Table of Contents
- 1. Kitchen Chopper
- 2. Shag Carpeting
- 3. Hassock
- 4. Wall Telephone
- 5. Old Hand Mixer
- 6. Tube Socks
- 14 Things You Owned in the ’70s That are Worth a Fortune Now
- 1. The basic concept for The Wonder Years began as a film script.
- 2. The Wonder Years was inspired by A Christmas Story.
- 3. The Wonder Years’s lack of laugh track and single camera setup were revolutionary.
- 4. Fred Savage was the obvious choice to play The Wonder Years’s Kevin Arnold.
- 5. The Wonder Years is set in Anytown, USA.
- 6. The Wonder Years premiered after the Super Bowl.
- 7. The Wonder Years won its first Emmy after just six episodes.
- 8. Fred Savage became the youngest Lead Actor Emmy nominee.
- 9. Danica McKellar’s toughest competition for Winnie Cooper was her sister.
- 10. Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss was the real thing.
- 11. A mutual crush between Fred Savage and Danica McKellar was inevitable.
- 12. It was Dan Lauria’s suggestion that The Wonder Years’s Jack Arnold be a veteran.
- 13. Some of Kevin and Winnie’s dialogue in The Wonder Years was lifted from real life.
- 14. A growth spurt caused Winnie and Kevin’s breakup on The Wonder Years.
- 15. Jason Hervey’s brother was the real Wayne Arnold.
- 16. Growing up was part of The Wonder Years’s demise.
- 17. The Wonder Years enlisted The Sopranos creator David Chase’s help.
- 18. Daniel Stern wasn’t The Wonder Years’s original narrator.
- 19. Marilyn Manson was not Paul Pfeiffer.
- 20. Paul Pfeiffer really did become a lawyer.
- 21. The Wonder Years fans were disappointed that Kevin and Winnie didn’t end up together.
- 22. The little boy’s voice in The Wonder Years’s finale is Daniel Stern’s son.
- 23. The Wonder Years gave a boost to many young actors’ careers.
- 24. Jack Arnold dated Maggie Seaver.
- 25. Fred Savage will always be Kevin Arnold.
- 34 Toys You’ll Totally Remember If You Were A Kid In The ’80s
- 1. Cabbage Patch Kids
- 2. Big Wheel
- 3. Star Wars
- 4. Monchhichi
- 5. Pound Puppies
- 6. Teddy Ruxpin
- 7. Micro Machines
- 8. My Little Pony
- 9. Simon
- 10. Fisher-Price Little People/Farm
- 11. Water Ring Toss
- 12. The Farmer Says
- 13. Lite-Brite
- 14. Rainbow Brite And Starlite
- 15. Colorforms
- 16. Fisher-Price Medical Kit
- 17. Roller Skates
- 18. Popples
- 19. Easy Bake Oven
- 20. View Master
- 21. Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
- 22. Smurfs
- 23. Merlin
- 24. Handheld Football Game
- 25. Garbage Pail Kids Cards
- 26. Speak and Spell
- 27. Atari 2600
- 28. Transformers
- 29. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 30. JEM and the Holograms
- 31. Fischer Price Cassette Player
- 32. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
- 33. Strawberry Shortcake
- 34. Spirograph
- 28 Radical Toys From the 70s & 80s
The 1970s was a time filled with interesting, questionable, and exciting things. From fashion to television, to children toys, and to kitchen equipment, the 70s had a bit of everything for something. A time where experimentation with most things was encouraged. The 1970s came and it went, but it definitely left its mark.
If you grew up in the 1970s chances are you remember most things, if not all things on this list. Here are 20 things only 70s kids will remember!
1. Kitchen Chopper
The 1970s was a time filled with experimentation in every way possible, and that includes the kitchen. Companies were looking for a way to make cooking easier, faster, and safer. That’s a food chopper that could chop meats, fruits, and vegetables. What’s a better way to do so than the kitchen chopper? The food chopper did die down after the 70s and 80s, but has made its way back to popularity in the recent years.
