Thursday, November 25, 2010

80s Toy Fun!

There really is nothing like the memories of childhood is there? I think the older we get... the more we tend to turn our childhood memories into magical fairytale like thoughts... I know for myself.. memories of my childhood are just ever so sweet and wonderful. In fact I use any excuse to get all nostalgic and reminiscise as often as possible! Hence this blog post :)

For fun.. I went looking for pictures of the toys I can remember me or my siblings having as a kid... and I found heaps of them!

But let's start by setting the scene... 

Here's standout fashion crazes that I remember wearing in the 80s!!

JELLY SHOES!!  Sometimes with the flouro socks on as well! (gasp!)

And Jelly Shoes went so well with balloon or Ra Ra skirts.

And I had a selection of these plastic baskets as my must have accessory at around 10!  Perfect to fit all my lace ribbons and extra flouro socks!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So now for the Gerard toy selection.. thought I'd start with the one's I remember owning first (in no particular order).

The Family Treehouse was a gift to my brother and I when I was about 4, and he 3. We so loved that thing with it's little elevator from ground level to top! (I remember I wished back then that we could live in a tree with an elevator in the trunk... even though the logistics of that in reality are completely impossible... to a kid...this kind of thing is magic!) 

It was so magical and we loved it so much so... that when I found an old crusty, completely naked, broken up version in an op shop last year I nearly wet my pants! is the champion of ALL pre-school toys in my opinion! The Fisher Price Sesame Street Clubhouse!

We still have ours at Mum & Dad's house... a little wrinkly around the sticker edges... but still the favourite toy of choice by every single Grandchild! (I kid you not... we couldn't even count the amount of hours every single grandchild has spent on the clubhouse!)
With over 10 different actions for kids to do this really is the dreamhouse for pre-schoolers!

I even went and bought a vintage one in near immaculate condition from the U.S for my boy years back and it's been his joy toy for years too! So there's one at home and one at Grammy & Poppy's house!

Why oh why do they not make toys like they used to? 

Fisher Price... pleeease get rid of the batteries and look back to your 80s toys for inspiration - there's absolutely no need for batteries if you do them right... parents will love you for it!!

My Fisher Price record player was a prized possession!  Just a simple wind up toy with chimes.  So simple and so loved!
I still have it... minus 2 of the records. Doesn't sound as good as it used to that's for sure!
Another wonderful sound toy WITHOUT batteries! :)

Still have my Fisher Price Circus Train too... but with only the clown left... all the rest of the characters & animals have dissapeared over the years :(

I truly thought I was the $hit when Dad bought this home from a trip to America! He made me feel like the luckiest girl in Australia when he told me they're weren't available for sale here in Oz! (Dad was a toy buyer for Venture in the early 80s... then a toy & sports creator for Super Action... then finally created his own Toy company before moving into the book industry.  So of course with a Dad in the toy industry when you're a kid.... you can imagine we were a little extra spoiled when it came to toys because as part of his business free samples were the norm... of course it was pure heaven for us kids!

So Yep... you're seeing right... It is really a Barbie Mcdonalds... with little cheeseburgers, thickshakes & fries!  The burgers came in pieces, two buns, meat and cheese and you put them all inside the burger containers and then closed them up. I even had miniature brown trays, thickshakes, fries & little digital cash registers! 

Another minor obsession of my childhood - The Fraggles!!
All began with Dad... he bought home a sample video of the show before it aired.

I do admit... I was completely in love with all things Muppets and Jim Henson as a kid.. still am really.

One thing I could never understand... was how the Doozers never took a break! I mean why would they want to work when they can see the Fraggles having so much fun... just didn't make sense to me? 
Glo Worm...
think I might have hugged mine into a suffocation coma!

He spent the remainder of his comatosed life in my Antique baby cot that sat in the corner of my pink room until he went to charity land.

Ahhh the Poochie Stamper.  My prized possession for many months of my adolescent life! I felt so official stampin' with the Pooch... Funny though when you think about it... can you see an adult woman using a dog with pink fluff coming from all angles to stamp things?  Guess that's the beauty of childhood.. you can be a diva princess all you like & no one blinks twice.

