The 1980s was one of the most awesome and unique eras for music, movies, television, and, of course, toys. There are so many amazing toys that 80s kids grew up with, that kids today would never recognize, and these are some of the biggest and most popular of those toys.
In many ways the OG 80s toy, Transformers was a hugely successful comic book series and animated cartoon (and later movie) that spawned a range of massively successful toys. The more modern iterations are not quite the same, and this original range remains the best and most popular from the decade.
He-Man was one of the most popular cartoons of the decade, and spawned a whole range of other mediums, including toys. There are some excellent toys in this range, and some more questionable ones, but there is no doubt that He-Man action figures remain some of the most forgotten (and awesome) 80s toys.
This was one of the lesser-known 80s toys, but was a massive craze back in the day. The idea was that you would receive a stuffed dog that would feature a random number of tiny stuffed baby doggies inside it. Cute enough, but probably a nightmare for parents of kids who had a real dog and hoped the same would happen.
Your first car
As a child, you probably didn’t long for the day you would get your first car… until you got behind the (plastic) wheel of a Fisher Price or Little Tykes plastic red-on-yellow colored box of joy. This first car was one of the most iconic outdoor toys of the 1980s, and this is something that a lot of kids fell in love with.
Nothing says 80s more than the trusted Etch-A-Sketch. This is very much Old Reliable when it comes to some of the best and most impressive 80s toys. It’s also one that has largely been forgotten in the passing years, and kids today would most likely have no clue what it was or even how it was meant to work.
These were a little bit more niche, but they were still heaps of fun at the time. Food Fighters were essentially plastic fast food items with arms and legs, dressed in military gear, and sporting army-pun names, such as Major Munch. These were not hugely popular in the 80s, but there’s a good bet a lot of 80s kids remember them fondly.
Ah, Slinky. This is perhaps the most ageless toy that has existed. Invented long before the 80s (the 1940s in fact), the Slinky is a helical spring toy that can performa number of awesome tricks that were literally mind-blowing in the 1980s. Kids these days might not have any clue what it is, but the streets remember!
This lawsuit waiting to happen was a ubiquitous 80s toy that was essentially an inflatable ball with a plastic platform built around the middle of it. It was perfect for kids to throw themselves off things and bounce around. This was a great way for kids to develop new and improved ways of breaking body parts, and is a long-forgotten and long-cherished toy.
Kids today would have no concept of a View-Master, but for children of the 80s, it was a life-changing experience to look through one of these and see stills of your favorite pictures or movies. It was a truly stunning experience and one that existed before smartphones and home computers were ubiquitous.
My Little Pony
Let’s be clear, any child of the 80s played with one of these at some point. Hasbro hit the jackpot in 1982 with what would become arguably its most iconic toy range. It spawned several hit TV shows and straight-to-video movies, and became an institution. Kids today will never understand the power of My Little Pony.