Can You Name All of These Kids Toys From the ‘80s?
By: Lauren Lubas
Image: meisjedevos / Pixabay
About This Quiz
The 1980s were an excellent time for the toy industry. In the '80s, people seemed to focus on entertaining their children and making sure that there were things they could do to keep them out of trouble. Coming from the toy company's angle, the success of the Star Wars toys in the late 1970s showed them a potential gold mine of synergy. Suddenly, toys were developed along with television shows and movies. Every toy character needed a story, and what better way to portray that story than to make a cartoon out of it? Most of the toys we saw in the '80s were inspired by Saturday Morning Cartoons or they were made into Saturday Morning Cartoons. However, there were some great kids toys that didn't need that much attention, because they were awesome.
All '80s kids have a certain nostalgia for the toys that shaped their childhoods, and that nostalgia runs so deep that some of these toys are actually making a comeback (with a modern twist, of course). If you were an '80s kid, you probably know a thing or two about the toys that made an impact on the decade, but can you name them all? Take this quiz to see if you can identify the toys that made you who you are today.
Which tatted-up horse figurines were girls obsessed with in the '80s?
My Little Pony
These colorful equestrians really made an impact in the '80s. They came with grooming accessories, but if you tried to brush their plastic hair, it just frayed and knotted up. Many My Little Ponies received unsolicited haircuts back then.
Teddy Ruxpin was another toy spawned from a cartoon. The teddy bear wasn't overly snuggly, but if you put a Metallica tape in his back, he would rock out pretty hardcore. Otherwise, you could put his actual cassettes in his back and read stories with him.
What was the product that made it cool for boys to have stuffed animals?
My Child Dolls
Care Bears came in a variety of colors and sizes. The best part about them was that they also came in blue and green, so it was socially acceptable for boys to have them. At the time, this was the closest thing to non-gender-specific toys.
Made by the famous calculator company, Speak & Spell would ask you to spell item and then let you know if you spelled it right or wrong. The only problem was, you couldn't understand all of the words that the computerized voice asked you to spell.
Fighting aginst the wicked (and quite frightening) Skeletor, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe have one goal in mind: protect Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull. If you remember the cartoon, it was actually developed based on the toys as a way to market the idea of giant superhuman and their friends.
Manufactured by Wham-O, this bad boy was a liability, for sure. If you didn't remove every rock or object form under it, you'd find yourself with bruises and broken bones. It was an ingenious plastic tarp that you ran water over.
What's this stuffed animal that inspired graffiti?
It could be possible that Doodle Bears were created because parents were sick of their children drawing on walls and toys. Why not just create a toy that they can damage? Of course, this may have inspired more graffiti around the house.
He inspired the movie "Child's Play". Do you know the name of this doll?
My buddy was another great way to market dolls to little boys. This large doll was a great companion for only children, or children who didn't really socialize with their siblings. In the commercials, Buddy can do anything that humans do.
Here's a pretty simple one for you. What is this large robot toy that could turn into a vehicle?
Transformers could *literally* transform from a vehicle to a robot. Not only did they inspire a cartoon series in the 1980s, they also brought on full-length feature cartoons and a series of Michael Bay movies in the 2000s.
They weren't LEGOs, but you could build things out of them. What are they?
Lincoln Logs could only stay together if you didn't move them, but the interlocking pieces could be stacked high and in different ways to create nice farm scenes for your My Little Ponies or hideouts for your G.I. Joe figures.
These were around for a long time before the '80s, but the marketing in the '80s changed everything. What do you call these interlocking toys?
LEGOs were around for nearly 50 years before the '80s, but in the 1980s, their marketing changed quite a bit. LEGOs needed to look cool and exciting, not like 3-D puzzles. That's how we got Zack the LEGO Maniac.
His pieces were held in an inappropriate spot. Can you name this character?
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head had quite a few accessories, and people liked to put them in areas they didn't belong, because it was funny the first three times you did it. In the late '90s, he got his own (terrifying) TV show.
The big brick was one of the original hand-held games. Can you name it?
Game & Watch
The original big brick Game Boy was an excellent hand-held video game for its time. While it didn't have the color screen, it was like carrying around an entire Nintendo Entertainment System in your pocket (if it was a very big pocket, that is).
View Finders were basically portable slide projectors that children could bring on road trips or to their grandparents' house. There were so many different kinds of cartridges that children would be entertained for hours.
This was another art tool which allowed you to use multimedia art before it was cool. What do you call it?
"Turn on the magical colored lights ..." Who could forget that amazing song? The Light-Brite was basically a light bulb in a plastic box. You'd cover holes with a black piece of paper and insert colored pegs into it to make an image. It was a great little toy for kids who had imaginations.