Another highly prized Pip Possession! 
Much loved & used... probably cause of it's creative flavour.

You could swap the plastic plates around to create different outfits and models... all you had to do was colour over the top of the plates to reveal the design on the paper.

 I remember having heaps of fun with this one and thinking it was just so special.

I think I got high on my sister's Strawbs!

I used to just sit there for ages with her head permanently affixed to my nostrils taking big strawberry delightful sniffs! Scary!!

My big sis and I felt like lucky little cherubs when we got our very own plastic grocery store at home!
We had the big shelves, the shopping trolley, the plastic peas!
We were in heaven!

Speaking of shopping toys... the Fisher Price Cash Register was another absolute favourite!! 

Didn't every little girl collect swap cards at some point?

My sister and I both collected novelty erasers. We were both very lucky to have great collections mainly cause Dad would buy us some every time he went overseas which was pretty often. 

I asked Dad the other day if he knew where they were and he thinks he knows ... so I'm going to hunt them down... If I find them I'll be sure to photograph and do a blog post. (I definitely remember having a few of those Nintendo erasers above)

I so looked up to my big sister!

I feel like most of my first 10 years were probably spent copying her. She collected swap cards... I collected swap cards... she collected novelty erasers ... I collected novelty erasers. She collected writing paper... you get the gist!

  I think I can only take credit for my sticker collection which I have to admit was a pretty sad collection.  I mean most of the stickers were stuck into a cheap little sticker book... and if I'd really thought about it the time... what good is a collection of used stickers? 
 I remember my sister had an actual party to celebrate the birthday of her boy cabbage patch doll named David when she was around 7.  He was an immaculate Patch... I envision him as the jock of the Patches... you know probably with rich parents and a sports car... plays tennis on Saturdays!  Pretty sure he had a dimply cheeky grin too.

Anyway... my sis invited her school friends & their own Patch dolls to this party in honor of David's birthday and all her girl friends from school put money in to buy her another doll... I was just so in awe! 

So after David's Birthday Party he was treated to a blonde lady Patch companion! 

I remember her dolls stayed absolutely immaculate with their real baby nappys & matching outfits on... my patch girl called Sarah quickly became all crustifed with her hair all over the place, stains on her body... sitting most of the time half naked in that antique doll's cot in the corner of my room - poor Sarah... she probably lay in that cot wishing she was David!

I've already gone a little viewmaster crazy for my own son... he's probably already got a collection of over 50 slides... think it's more for the nostalgia value for me cause he's only looked at them once or twice.

Remember Alf? I can clearly remember the father in that show's voice.. it was such a weird voice wasn't it? 

My Alf quickly became another permanent resident of the Doll's Cot. 

Maybe he and Sarah whinged about David? ;)

Mum used to make us play dough a lot and we had heaps of fun with the barber shop. You remember... the one where you'd turn the chair and it would push the dough up through their heads to create hair. 

Great fun to do.... just too bad they were impossible to clean and always had crusty hard bits of play doh blackheads in their skulls most of their lives!

I was such a HUGE Jem fan.

Picture a little girl with flouro socks and ruffle skirt singing Jem out of tune :)

And how's the words to the Jem theme song... today it cracks me up....

♫ Jem is truly outrageous... truly... truly...truly... outrageous ♫

The  lyrics alone scream 80s!

These flick bracelets were so simple... but they were the biggest hit.

Who would've ever thought that a piece of metal covered in fabric that sounded like kids were being whipped would become a massive toy craze!!?!

I loved the spirograph! Wish I still had one!

I gave up ever trying this. To me it was a bloody annoying toy!

I just remember my older brother's Cube had crooked stickers all over it from where he took them off and matched all the colours his way...

he obviously found it annoying too!

We all much preferred the Rubik's Snake.

Our yard was made for the slip 'n' slide...

Slip n Sliding was something I remember my older brother initiating  over so many summers. The side yard of our house.... was a slope... so of course it was perfect for a  slip n' slide... didn't matter that at the end of the slip n' side was the danger of hitting a parked car, cement or a fence! 