2. Shag Carpeting
If you were a child during the 1970s, if there’s one thing that you would constantly see during this time, it was shagged carpet. During the late 1960s and all throughout the 1970s, the carpet quickly rose to popularity with free-loving hippies, people that were well off, and people who just believed it to be cool. By the time the 1980s came, most people were over the shag carpet and left it in the 70s. In recent years, the shag carpet has been making a comeback — with a classier look. One thing is certain about shag carpets from the 70s — if shag carpets could talk, man, the stories they would tell.
Like the colorful shag carpet, hassocks came in spunky colors and fuzzy materials to make it really stand out and most times the colors wouldn’t match. The 70s, what a time to be alive but, like the shag carpet, hassocks are a thing of the past, specifically the 70s.
4. Wall Telephone
What’s a wall telephone? Some children today don’t even have a phone in their house, have never seen a payphone, and could probably never imagine a life without carrying a smartphone everywhere. In the 1970s, cell phones didn’t exist. If you wanted to speak to someone it would have to be on your house phone and not just any house phone, but a telephone that was on the wall with a long cord to let you roam free. Since cell phones weren’t a thing yet, one could only imagine just how popular wall telephones were throughout the 1970s — it was either that or write a letter.
5. Old Hand Mixer
The 1970s were all about easy breezy, finding ways to make things easier, keep things calm, and laid back. If you’re a 70s kid, you probably remember your parents using this at one point or another. The hand mixer from the 70s is another kitchen tool to make cooking faster, easier, and making the clean up process a breeze. The mixer is small, colorful, and has a storage place on the sides for the blades. This old mixer seems smaller than the things that came after it.
6. Tube Socks
At some point during the late 1960s, tube socks became a thing and carried well on into the 1970s. They became super popular among skaters and sports stars, giving the public a reason to seek them out. The tube sock became a regular thing for people to wear during the 1970s. During gym class, almost all your peers could be seen wearing tube socks. During the 1980s, tubes socks were seen less frequently and during the 1990s, tubes socks had disappeared altogether. Today, like the 90s, it’s rare to see someone wear tube socks, but some companies are still trying to bring back the sock that took the 70s by storm.
14 Things You Owned in the ’70s That are Worth a Fortune Now
Here are some things you might not have known about the award-winning—and much-beloved—1960s-set coming-of-age tale, which made its debut on January 31, 1988.
1. The basic concept for The Wonder Years began as a film script.
“We played around with writing a screenplay that used narration as a device,” series co-creator Carol Black told New York magazine in 1989. “We just started to think that there was a lot of potential fun in that ‘cause you can really play with the contrast between the narrator’s point of view and what the characters are doing. And you can go inside their head and expose what they’re really thinking when they’re saying something different … And then we just sort of jumped from there to thinking that effect is accentuated when you have an adult narrator looking back on childhood.” Black created the series with her husband, Neal Marlens; the couple had previously worked on Growing Pains.
2. The Wonder Years was inspired by A Christmas Story.
From the coming-of-age theme to the use of narration, A Christmas Story inspired the spirit of The Wonder Years. Peter “Ralphie” Billingsley even appeared in the series’s final two episodes as one of Kevin’s roommates.
3. The Wonder Years’s lack of laugh track and single camera setup were revolutionary.
The Wonder Years set itself apart from other shows of its time, production-wise, with its single camera setup, use of a narrator, and complete lack of laugh track. “The Wonder Years that it’s OK to create a show like that—to take out the laugh track, to try different camera styles—to take a risk,” Josh Saviano, who played Paul Pfeiffer, told Salon in 2013.
4. Fred Savage was the obvious choice to play The Wonder Years’s Kevin Arnold.
Casting kids is never an easy task. To help them in finding their lead actor, Marlens and Black interviewed five casting directors for recommendations. All five of them suggested Fred Savage, who at that point was best known for his role in The Princess Bride.
“By the time we actually settled on a casting director, we had already resolved that we should see Fred,” Marlens told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1988. “Knowing nothing about him, we arranged to screen some unedited footage of a film he was making at the time, Vice Versa … a marvelous actor with a natural quality, which essentially means he has no quality at all except being a kid. It sounds funny, but it’s a rare thing to find in a child actor. It’s the same thing we looked for and discovered in Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar.”