Can you name these small action figures that were great ways for boys to play war?
G.I. Joe figures were around before the '80s, but in 1982, Hasbro decided to relaunch the line to make the figures smaller, so they could come with vehicles, play sets and accessories. Making the line smaller also reduced the price of manufacturing.
The Spirograph used two different pieces of plastic. One was the frame and the other was a circle that went inside the frame. This toy became really cool when pens with different colored inks came out.
What was this excellent tool for girls to learn about fashion?
Fashion plates were a great way for little girls to make their own pictures that they could color. The plates were used to create an outline of a woman wearing a dress or an outfit, and little girls could then color the images they created.
Keypers were clearly marketed to young girls who had siblings. There was something so great about being able to lock up your secrets in little plastic animals, even if your older brother might try to break into it.
These dolls were made in varieties that made every American girl feel as though she had her own baby. What were they called?
Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Dolls were created in 1978 but gained a lot of attention in the '80s. They were known for coming with their own birth certificates, but all of them were born on November 1st, for some reason. Maybe Mr. Roberts was really busy in February.
Which toy was marketed as a way to draw without making a mess?
Etch A Sketch
The most wonderful and terrible thing about an Etch A Sketch is that when you were done drawing, you could shake the machine and your work would disappear. But the worst part about it was that it was almost impossible to draw circles.
Tonka trucks are worth an arm and a leg these days, and there's no question why. These bad boys were made of metal and last forever. Just don't leave them out in the rain ... You might need a tetanus shot after playing with them.
Another dog toy coming your way. These little guys made it cool to adopt. What are they?
These little flat stuffed animals were all the rage from the moment they were launched in 1984. The original designs made them look sad and depressed, and the commercials appealed to the guilt of the children watching.
This toy allowed you to make your own bugs. What was it called?
Easy Bake Oven
Easy Bake Bugs
The commercials for Creepy Crawlers were terrifying, but they were a great way to get children to understand how liquid turns into a solid. While there was no Cree[u Craw;ers TV show in the '80s, these odd toys actually made a short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon from 1994-1996.
Can you name this "personal computer" for children?
Speak & Spell
Talking Whiz Kid
This bad boy was ahead of its time. Not only did it take a whopping six C batteries, it could also plug into the wall. It came with game cards (cartridges) that were pieces of paper with bar codes. It was basically electronic flash cards.
Skip-It was another great ploy to get children to exercise, turn off the video games and leave the house. The greatest thing about the Skip-It was that it would count how many times you went around, so there was no argument when you were challenging your friends.
Micro Machines were a great little toy for young children who couldn't afford Hot Wheels. You might remember the commercials that included a fast-talking auctioneer who had to give you all of the information he could in his 30-second spot.
Which stuffed dog toy made pampering your dog so cool?
Fluppy Dog was marketed to young girls in the mid-1980s. Not only were these little toys soft and cute, they were high-maintenance, as they seemed to have better hairstyles than the kids in the commercials.
Little people were designed to be played with in sets. They had round bottoms that fit perfectly into all Little People scenes that were created. This was a great way for Fisher-Price to keep people buying its brand, because other toys didn't fit in it.
These were pretty dangerous, but kids in the '80s exercised with them. What are they?
Pogo Bals were interesting exercises in balance and fun. Most children used these items to see who could stay on it longer. The Pogo Bal was released in 1987, and it was a great ploy to get kids to exercise.
These "places" for girls were awesome! What are they?
Precious places used the power of magnets to move figurines from one castle to the next. They were excellent ways to enhance imaginations, because players didn't have to actually move the figurines with their own hands.
Here's a tough one. Which Play-Doh accessory was this?
Play-Doh Mop Top Hair Shop
When you turn the chair, they grow Play-Doh hair. Of course, when you watch the commercial, it really doesn't seem that easy. We're sure there were a lot of parents "helping" these figures grow their hair.
The Purr-Tenders wore little plastic masks and fake ears to pretend to be different animals. Why did they do it? They wanted to escape the pet shop, and be saved from ... eating food that they like? Sure, that works.
Which '80s toy spawned a Netflix original series in 2015?
Popples had their own cartoon in 1986, but in 2015, Netflix revamped it and brought it back. These fun stuffed animals were balls that turned into fun toys. Remember that Popples are pals that pop out of pockets.
These creepy guys could spit water at you. What were they called?
Madballs were rubber balls that were marketed to boys, mostly. They were ugly, creepy and a great way to scare your friends. While they're not worth much as far as collectibles these days, they were a hot item in the late '80s.