Looking Back on the Hottest 80s Toys
Cabbage Patch Dolls
talking about hot 80s toys, you can’t leave out Cabbage Patch Kids. No
other toy in history was fought over as much as those cute-yet-ugly little
dolls we were all dying to own.
Yes, those who lived through the Cabbage Patch wars scoff at the mild
skirmishes that broke out over Elmo and Furby. Come on people! Mothers
BLED over Cabbage Patch dolls. They kicked, they scratched and they
LITERALLY BIT each other. There are still newspaper copies lying around
somewhere to prove it. If you want to talk about hot 80s toys, Cabbage
Patch dolls are it.
Unfortunately, most of the Cabbage Patch dolls left over from the 80s
aren’t worth more than ten or twenty dollars each unless they’re the very
first versions of the dolls.
Did you dream of sleeping on clouds, riding in cloud-mobiles, and sliding
down rainbows? Or did you ever try the Care Bear Stare? If so then you are
a true fan of the Care Bears.
The ten original Care Bears comprised of Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear,
Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear,
Love-A-Lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear and Wish Bear. Later on, additional
bears joined them, as well as the Cousins, who were other animals like a
lion, rabbit, dog and raccoon.
Each Care Bear and Care Bear Cousin has a symbol on its tummy that
corresponding to its name and care ability, like a rainbow for Cheer Bear,
a shooting star for Wish Bear, and a rain cloud for Grumpy Bear. It’s from
this symbol that the Care Bears and Cousins drew their powers. When
standing together they can generate the ultimate weapon, the Care Bear
Stare. A light radiates from their bellies to form a ray that brings
cheer, love, care, and goodness into the heart of their target.
In their TV show and feature films the Care Bears and their Cousins,
heroically save the day from the likes of Professor Coldheart, Nicholas,
and the Evil Spirit. These villains were always trying to foil the Care
Bear missions to bring love, cheer, and caring to the world.
The Care Bears even have a slight connection to King. The Care Bears live
in the clouds in Care-a-lot, a play on Camelot, and they hold their
meeting and make decisions around a heart-shaped table, a play on the
knights of the round table.
And, like many toys and fads from the 80s, the Care Bears have recently
made a come back. Besides the reissue of the toys, the Care Bears have
made several new movies. Visit the
Care Bears Official Site
for up-to-date info on your favorite caring friends. Or, you can buy
Care Bears t-shirts here.
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Ever wish you’re dog could do more than eat, sleep, sit and fetch? Fluppy
Dogs can! Fluppies, who resemble pastel Puli dogs (the dogs that look like
they have dreadlocks), can not only talk like humans, but walk like us
too. They are adventurers from a different world, one of snow and rainbow
lights in the sky. While traveling through interdimensional portals, the
Fluppy Dogs got lost and fell into our world. Most humans think they are
just regular dogs, but the Fluppies’ new friends Jamie and Claire know
otherwise. The evil Mr. Wagstaff, collector of rare and exotic creatures,
noticed the uniquely colored Fluppies and decided he must have them at any
cost. With the help of Jamie and Claire, the Fluppy Dogs steer clear of
Wagstaff’s grasp and find their way home.
The five main Fluppies were Stanely (blue), Blink (yellow), Dink
(red/peach), Tippi (purple), and Ozzie (green).
Disney’s Fluppy Dogs aired as a one-hour animated TV special in 1986. If
the term had existed back then, it would have been Disney’s first animated
Disney Channel Original Movie.
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Glo Worm & Friends
Glo Worm was a stuffed worm that glowed in the dark when you squeezed it.
It even came with its own nightcap ready for bedtime. Glo Worm was THE hot
toy in 1982 and sold out almost immediately at Christmas. With the success
of huggable worm that glowed, a line of story books, night lights, videos,
and other merchandise followed. In 1986 a line of hard plastic toys was
released featuring Glo Worm and his many friends including: Glo Snugbug,
Glo Snail, Glo Doodlebug, Glo Bug, Glo Grannybug, Glo Clutterbug, Glo
Bashfulbug, Glo Butterfly, Glo Bopbug, Glo Cricket, Glo Skunkbug, Glo
Bookbug, Glo Nuttybug, Glo Sniffle Snail, Glo Firefly, Glo Hopper, Glo
Spider, Glo Bopbug, Glo Flutterbug and Glo Turtle. Each Glo Friend came
with an info card and a mini sleeping bag that had button holes at the top
and bottom. Thus you could wear/carry your Glo Friends with you wherever
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Hot Looks Dolls
Hot Looks Dolls were 19” pose-able fashion dolls. There were five dolls,
each a model from a different country. Stacey was from the U.S., Elkie
from Sweden, Chelsea from London, Mimi from France, and Zizi from Africa.