5. The Wonder Years is set in Anytown, USA.
Though no specific location is ever given for Kevin Arnold’s hometown, that’s not the doing of the series’s creators. Neal Marlens wanted to set The Wonder Years in Huntington, Long Island—his hometown—and additional elements were also pulled from Black’s hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. But it was at ABC’s insistence that no city or state was ever mentioned. Still, many eagle-eyed watchers have combed through the series for clues—like Jack Arnold’s license plate and Wayne’s driver’s license—that place the show in California, where it was filmed.
6. The Wonder Years premiered after the Super Bowl.
After more than 80 million viewers tuned in to see the Washington Redskins crush the Denver Broncos (final score: 42 to 10) on January 31, 1988, they were treated to the series’s premiere—which Marlens called “a bit of Americana after the quintessential example of Americana.”
7. The Wonder Years won its first Emmy after just six episodes.
Though it wasn’t an immediate ratings bonanza, The Wonder Years was a critical smash from the get-go. On August 28—with only six episodes screened—Marlens and Black took home the 1988 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
8. Fred Savage became the youngest Lead Actor Emmy nominee.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
In 1989, at the age of 13, Savage became the youngest actor to be nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. He was nominated again in 1990.
9. Danica McKellar’s toughest competition for Winnie Cooper was her sister.
When it came down to casting the role of dream girl Winnie Cooper, there were two final contenders: Danica McKellar and her sister, Crystal. “It was practically a tossup,” casting director Mary Buck told the Los Angeles Times in 1990. After choosing Danica for the role, Crystal was hired for the recurring role of Becky Slater, Winnie’s one-time rival for Kevin’s affections.
10. Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss was the real thing.
In the series’s premiere episode, Kevin and Winnie share an awkward first kiss, a coming-of-age ritual neither of the young actors had yet to engage in in real life. “The one good thing about getting your first kiss on camera is that you know for sure it’s going to happen,” McKellar said in 2014. For his part, Savage called it terrifying. “We were both really scared and nervous and—and—didn’t know what was going to happen or … if we were going to do it right.”
11. A mutual crush between Fred Savage and Danica McKellar was inevitable.
Though they swear the relationship eventually morphed into a brother-sister sort of bond, both Savage and McKellar admitted to having mutual crushes in People. “I was in love with her for the same reasons every other boy fell in love with her,” Savage said. “You won’t meet a sweeter, nicer girl—and she’s gorgeous.”
“In the beginning we had a mutual crush,” added McKellar. “Then things went into the teasing stuff and then into a more comfortable, brother-sister thing.”
12. It was Dan Lauria’s suggestion that The Wonder Years’s Jack Arnold be a veteran.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
“I really didn’t contribute that much, but the one thing I did contribute to the character is that when we were shooting the pilot I said to Neal, ‘Look, I’m a vet. I’m a Vietnam veteran and a Marine, and I think if the story is that I’m a vet, that’d fit the character,’” Dan Lauria recalled to Paste. “Before we even finish the pilot, he said, ‘Well, if we go, Dan, we’re going to make you a Korean War vet to fit the frame.’ And so they did, and it paid off. There were a number of episodes where it was mentioned that I was a veteran and when my daughter left for college I gave her my old duffle bag from the service. We always had the Vietnam War in the background on the TV at the dinner table. So there were actual news clips.”
13. Some of Kevin and Winnie’s dialogue in The Wonder Years was lifted from real life.
“Kevin and Winnie’s relationship was, in some ways, defined by my friendship with Fred and some of the things that we would say,” McKellar told Collider. “The writers would actually take lines from things that we were saying to each other, off camera, and put it into the script. There was this whole episode dedicated to, ‘Do you like him, or do you like him, like him?’ That was an expression that he and I used when we were talking about some guy that I had a crush on, in real life. And then, it showed up in a script, a few weeks later. There were a lot of blurred lines.”
14. A growth spurt caused Winnie and Kevin’s breakup on The Wonder Years.
Kevin and Winnie’s on-again, off-again romance was one of the series’s key storylines. But on at least one occasion—between the show’s third and fourth seasons—the breakup was more of a practical decision when a growth spurt saw McKellar standing much taller than her sub-five-foot onscreen beau. The couple was kept apart just long enough for Savage to catch up to his co-star’s height.
