Home > Toy Ideas > Best Selling Toys from the 80s

Best Selling Toys from the 80s

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Eighties Toy Rubik Cabbage Patch Kids

The eighties ushered in a new era of hi tech toys – everything had to be battery operated and preferably look like some form of computer. The ‘silicon chip’ beloved of Tomorrow’s World reigned supreme over the eighties toy box, and it was a time when parents had to remember to buy in extra batteries at Christmas or there would be tears.

Starting off in the very early eighties was the non-battery powered but fiendishly addictive Rubik’s Cube, still an icon of the eighties. Developed by Professor Rubik, the puzzle drove many a child mad as they tried to solve it using mathematical logic, perseverance, or in some cases, brute force and a hammer. Following on from the cube was a pyramid and even a snake, but none of these were as hard to solve as the original puzzle.

For little girls, who loved their dollies, the coveted toy of the eighties was quite possibly the Cabbage Patch Kid. Charmingly named cloth dolls with vinyl faces, the Cabbage Patch Kids had strange looking faces and weren’t as cute as the average doll. However, despite urban myths that they were created to desensitise children to the appearance of mutated children, born after a nuclear war (well, it was the eighties) they created havoc and stampedes at toy shops, probably becoming the first toy to inspire this kind of consumer mayhem.

Every child of the eighties wanted the ‘it toy’ – the Atari Space Invaders console. The excitement of owning your very own Space Invaders mini arcade game and being able to argue over whose turn it was to play said game was indescribable. Pac Man was also popular, with the home version becoming available pocket size in the early eighties, very basic graphics and an unforgettable noise when the little round fella got caught by a pesky ghost. Archaic Pac Man may be when we compare it to the sophistication of a Play station or X Box, but back in the day, they were the height of toy sophistication and much sought after.

Eighties Cartoons and Films

The eighties set the scene for the toy mania of the nineties, and took merchandising to a whole new level.

The biggest toy merchandising opportunity of the eighties has to be the massively popular He-Man and the Masters of the Universe collection, which developed from the cartoons into a global brand that arguably managed to cross genders (remember She-Ra, He-Mans twin sister?) and inspired the creation of Thunder Cats and Transformers. If you were young enough to get into the cartoons of the eighties, you would be desperate for at least one play set or toy from the vast collection of Mattel action figures. Plenty of violent arguments between siblings were set to the tune of a He-Man cartoon...

If you were a soppy girl and not interested in action toys or things that bleeped, you might have fallen foul of the Care Bears craze instead. Originally created for greeting cards, these lurid coloured bears had names like Share Bear, Funshine Bear and Oopsy Bear, and they all lived in a TV series cartoon land in the mid eighties. There was even a Care Bears movie to inspire many a little girl to demand a plush bear for her birthday...

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sarah
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I make crochet play food do I need to get it safety checked before I sell them
    1 July 2020
  • Emma
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I would like to make silicone teething rings and wooden bunny ear teething rings for babies. How do I get my products tested…
    21 June 2020
  • Elaine
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi, I'm buying sand for my son's sand pit. It complies with toy safety standards but nothing specific on being crystalline…
    19 June 2020
  • Cath
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I want to make teethers for young children and those older with special needs.I can buy the materials from a specialist shop…
    17 June 2020
  • Aleks
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello. I bought eva foam playmat on ebay. On the package was written down to wash it before use and leave it open for few…
    11 June 2020
  • Deborah
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I bought stuffing for a soft toy I crocheted for child. The stuffing was purchased online advertising that it confirmed to…
    10 June 2020
  • eric23
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello I want to make dummy clips using wooden, silicone and crochet beads I have had sellers tell me they are food grade…
    3 June 2020
  • Joanie
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi, do lavender bags count as soft toys if they have soft-fill padding?
    27 May 2020
  • JLB
    Re: What is This Toy Safety Mark?
    Good evening, I am looking at a product concept consisting of learning flash cards for children. Please may I ask whether this…
    14 May 2020
  • Jen
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I am looking at making personalised wooden toy boxes and memory boxes. Would these be classified as toys? Would they need to…
    13 May 2020