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Eighties Flashback: The Best Toys of the Decade

As a kid I rocked crimped hair and pegged pants. Yup, you guessed it, I was born in 1980s. Back then, toys were simple. They were USB-plug-free, and offered endless hours of wholesome amusement. If you listened to George Michael and Debbie Gibson, odds are you owned at least one of these classics.

Lite Brite

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Lite Brite allowed kids to create magical, glowing images by inserting plastic pegs into a black sheet of paper affixed to a screen. Its infamous jingle Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite, turn on the magical shining light dominated Saturday morning cartoons and will still get stuck in your head twenty years later.

My First Sony

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Everyone I knew had a My First Sony and practiced their version of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” on it daily (including myself).

Operation

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Operation is a battery-operated game where players use tweezers to remove plastic ailments from the patient’s body. When the tweezers touch the metal edge of the opening, the buzzer sounds, the patient’s nose lights up, and you lose your turn.

Cabbage Patch Doll

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Every little girl had one of these smushed-faced dolls that grew from a head of cabbage.

Pound Puppies

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During the heyday of Pound Puppy mania, these plush pups generated over $300 million in sales.

Gumby

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I have no clue what exactly Gumby was supposed to be, but this green claymation figure and his sidekick Pokey, the talking pony, dominated in the eighties.

Koosh Ball

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This rubber-stringed ball was named for the “koosh” sound it makes when it falls. In 1988 it was one of the hottest Christmas toys on Santa’s list.

Pick-Up Sticks

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Pick-Up Sticks is a game of mental skill and hand-eye coordination where you have to remove a stick from a pile without disturbing the remaining ones. The winner is the person who picks up the most sticks. (Riveting, I assure you.)

Rubik’s Cube

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Developed in the seventies, popularized in the eighties, and still selling like hotcakes today, Rubik’s Cube is one of the greatest puzzles ever made.

SheRa and HeMan

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SheRa, the Princess of Power, and her twin brother HeMan, the Master of the Universe, were the greatest super heroes (and most purchased Halloween costumes) of the eighties.

Spirograph

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A spirograph is a set of plastic shapes that you insert a pen into and move around on a sheet of paper. You end up with an intricate geometric drawing. For some reason this offered kids hours of entertainment.

Teddy Ruxpin

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I’m not sure why kids weren’t petrified of this creepy animatronic talking bear, but I have distinct memories of huddling around a Teddy Ruxpin in preschool and listening to him tell his bizarre teddy stories.

Stay Connected

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