I don't know why, but for some reason last night I had a dream and I was back in my old house, as a child, playing with all my toys. I woke up, and this blog was forming in my head. I had to rush to find some paper to write down all the toys that were popping up from my childhood!
Too many to name, really, and there are some good ones, but I thought I would narrow it down to 10, which has been very difficult. The 80's had some good toys, and we see that these days many of them are making a comeback. As it should be. Respect your elders, and respect their awesome toys. That's what I always say. So here you have my list, in no particular order, because if I had to put them in order we'd be here all day. And please, when you're done reading my list, feel free to comment and let me know if I left something off that you absolutely loved as a child (in which case I will tell you to write about it on your own damn blog), or if you grew up in a different time than the 80's, what were your favorite toys?
10. Sit & Spin
This picture is a new Sit & Spin, and apparently, nowadays, they talk. Whatever, that's a load of crap. Back in my day, we had to make our own fun. So we sat, we span, and we sang. And that's just how we did things. I really wish they made adult sized sit & spins. Get your head out of the gutter! I just mean that I would spin and spin for hours (I was easily amused as a child), and I wish I could recapture that feeling, that head rush you got from it. Now, I'd probably vomit all over the place, though. Probably better that they don't make big ones.
9. Mr. Men & Little Miss Books
8. Fisher Price Record Player
I used to be a DJ in a former life. Did you know that? Oh yeah. I tore it up with some plastic Fisher Price records. I used to bring down the house with classic jams like "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "London Bridges", and a sure crowd pleaser "Do you know the Muffin Man?" Everyone was on the dance floor when I started scratching. Fivel, Santa Bear, and Rainbow Brite all got up and started to boogy. I gave up DJing when they started using vinyl. Humph. Vinyl. Crazy kids.
PS Boogy is a word you don't hear much of any more, and I'm going to try to bring it back. Who's with me?
Everyone sing it with me now,
Monchhichi, Monchhichi! Oh so soft and cud-a-ly! With his thumb in his mouth he's really sweet! It's fun to play with their little feet! La la la! La la la! Happy, happy Monchhichi! I love you Monchichi!
I need therapy, but I could do a whole post just on the cuteness and lovability of the Monchichi. Let me be clear. I. Loved. Monchichi. Another picture perhaps? Oh, what the hell.
The 80's were the time of Jane Fonda and legwarmers. Of Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" and headbands. Leotards. High top sneakers. 3 pairs of color coordinated socks, all scrunched down together (over your legwarmers, of course). It was not a time of high fashion, but darn it, it was a time for fitness (and let's face it, we thought we looked good). Get in Shape Girl was for little girls who wanted to get in on the craze. I loved it. There were several different sets that you could buy that included various weights, batons, jump ropes, headbands, sweat bands, water bottles, etc. Some even came with a video. I only had one set, and it came with some sweat bands and a couple of purple weights. I used to put the sweat bands on and climbed some trees. That was my fitness regiment. My cousin Ang had more GISG stuff than I did, and I was jealous of her. I feel certain that this is the reason why to this day, she is skinnier than I am.
I didn't take the above picture, but it sure looks like something I would have done. I loved nothing more than taking my camera and lining up my dolls, my stuffed animals, my shoes, my rocks, whatever; and taking some pictures. The one above looks like it was taken in the bathtub. Totally something I would have done.
But I digress. Glamour Girls/Dazzle Dolls are the toy I had the dream about last night. I had completely forgotten about their existence, which is sad because they played a big roll in life in the 80's. Things are about to get embarrassing. For me. Confession: I have a very clear memory of being in our old house, upstairs playing with my Glamour Girls. I am listening to Kool & The Gang sing "Joanna", and my Dazzle Dolls are dancing to it, while prancing upon the top of our Fisher Price parking garage/car wash toy. My mom is downstairs, watching Falcon Crest. Or maybe Dallas. I'm pretty sure my brother and I are supposed to be in bed, but somehow, we're awake and playing. For some reason, Kool and the Gang songs feature prominently in my childhood memories. "Fresh" and "Joanna" are my 2 favorites. And "Get down on it". And "Cherish".
What a simple concept, and what an awesome toy. ColorForms seriously provided me with hours of entertainment. My favorites were the Smurfs, Garfield, and Muppet Babies. Do they still make ColorForms? Anyone know? Anyone? Bueller?
3. Cabbage Patch Kids
I know I can't be the only person who remembers the craze that surrounded these dolls. When they first came out (was it in 1983?), everyone wanted one. You couldn't find them anywhere, and when you did, they were pricey. I don't know how much, it was probably like $9.99 but dammit back in the 80's that was a lot of money! (I'm just kidding, I think they were closer to $25-$30) My first CPK was named Patty Candy and I loved her. She was a preemie, so she looked nothing like the one pictured above. Although my second one did. Her name was Susan Francois. I had a lot of Cabbage Patch Kids. And I remember all their names. I will not bore you with such details. But I will tell you that I have a lot, a LOT of pictures of them.
2. Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
I hated it. Looking back on the pictures now, it was seriously a wonderful costume, so obviously labored over and made with love. I thought it was a giant piece of crap. I wanted the store bought Strawberry Shortcake costume. The one with the plastic "cover" that you tied in the back and the mask that stunk and you could barely breathe with it on your face. All my friends at school at plastic, store bought Halloween costumes, and that is what I wanted too. There is even a picture, somewhere, of me in that wonderful costume with the biggest pout on my face. I promise to try and find it.
I'm sorry Gram. That was a wonderful costume.
The next year, (and the year after) my mom let me buy the store bought one. You should see the shit-eating-grin on my face in those pictures.
Right. Back to the dolls. I wish I could say I had them all, but I didn't. I had Strawberry, Crepe Suzette, Cafe Ole, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Muffin, and Apple Dumplin'. I always wanted the Purple Pieman and Sour Grapes. Remember how they smelled? Like sweet wonderfulness.
I told you I was in love with a girl. A girl named Strawberry. And if I had to only pick one toy from the 80's, it would be her. And her group of fruity friends.
Thus concludes my list. And it was really hard to narrow it down, I tell you. So here are some honorable mentions.
Pound Puppies, Big Wheel, Rainbow Brite, Shrinky Dinks, Care Bears, My Little Pony, Transformers, He-Man and She-Ra, Pogo Ball........
Do you have any to add?