These old toys are bound to put a smile on your face for the best reasons.
Whether you’re single and still waiting for that time when you have kids or if you’re a parent and make that trip down the toy aisle now and again to look for gifts, you’ll no doubt find yourself grinning from time to time when you come across some of the old toys that are rolled out time and again to entertain the current generations. Hey, they worked in the past, right? Well, some of them did at least, since back in the 80s and 90s there were a lot of toys that were a great deal of fun, and there were some that made kids think wtf, in our own juvenile way of course. It’s not a bad thing to stand in the toy aisle and remember the joy we had when we spent hours playing with our favorite toys. Of course, you might not want to stand there all day and reminisce, that could come off as a little creepy.
Amazingly, some of the toys from these two decades are still popular today, if only in new packaging. They’re pretty much the same thing from 30 to 40 years ago, and they’re just as fun. The best thing is that kids today can enjoy them as well. It doesn’t take much to entertain a lot of kids to be fair, since some are even more enamored of the boxes that the toys come in and will get more out of them than they get out of the toy, at least initially. Some toys don’t ever leave the box, and whether people want to believe it or not, some toys have likely been in their boxes since they were received as gifts or bought from the store. Some of them are bound to be worth something, but that kind of takes away some of the joy since that kind of restraint, a kid not playing with a toy, is amazing, to begin with, and kind of sad to think about in a way. But the resurgence of some of these toys into the market has been fun to watch.
A lot of adults might want to collect and even flaunt these toys as a part of their personality at times. Lord knows I have plenty of toys, still in their boxes, kicking around my office since they bring back good memories. But as anyone should be able to say with a straight face, playing with toys is kind of childish and despite the nostalgic feel they bring, it’s usually best to leave the playing to the kids at this point. Collecting is all well and good, and appreciating the toys we grew up with is a lot of fun since again, it brings back that good feeling and reminds us of a time when we might have still been innocent and didn’t think past our own sphere of influence. Toys can remind us of a time when the world didn’t need to make sense because we were having too much fun.
Popples were odd but kind of cute toys.
Popples were kind of odd little critters, but they were cute as hell. It might not sound that PC, but these were usually something that a lot of boys would steer clear of since they were considered girls’ toys, much like a lot of stuffed animals. To be fair, there were stuffed toys that were designed for kids that boys favored more often, such as WWF stuffed toys, but otherwise, these types of toys usually found their way into a girl’s collection more often than not. In truth, they were great head pillows if a person wasn’t too big, since rolling them up on themselves created a nice cushion that wasn’t too lumpy. These toys are still around, but one doesn’t hear about them all that often these days.
Remember going to the dentist or the doctor?
If you went to get a check-up or just needed to be seen for some reason, nearly every dentist and doctor in the country had at least one of these types of toys in their waiting room at the time. Things have changed obviously and toys like these don’t last that long. But the fact is that they were there, they were available, and they were time-consuming since one could only read Highlights so many times before Goofus and Gallant start to get a bit boring. They’re simple toys, but you might remember spending a lot of time pushing that single button or fishing for those gaping little plastic fishes or, well, whatever else was available at the time.
Teddy Ruxpin helped a lot of kids get to sleep and enjoy storytime.
It almost sounds babyish at this time, but it’s easy to imagine that a lot of us had a Teddy Ruxpin, if our parents could afford it anyway. Let’s be honest, this guy was a bit expensive back in the day since he was, for a split second, cutting-edge technology. Essentially, Teddy Ruxpin was a large teddy bear with a tape recorder embedded in his back, and a connection that made his mouth move in accordance with the tape. Of course, some kids did manage to find out what happened when another tape was used in the device, and it was a seriously strange effect to see Teddy trying to keep up with a song he hadn’t been programmed to sing. Motley Crue + Teddy Ruxpin=WTF.
If you had this castle then you had prestige among your fellow kids.
There’s been a great deal said about He-Man and everything associated with him, but back in the day, this was one of the franchises that kids went nuts over. As the years rolled forward though, and the live-action movie came out, the legend of He-Man kind of faded out. There was even a version created that ramped up the futuristic aspect of the show, but it didn’t exactly work out as planned. Now He-Man is making a comeback, kind of, but it doesn’t really feel the same.
If you want a lesson in frustration, here you go.
It feels as though every generation and every decade simply has to come up with something that’s nerve-wracking and nearly impossible to master. Some folks might not understand why this game would count, but if you take a look and try to think about placing all these pieces in their correct spot before the timer ran out. It sounds easy, right? Just imagine a bout of maniacal laughter right at this moment….
More than meets the eye…
It still brings a smile to the face to think of how tough it was to find some of these toys since they were so popular at one point. If you could find an Optimus Prime, or Starscream, then you were considered one of the lucky or cool kids for a while. Soundwave was popular, as were Jazz, Mirage, and several others. But strangely enough, those who are popular now, like Bumblebee, weren’t really in demand at that time. Things do change, don’t they?
This toy actually caused a bit of anxiety.
This was an an annoying toy to be quite honest, and even if you didn’t have one, it was common to hear about it from those who did have one. In a big way it was like having a real, live pet since a Tamagotchi had to be cared for, fed, given attention, and handled with care. Yes, it was a pain in the ass, but it brings a grin to the face of many people to this day.
Star Wars started out pretty simple.
The articulation that action figures have now is simply amazing when compared to the simple up and down range of motion that their arms and legs had back in the day. Action poses were pretty basic with these, but it’s easy to admit that we still loved them, right? If one had the golden C-3PO, Luke Skywalker in his black outfit, or various other characters then they were envied by a lot of kids. Heck, Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt’s majordomo, was basically a big hunk of plastic that had been sculpted into a barely movable figure.
All these years later, My Little Pony is still a big hit.
This line never really went out of style, did they? But they’ve changed along with everything else as the years have seen them updated and anthropomorphized even further. Back in the day these toys actually looked like ponies that might be able to walk right out of a stable. But those of today are characters that have been worked and reworked into true cartoon characters that are caricatures of ponies, but are still popular.
The one and only, or at least the first.
Speaking as someone that had one of these big hunks of plastic I can say that it did help to pass the time quite a bit, even if it was monochromatic and required a bit of getting used to after playing Nintendo games in color. But one great thing about the Game Boy is that there were plenty of games, most of them were a lot of fun, and so long as a person had a healthy supply of batteries, these things didn’t wear out that often.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in getting a grin out of the memories that come from remembering the days when toys were a lot simpler. Growing up doesn’t mean that you have to forget everything that was fun back in the day. Heck, some of us even manage to recapture those memories now and then.