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Adults who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s are riding a wave of nostalgia that is crashing over just about everything in pop culture. From TV show reboots such as “Magic School Bus,” “The Jetsons” and, of course, “Roseanne” to the return of Jolt Cola and Caboodles, everything that’s old is new again.
But one thing that never goes out of style are the cool toys from the ’80s and ’90s that every kid back then just had to have. Many of them remain popular today, and some are worth a decent amount of money.
Which of these classic toys did you have (or wish you had) in your closet?
1. Cabbage Patch Kids
Who would have thought that dolls born in a Cabbage Patch would cause riots in stores? Even though some people thought these dolls were ugly, the vast majority of people couldn’t get their hands on them fast enough.
Of course, Cabbage Patch Kids are still available. If you want the vintage collection, head over to eBay to find a wide variety of the adorable little tykes. And of course the latest versions are available on Amazon, such as the adorable Baby So Real Blonde.
2. Big Wheel
Kids may be too small to drive motorcycles, but the Big Wheel gave kids the excitement of riding fast and riding free. And the spin-out handbrake on the side was the best part of the bike! Original versions of the Big Wheel can sell for thousands of dollars! But you can also find the latest bikes at almost any toy retailer.
3. Star Wars
More than 40 years after the original “Star Wars” movie was released, its toy franchise remains one of the most popular in history. And with new movies scheduled for years to come, they look to stay relevant. But nothing takes the place in our hearts of the vintage collection of toys.
Collections like the one below can be found on eBay and other collector sites. If you’d like one of the newer toy collections featuring popular characters like Kylo Ren, Rey and others, head over to Amazon.
Is it a monkey? Is it a teddy bear? It was never really clear with Monchhichi, but they were so adorable, people couldn’t resist them. If you’re looking for one of the original dolls, then eBay is likely your best bet.
5. Pound Puppies
With their floppy ears and adorable eyes, these little pups in their doghouses were irresistible to kids and grownups alike when they hit the market back in the ’80s. They remain popular today, with new versions of the stuffed animal, along with cartoons, movies and more!
6. Teddy Ruxpin
Some thought a talking teddy bear who sang and told stories was adorable. Others thought Teddy Ruxpin was the stuff of nightmares. But there’s no disputing his popularity, because trying to find him in the ’80s was next to impossible for a long time. A newer version has been released and sells on Amazon and other toy stores, but the original Teddy Ruxpin is a collector’s item.
7. Micro Machines
Remember these tiny cars that kids loved to collect and race around? The cool thing about Micro Machines was not only their size (you could fit a bunch in your pocket) but that they also had sleek designs and even themed sets, such as “Star Wars,” professional race car teams and more.
8. My Little Pony
The My Little Pony collection of toys are still going strong more than 30 years after they first galloped onto the scene. What once was known as a girl’s toy has now been embraced by all kids! Today’s My Little Pony dolls are a lot more blinged out than their ancestors. But the originals are still beloved, and are actually making a comeback.
This handheld electronic memory game is simple in theory, but not so easy to master! It’s hard to believe a game with only four big colored buttons could be so addictive. Simon is still on the market (and just as fun to play!).
10. Fisher-Price Little People/Farm
These Little People had no moveable arms, legs or head, but they were in just about every kid’s room dating even before the 1980s! Probably the most popular play set for Fisher-Price Little People is the classic farm. We love how when the doors opened, a cow would moo! Fisher-Price now has an updated version of this iconic play set.
11. Water Ring Toss
Sometimes the simplest concept makes for major fun. With the push of a single button, a puff of air lifted rings into the water. The challenge was to toss the rings onto the stick. Not as easy at it looks! The original Tomy versions of this game can be found online on sites like eBay.
12. The Farmer Says
Preschoolers loved this Fisher-Price toy that made animal sounds. The Farmer Says started out as a classic pull-string toy, but today’s version has a handle that lasts a little longer. We guess it’s for safety and durability reasons. And like many updates of the classic toys, this Farmer Says toy has more interactive features than the original, including quizzes and more!
Lite-Brite gave kids the power to make beautiful, colorful creations with pegs that lit up. Each Lite-Brite kit came with patterns kids could follow to make pictures, or they could make their own with blank templates. The newest edition of Lite-Brite even comes with a handy case for all the colored pegs. Where was that when I was a kid?
14. Rainbow Brite And Starlite
The Rainbow Brite TV show and movie launched in the ’80s, and reboots featuring Rainbow Brite and her trusted steed, Starlite, have been rolled out several times since then. If you were a fan, chances are you remember the Rainbow Brite doll and the stuffed animal version of her colorful horse from back in the day.
