Skip to main content

Reminiscing the 80s


There really is nothing like the memories of childhood is there? I think the older we get... the more we tend to turn our childhood memories into magical fairytale like thoughts.

I know for myself.. memories of my childhood are just ever so sweet and wonderful. In fact I use any excuse to get all nostalgic and reminicise as often as possible! Hence this post :)

Many of my own families toys ended up in landfill or in Church Op Shops or Second Hand Shops, but thankfully quite a few have held the test of time and we still have them to pass on to the new generation.

Pip's Travel Down Memory Lane...

Let's start by setting the scene...

Here's standout fashion crazes that I remember wearing in the 80s!!

Flourescent Ankle Socks


Jelly Shoes


JELLY SHOES!!  Sometimes with the flouro socks on as well! (gasp!)

We called these Ra Ra Skirts


And Jelly Shoes went so well with balloon or Ra Ra skirts.

The Age of Plastic created Plastic Basket Handbags


And I had a selection of these plastic baskets as my must have accessory at around age 10! Perfect to fit all my lace ribbons and extra flouro socks!!

So now for the Gerard toy selection.. thought I'd start with the one's I remember our family owning first (in no particular order).

Family Tree House


The Family Treehouse was a gift to my brother and I when I was about 4, and he 3. We so loved that thing with it's little elevator from ground level to top! (I remember I wished back then that we could live in a tree with an elevator in the trunk. ... to a kid...this kind of thing is magic!)

It was so magical and we loved it so much so... that when I found an old, crusty, completely naked, broken up version in an op shop, my heart went all a flutter and I stood there for 10 minutes deciding whether to purchase it or not! I didn't... but still finding it was like a gold moment for me anyhow.

Fisher Price Sesame Street Playhouse

80s-toys is the champion of ALL pre-school toys in my opinion! The Fisher Price Sesame Street Clubhouse!

Scroll to Continue

We still have ours at Mum & Dad's house... a little wrinkly around the sticker edges... but still the favourite toy of choice by every single Grandchild! (I kid you not... we couldn't even count the amount of hours every single grandchild has spent on the clubhouse!)

With over 10 different actions for kids to do this really is the dreamhouse for pre-schoolers!

I even went and bought a vintage one in near immaculate condition from the U.S for my boy years back and it's been an imagination play area for years!


Fisher Price Record Player


My Fisher Price record player was a prized possession!  Just a simple wind up toy with chimes.  So simple and so loved!

I still have it... minus 2 of the records. Doesn't sound as good as it used to that's for sure!

Another wonderful sound toy WITHOUT batteries! :)

Fisher Price Circus Train


Still have my Fisher Price Circus Train too... but with only the clown left... all the rest of the characters & animals have dissapeared over the years :(

Yep - this really is a Barbie McDonalds Set


Fraggles Doozer


Another minor obsession of my childhood - The Fraggles!!

All began with Dad... he bought home a sample video of the show before it aired.

I do admit... I was completely in love with all things Muppets and Jim Henson as a kid.. still am really.

One thing I could never understand... was how the Doozers never took a break! I mean why would they want to work when they can see the Fraggles having so much fun... just didn't make sense to me? 



Glo Worm...

For those nights the monster in the closet won't leave your imagination!

I had so much love for my gloworm. He was a night light and then spent many years in the corner of my pink room until he went to charity land.

Poochie Stamper


Ahhh the Poochie Stamper.  My prized possession for many months of my adolescent life! I felt so official stampin' with the Pooch... Funny though when you think about it... can you see an adult woman using a dog with pink fluff coming from all angles to stamp things?  Guess that's the beauty of childhood.. you can be a diva princess all you like & no one blinks twice.

Fashion Plates


Another highly prized Pip Possession!  Much loved & used... probably cause of it's creative flavour.

You could swap the plastic plates around to create different outfits and models... all you had to do was colour over the top of the plates to reveal the design on the paper.

 I remember having heaps of fun with this one and thinking it was just so special.

Stawberry Shortcake Figurines


Fisher Price Shopping Trolley


My big sis and I felt like lucky little cherubs when we got our very own plastic grocery store at home!

We had the big shelves, the shopping trolley, the plastic peas!

We were in heaven!

Fisher Price Cash Register


Speaking of shopping toys... the Fisher Price Cash Register was another absolute favourite!! 

