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Reminiscing the 80s

Updated on June 15, 2018

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

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 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

Fraggles Doozer

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? 


Glo Worm...

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.

Poochie Stamper


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.

Fashion Plates

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!! 

Swap/Trade Cards

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.

Alf Plush

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? ;)

Play Doh

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!"

Slap Bracelets

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!

Rubiks Cube

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!

Rubiks Snake

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

Magic Sand freaked me out! I found it fascinating.

Loved the stuff!'

Shrinky Dinks

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!!


ergh Slime!

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!

Sea Monkeys

I was completely devastated the day I found out sea monkeys looked nothing like this picture!!

Talk about false advertising!!

Silly Putty

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??

Snake Mountain

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.

The Ghostbusters

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??

Inspector Gadget

Go Gadget Go!

Little Bro had this action figure with all it's little gadgety features.

Here's the 1st EVER Star Wars Toy Commercial - no wonder they sold out so fast!

Seriously... no wonder kids hounded their folks after seeing commercials! - This is so fun to watch! Definitely takes you back!

Basic Fun Vintage Retro Toys Available for Sale Online

Retro Vintage 80s Toys Available For Sale Online Today

What were your favorite toys as a kid?

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    • profile image

      Jason Kendall 

      20 months ago

      My mustang 3 speed bmx with the long seat and sissy bar and ape hanger handle bars not to mention the white wall tyres

    • AlexisG profile image


      23 months ago

      This was a great, in-depth article and trip down memory lane. I had a couple of the toys on this list such as the Fisher Price record player and Cash Register as a kid. Oh, mcdonalds toys! I had several of them at one time!

    • PaigSr profile image


      4 years ago from State of Confusion

      There are very few of these that I do not remember. And some that I still have and even more that I wish I did still have. Also the picture from McDonald's is OK to list under toys as I still have the original Hamburglar as a stuffed animal.

    • Lynn Savitsky profile image

      Lynn Savitzky 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Woah, blast from the past! I had a few Cabbage Patch Kids and a Strawberry Shortcake doll, I definitely remember some of those Fisher-Price toys and I definitely remember owning jelly shoes.

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      6 years ago

      @bestmom1: I never got to play Simon Says...always wished I could though

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      6 years ago

      @kerbev: Rainbow Brite for sure!! Loved her!!

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      6 years ago

      @Eric Mayo: cool. Alf was definitely one of a kind. :)

    • Eric Mayo profile image

      Eric Mayo 

      6 years ago

      My son has Story Telling Alf. Alf was great.

    • kerbev profile image

      Kerri Bee 

      7 years ago from Upstate, NY


      We had the same childhood! I had that Barbie McDonald's set, too!

      I would only add Atari to my list and Rainbow Brite.

    • bestmom1 profile image


      7 years ago

      My favorite toy was Simon says and hungry, hungry hippo...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      gloworms and viewmasters - those were the days!! :D

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens!

      It brings back maney memories

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic site..had fun going down memory lane!

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      7 years ago

      @BrandonJames926: wish I could say the same :)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      7 years ago

      @ClinicallySigni: I was exactly the same... wasn't it freaky when the memory of it just suddenly came back!!

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      7 years ago

      @ClinicallySigni: I was exactly the same... wasn't it freaky when the memory of it just suddenly came back!!

    • ClinicallySigni profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the memories! I totally forgot about those UFO Happy Meal containers until the moment I saw the photo! Too funny!!

    • rayray131 profile image


      7 years ago

      I truly enjoyed this lens

    • BrandonJames926 profile image


      7 years ago

      While he lost one ear from the dog, I still own my Alf stuffed animal.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This was a fun trip down memory lane!

    • psiloveyou1 profile image


      7 years ago

      This really made me smile :) :) :) Best lens I've seen all week. I remember a lot of these and it brings back great memories. I'm going to share your lens on the message board :-D

    • MelissaInTheSky profile image


      7 years ago

      Yay! Pip this made me happy. :)

    • favtoys profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens and so many childhood favorites here.

    • cuteordeath profile image


      8 years ago

      Aw, what awesome memories! I looked up to my big sister growing up, too. :) (well, I guess I still do!)

    • bechand profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah I think I had all of that ... LOL

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @MarkFashionista: yeah I swear I used to get high on Strawberry shortcake! LOL! ;)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @cinstress: haven't heard of bonkers... sounds fun :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So many great memories!! Love Strawberry Shortcake and Custard!!

