Bigger Kids

14 iconic toys from the '80s

Sweet droopy-eared pups to adopt, a bear that played cassettes and some pretty radical gaming systems.

14 iconic toys from the '80s

Photo: The Strong

Do you, like, remember these totally tubular '80s toys or what? There were sweet droopy-eared pups to adopt, a bear that played cassettes and some pretty radical gaming systems.

Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Check out these 14 iconic toys from the decade of decadence that might just be hiding in your basement.


Back in 1980, having arcade-style Pac-Man or Pong on your Christmas list was a total win!

Atari brought us classics like Asteroids, Centipedes, Donkey Kong, and Mario Bros. And let’s let's not forget how it paved the way for future consoles, shaping the video game world as we know it today!

Atari gamesole Photo: The Strong

Cabbage Patch Kids

Complete with a name and birth certificate, were you actually a child of the ’80s if you didn’t have one of these?

And if you’re old enough, do you remember how hard it was to get one of these dolls? Parents were fighting in stores, and some were even willing to travel miles just to find one. The plot resembles that of the ‘90s Christmas classic "Jingle All The Way," which is striking, wouldn't you agree?

Cabbage Patch doll in pink pant suit Photo: The Strong


Care Bears

Based on the popular cartoon, you still try to apply ‘sharing is caring’ to your everyday life, don’t you?

Over 40 million Care Bears were sold between 1983 and 1987.

And guess what? These adorable bears are still super popular today, showing up in cool collaborations with brands like Forever 21, Puma, and Sally Hansen.

original care bear in the box Photo: The Strong

Nintendo Game Boy

Years before Nintendo 64 came out, we had the legendary Nintendo Game Boy making waves back in '89.

This handheld console was home to beloved games like Tetris and Super Mario Land, and became so popular that teachers everywhere started confiscating them in class. Now go tell that story to your Nintendo Switch-loving kids – they'd be blown away, I bet!

Game Boy original handheld video game Photo: The Strong

G.I. Joe

The military-themed action figure from the ’60s resurfaced in the ’80s. Gnarly? Yes! But we bet your brother loved these.

GI Joe toy in packaging Photo: The Strong


Masters of the Universe figures

The 80s were packed with some crazy animated adventure shows, like ThunderCats and She-Ra: Princess of Power. And who could forget He-Man and the Masters of the Universe?

They even had a bunch of toys inspired by the show. He-Man and his crew were all about those epic thigh muscles!

He Man action figures Photo: The Strong

Lego Minifigures

Before the mystery packs and multitude of series and characters, there were the OG LEGOs which were pretty basic but still cool.

Unlike today's LEGO sets that come with detailed instructions, the 80s LEGOs were all about letting your imagination run wild.

Some die-hard LEGO fans even say the old bricks were sturdier and didn't break as easily as the ones today.

Bag of vintage Lego mini figures Photo: The Strong

My Little Pony

What was it about the My Little Pony dolls that captured people’s attention back in the 80s? The answer lies in those endearing ‘cutie marks’ that made each one special.

And, each My Little Pony set was a delightful package of toys, fashionable Pony Wear outfits for your ponies, and a bunch of exciting collectibles!

My Little Pony with accessories Photo: The Strong


Nintendo Entertainment System

1988 happened and so did Duck Hunt and Super Mario on the NES. A re-release of a miniature model created chaos in 2016. You can try to scour the Dark Web for a mini, but the competition is fierce.

original Nintendo Entertainment System Photo: The Strong

Pound Puppies

Pound Puppies were basically the OG Beanie Babies but for dog lovers!

You could collect them in all sorts of colors and sizes, each one tucked inside a cute little cardboard case that looked just like a mini doghouse.

They also even came with their own "adoption" certificate. How cute!

White pound puppy toy Photo: The Strong

Rainbow Brite

Like her predecessor Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite was huge on the big and small screen, with colourful toys to match.

Rainbow Bright started off as a Hallmark Cards brainchild in '83 and quickly took over our screens and toy chests with all that color and sparkle. She even got her own movie and a pile of other cool merch. Did you have the Kaleidoscope toy too?

And come on, admit it, you totally rocked a Rainbow Brite costume for Halloween back then, didn't you?

Rainbow Brite doll Photo: The Strong


Rubix’s Cube

Initially marketed as the Hungarian Magic Cube, this toy went mainstream, got a new name and has challenged the world with its colour-coded puzzles since 1980.

These days, it's a nostalgic little desk toy that adds a bit of flair, but let's be real, it's still a great trusty sidekick for chilling out when things get too hectic.

Rubik's cube in the package Photo: The Strong

Teddy Ruxpin

Remember Furbies and Tickle Me Elmo? They were pretty cool, right? But, oh man, before all that, we had Teddy Ruxpin. You know, the bear toy that could actually talk because it had a cassette player built into it?

Teddy could switch between 13 different languages and his eyes and mouth would move along with the songs and stories he was telling or singing.

But, honestly, there was something a bit eerie about him too. Remember his 'Come dream with me tonight...' song? Yeah, that still freaks us out a bit even now.

Teddy Ruxpin stuffed toy Photo: The Strong


Is it a weapon-toting bot, or is it a vehicle? Guys, it’s a Transformer so it’s both, obvie.

Transformers toys were super cool because they were like a two-for-one deal of fun! You could morph them into cars, planes, or even cassettes – endless possibilities! Plus, the light-up effects, battery-powered sound modes, and detailed designs made playtime super exciting.

It's no wonder with all the movies, comics, and shows out there that Transformers are still rocking the toy world!

Optimus Prime transformer toy Photo: The Strong
This article was originally published on Nov 23, 2019

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