Every summer there'd be dead grass in the shape of a slipe n' side on the side of the house.

 In the end I remember my brother just using giant pieces of plastic with tent pegs in each corner with washing detergent!
Brilliant Game - my older brother's favourite!

Still don't understand the gangster looking dude with a toupe and his asian sidekick though... never will?

Remember the Snorks?? I loved that cartoon!

The best dog we've ever had was Kelpie Collie cross breed farm dog.
We got it through Mum & Dad's best friends. I still remember the big day trip to the farm to pick her up and picking her from the litter.  Mum says the adorable little puppy left the litter and followed us as though she picked us.

Poor puppy though... Mum and Dad left the responsibility of naming her to my little brother and I ... and well we were right into little Ms Punky Brewster at the time... so Punky the puppy was christened!

Poor thing... a farm dog that daydreamed herding sheep... was in a home with 4 kids with the name.... Punky! :)  


When I think about it... that name must have been hard on Dad too...cause he was the one that usually had to call for her across the park or while walking,  Yelling out loudly "Punky" always seemed to get noticed by passers by :) (Sorry Dad!)

My younger brother had this game... I remember playing it a fair bit.

Funny how there's a kids card game where the tax man is the dastardly moustache and top hat wearing, big, bad, evil guy.  

Magic Sand freaked me out! I found it fascinating.

Loved the stuff!'

Remember Shrinky Dinks??
They'd start out as a big piece of plastic that you'd write your name on... then some time in the oven and they shrunk down to miniature versions for key rings & things.
How cool were they!!

ergh Slime!

It had that weird smell and the thing I used to love doing was pushing it back into the container to make fart noises! You just don't have a proper childhood unless you enjoy making fake fart noises!!

Watching Smurf cartoons and collecting the figurines from BP petrol stations was the thing to do in Australia in the 80s!

I was completely devastated the day I found out sea monkeys looked nothing like this picture!!

Talk about false advertising!!

My older brother had silly putty.. 

 never got to have a play of this one.

intriguing toy idea though... don't you think?

My older brother had a great collection of Star Wars figures (though didn't every young boy of the late 70s early 80s?) and I remember he owned a case just like that in the picture. 

Older brother was the envy of many the neighbourhood gang when he got a Green Machine (same as the picture). 

He was given one as reward by being the boy in the photo's of the green machines for sale in the Venture store catalogue.
A big neighbourhood hit was this green monster!
I remember the boys going so hippo mental that the white marbles would end up all over the place! 

I always wanted a Mr Frosty.  Didn't you just love Slush Puppies??

I was thrilled when I found Slush Puppies sold in my local bakery not too long ago... so now my son loves to drink the frozen sugar water once a fortnight till his tongue is all blue from end to tip! 

Mentioning a list of toy's from the 80's... well it's hard not to mention McDonald's as a part of it.  Say and think what you will about McD's... but boy did they know how to do marketing!!!

It's really quite incredible to think that Mcdonald's makes up parts of most kids throughout the Western world's.... childhood memories!

I remember McDonald character straws... McDonald Character pens... the Muppet Baby Happy Meal toys and more!

I nearly flipped out when I saw this picture of the UFO Happy Meal Container cause all the memories of it came flooding back that I'd completely forgotten about!
Do you remember these awesome UFO plastic Happy Meal containers??

We had one of these... though it wasn't the Pacman Game.

My younger brother loved his Snake Mountain!

We've still got photo's of him with his best buddie playing with the microphone in the yard when he was about 7.

Seriously... what boy or girl didn't love the Ghostbusters??
My little brother and I loved to watch the 'Real Ghostbusters' cartoon too.
He had a great ghostbuster collection and he's even bought vintage ghostbuster toys for his son recently. 
Isn't it great to be able to share toys you loved with your kids??

Go Gadget Go!
Little Bro had this action figure with all it's little gadgety features.

And little brother had an extensive Garbage Pail Kids Sticker Collection he was very proud of.