15. Jason Hervey’s brother was the real Wayne Arnold.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
“There were so many things that I borrowed from our real life experiences,” Hervey told Uproxx of his brother, Scott. “I’ll give you an example: Juliette Lewis was my girlfriend on the show at the time, and it was the driver’s license episode. We took Fred—I mean, Kevin—to the mall because my mom made us, and I dropped him off at the absolute, absolute furthest end of the mall parking lot and I said to him, ‘Well, technically, this is the mall.’ And when I picked him up, of course, he was already flirting with this girl, and sure enough Wayne pulls up and I tell him to get in the car, and then every time he went to reach for the door, I kept jerking it forward. And obviously, the first day of 7th grade, my brother did that to me in real life, and just embarrassed the hell out of me.”
16. Growing up was part of The Wonder Years’s demise.
The Wonder Years was a show about growing up, which is partially what led to its wrapping production after six seasons. “There has always been a question of just how long the wonder years last,” executive producer Bob Brush told the Los Angeles Times in 1993, following the series’s finale. “As the kids were developing and getting older, there were of course new stories to tell, but the tension and constraints of the deadline of the concept of the wonder years were beginning to press on us … When became 16 and 17, there were really things he needed to get to that we couldn’t do at 8 p.m., especially with the kind of venerable cachet that the show had obtained with its audience. We would get notes from the network saying, ‘You could do this on any show besides The Wonder Years.’”
17. The Wonder Years enlisted The Sopranos creator David Chase’s help.
In an effort to breathe a more mature life into the series, producer Ken Topolsky commissioned Sopranos creator David Chase to write a script. “When it’s a suburban kid who has a pretty good life and he’s complaining about mom not letting him do something, you just want to smack him,” Topolowsky told The Wall Street Journal. “That’s when we felt that Kevin’s wonder years were over.” Though he calls Chase’s script “phenomenal” and “one of the best,” its storyline—which included hard drug use—would have been too big a leap for the family-friendly series.
18. Daniel Stern wasn’t The Wonder Years’s original narrator.
Though Daniel Stern’s voice is the adult Kevin Arnold we all know and love, it was Arye Gross who narrated the original pilot. Eventually, the series premiere was re-recorded with Stern.
19. Marilyn Manson was not Paul Pfeiffer.
It’s one of those Internet rumors that never seems to die. But somehow, somewhere, someone decided that Josh Saviano, the actor who played Kevin’s BFF Paul Pfeiffer, was in fact Marilyn Manson. Which is simply not true. Though that hasn’t stopped the shock rocker from getting in on the fun. “I met once,” Savage told ABC News. “He came up to me, and he goes, ‘You know, we worked together.’ I was like, ‘I do. I do know that.’”
20. Paul Pfeiffer really did become a lawyer.
In the series finale, Kevin shares that Paul attended Harvard and became a lawyer. Which isn’t too far off base. In reality, Josh Saviano attended Yale and became a lawyer.
21. The Wonder Years fans were disappointed that Kevin and Winnie didn’t end up together.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Executive producer Bob Brush knew that fans of the series wouldn’t be happy that it didn’t end with Kevin and Winnie’s happily ever after. “Some viewers will be surprised that nothing works out the way your fondest wish would be,” Brush told the Los Angeles Times. “The message I wanted in there is that that’s part of the beauty of life. It’s fine to say, ‘I’d like everything to be just the way it was when I was 15 and I was happy,’ but it seemed more nurturing to me to say that we leave these things behind and we go on to forge new lives for ourselves.”
22. The little boy’s voice in The Wonder Years’s finale is Daniel Stern’s son.
As the series concludes, the voice of Kevin’s little boy is heard asking his dad to come outside and play catch. The voice is Stern’s son.
23. The Wonder Years gave a boost to many young actors’ careers.
Juliette Lewis, Jim Caviezel, Alicia Silverstone, Giovanni Ribisi, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Schwimmer, Carla Gugino, and John Corbett (then known as Jack) are just a few of the actors who found some of their earliest roles on The Wonder Years. Even Robin Thicke got in on the action, as a young man doing his teenaged best to pick up a girl.
