Tag Archives: 1980s toys

Toys of Christmas Past

I was reading Merbear’s post about how her parents lied about Santa and ruined her entire worldview for life, as is a parent’s way.  And she mentioned wanting pound puppies, and I was like, hey, I had those!  I had lots of stupid, crappy toys.  Some of them are no longer made.  Some of them rose again, like zombies from the Island of Misfit Toys.  Here were some of my favorites – see if you remember them too.

Pound Puppies

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

I had several of these little mutts.  I remembered the little cardboard dog houses they came in, but I had forgotten they inspired an awful cartoon, and even worse, a full-length feature film.  Thank you, Wikipedia.  If you want to see something really scary, go check out their entry – somebody somewhere went to the trouble of listing every single dog character in the TV show.  I’m scared.

Anyway, the REAL pound puppies had little hearts on their butts with the “PP” logo – that’s pound puppies, not pee pee, though it’s a dog, so I guess either would work.  Ever notice they make baby dolls that go pee, but not toy dogs?  I think they should make peeing toy dogs.  That would certainly make kids think twice about asking for a puppy.

Wait – where was I?  Oh, yes, there were also Pound Purries for those who wanted cats.  But they had to have the logo, or they were generic pups, and no one wants a generic dog.  Kids see right through that.  I had some fake ones anyway.  They probably got their butts kicked by the real ones.

Cabbage Patch Kids

I had one of these doll play pens, yes.  You don't want to let those things out.

I had one of these doll play pens, yes. You don’t want to let those things out.

I’ve written about this before, but I had dozens of these freakish things – eventually.  At first it was almost impossible to find one.  And every kid wanted one.  Other kids checked you out as soon as you go to school.  “Got a Kid?  No, Flower Kids don’t count.  We gotta see the signature – PULL OFF THE DIAPER!”  Yes, every authentic CPK had a signature of the creator on his bum.  This was important – all other dolls were clearly counterfeit.

When you think about it, they’re pretty ugly.  But I loved mine.  We even had a play with the Cabbage Patch Kids – every kid got to bring their doll with them.  I remember there being an evil rabbit and a doll named “Sybil Sabie.” or something like that.  These were messed up times, the 80s.  But if you think that’s weird, I just found out that there is STILL a Babyland Hospital where you can see cabbages give birth (I am not making this up) and get your own original doll.  WTF.  Surprisingly, the revival of these creatures did not hit it big with anyone but the parents of today’s children.

My Little Pony

They weren't so bedazzled in the 80s.

An 80s style bedazzled by yours truly – and her Things

Ah, My Little Pony.  These guys, er girls – I don’t think there were any boy ponies, which makes one wonder how there were ponies at all, but no matter – were awesome toys.  They were relatively cheap, so you could have lots of them.  Like any other popular toy, there were knock offs, but the real ones had marks on their butts with rainbows and stars and crap like that.  Also their hair and bodies were all colors of the rainbow – like ponies who had been through some freakish technicolor wonderland.

How you doin'?

How you doin’?

At least they resembled ponies at that time.  Now they’ve changed . . . a lot.  They’re – I’m not sure how to say this since we’re talking about an animal here – sexier.  Like there’s this “come hither” look on these things.  Still, you can’t deny that unlike either pound puppies or Cabbage Patches, the ponies really have made a huge comeback.  They have a new animated cartoon, very different from the original one in the 80s.  The original had bad guys and stuff.  In the new one, problems usually revolve around stupid stuff like whether Minty can get a new candy cane for the top of the freaking Christmas tree.  Edge of my seat, here.

Barbie

Like the rest of us, Barbie in the 1980s had terrible taste.

Like the rest of us, Barbie in the 1980s had terrible taste.

Barbie has been around since 1959.  By the time I started getting Barbies, though, they had morphed from a Betty Davis style witch face to the familiar blank stare of today.

That charming "Bite me" look of the '60s.

That charming “Bite me” look of the ’60s.

Bubblehead expression of today

“Say what?” look of the 80s

They also wore pink – a lot of it.  And they drove pink cars, and lived in pink houses and condos, and had pink dogs.  Some people felt sorry for Ken, having to put up with all that pink furniture, but I think he secretly kind of liked it. I mean, just look at the guy.

Check out my flash pants!

Check out my flash pants!

I had a lot of Barbies.  And their stuff.  I mean, Barbie had everything.  She had cars, and houses, and furniture, and billions of tiny shoes you lost immediately in the carpet, and even a baby sister.  Or at least they said it was her baby sister.  Also, there was the middle sister, Skipper, who in the 1980s was flat chested, but grew tiny boobs in the 2000’s.  Ironically, Barbie herself had breast reduction surgery, so if you have an old 1980s Barbie, you’ll find she can’t fit in the 2000 Barbie clothes.  Sort of like how 2000’s me can’t fit into 1990s clothes, only it’s not the boobs.

Barbie is still just as popular as she was for the last few generations. She’s never going away.  In fact, she’s even running for political office.  Check it out.

Nobody tell her the 2012 election is already over.

Nobody tell her the 2012 election is already over.

She seems strangely familiar though.  I mean, where have I seen someone like her before?

There we go!

There we go!

So there’s my list of toys of Christmas past.  Are they better or worse than those of today?  It’s a toss up.  I mean, we have Furbies now, so I dunno.  Let me know in the comments below!