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Top 10 '80s Toys We Loved

VO: JP WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
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Top 10 ‘80s Toys We Loved

It was a great decade to be a kid, as well as a consumer. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 ‘80s Toys We Loved.
 
For this list, we’re looking at our absolute favorite toys we played with in the 80s. They don’t have to have been made in the decade, but they should have been first mass produced or at least popularized in the 1980s, which means we’ve got to exclude the View-Master and Lite-Brite. We’re also leaving out the Sony Walkman because… well, it’s not really a toy.
 

#10: He-Man & She-Ra

 
“Masters of the Universe” was the ‘80s franchise that managed to have both a male and female protagonist for kids to idolize. While many popular toys were created because of the popular TV and film properties they were affiliated with, in this case the opposite was true. Mattel sought to recreate the success seen with “Star Wars” merchandise and created a line of toys they hoped would sell big. They nailed it with He-Man and the rest of the crew, and the success of the action figures brought on an animated series, as well as a She-Ra spin-off, and a live-action film in the 80s.

 

#9: Strawberry Shortcake
 

She’s a character created by a greeting card illustrator at the tail end of the 1970s that eventually became one of the most sought after dolls of the next decade so we’re making an exception. The 80s were a time for scented everything and Strawberry Shortcake and her gang of fruity scented friends may have kickstarted the trend. If you were a little girl in the 80s, you just had to have one of these dolls. Even today, that artificial strawberry scent can bring you right back to the days where taking care of your dolls was the most important thing in the world.
 
 

#8: Teddy Ruxpin
 

While the teddy bear had been around for decades by the time the 80s came along, kids back then were not quite accustomed to all of the high tech playthings we had today. So the idea of a teddy bear that could talk? It was pretty much the coolest thing you could imagine. Teddy Ruxpin was the top selling toy in both 1985 and 1986 because kids just couldn’t get enough of his engaging stories - even if he told the same ones over and over again.
 

#7: Little Tikes Country Cottage

 
Every toddler wants to play house, and what better way than with the Little Tikes Country Cottage? It does seem a little strange that kids loved to pretend to make phone calls and clean dishes, when there were so many more exciting things to use your imagination for, but replicating Mom and Dad never really got old. Did these plastic retreats actually improve our domestic skills? Probably not. But it sure was fun to chat with our friends and families though the openable doors and windows, not to mention our stuffed animals!

 
 

#6: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise got its start in the 80s with a comic book storyline, followed by the animated series which launched in 1987. While the toys may have peaked in popularity in the 90s, any 80s kid who was ahead of the curve had a couple of these action figures in their playroom. Everyone had a favorite turtle, but you most likely owned all four turtle toys because of brilliant marketing on the part of the manufacturer. Chances are you also begged your parents for a Technodrome playset.
 

#5: Fisher-Price Tape Recorder

 
Long before iPods and MP3 players, we had to listen to our favorite tunes on cassettes. For kids, there was no hotter accessory than the portable Fisher-Price Tape Recorder, which could also record content for you. The main feature of the product’s branding seemed to be the fact that it was sturdy and kids couldn’t break it, which was probably a good idea because otherwise our parents never would have trusted us with such cutting-edge technology. The brand also made another two of our favorite toys from the era: Grow with Me 1,2,3 Roller Skates and Medical Kit (xref).
  

#4: Care Bears

 
Just like Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears’s origins can also be traced back to greeting cards. Like many other franchises before and after, the Care Bears had that “gotta have ‘em all” mentality attached to them. You didn’t want just one of the bears in your stuffed animal collection. It started with the original ten Care Bears, including favorites like Good Luck Bear, Love-A-Lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear, and Wish Bear, all of whom had a special symbol on their tummy to tell them apart.
 

#3: My Little Pony

 
Any girl who grew up in the 80s can undoubtedly still remember the feel and smell of a My Little Pony toy. They fulfilled your wish of having a real live pony of your own, without all the mess and expense. Not to mention, they came in a rainbow of fun colors. The 80s were a simpler time when just sitting and brushing through your pony’s hair was enough to keep you entertained. In fact, the world of “My Little Pony” has seen a resurgence in popularity in the early 21st century with an entire community of grown men pledging fealty to the brand.
  

#2: Transformers

 
Long before the action-packed Michael Bay movies hit the silver screen, 80s kids got to play with actual Transformer toysthat were the height of awesomeness. Whether you had Optimus Prime, Megatron, or one of the other Autobots or Decepticons, you could have hours of fun with these toys in either car or robot form. Somehow, even decades later, that catchy jingle and slogan from the commercial can still get stuck in our heads. Despite the franchise being revived, we’ll still think of these characters in their original 80s iterations.

 
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
 
Popples

Pogo Balls [aka Lolo Balls]
 
Glo Worm

#1: Cabbage Patch Kids

 
These dolls were so popular that they actually caused riots in the lead up to the holiday season in 1983 when the demand for them was so high that stores couldn’t keep enough in stock to satisfy customers. Unlike many other dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids were actually marketed at both boys and girls, which served to effectively double their popularity. They really tried to up the authenticity of these dolls, offering each one with a birth certificate and official adoption papers, making you feel like each one was truly unique.

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