24. Jack Arnold dated Maggie Seaver.
Before The Wonder Years, Marlens and Black had created Growing Pains. Which is how Dan Lauria heard about the role of Jack Arnold. “I had done a part on Growing Pains, and I was going out with Joanna Kerns at the time, so I heard about it through her,” Lauria told Paste. “My agent couldn’t get me in, and Joanna said, ‘Well, why don’t you call Neal? He likes you, you guys got along.’ ‘Cause we both grew up on Long Island, so we would tease each other which school was better at sports. And I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do that, it’s so unprofessional,’ and Joanna went in and actually called Neal, and she came out and said, ‘Neal said be there tomorrow at 10 o’clock. He thinks you’re perfect.’”
25. Fred Savage will always be Kevin Arnold.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Though he has made the transition from actor to producer and director of shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Party Down, Savage told GQ that “The persona of The Wonder Years is something that’s going to be with me forever. And I’m happy for that. It’s nothing that I’d ever shy away from, and it makes me feel so good that it’s something people still remember and talk about it and think of it so fondly. I think now I’ve established myself as a director, but starting out, I’d be foolish to think that every opportunity that came after The Wonder Years didn’t stem from The Wonder Years. So I owe so much of everything to that show.”
34 Toys You’ll Totally Remember If You Were A Kid In The ’80s
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Adults who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s are riding a wave of nostalgia that is crashing over just about everything in pop culture. From TV show reboots such as “Magic School Bus,” “The Jetsons” and, of course, “Roseanne” to the return of Jolt Cola and Caboodles, everything that’s old is new again.
But one thing that never goes out of style are the cool toys from the ’80s and ’90s that every kid back then just had to have. Many of them remain popular today, and some are worth a decent amount of money.
Which of these classic toys did you have (or wish you had) in your closet?
1. Cabbage Patch Kids
Who would have thought that dolls born in a Cabbage Patch would cause riots in stores? Even though some people thought these dolls were ugly, the vast majority of people couldn’t get their hands on them fast enough.
Of course, Cabbage Patch Kids are still available. If you want the vintage collection, head over to Ebay to find a wide variety of the adorable little tykes. And of course the latest versions are available on Amazon, such as the adorable Baby So Real Blonde.
Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole
2. Big Wheel
Kids may be too small to drive motorcycles, but the Big Wheel gave kids the excitement of riding fast and riding free. And the spin-out handbrake on the side was the best part of the bike! Original versions of the Big Wheel can sell for thousands of dollars! But you can also find the latest bikes at almost any toy retailer.
Flickr | John-Morgan
3. Star Wars
More than 40 years after the original “Star Wars” movie was released, its toy franchise remains one of the most popular in history. And with new movies scheduled for years to come, they look to stay relevant. But nothing takes the place in our hearts of the vintage collection of toys.
Collections like the one below can be found on Ebay and other collector sites. If you’d like one of the newer toy collections featuring popular characters like Kylo Ren, Rey and others, head over to Amazon.
Is it a monkey? Is it a teddy bear? It was never really clear with Monchhichi, but they were so adorable, people couldn’t resist them. If you’re looking for one of the original dolls, then Ebay is likely your best bet.
Flickr | Mot the barber
5. Pound Puppies
With their floppy ears and adorable eyes, these little pups in their doghouses were irresistible to kids and grownups alike when they hit the market back in the ’80s. They remain popular today, with new versions of the stuffed animal, along with cartoons, movies and more!
All my Pound Puppies.. even my real one! #adoptedontshop #poundpuppies
6. Teddy Ruxpin
Some thought a talking teddy bear who sang and told stories was adorable. Others thought Teddy Ruxpin was the stuff of nightmares. But there’s no disputing his popularity, because trying to find him in the ’80s was next to impossible for a long time. A newer version has been released and sells on Amazon and other toy stores, but the original Teddy Ruxpin is a collector’s item.
7. Micro Machines
Remember these tiny cars that kids loved to collect and race around? The cool thing about Micro Machines was not only their size (you could fit a bunch in your pocket) but that they also had sleek designs and even themed sets, such as “Star Wars,” professional race car teams and more. Check out this great collection from Instagram user AnungUnRama:
Nostalgia is a hell of a drug! #micromachines
8. My Little Pony
The My Little Pony collection of toys are still going strong more than 30 years after they first galloped onto the scene. What once was known as a girl’s toy has now been embraced by all kids! Today’s My Little Pony dolls are a lot more blinged out than their ancestors. But the originals are still beloved, and are actually making a comeback.