Swap/Trade Cards


Didn't every little girl collect swap cards at some point?

Collectable Novelty Pencil Erasers/Rubbers


My sister and I both collected novelty erasers. We were both very lucky to have great collections mainly cause Dad would buy us some every time he went overseas which was pretty often.



I've already gone a little viewmaster crazy for my own son... he's probably already got a collection of over 50 slides... think it's more for the nostalgia value for me cause he's only looked at them once or twice.

Alf Plush


Remember Alf? I can clearly remember the father in that show's voice.. it was such a distinct voice wasn't it?

My Alf quickly became another permanent resident of the Doll's Cot.

Play Doh


Mum used to make us play dough a lot and we had heaps of fun with the barber shop. It was designed so you'd turn/crank the chair and it would push the dough up through their heads to create hair.

Great fun to do.... just too bad they were impossible to clean completely and always had crusty hard bits of play doh in their skulls most of their lives!



Yep I was a Jem fan.

Picture a little girl with flouro socks and ruffle skirt singing Jem!

The words to the Jem theme song were so in keeping with the time... today it cracks me up....

"Jem is truly outrageous... truly... truly...truly... outrageous! The lyrics alone scream 80s!"

Slap Bracelets


These flick bracelets were so simple... but they were the biggest hit.

Who would've ever thought that a piece of metal covered in fabric that sounded like kids were being whipped would become a massive toy craze!!?!



I loved the spirograph! Wish I still had one!

Rubiks Cube


I gave up ever trying this. To me it was a bloody annoying toy!

I just remember my older brother's Cube had crooked stickers all over it from where he took them off and matched all the colours his way...

he obviously found it annoying too!

Rubiks Snake


We all much preferred the Rubik's Snake.

Slip n Slide


Our yard was made for the slip 'n' slide...

Slip n Sliding was something I remember my older brother initiating  over so many summers. The side yard of our house.... was a slope... so of course it was perfect for a  slip n' slide... didn't matter that at the end of the slip n' side was the danger of hitting a parked car, cement or a fence! 

Every summer there'd be dead grass in the shape of a slipe n' side on the side of the house.

 In the end I remember my brother just using giant pieces of plastic with tent pegs in each corner with washing detergent!

Magic Sand


Magic Sand freaked me out! I found it fascinating.

Loved the stuff!'

Shrinky Dinks




ergh Slime!



Watching Smurf cartoons and collecting the figurines from BP petrol stations was the thing to do in Australia in the 80s!

Sea Monkeys


I remember being notably peeved the day I found out sea monkeys looked nothing like this picture.

Talk about false advertising!!

Silly Putty


My older brother had silly putty..

never got to have a play of this one.

intriguing toy idea though.

Star Wars Figures


My older brother had a great collection of Star Wars figures (though didn't nearly every young boy of the late 70s early 80s?) and I remember he owned a case just like the one in the picture.

The Green Machine


Older brother was the envy of many the neighbourhood gang when he got a Green Machine (same as the picture). 

He was given one as reward by being the boy in the photo's of the green machines for sale in the Venture store catalogue.

A big neighbourhood hit was this green monster!


Mentioning a list of toy's from the 80's... well it's hard not to mention McDonald's as a part of it.

It's really quite incredible to think that Mcdonald's makes up parts of most kids throughout the Western world's.... childhood memories!

I remember McDonald character straws... McDonald Character pens... McDonalds Ice Cream Cake and novelty character cookies, Happy Meal toys and more (like they're free extra large drink containers given for sporting and local community events and their charity work for kids and families in medical care).


Snake Mountain, the opposite of Castle Greyskull


The Ghostbusters


Seriously... what boy or girl didn't love the Ghostbusters??

My little brother and I loved to watch the 'Real Ghostbusters' cartoon too.

He had a great ghostbuster collection and he's even bought vintage ghostbuster toys for his son recently.

Inspector Gadget


Go Gadget Go!

Little Bro had this action figure with all it's little gadgety features.

Here's the 1st EVER Star Wars Toy Commercial

Basic Fun Vintage Retro Toys Available for Sale Online

What were your favorite toys as a kid?

Jason Kendall on December 28, 2017:

My mustang 3 speed bmx with the long seat and sissy bar and ape hanger handle bars not to mention the white wall tyres

Alexis on September 03, 2017:

This was a great, in-depth article and trip down memory lane. I had a couple of the toys on this list such as the Fisher Price record player and Cash Register as a kid. Oh, mcdonalds toys! I had several of them at one time!

