Many of the toys introduced in the late 70s and popular throughout the 80s are still played with by today’s boys and girls. These toys met the requirements for becoming popular with multiple generations.
My Little Pony
During the 80s, My Little Pony with its line of coloured plastic horses with brushable manes and tails caught the imagination of little girls. The original six ponies – Minty, Snuzzle, Butterscotch, Bluebelle, Cotton Candy, and Blossom – all had a symbol on their hips to match their names. The ponies were housed in a special Dream Castle or a stable with each pony’s name over its stall. In addition to the regular ponies, Unicorn Ponies, flying Pegasus Ponies, Sea Ponies for baths, and Rainbow Ponies all made their way into little girl’s hearts. There were even Baby Ponies, miniature versions of their mothers and fuzzy So Soft Ponies. You can still buy My Little Pony in toy departments for a new generation of little girls who love horses.
Strawberry Shortcake and her friends from Srawberryland stole the hearts of little girls in the 80s. Each doll was scented to match a fruit and had a pet named after a fruit or dessert. Major characters and their pets were:
• Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard
• Huckleberry Pie and Pupcake the dog
• Blueberry Muffin and her pet mouse, Cheesecake
• Apple Dumplin’ and Tea Time Turtle
• Raspberry Tart and Rhubarb the monkey
The villains Purple Pieman and Sour Grapes created problems for Strawberry Shortcake and her friends while trying to keep them from having fun. In addition to the dolls, there were colouring books and Strawberry Shortcake’s house with fruit themed furniture.
First published in 1985 by Angel Games, this perennial family favourite, invented by Robert Angel with graphic design by Gary Everson, has remained extremely popular. Billed as, “The most fun you can have with a pencil,” the game is played with teams of players trying to identify specific words from their teammates’ drawings.
Glo Worm, a stuffed toy for young children designed by Hasbro’s Playskool division was introduced in 1982. With its plastic glowing, battery powered face that lit up when a child squeezed its body, it provided a warm friend for a child alone in their nursery at night. The toy used the phrase, “She’s so happy, she’s glowing!” for promotions.
Pound Puppies, a popular toy line of plush stuffed animals sold by Tonka in the 1980s, inspired an animated TV special and series, and a feature film. Extremely popular worldwide, shipments of the puppies over five years generated sales in 35 countries of $300 million. The stuffed puppies had droopy eyes and floppy ears and came in a cardboard “doghouse” with adoption papers. Called “Loveable Huggable,” smaller versions (13cm long) and a line of Pound Pur-r-ries cats also appeared.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy Books
Although the first fifty-six titles in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series were published between 1930 and 1979, these books increased in popularity when eight volumes were published in paperback between 1979 and 1981.
The Hardy Boys Mystery Stories came out in paperback in 1979, continuing the hardcover books by starting at #59. The series ended with volume #190 in 2005.
Other Classic Toys of the 80s
If you played with toys in the 80s, you probably remember these toys as well.
• Big Wheel racer tricycle
• Teddy Ruxpin, an animatronic children’s talking bear
• Rainbow Brite dolls
Dolls, cars, books, and family games – the toys of the 80s had a wide variety and something for everyone. If you were born in the 80s, you’ll definitely remember these toys.