Their bodies were made of stockinette material while their heads were
vinyl with long brush-able hair. Each doll had its own look and special
outfit that reflected her country’s fashion. They also each had a
different color sewn-on bra and undies that could double as a swim suit. I
don’t know about anyone else, but I spent hours dressing up my Hot Looks
dolls and styling their hair.
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Masters of the Universe
If the names He-Man, Skeletor and Man-at-Arms mean anything to you, then
you were definitely a child of the 80s. These hot cartoon characters had
their own line of toys and every little boy wanted to own Castle Greyskull
and the entire line of He-Man action figures.
Believe it or not, Masters of the Universe toys are no longer 80s toys –
they have now become toys of the new millennium. He-Man cartoons are once
again being shown on television, Castle Greyskull is being distributed by
major retailers as are action figures of He-Man and his friends. As far as
collectible values go, these 80s toys aren’t exactly “collectors” items
because the new and improved versions are available on store shelves.
Be the Master of Your Universe (he he) and buy these cool
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Micro Machines were miniature cars produce by Galoob. They were about 1 ½
inches long and came in an assortment of colors and models. You might
remember them best by their TV commercials which featured John Moschitta,
Jr., the dude who spoke a mile a minute.
In addition to cars, the Micro Machine line featured airplanes,
helicopters, emergency vehicles, tanks, motorcycles, monster trucks,
tractor trailers, boats, trains, and mini play sets that interlocked so
you could build you own city. Specialty series included color-changing
cars (changed color when place in the sun), “private eyes” vehicles (if
held up to light one could see an illustration of the inside of the car),
“Blaze and Roar” vehicles (made noise like a siren when pushed down), and
remote controlled minis.
Want to relive those days of playing with your Micro Machines? Then head
on over to the Micro Machines Museum and see if
you can find your mini vehicles.
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My Child Dolls
My Child dolls were lovable dolls from the 80s. They came in both girl and
boy versions and were sold world wide in variety of looks. These plush
darlings were made of a soft velour fleece with a cute button nose,
intaglio eyes, and styleable hair. They even had plastic joints making
them poseable. The idea was that a child could select a doll that looked
Designed in 1985 by Mattel, My Child dolls were meant to compete with
Cabbage Patch dolls. Unfortunately they didn't
achieve the same level of popularity and were only produced for three
If you want to buy a MyChild Doll, restore your own doll or get an expert
opinion as to value, prior to ebay, one reader suggests this site:
The MCWS site has photos, restoration tips and tricks (like washing
instructions!), chatrooms and message forums to discuss with collectors
as well as classified ads, with which you can buy MyChild dolls, MyChild
Clothes, Bears and Blythe dolls.
NOTE: Thanks to Mabel from The Netherlands for sending this great info and
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My Little Pony
What little girl doesn’t dream of having her own horse? The 80s sought to
fulfill little girls’ wishes with My Little Pony, a line of colored
plastic horses with brushable manes and tails. Each had its own name and
corresponding “cutie mark” or symbol on their hips. The original six
ponies were named: Minty, Snuzzle, Butterscotch, Bluebelle, Cotton Candy,
and Blossom. Besides the standard (Earth) ponies, there were also Unicorn
Ponies, Pegasus Ponies, Sea Ponies which looked like seahorses that you
could take in the tub and would squirt water,
Rainbow Ponies with rainbow
hair, Twinkle-eyed Ponies with jewels in their eyes, So Soft Ponies that
were fuzzy, Flutter Ponies with iridescent wings, and Baby Ponies that
were identical miniature versions of their mothers.
Now that the little girls have all these ponies to look after, where do
they house them? For good pony owners there were stable carrying cases to
store your ponies. There were even places to put your pony’s name on its
stable stall. And, for those lucky ponies there was the My Little Pony
Dream Castle, complete with a drawbridge door and a pet dragon named
Spike. Now what pony doesn’t need a castle?
