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Looking Back on the Hottest 80s Toys

Okay, if there’s one thing from the 80s that remains uber-cool in the new millennium, it’s 80s toys. Some of the most popular 80s toys are worth more today than they were when they were on the shelves twenty years ago. Let’s reminisce about some of the hottest 80s toys and let’s look at how much they’re worth today.

Cabbage Patch Dolls  .  Care Bears  .  Fluppy Dogs
Glo Worm and Friends  .  Hot Looks Dolls
Masters of the Universe  .  Micro Machines  .  My Child Dolls
My Little Pony  .  Pogo Balls  .  Popples
Pound Puppies & Purries  .  Rainbow Brite  .  Roller Racers
She-Ra  .  Smooshies  .  Star Wars Toys
Strawberry Shortcake  .  Teddy Ruxpin  .  Wuzzles

 

Cabbage Patch Dolls

When you’re 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.

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Care Bears

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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Fluppy Dogs

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 you went.

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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 MOTU t-shirts.

 

    

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Micro Machines

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 like him/her.

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 years (1986-1988).

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: www.mychildworkshop.com.

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 pictures!

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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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Pogo Balls

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 exhaustion.

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

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 Popples Playground 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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Rainbow Brite

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 Brite.

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 fad.

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

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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She-Ra

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

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 Meals.

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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.

Buy Star Wars t-shirts

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Strawberry Shortcake

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.

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Teddy Ruxpin

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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Wuzzles

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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