Flickr | kaktuslampan
This handheld electronic memory game is simple in theory, but not so easy to master! It’s hard to believe a game with only four big colored buttons could be so addictive. Simon is still on the market (and just as fun to play!).
10. Fisher-Price Little People/Farm
These Little People had no moveable arms, legs or head, but they were in just about every kid’s room dating even before the 1980s! Probably the most popular play set for Fisher-Price Little People is the classic farm. We love how when the doors opened, a cow would moo! Fisher-Price now has an updated version of this iconic play set.
11. Water Ring Toss
Sometimes the simplest concept makes for major fun. With the push of a single button, a puff of air lifted rings into the water. The challenge was to toss the rings onto the stick. Not as easy at it looks! The original Tomy versions of this game can be found online on sites like eBay. Refresh your memory with this pic from Instagram user @salagiochi1980:
12. The Farmer Says
Preschoolers loved this Fisher-Price toy that made animal sounds. The Farmer Says started out as a classic pull-string toy, but today’s version has a handle that lasts a little longer. We guess it’s for safety and durability reasons. And like many updates of the classic toys, this Farmer Says toy has more interactive features than the original, including quizzes and more! Here’s the 1983 version, sold by Instagram reseller @attyssproutvintage:
SOLD Swipe left! 😄 Just listed in the shop • It’s the 1983 #MattelSeeNSay #TheFarmerSays en #ESPANOL! Escuchar el granjero dice… 🐖🐎🐓🐶🐤🐱🦃🐑🐄 . . . . . #spanish#enespañol#1980stoy#asvtoysgames#etsyshop#etsyvintage#vintageetsy#asvitworks24#attyssproutvintage#avsold
Lite-Brite gave kids the power to make beautiful, colorful creations with pegs that lit up. Each Lite-Brite kit came with patterns kids could follow to make pictures, or they could make their own with blank templates. The newest edition of Lite-Brite even comes with a handy case for all the colored pegs. Where was that when I was a kid? Here’s Instagram user @tiny_box_of_color getting all sorts of nostalgic:
Bring it on march break!!!! Did you play with this as a kid? It was my fav!!! 🌈💕 #colorcolourlovers #litebrite #goretro #imvintage
14. Rainbow Brite And Starlite
The Rainbow Brite TV show and movie launched in the ’80s, and reboots featuring Rainbow Brite and her trusted steed, Starlite, have been rolled out several times since then. If you were a fan, chances are you remember the Rainbow Brite doll and the stuffed animal version of her colorful horse from back in the day.
A simple toy for a simpler time. Colorforms were cut-out plastic “stickers” kids could place on a background so as to tell a story.
Though Colorforms were born in the ’50s, they really became popular much later as the company began incorporating pop culture icons, the first of whom was Popeye. You can find some of the classics on eBay, and elsewhere.
Today, brand-new sets are being released for the latest generation of kids. You can find sets with the Paw Patrol, Disney Princesses and Marvel characters on Amazon. Check out this ’80s-tastic set Instagram user @AtomicBabyVintage put up for sale:
16. Fisher-Price Medical Kit
Would-be doctors and nurses could practice their skills way before medical school with the complete Fisher-Price Medical Kit. It had a “working” stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure cuff and even a syringe for a shot (ouch!). The original came in a hard briefcase carrier.
You can find similar ones on auction sites like ebay. The current version has a doctor’s bag with pretty much the same medical instruments. Because why change a classic when it works so well?
17. Roller Skates
Long before roller blades, the roller skate was the coolest toy on wheels. Kids would spend weekends skating outside or at the local roller rink. Whether you had the metal kind you slid on over your sneakers or the totally awesome boot skate, it was all about getting out and rolling! You can still find these today in stores and online in the classic design. Some things just never go out of style!
Before there were Pillow Pets, there were Popples. These adorable, cuddly creatures “popped” out of their own little bag for some fun imaginative play and snuggle time. Today’s version still have their own built-in carry case, but they also talk!