Besides filling up children’s hours with play, My Little Pony delighted
kids with an animated series set in Dream Valley and spawned an array of
other merchandise: books, a movie, puzzles, colorforms, bedding, plush
toys, and even sewing machines. And, if you missed out on all the My
Little Pony fun of the 80s don’t worry. My Little Pony has made a strong
come back. Go out and get your own My Little Pony now!
Also, be sure to visit the
My Little Pony Official Site.
Or, you can pony up and buy
My Little Pony t-shirts here.
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A Pogo Ball is pretty much just what it sounds like. Similar in function
to a pogo stick, a Pogo Ball resembles the planet Saturn. Basically, it’s
a ball shaped like a figure eight with an octagonal platform around the
middle of it (essentially creating a ball on top and bottom). You stand on
the platform squeezing the upper ball with your feet and then jump and
bounce around to your hearts content or until you pass out from
The Pogo Ball was a big hit with kids, especially on the play ground at
school. Parents loved it too because it got the kids out of the house and
exercising. Who knew physical activity could be so much fun?
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Popples were adorable little brightly
colored creatures with long tails that had a poof ball at the end. They
also had a pouch on their backs that when you flipped inside out would
roll the Popples into balls. They got their name from the pop sound they
made when you turned them back right-side out.
As most great toys of the 80s the Popples
had their own cartoon. The Popples lived with Billy and Bonnie, a brother
and sister. The siblings protected the Popples and hid them from adults.
But this wasn’t always an easy task seeing as how the Popples were a bit
of a mess. But luckily, no matter what the problem was, the kids and the
Popples would fix it just in the nick of time.
Pop on over to the
for all your Popple info.
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Pound Puppies and Pound Purries
Pound Puppies and Pound Purries were all the rage in the mid to late 80s.
The stuffed dogs had floppy ears and big puppy-dog eyes. Both the puppies
and kitties had collars and came in an assortment of colors. Some even had
spots (for dogs) or stripes (for cats). Each Pound Puppy/Purry came in a
cardboard carrying case with adoption papers. In addition to the regular
size, smaller versions were also released. With all the Pound Puppies/Purries
success, knock-offs started appearing, but true Pound Puppies had an
embroidered heart with PP (for Pound Puppies/Purries) and either a dog
(for Puppies) or cat (for Purries) on their lower back.
Not only were the Pound Puppies a hit toy, but they had their own TV show.
A girl named Holly adopts the puppies from the pound and together they
have many adventures. The puppy characters included: Cooler - the leader,
Brighteyes – the cheerleader, Nose Marie – the southern belle, Howler –
the inventor, and Whooper – the compulsive liar.
Pound Puppy stuffed animals are back today and looking for a new home.
Visit the official
Pound Puppies website for more info.
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Ever wonder why the world is in color? Well, it’s all thanks to a little
orphan girl named Wisp. She was taken by a Sphere of Light to a land
without color and given the task of rescuing the seven Color Kids (one for
each color of the rainbow) and finding the Color Belt. Luckily Wisp
accomplishes her mission and uses the Color Belt to defeat the Dark One
(the villain blocking out all the color). As a reward for ending the black
and white blahs, the Sphere of Light allows Wisp and the Color Kids to
live in Rainbowland and leaves them in charge of all the colors on Earth.
The Sphere also bestows upon Wisp a new and more fitting name, Rainbow
In addition to Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids, there is Starlite,
Rainbow Brite’s horse (he has a yellow star on his forehead and a rainbow
mane and tail), and the sprites, furry creatures with star-shaped antennae
that help out Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids (they come in all the
colors of the rainbow). And if you’re wondering what the Color Kid’s name
are, there’s Red Butler (whose sprite is Romeo), Lala Orange (whose sprite
is OJ), Canary Yellow (whose sprite is Spark), Patty O'Green (whose sprite
is Lucky), Buddy Blue (whose sprite is Champ), Indigo (whose sprite is
Hammy), and Shy Violet (whose sprite is IQ).
Now back to whole bringing color to Earth thing… How does it work exactly?
