The 80’s! The 80’s were a time where you could see fluorescent spandex shorts as far as the eyes could see, hair that was hairsprayed up as big it could go and it was a time when some of the most interesting fashion was created. However, the 80’s brought about some of the most unforgettable and coolest toys. Some of those creations are still kicking around today just in new updated versions. So, if you’re an 80’s kid like myself prepare to take a walk down memory lane and if you aren’t a kid of the 80’s then sorry about your luck! Ah, I’m just kidding, instead please join me as we take a look back at some of the best toys of the 80’s.
The Care Bears
The Care Bears were created in 1981, the multicoloured bears were originally created to be used as artwork for American Greetings cards. In 1982 Parker Brothers and Kenner announced that they would be releasing a Care Bears toy line for production and that the bears were pre-licensed characters and would have a TV show. Ten plush Care Bears were first produced, each bear was a different colour and had a symbol on their belly. The symbols represented each bears duty and personality and was called their “tummy symbol”, later changed to be called their “belly badge”. Over the next few years, several new bears were introduced to the public including the Care Bear Cousins which featured different animals instead of bears. The Care Bear franchise produced movies, TV specials, lunchboxes, books, clothing and so much more. Even today the Care Bears franchise is still running strong and being passed on to new generations.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in characters in a comic book published by Mirage Studios and created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Later Playmates Toys produced action figure toys of the turtles and a cartoon mini-series was made about them. The series was repeated three times before it finally found an audience. Each turtle was named after a famous painter, wore a different coloured mask and had their own weapon for fighting. There was Leonardo the blue-masked turtle who was the group’s leader and his choice of weapons were two Katanas. The smart and very knowledgeable one of the group was named Donatello. Donatello wore a purple mask and his weapons were a pair of bo staffs. Next, there was the free-spirited and the joker of the group named Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo wore an orange coloured mask and had a set of nunchucks for fighting battles. Finally, the fourth and red masked turtle was Raphael. Raphael was the strong and bad boy of the group. His weapons choice were a pair of sai’s. There were also other characters including Splinter, a mutated rat who adopted the turtles and was known as their master. Splinter was the turtle’s sensei and taught them their fighting skills. April O’Neil was a reporter who befriends the turtles and was known as one of their own, next there was Casey Jones, the hockey mask-wearing Allie of the turtles who was in love with April O’Neil and then finally there was the villain Sheddar, a ninjutsu and leader of the foot clan. Many more characters were introduced over the years to the turtle’s franchise. From movie’s, tv shows and action figures the turtles were a big success and by far one of the most unforgettable toys of the 80’s
My Little Pony
My Little Pony was developed by Hasbro and produced in 1981. Each pony had a colourful body, mane and a unique symbol that could be found on one or both sides of their bodies. The toys were not launched until 1982 and the original toy line ran from 1982 to 1995 globally. Hasbro decided to discontinue the toy line due to increased competition. The ponies were then revived in 1997 but they were found to be unpopular and once again discontinued in 1999. Hoping 2003 would bring more luck with the ponies, they were again revived only to be once again discontinued. In 2009/2010 the ponies were revived for the fourth time and began to once again catch on. This time the ponies were made into a smaller brighter version and each one still had their unique symbol on the side of their bodies. The new version of the ponies have proved to be a hit and grossed over 1 Billion in retail sales in 2014 and 2015. There’s just something about a girl and her love for ponies that will never end.
Well thank you for sticking with me this long and please stay tuned for next week where I complete the 2nd part of the best toys of the 80’s.