    • cinstress profile image


      8 years ago

      great lens, my friends had some of those toys... I always had the games like bonkers or Trust Me. I loved SLime with worms, LOL

    • cinstress profile image


      8 years ago

      great lens, my friends had some of those toys... I always had the games like bonkers or Trust Me. I loved SLime with worms, LOL

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @Scribble1 LM: I've never heard of Precious Places but sounds like a game I would've loved too.

    • Scribble1 LM profile image

      Scribble1 LM 

      8 years ago

      This was awesome! I had lots of these toys too. My favorite was a toy called Precious Places where you could move the little figures down a road using a magnetic key. It was super cool at the time!

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @FanfrelucheHubs: Can't believe I forgot to say thank you!! - So here's a belated thank you :)

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      8 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Wow such a nice trip back in time. I remember that slime stuff, I used to find it so gross. My brother also had that starwars suitcase to carry his toys. Blessed by the "collecting memorabilia" squidoo angel!

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @hayleylou lm: So there was a little girl called Hayley and a little girl called Pip rocking their plastic baskets in Melbourne in the 80s! We rock! ;) â¥

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      8 years ago

      OMG I remember the bag - I loved mine so much :)

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      8 years ago

      OMG I remember the bag - I loved mine so much :)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @hunksparrow: That really is a bloody fantastic comment!! Thank you so much :)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @MamaBelle: they did didn't they :) My boy is always asking for some toy or another nowadays.... he gets one and will play with it for a little way then will be onto something else... very frustrating. I feel like saying... when I was a kid... I could spend hours on something like that! :) Boys attention spans are famously shorter than girls though :) LOL

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @stephenteacher: Alf rocked huh :)

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 

      8 years ago from Corona, CA

      I loved ALF! Still don't know who did the voice.

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have to say that I really enjoyed this Lens. Very thoughtfully put together! Takes ya right back! My favourite toy was the spirograph. Funny enough I was thinking about that toy the other week. Good heavens, the hours I spent making pretty patterns with it...the amount of different coloured pens I went through...Heck our parents must have had loads of peace out of buying us this product! And it didn't cost the earth either. Tsk, they had it easy in those days! =)

    • hunksparrow profile image


      8 years ago

      What an awesome trip down memory lane! A lot of times, lists like these get repetitive. Yours truly had some unique items. I loved the UFO Happy Meal. How could I have ever forgotten it? And the barbershop play-dough characters. I could go on and on...Great job on this lens.

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @carlajo73: cheers! Appreciate it... will do the same if I haven't already.

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @GoodinDevelopme: I completely agree... the clubhouse is THE be all and all of the best pre-school toys in my opinion... all the kids that still play with it all the time are a testament to that. Thanks heaps for the great comment and for checking out my page :)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm so glad to hear you say it was fun... thanks :)

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @natashaely: I'm a sucker for trips down memory lane anytime :) Glad it did the same for you :)

    • carlajo73 profile image


      8 years ago

      Very cool toy memories!! I lensrolled to both of my 80s sites. Thanx for sharing!! :)

    • natashaely profile image


      8 years ago

      It's a major trip down memory lane for me, you must be about the same age. i loved them nd I just dug out a picture of me playing with my fisher price record player, I thought it was the best thing ever! I then graduated onto the tape player that could record me singing, what a joy for others that was lol! Great lens and some fab memories! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh gracious girls played with most of these toys too! What a fun trip down memory lane!

    • GoodinDevelopme profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, flashback big time. That Sesame Street Clubhouse is such a great toy. The trapdoor, merry-go-round, and the conveyor belt to the slide...they don't make them like that anymore. My parents actually still have one. My son was playing with it the other day. There was also the Fischer Price Castle that had the secret staircase and the draw-bridge. Another wonderful toy. Your lens brought back memories, thank you. Spent hours talking into the Snake Mountain microphone.

    • joanv334 profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • danny79 profile image


      8 years ago

      Cool stuff, brings back a lot of memories

      specially the smurfs

      and i had all the Garbage Pail Kids cards :)

      Cool lens

      Drop by

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great trip down memory lane.

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thanks... just usually go with what I like and what interests me... cause I don't like writing about anything else :) Happy New Year to you.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I love the go gadget go. Great idea for an article. Best wishes in 2011.

    • Pip Gerard profile imageAUTHOR

      Pip Gerard 

      8 years ago

      @TonyPayne: My Dad was a big Mecano fan. I do admire Mecano for the skill involved! Thanks for the comment... appreciate it heaps :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      My toys were tanks, guns and plastic soldiers, plus my Bayco building set and Mecano, but that was growing up in the 50's and 60's. My son used to have the Weebles Tree-House, and we both loved Alf and Ghostbusters.


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