First the sprites mine Color Crystals from the Color Caves. Second they
convert the Color crystals into Star Sprinkles (there’s Star Sprinkles for
each color). Third, Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids use the Star Sprinkle
along with the Star Belt (which runs off Star Sprinkles) to painted the
world. Sounds simple right? Well not as simple as you might think. Rainbow
Bright and the Color Kids mission of color management is always being
undermined by Murky Dismal and his side kick Lurky. These dastardly
villains are always trying to steal the Color Belt and revert Earth back
to black and white. Luckily good always triumphs over evil and we continue
to live in a Technicolor. Hurray for Rainbow Brite!
While Rainbow Brite started off as TV show, there was a whole line of
dolls to go along with it... Rainbow Brite, the Color Kids, Starlite, and
even the adorable Sprites. There was also a movie, Rainbow Brite and the
Star Stealer (1985), as well as other merchandise. The whole Rainbow Brite
franchise raked in over $1 billion in retail sales. Not bad for an 80s
Want to relive those Star Sprinkle filled memories? Then follow a rainbow
on over to
RainbowBrite.net or buy
Rainbow Brite t-shirts here.
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Roller Racers are another toy (like Pogo Balls) that promotes physical
fitness. These fun rides were basically a plastic seat that sat low to the
ground. From the front handlebars came out which also acted as a footrest.
Then using your hands or feet, you swiveled the handlebars from side to
side to propel yourself forward.
It was great if you and your friends each had one, then you could have
races. You could link the Roller Racers together using your feet to create
a Roller Racer coaster. And, best of all was to have someone push you and
your racer really REALLY fast. Just watch out for those sharp turns!
Luckily for all kids and kids-at-heart Roller Racers are still in
production today. Who needs rollerblades and skateboards when you can have
a Roller Racer? Go out and get your own today.
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Anyone ever wonder about the rest of He-man’s family? Turns out he’s got a
sister, Princess Adora. She was kidnapped from Eternia as a little girl by
Hordak (evil rule of Etheria). Manipulated by magic, she was raised to be
Hordak’s protégé and fellow evil-doer. Thankfully her brother (He-Man)
broke the magic spell, releasing her from the grips of Hordak. He-Man then
tells Adora of her true heritage and destiny. She is She-Ra: Princess of
Power. And just like her big bro She-Ra has her own magic sword, the Sword
of Protection, and saying, “For the honor of Grayskull… I am She-Ra!” (For
those of you unfamiliar with the show, when Princess Adora held up the
Sword of Protection and spoke the words “or the honor of Grayskull... I am
She-Ra!” she would transform into her alter ego, She-Ra.) She-Ra also has
her own transforming animal companion – a horse named Swift Wind (or
Spirit when normal). With her new found powers, She-Ra leads the rebellion
against Hordak, to free the people from his evil rule. Helping her out
along the way is Bow (an archer and bard), Princess Glimmer of Brightmoon
(manipulator of light), Kowl (a wise and sharp-witted owl-like bird),
Castaspella (sorceress queen of Mystacor), Mermista (siren princess who
can control waters), Frosta (commander of snow and ice), and Double
Trouble (a double agent and who worked for Horde but was truly sided
She-Ra and the rebellion).
Some of the She-Ra toys were pretty cool. Kowl was like a magic eight ball
in that you could ask it yes or no questions. Then you’d lift his belly
and see what color appeared. Green = Yes, Yellow = Maybe, and Red = No.
Castaspella came with a fiery holographic disk. When placed on her back,
you could spin it so it looked like she was casting spells. Mermista came
with a shell that you could fill with water. When placed in her back, you
could squeeze the shell which shot water out of Mermista’s necklace.
Double Trouble had two faces. By turning a disk on her back you could
switch between her good face (rebel) and her evil face (Horde accomplice).
The She-Ra TV show was created in hopes of appealing to young girls like
He-Man did to boys. And it worked. She-Ra and He-Man even showed up in
each other’s shows from time to time. And with the line of She-Ra toys,
sisters and brothers could play together and fight evil “for the honor of”
and “by the power of Grayskull.”
Want to join the rebellion and help She-Ra defeat Hordak? Visit
He-Man.org for more info on how to sign up.
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Smooshies were small stuffed critters with oversized arms, feet, and tails
that you would smoosh into their respective homes. For instance, homes
ranged from a honey pot for a bear and tree stump for a raccoon to a piece
of cheese for mouse. Most homes had more than one opening that you could smoosh your critter into and out of. Thus you could make parts of them
stick out. As silly as they might sound Smooshies were lots of fun.
