80s Toys

All that talk of California Raisins on my blog the other day got me to thinking about many of the toys I used to play with when I was a kid growing up in the 80’s.  I was a big fan of Fisher Price’s Little People back then, and I generally liked playsets of any kind.  The internet is a cool thing for many reasons, and it’s fun for stirring up nostalgia now and then.  I remembered this set of wind-up skill games they had in the 80s that were really small.  After a few minutes of google searching, I found them:  T.H.I.N.G.S. by Milton Bradley (Totally Hilarious Incredibly Neat Games of Skill – who remembers these?) .  It’s funny how most of these little toys look like just your everyday junk from China when you’re an adult, but when I was a kid, I had the Sir-Ring-a-Lot game and wanted all the rest of the T.H.I.N.G.S.

I was also really into Nerfuls after sending away for one (visor guy) in exchange for cereal UPCs.  These were little 3-piece figures  – a body, a ball for the head, and a hat or hair.  Some came with vehicles and the coolest parts were the stackable Nerfuls houses.

Legos were also really cool (still are!), and I’m thinking of getting my 5-year-old some of her own sets for Christmas this year.

Added link to Weebles Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

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46 Responses to “80s Toys”

  1. jamiahsh Says:

    “Weebles wobble but the don’t fall down.” Nerfuls… were they associated with all things Nerf? How about the Ewok Village playset or Jabba’s Palace complete with trap door leading to the Rancor Pit; however, the trap door was on the Hutt’s stand (unlike the movie) so you had to move him and the Rancor was sold separately. And we have of course the everything old is new again category of Transformers. Lite Brite and Spirograph. Legos are the best but for your 5 year-old nerves of steel (unless that is an excuse to get some for you to create 😉 And don’t forget all things “Some assembly required” or “Batteries Not Included.”

  2. taylhis Says:

    Liked Weebles too – grandma had those at her house, including the Weebles Mickey Mouse clubhouse which I remember being pretty cool. She also had this Playskool McDonald’s that was pretty neat.
    Nerfuls were produced by Parker Brothers, who had the Nerf rights at the time, but their bodies were made of vinyl, not Nerf foam.
    I remember that Jabba’s Palace looked really cool, but I didn’t have any Star Wars toys.
    Of course it’s an excuse for me to play with Legos again! No, actually, I think she’d really like them – she loves puzzles. There are lego sets for all different ages, so with a little shopping around, I think I could find one that would not frustrate her.
    batteries not included* Is that a reference to the 80’s movie?

  3. justj Says:

    I didn’t play with too many of the toys in the 80s. My nephew had all of the Star Wars and Transformer toys. My oldest girls had weebles, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears and Legos, We really had the Legos. I don’t remember Nerfuls or T.H.I.N.G.S.

  4. jamiahsh Says:

    WOW… I had the Mickey Mouse Weebles playset. IT WAS REALLY COOL. I was thinking more along the lines of electronic toys with the BNI addendum but you can call it a reference to the movie, if you like. I never saw it but don’t think it sounded very good… thoughts? I also thought that Jabba’s Floating Sail Barge would be a cool toy, but I don’t think it ever was made.

  5. taylhis Says:

    Jamiahsh – NI = ?

    And JustJ – still have those Legos?

  6. derek Says:

    I don’t remember Nerfuls, but Nerf balls and such I do. I also remember the game Nerf Arena Blast from 10 years ago. Fun game. I do remember Little People, but particularly the pre-pre-Sims game Little Computer People”.

  7. whatever Says:

    I remember Garbage Pail Kids, Madballs, Transformers, the rubber WWF (now WWE) Wrestling Figures and Ring, Pogo Ball, Nintendo, Stretch Armstrong (was this 80s?), Little People, Balls of Lead, YoBall, Cabbage Patch Kids, Verbot, Omnibot…

  8. derek Says:

    (split from previous post due to my comment being “spammy” according to WordPress…)

    As for Legos, my brother and I had many sets growing up. Now I have Lego Star Wars (also II) for my Gamecube.

    Can you tell my idea of a toy is a bit different from yours? 😀

    Oh yes, T.H.I.N.G.S.- I vaguely remember them. I could link to more video games here, but the entire concept of video games has to do with skill, so…

  9. derek Says:

    Oh, thanks a lot C! You just *had* to post between my forced two-part post, didn’t you? 😛


  10. jamiahsh Says:

    BNI + Batteries Not Included Sorry, should not comment so quickly

  11. taylhis Says:

    Ah, yes, lots of great toys listed there… but I chose more obscure toys to describe in my blog since I didn’t want to ramble on, and on, and on…
    But I’m glad for the reminders!
    There was also My Pet Monster, or for girl toys, there were Charmkins and Sweet Secrets… too many to name!