Though I think a lot of them ended up stuck to the underside of his bunk bed or behind his closet door?

Little bro loved his WWF wrestling arena where he fought his Hulk Hogan and Junkyard Dog figures! 

The only thing I remember liking about the WWF was the Cindy Lauper Goonies Song filmclip which featured a few of the wrestlers in it!!

Best kids movie and best song!!

Well... that's about it... have stopped looking now.

Hope you enjoyed my nostalgia trip! I know I did :)


  1. This takes me back! There are a lot of things here that I wanted as a child! I remember asking my parents for the the Mr Frosty and the Fisher Price Record Player-but didn't get them-aawww!. The toy I remember getting most excited about was a doll that could hold a pen and write.

  2. Great memories
    I actually have the fashion plates and still have a bit of a play sometimes......

  3. That's so cool that you have the fashion plates... would love to find a pack again.

  4. Wow, what an amazing trip down memory lane! My son now enjoys our Fisher Price Record Player and Mastermind game at his grandma's. And, oh how I wanted those fashion plates.

    Sadly, I never got full custody of my Spirograph. It lived at my great-aunt's place for me to play with when I visited. I LOVED it! And I was devastated that I never got to keep it. In fact, I bought a new one just today - Create Your Own Spiral Art.

  5. Good on you Cath!! If I see one I think I'll end up doing the same. That's the joy of being a parent... we can relive our own childhood's all we like and just pretend it's for our kids! ;)

  6. I loved fashion plates!! So many things there I had forgotten, awesome to see them. We played Billionaire for hours. I never got a cabbage patch although I desperately wanted one, but my doll's cot had an ET that I thought was pretty cool, and a Pink Panther. I had a few "flavours" of strawberry shortcake - vanilla, apricot, lemon. Would like to track down some fashion plates for my niece.

  7. ohhhhhh my darling sister what a great blog, I couldn't not stop smiling. That has just taken me back to our amazing childhood. Thanks for sharing sis. U just keep on blowing my mind.
    And WTF did I do with David the clean baby!!! haha. xooxox

  8. OMG! This post just kept giving and giving!! I became so excited I just scrolled down faster and faster. I'll be going back to read and reread. You are a woman after my own heart!

  9. Wow amazing post! I know I'm a couple years late to the party, but I was googling Magic Sand and came across your post. How can I have had 90% of these toys growing up? Thanks so much for putting a huge smile on my face.

    I was actually trying to find an image of this water filled balloon thing I was like a tube slinky, but it keeps sliding out of your hands. Mine was orange. Anyway, don't know what it's called but it's my current obsession.

  10. OMG! i just found this blog entry whilst looking for pictures of magic sand! i kept seeing more and more things that i remember as i scrolled down, and like somebody above said...i kept scrolling faster and faster to see what would come next, amazing! i love this blog entry so much! thanks for putting up all these pics and your stories/memories - its all so familiar, infact i only recently found my glow worm, how weird is that? and the mastermind game, we used to play that all the time...the plastic red basket, the jelly shoes, rara skirts, flick bracelets, spirograph, alf, the viewmaster - oh my god, that reminds me, i had an alf viewmaster slide which was my favourite one! just looking at pictures of alf over and over again hahaha!! inspector gadget! strawberry shortcake - OMG she was my favourite - i recently went back to my parents to get all my old stuff from the loft and i couldnt find strawberry shortcake, but i found custard the cat (i think he was called that, or that's what i called him anyway)...there's so much amazing stuff here, it's the best post ever! oh and one thing i always wanted but never had was one of those water slides! i REALLY wanted one of those, you could get brochures in the toyshop with pictures of those slides, and various other climbing frames and stuff and i used to love looking through them and imagining how good it would be if i got one! thanks for this, its great. u must surely be around the same age as me - 32!? (sounds scary to say it!) ps. ive just noticed one of your other recommended posts is to do with john lennon. wow! going to look now and have a peek at the rest of your blog, so glad i found it XX

  11. what about the snoopy slush puppy maker that thing was awesome!!!