PaigSr from State of Confusion on July 31, 2015:

There are very few of these that I do not remember. And some that I still have and even more that I wish I did still have. Also the picture from McDonald's is OK to list under toys as I still have the original Hamburglar as a stuffed animal.

Lynn Savitzky from New Jersey on May 23, 2015:

Woah, blast from the past! I had a few Cabbage Patch Kids and a Strawberry Shortcake doll, I definitely remember some of those Fisher-Price toys and I definitely remember owning jelly shoes.

Pip Gerard (author) on February 18, 2013:

@bestmom1: I never got to play Simon Says...always wished I could though

Pip Gerard (author) on February 18, 2013:

@kerbev: Rainbow Brite for sure!! Loved her!!

Pip Gerard (author) on February 18, 2013:

@Eric Mayo: cool. Alf was definitely one of a kind. :)

Eric Mayo on February 18, 2013:

My son has Story Telling Alf. Alf was great.

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on July 25, 2012:


We had the same childhood! I had that Barbie McDonald's set, too!

I would only add Atari to my list and Rainbow Brite.

bestmom1 on June 18, 2012:

My favorite toy was Simon says and hungry, hungry hippo...

inspirationz on April 27, 2012:

gloworms and viewmasters - those were the days!! :D

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

Great lens!

It brings back maney memories

anonymous on March 29, 2012:

Fantastic site..had fun going down memory lane!

Pip Gerard (author) on March 04, 2012:

@BrandonJames926: wish I could say the same :)

ClinicallySigni on March 04, 2012:

Thanks for the memories! I totally forgot about those UFO Happy Meal containers until the moment I saw the photo! Too funny!!

rayray131 on February 20, 2012:

I truly enjoyed this lens

BrandonJames926 on February 11, 2012:

While he lost one ear from the dog, I still own my Alf stuffed animal.

allpetscherished on January 22, 2012:

This was a fun trip down memory lane!

psiloveyou1 on December 08, 2011:

This really made me smile :) :) :) Best lens I've seen all week. I remember a lot of these and it brings back great memories. I'm going to share your lens on the message board :-D

MelissaInTheSky on October 15, 2011:

Yay! Pip this made me happy. :)

favtoys on October 09, 2011:

Great lens and so many childhood favorites here.

Pip Gerard (author) on July 22, 2011:

@cuteordeath: true... guess so do I :) glad you enjoyed it x

cuteordeath on July 22, 2011:

Aw, what awesome memories! I looked up to my big sister growing up, too. :) (well, I guess I still do!)

K Bechand from NY on July 18, 2011:

Yeah I think I had all of that ... LOL

Pip Gerard (author) on April 07, 2011:

@cinstress: haven't heard of bonkers... sounds fun :)

MarkFashionista on April 07, 2011:

So many great memories!! Love Strawberry Shortcake and Custard!!

cinstress on April 03, 2011:

great lens, my friends had some of those toys... I always had the games like bonkers or Trust Me. I loved SLime with worms, LOL

cinstress on April 03, 2011:

great lens, my friends had some of those toys... I always had the games like bonkers or Trust Me. I loved SLime with worms, LOL

Pip Gerard (author) on March 28, 2011:

@Scribble1 LM: I've never heard of Precious Places but sounds like a game I would've loved too.

Scribble1 LM on March 27, 2011:

This was awesome! I had lots of these toys too. My favorite was a toy called Precious Places where you could move the little figures down a road using a magnetic key. It was super cool at the time!

Pip Gerard (author) on March 17, 2011:

@FanfrelucheHubs: Can't believe I forgot to say thank you!! - So here's a belated thank you :)

Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on February 17, 2011:

Wow such a nice trip back in time. I remember that slime stuff, I used to find it so gross. My brother also had that starwars suitcase to carry his toys. Blessed by the "collecting memorabilia" squidoo angel!

Pip Gerard (author) on February 13, 2011:

@hayleylou lm: So there was a little girl called Hayley and a little girl called Pip rocking their plastic baskets in Melbourne in the 80s! We rock! ;) â¥

hayleylou lm on February 13, 2011:

OMG I remember the bag - I loved mine so much :)