sample video of the show before it aired.
I do admit... I was completely in love with all things Muppets and Jim Henson as a kid.. still am really.
One thing I could never understand... was how the Doozers never took a break! I mean why would they want to work when they can see the Fraggles having so much fun... just didn't make sense to me?
For those nights the monster in the closet won't leave your imagination!
I had so much love for my gloworm. He was a night light and then spent many years in the corner of my pink room until he went to charity land.
Ahhh the Poochie Stamper. My prized possession for many months of my adolescent life! I felt so official stampin' with the Pooch... Funny though when you think about it... can you see an adult woman using a dog with pink fluff coming from all angles to stamp things? Guess that's the beauty of childhood.. you can be a diva princess all you like & no one blinks twice.
Another highly prized Pip Possession! Much loved & used... probably cause of it's creative flavour.
You could swap the plastic plates around to create different outfits and models... all you had to do was colour over the top of the plates to reveal the design on the paper.
I remember having heaps of fun with this one and thinking it was just so special.
Stawberry Shortcake Figurines
I think I got high on my sister's Strawbs!
I used to just sit there for ages with her head permanently affixed to my nostrils taking big strawberry delightful sniffs! Scary!!
Fisher Price Shopping Trolley
My big sis and I felt like lucky little cherubs when we got our very own plastic grocery store at home!
We had the big shelves, the shopping trolley, the plastic peas!
We were in heaven!
Fisher Price Cash Register
Speaking of shopping toys... the Fisher Price Cash Register was another absolute favourite!!
Didn't every little girl collect swap cards at some point?
Collectable Novelty Pencil Erasers/Rubbers
My sister and I both collected novelty erasers. We were both very lucky to have great collections mainly cause Dad would buy us some every time he went overseas which was pretty often.
I asked Dad the other day if he knew where they were and he thinks he knows ... so I'm going to hunt them down... If I find them I'll be sure to photograph and do a blog post. (I definitely remember having a few of those Nintendo erasers above)
I've already gone a little viewmaster crazy for my own son... he's probably already got a collection of over 50 slides... think it's more for the nostalgia value for me cause he's only looked at them once or twice.
Remember Alf? I can clearly remember the father in that show's voice.. it was such a weird voice wasn't it?
My Alf quickly became another permanent resident of the Doll's Cot.
Maybe he and Sarah whinged about David? ;)
Mum used to make us play dough a lot and we had heaps of fun with the barber shop. You remember... the one where you'd turn the chair and it would push the dough up through their heads to create hair.
Great fun to do.... just too bad they were impossible to clean and always had crusty hard bits of play doh blackheads in their skulls most of their lives!
I was such a HUGE Jem fan.
Picture a little girl with flouro socks and ruffle skirt singing Jem out of tune :)
And how's the words to the Jem theme song... today it cracks me up....
"Jem is truly outrageous... truly... truly...truly... outrageous! The lyrics alone scream 80s!"
These flick bracelets were so simple... but they were the biggest hit.
Who would've ever thought that a piece of metal covered in fabric that sounded like kids were being whipped would become a massive toy craze!!?!
I loved the spirograph! Wish I still had one!
I gave up ever trying this. To me it was a bloody annoying toy!
I just remember my older brother's Cube had crooked stickers all over it from where he took them off and matched all the colours his way...
he obviously found it annoying too!
We all much preferred the Rubik's Snake.
Slip n Slide
Our yard was made for the slip 'n' slide...
Slip n Sliding was something I remember my older brother initiating over so many summers. The side yard of our house.... was a slope... so of course it was perfect for a slip n' slide... didn't matter that at the end of the slip n' side was the danger of hitting a parked car, cement or a fence!
Every summer there'd be dead grass in the shape of a slipe n' side on the side of the house.
In the end I remember my brother just using giant pieces of plastic with tent pegs in each corner with washing detergent!
Magic Sand freaked me out! I found it fascinating.
Loved the stuff!'
Remember Shrinky Dinks??
They'd start out as a big piece of plastic that you'd write your name on... then some time in the oven and they shrunk down to miniature versions for key rings & things.
How cool were they!!
It had that weird smell and the thing I used to love doing was pushing it back into the container to make fart noises! You just don't have a proper childhood unless you enjoy making fake fart noises!!
Watching Smurf cartoons and collecting the figurines from BP petrol stations was the thing to do in Australia in the 80s!
I was completely devastated the day I found out sea monkeys looked nothing like this picture!!
Talk about false advertising!!
My older brother had silly putty..
never got to have a play of this one.
intriguing toy idea though... don't you think?
Star Wars Figures
My older brother had a great collection of Star Wars figures (though didn't every young boy of the late 70s early 80s?) and I remember he owned a case just like that in the picture.
The Green Machine
Older brother was the envy of many the neighbourhood gang when he got a Green Machine (same as the picture).
He was given one as reward by being the boy in the photo's of the green machines for sale in the Venture store catalogue.
A big neighbourhood hit was this green monster!
Mentioning a list of toy's from the 80's... well it's hard not to mention McDonald's as a part of it. Say and think what you will about McD's... but boy did they know how to do marketing!!!
It's really quite incredible to think that Mcdonald's makes up parts of most kids throughout the Western world's.... childhood memories!
I remember McDonald character straws... McDonald Character pens... the Muppet Baby Happy Meal toys and more!
I nearly flipped out when I saw this picture of the UFO Happy Meal Container cause all the memories of it came flooding back that I'd completely forgotten about!
Do you remember these awesome UFO plastic Happy Meal containers??
My younger brother loved his He Man Snake Mountain!
We've still got photo's of him with his best buddie playing with the microphone in the yard when he was about 7.
Seriously... what boy or girl didn't love the Ghostbusters??
My little brother and I loved to watch the 'Real Ghostbusters' cartoon too.
He had a great ghostbuster collection and he's even bought vintage ghostbuster toys for his son recently.
Isn't it great to be able to share toys you loved with your kids??
Go Gadget Go!
Little Bro had this action figure with all it's little gadgety features.