A simple toy for a simpler time. Colorforms were cut-out plastic “stickers” kids could place on a background so as to tell a story.
Though Colorforms were born in the ’50s, they really became popular much later as the company began incorporating pop culture icons, the first of whom was Popeye. You can find some of the classics on eBay, and elsewhere.
Today, brand-new sets are being released for the latest generation of kids. You can find sets with the Paw Patrol, Disney Princesses and Marvel characters on Amazon.
16. Fisher-Price Medical Kit
Would-be doctors and nurses could practice their skills way before medical school with the complete Fisher-Price Medical Kit. It had a “working” stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure cuff and even a syringe for a shot (ouch!). The original came in a hard briefcase carrier.
17. Roller Skates
Long before roller blades, the roller skate was the coolest toy on wheels. Kids would spend weekends skating outside or at the local roller rink. Whether you had the metal kind you slid on over your sneakers or the totally awesome boot skate, it was all about getting out and rolling! You can still find these today in stores and online in the classic design. Some things just never go out of style!
Before there were Pillow Pets, there were Popples. These adorable, cuddly creatures “popped” out of their own little bag for some fun imaginative play and snuggle time. Today’s versions still have their own built-in carry case, but they also talk!
19. Easy Bake Oven
Who would have thought that cooking with a light bulb would be so much fun? Well, kids from “back in the day” (and even today) loved making their little cakes in their Easy Bake Oven!
Today’s version is more sleek, and there are countless accessories and even mixes you can purchase to keep cakes and cookies coming! But, we think the vintage ones from ’70s and ’80s are pretty darn cool to look at!
20. View Master
Remember having a photo slideshow in your toy box or pocket? With the classic white discs and the red viewer, you could see pictures of everything from popular tourist attractions to favorite TV shows! You can still get the classic version (along with more high-tech VR viewers) on Amazon.
21. Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
Nothing hit the spot on a hot, summer’s day than a Sno-cone made by Snoopy and his Peanuts friends! Some ideas are so simple and so classic, there’s no need to make major improvements to it. That’s why you can still find the original version on sale today online and in stores!
Who could forget these tiny, blue collectible figures? They had their own TV show in the ’80s, along with their own toy line, stuffed animals and more! In recent years, they’ve had a comeback in movie theaters.
Auction sites like eBay have many of the original figures sold in toy stores. And they still remain popular today in their current design with toy sets, stuffed animals and more.
This handheld electronic toy had a variety of games for kids to play: tic-tac-toe, memory game, puzzles and more. Sure, it may look like an old-style touchtone phone, but it was pretty cool in its day!
24. Handheld Football Game
Who remembers the cool whistle sound this game made every time you got tackled? Or button mashing to get the blip across the screen to score a touchdown?
25. Garbage Pail Kids Cards
Yes, it was kind of a dark and twisted turn on the insanely popular Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. Nevertheless, all the cool kids collected these cards and traded them on the playground. New collector sets are still made each year!
26. Speak and Spell
A toy that made spelling entertaining and f-u-n? Leave it to a handheld electronic game to make something we hated at school something we couldn’t wait to play at home! Speak and Spell made it possible!
27. Atari 2600
Long before the virtual reality games we play today were even imagined, the Atari 2600 console brought video games out of the arcade and into our homes. It changed the way we played games forever!
It’s a truck! It’s a car! No, it’s a robot! OMG, it’s all of the above! Transformers took imaginative play light years ahead by allowing kids to literally change the way a toy looked with just a few twists and turns.
29. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The Masters of the Universe toy line remains one of the most popular action figure collections ever made. Remember He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor and She-Ra? Of course you do.
30. JEM and the Holograms
JEM and the Holograms was a 1980s animated TV series about an orphan teen and her friends who become overnight musical superstars thanks to a magical computer left behind by her dad. It launched an entire fashion doll line that rivaled Barbie for a while.
31. Fisher-Price Cassette Player
The kids’ version of a “boom box,” the Fisher-Price cassette player would let you listen to your favorite tunes, or record them off the radio (shhh!!) if you could avoid those darn commercials! Admit it, you recorded yourself plenty of times, too!
32. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Kids (and adults) got to act out their aggression and frustration safely with these fun guys who would literally try to knock each other’s heads off. You can still find the classic toy in stores and online.
33. Strawberry Shortcake
An adorable red-haired doll that smelled like strawberries. Little girls couldn’t get enough of her and her sweet-smelling friends.
Some plastic rings with holes, colored pens and paper made the most amazing designs! Spirograph came out decades before the 1980s, but its amazing patterns and easy use made it a must-have for the hip kids of the ’80s — and even today!
Are toys today even half as exciting as these old favorites?