19. Easy Bake Oven
Who would have thought that cooking with a light bulb would be so much fun? Well, kids from “back in the day” (and even today) loved making their little cakes in their Easy Bake Oven!
Today’s version is more sleek, and there are countless accessories and even mixes you can purchase to keep cakes and cookies coming! But, we think the vintage ones from ’70s and ’80s are pretty darn cool to look at!
20. View Master
Remember having a photo slideshow in your toy box or pocket? With the classic white discs and the red viewer, you could see pictures of everything from popular tourist attractions to favorite TV shows! You can still get the classic version (along with more high-tech VR viewers) on Amazon.
21. Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
Nothing hit the spot on a hot, summer’s day than a Sno-cone made by Snoopy and his Peanuts friends! Some ideas are so simple and so classic, there’s no need to make major improvements on it. That’s why you can still find the original version on sale today online and in stores!
Who could forget these tiny, blue collectible figures? They had their own TV show in the ’80s, along with their own toy line, stuffed animals and more! In recent years, they’ve had a comeback in movie theaters.
Auction sites like eBay have many of the original figures sold in toy stores. And they still remain popular today in their current design with toy sets, stuffed animals and more.
This handheld, electronic toy had a variety of games for kids to play: tic-tac-toe, memory game, puzzles and more. Sure, it may look like an old-style touchtone phone, but it was pretty cool in its day!
24. Handheld Football Game
Who remembers the cool whistle sound this game made every time you got tackled? Or button mashing to get the blip across the screen to score a touchdown?
25. Garbage Pail Kids Cards
Yes, it was kind of a dark and twisted turn on the insanely popular Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. Nevertheless, all the cool kids collected these cards and traded them on the playground. New collector sets are still made each year!
26. Speak and Spell
A toy that made spelling entertaining and f-u-n? Leave it to a handheld electronic game to make something we hated at school something we couldn’t wait to play at home! Speak and Spell made it possible!
27. Atari 2600
Long before the virtual reality games we play today were even imagined, the Atari 2600 console brought video games out of the arcade and into our homes. It changed the way we played games forever!
It’s a truck! It’s a car! No, it’s a robot! OMG, it’s all of the above! Transformers took imaginative play light years ahead by allowing kids to literally change the way a toy looked with just a few twists and turns.
29. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The Masters of the Universe toy line remains one of the most popular action figure collections ever made. Remember He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor and She-Ra? Of course you do.
30. JEM and the Holograms
JEM and the Holograms was a 1980s animated TV series about an orphan teen and her friends who become overnight musical superstars thanks to a magical computer left behind by her dad. It launched an entire fashion doll line that rivaled Barbie for a while.
31. Fischer Price Cassette Player
The kids’ version of a “boom box,” the Fischer Price cassette player would let you listen to your favorite tunes, or record them off the radio (shhh!!) if you could avoid those darn commercials! Admit it, you recorded yourself plenty of times, too!
32. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Kids (and adults) got to act out their aggression and frustration safely with these fun guys who would literally try to knock each other’s heads off. You can still find the classic toy in stores and online.
33. Strawberry Shortcake
An adorable red-haired doll that smelled like strawberries. Little girls couldn’t get enough of her and her sweet-smelling friends.
Some plastic rings with holes, colored pens and paper made the most amazing designs! Spirograph came out decades before the 1980s, but its amazing patterns and easy use made it a must-have for the hip kids of the ’80s — and even today!
Are toys today even half as exciting as these old favorites?
28 Radical Toys From the 70s & 80s
If you remember wearing stone wash jeans, a rainbow t-shirt and a scrunchie in your hair (unironically), these toys will fer sure flash you back to your Easy Baking – Fisher Price record spinning – JEM imitating – Weebil Wobbling – Strawberry Shortcake sniffing childhood. Or as we like to call it, the golden age of toys.
What was your favorite toy as a kid? Share it with us in the comments. If you need a trip down memory lane, check out some of our favorites…
Troll Dolls: So ugly they were cute. They topped our pencils, covered our lunchboxes and inspired the teasing of many a bang. Some things we miss. Not so much anything about these guys.