McDonalds even put out a Halloween line of Smooshies toys in their Happy
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Star Wars Toys
Star Wars action figures were definitely hot 80s toys. Luke Skywalker,
Hans Solo, Princess Leah – they were all in high demand. In fact, there
were almost 100 Star Wars figures released during the late 70s/early 80s
and almost all of them have become highly-valued collectables, some being
sold for hundreds of dollars.
Star Wars t-shirts
Mmm… What’s that yummy smell? Strawberries? Blueberries? Apples? Why yes,
yes it is. It’s Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends in Strawberryland.
Each Strawberry Shortcake characters had their own fruity dessert-themed
name with clothing to match, and they each had a dessert or fruit named
pet. Plus, their hair was scented to match their fruit theme. Besides
Strawberry Shortcake and her cat Custard, some of the other characters
were Huckleberry Pie with Pupcake the dog, Blueberry Muffin with
Cheesecake the mouse, Apple Dumplin’ with Tea Time Turtle, and Raspberry
Tart with Rhubarb the monkey. And what are cute wholesome characters with
out some villains? The Purple Pieman and Sour Grapes were always trying to
stop Strawberry Shortcake and her friends from having fun.
With Strawberry Shortcake being such a huge hit, several related products
were released, such as sticker albums, clothes, a videogame for Atari, and
TV trays. The Strawberry Shortcake line has once again become a huge hit,
being relaunched in 2002 with a revamped look done by a different
designer. Visit the official
Strawberry Shortcake Site
for more on these delicious playmates. Buy
Strawberry Shortcake t-shirts here.
In the 80s animatronics weren’t merely just for movie magic and Disney
(i.e. Enchanted Tiki Room & Carousel of Progress). A little bear named
Teddy Ruxpin dared to venture into our hearts and minds by telling us
stories of his great adventures. Teddy was equipped with a built-in tape
deck in his back. When a special Teddy Ruxpin tape was inserted, he’d come
to life, moving his eyes and mouth, and talking. Grubby, Teddy’s fellow
adventurer, was also available as a toy. When connected to Teddy via a
cable, Grubby became interactive too.
As all great tales begin, Teddy Ruxpin his friend Grubby left home seeking
a great adventure… The Treasure of Grundo. Along the way they meet Newton
Gimmick, an inventor who joins their quest. The new found trio discovers
six magic crystals, each having a different power and meaning. To their
dismay the Monsters and Villains Organization (MAVO) are determined to
find all the crystals enabling the MAVO to have absolute power over the
land. Through a series of sixty five episodic tapes Teddy delighted
children of his adventures - magic crystals, new friends, intriguing
lands, and all.
With the progression of technology over the past twenty years, Teddy
Ruxpin has gone digital. He’s back with all new adventures for a whole new
generation of kids to enjoy and find a new best in a talking bear.
Re-immerse yourself in the adventures of talking teddy bear at
Teddy Ruxpin Online.
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The Wuzzles was a Saturday morning cartoon on CBS. Wuzzles are interesting
winged creatures. They live on the Isle of Wuz where everything is mixed
together. For instance the Wuzzles ate appleberries and used a
telephonograph. Besides food and appliances, the Wuzzels themselves were a
mishmash of two different animal species. Bumblelion was half bumblebee
and half lion who lived in a beehive. He had a pink mane, fuzzy yellow
antennae, a lion tail, and stripes on his belly. Butterbear was part bear
part butterfly. While she mainly looked like a bear, she did have
butterfly wings and antennae with white flowers on their ends. Eleroo, one
of the larger Wuzzles, was half elephant and half kangaroo. He was purple
with the body of a kangaroo (tail & pouch) and the head of an elephant
(trunk and ears). Other Wuzzles included Moosel (moose/harp seal),
Hoppopotamus (rabbit/hippopotamus), Rhinokey (rhinoceros/monkey), Tycoon
(tiger/ raccoon), Piggypine (pig/porcupine), Koalakeet (koala/parakeet),
Pandeaver (panda/beaver), Woolrus (sheep/walrus), and Skowl (skunk/owl).
There was also Crocosaurus (crocodile/dragon), the Wuzzels’ nemesis, and
his two sidekicks Brat (dragon/frog) and Fizzard (frog/lizard).
While The Wuzzles cartoon was short lived, the plush Wuzzles characters
brought long lived joy to kids.
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