  12. taylhis Says:

    Jamiahsh – I added a link to the post just for you. This link also contains a pic of this MM phone that I didn’t remember I played with until I saw it. I must have been 2 or 3 when I had it – I love dredging up memories like this! Hubby remembers the same phone!

  13. jamiahsh Says:

    Monchichi? Rockem Sockem Robots?

  14. whatever Says:

    Can you guess which of the toys I listed was my favorite?

  15. jamiahsh Says:

    C, WWF plastic figures and ring?

    And Taylhis, I had the MM talking phone, too! I loved that thing.

  16. jamiahsh Says:

    Alphie the robot.

  17. jamiahsh Says:

    This is too fun!

  18. taylhis Says:

    MONCHICHI! I remember those! And like many toys of the 80’s, the tv show they made of it. I had a Monchichi and also a knock-off… now I have to look those up…

  19. whatever Says:

    WWF guys – Yup!! But, look at my list.. Anything else look really fun?

  20. whatever Says:

    MONCHICHI – I remember that commercial and that little thing.

  21. jamiahsh Says:

    Madballs were cool. pogo ball accident waiting to happen = more fun

  22. taylhis Says:

    Looked it up… apparently Monchichi was a tv show FIRST, then a toy? And the toys are still available (as of ’08) at Japan in Epcot!!! As if I needed another reason to cross the lake besides the best snow cones in the world!

  23. jamiahsh Says:

    well… have to see what exorbitant amount they charge on my next trip.

  24. taylhis Says:

    Ummm…. Balls Of Lead? Something tells me that’s made in China 😉

  25. jamiahsh Says:

    I had the walking mickey, too!

  26. taylhis Says:

    LOVED ALPHIE!!! THANKS for the memory! http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/alphie.shtml

  27. jamiahsh Says:

    couldn’t remember if they had Gummi Bear toys or not.. powered by gummibeary juice.

  28. taylhis Says:

    Sorry, not into the Gummi Bears at all…
    LOVED The Littles!
    Who remembers the Sat morning cartoon – Rubik’s Cube?

  29. jamiahsh Says:

    hey if not for you… this post wouldn’t have started… thank YOU!

  30. jamiahsh Says:

    I remember Rubik’s Cube and Turbo Teen and the Littles!

  31. taylhis Says:

    Don’t remember Turbo Teen, but Hubby and I share this as one of our favorite toys (and we forgot to mention it!): http://www.thisoldtoy.com/L_FP_Set/toy-pages/900-999/999-fisherpricemagicshow.html

  32. jamiahsh Says:

    Hippity Hoppers… very similar to the toys your girls have that you bonce on… everything old is new.

  33. taylhis Says:

    oh yes – remember the Hippity Hoppers. I always wanted one, never had one.

  34. jamiahsh Says:

    my cousin had the magic set then graduated to another one… the name escapes me.

  35. jamiahsh Says:


    I Vant to Bite Your Finger? New to me.

  36. jamiahsh Says:

    Merlin… http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/merlin0.shtml remember “borrowing” it from my brother

  37. jamiahsh Says:

    k… enough for me for now. n-z to go sometime

  38. whatever Says:

    I loved I Vant to Bite Your Finger!

  39. taylhis Says:

    Loved Merlin…
    How about Rubik’s Snake? And regular Rubik’s, of course, but I liked the snake better.

  40. derek Says:

    Good grief- 39 (now 40) comments?? I think you’ll hold on to this record for a while!

    Was the Snake Rubik’s? I remember having a snake (I think it was an official version) and it didn’t say Rubik’s at all. I did have a Rubik’s Magic, and the Deluxe version as well. Did you know there is a new $150 cube that replaces the stickers with lights and touchscreens? That’s right- it doesn’t twist. You glide your fingers over the surface to “rotate” it.

  41. taylhis Says:

    Comment #41: The snake I’m talking about IS Rubik’s, but I only know this from looking it up. Mine didn’t say Rubik’s on it either, and I don’t even remember opening the box or what the box looked like. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_Snake
    Technologically advanced Rubik’s Cube doesn’t sound quite the same, but then again, I never got into the cube since it was too difficult for me as a kid. Haven’t tried it as an adult.

  42. jamiahsh Says:

    How about Rubik’s Revenge? http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/rubikrevenge.shtml
    I seem to recall another such puzzle with interlocking colored rings but the name escapes me. Nowadays we have Rubik Revolution http://www.rubiks.com/Shop/Products/Rubiks%20Revolution.aspx

  43. jamiahsh Says:

    weird… didn’t realize we were limited to one link per comment.

  44. derek Says:

    You write that not realizing your comment in fact has two links, not one…

    I wonder if Rubik’s always owned the snake, or whether they bought out another company.

  45. derek Says:

    Oops, forgot the smiley after the first line. Here ya go J: 😉

  46. Trenton Rotter Says:

    I downloaded Halo Wars a couple of weeks ago and, even though its a”dusty” game, its the best PS3 game in my opinion 😉

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