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Lite-Brite: Making things with light… lightbulb not included. Were you a “follow the dots” or a “create your own picture” kind of kid?
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Pogo Balls: Oh yeah. Tuck those jeans into your double pair of crew socks, lace up the white Reebocks and bounce the afternoon away.
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Waterfall Ring Toss : Like Pong, this simple game had the ability to mesmerize and keep us playing for hours. Behold, the power of water currents!
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My Little Pony: How many horseshoe points did you have?
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Star Wars:Before it was Episode 4, it was the one and only. Raise your hand if you were Princess Leia for Halloween (once in elementary school in the white robes, then again in college in the slave girl bikini).
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She-Ra & He-Man: Mom had Wonder Woman. We had She-Ra. Princess of Power is maybe the best title, ever. Power Crystal Castle beats invisible plane anyday.
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Looper Looms: The Rainbow Looms our kids have for making bracelets? Puh-leeze. In our day, we made real things, useful things, like potholders.
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Latch Hook Rug Kits: Rainbow, unicorn, panda or smurf? What did you make? They were painstaking, but oh, the pride in finishing a rug.
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Cabbage Patch Kids: No American Girls full of historical accuracies for us. We had babies that grew in the garden. And no knock offs, please. Only authentic dolls with the Xaviar Roberts signature on the bum, that came with birth certificates and adoption papers. (Bonus points if you also collected Garbage Pail Kids cards.)
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Easy Bake Oven: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you lightbulbs, make cake.
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Hot Wheels Big Wheel: If someone didn’t terrorize your neighborhood with a Big Wheel (usually the punks had the CHIPS or Mr. T versions), you are not a child of the 80’s.
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Play-Doh McDonald Happy Meal Playshop: It’s a toss up as to which was healthier – the Happy Meal you could make out of Play-Doh, or the one you’d order at the drive through.
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Rock’em Sock’em Robots: Parental permission to whale on your little brother, albeit via your own plastic robot. No wonder we loved them.
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Fisher Price Chatter Telephone: Probably your first toy. Sadly, your kids don’t even know what it is. “Why can’t I play games on it, Mommy?”
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Atari 2600 Game System: Frogger, Donkey Kong, Pac Man – wouldn’t you still take those over Candy Crush, Subway Surfer and Angry Birds?
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Shrinky Dinks: We were chemists! Polymers in action. Color, cut, heat, curl and shrink. Best part is that you could get sets relating to your favorite tv shows or characters. Because who didn’t want a plastic Alf?
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Weeble Wobbles: They might wobble, but they never fell down. The coolest of the cool had the treehouse, which for the under 5 set was even better than a Barbie Dream House.
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Fisher Price Record Player: Who needs an ipod when you can rock out to Twinkle, Twinkle?
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Strawberry Shortcake: Scented dolls = sheer genius! What was your favorite doll? Who had the best scent? We confess a lingering fondness for the Peculiar Purple Pieman.
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Sit ‘N Spin: Jury is still out (30 years later) on if it was more fun to spin yourself dizzy, or put action figures and matchbox cars and use the centrifugal force to launch them across the room.
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Speak and Spell: Oh, Texas Instruments, would we have passed 4th grade without you? You talked to us like an early Siri. And how can we not remember fondly the toy that helped E.T. phone home?
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Teddy Ruxpin: Talking about talking toys… who can forget Teddy Ruxpin? “Can you and I be friends?”
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Fashion Plates: Before there was Tim Gunn, there was pink plastic. We had big dreams of designing our own collections. Most involved clothing that matched hot pink with green.
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Mastermind: True confession time – we were never very good at cracking the code as kids. But today, it’s a pretty addictive app.
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Rubik’s Cube: It is entirely possible that this puzzle was invented to drive little kids crazy. Remember the videos of the people who could solve it blindfolded?
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Simon Says: Holds up better for its age than Madonna – and probably had less work done to it. The game you can buy your kids today looks remarkably like the one you played as a kid. Think fast!
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Fisher Price Little People: You could have the castle, the school, the house or the hospital, the farm or the carousel. It didn’t matter, as long as you had the dog, with his bat ears. He rocked.
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Do you have any to add to our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!