Ok, so there are only 3 weeks left until Christmas, can you believe it? What better time than to introduce the 80's.
As a child of the 80’s, these toys hold a special place in my heart. I wasn’t lucky enough to own all of them, but as an opportunistic child, I always made sure at least one of my friends did.
Guess Who? was first manufactured in Great Britain in 1979, but it wasn’t until 1982 that it hit North American markets. Although there have been various versions with differing faces, and men/women counts, Guess Who? is one of the few games that has remained virtually unchanged by technology or fad over the past 30 years.
Developed in 1986 by Scott Stillinger as a toy that would be easy for his 5-year-old and 8-year-old daughters to play with and throw, the Koosh Ball got it’s name after the unique sound it made when it landed. In 1988 the Koosh Ball became one of the top 5 must have Christmas toys of the year, selling well over 1 million units in that year alone.
My Pet Monster was in itself a revolution being one of the first plush dolls marketed directly toward boys. Arguably one of the most nostalgic items for any boy born in the 1980’s, My Pet Monster would go on to sell hundreds of thousands of dolls before the 80’s were over. In commemoration, a 22" tall, talking My Pet Monster doll was released by Toymax in 2001.
Turning little girls all over the world into pony lovers, My Little Pony was launched in 1983 as an offshoot to the original My Pretty Pony toy. The first generation Ponies ran for 10 years in the United States and spawned a host of animated television and movie releases. The brand was most recently relaunched in 2003, with Hasbro releasing only Earth ponies from 2003-2005, then Pegasus ponies in 2005, and Unicorn ponies in 2006.
First produced by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder in 1985, Teddy Ruxpin was the world’s most popular talking teddy bear. His mouth and eyes moved as he told stories from a cassette placed into his back. The toy spawned a TV series that ran from 1987-1988, and holds a special place in the heart of any child born between 1977 and 1982. Trust me on this one.
TMNT or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they are more commonly known, were introduced to the world in 1988. It was Playmates, a small California company at the time, that saw potential in the green fighting turtles. Adapted from a role-playing game by Palladium, the Ninja Turtles first debuted as a cartoon, designed to support the sales of the actual action figure. By the end of the 80’s Ninja Turtles ranked at the top of every boys Christmas Wish list, and has continued to do so through the 90’s and even into the new millennia.