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A Trip Down Memory Lane: Your Favorite Toys From the 80's and 90's

Way Back When...

If you're like me, you sometimes sit back and remember the good old days. The days when you were young, and had no responsibilities except to pick up your toys at the end of the day. I often yearn to have those days back, and these toys bring back a lot of good memories for me. Most of you will probably see some old favorites. Maybe even a few that you forgot even existed. Let the memories begin.

The Toys of Our Youth

  • Yum Yums-These came before furberries were even thought of. They were made by Hallmark from 1989 -1991. They came in various scents, such as peppermint, chocolate chip, ice cream, and gum drops. Yummy!
  • Popples - Popples were created in the 1980's by Mattel. Nobody is really sure what a Popple is, but they look kind of like teddy bears with big ears and a long tail. They have pouches on their backs, and the Popple could be flipped inside out, so that it is in the pouch, transforming it into a ball shape.
  • Puppy Surprise - These adorable little dogs were made during the late 80's/early 90's. They had a hard plastic face, and a plush body. But wait, there is a surprise inside! Each dog came with 3, 4, or 5 puppies inside a little pouch hidden on the moms belly. They were packaged inside of the mommy dog, so you never knew exactly how many puppies she would have.
  • Troll Dolls - These were first created in 1959! But they were very popular in the 80's and 90's, and almost every child had a collection of Trolls to show off. Their most prominent feature was their big, brightly colored hair and pot bellies.
  • Totally hair barbie - Barbie has always been a hit with young children. But totally hair barbie is the best selling barbie that Mattel has ever made. She has long crimped hair that reaches all the way to her toes, and wears a stylish multi-colored dress for a night on the town.
  • Trace and Lace - These were little plastic animals (they are now made of cardboard), that you traced with yarn. They had holes along the outside of the animals and you laced the yarn through the holes.
  • Tinker Toys - These construction sets consisted of spool like building pieces, along with long sticks, and corner pieces. You could build almost anything with tinker toys, and although they sometimes broke when you least expected it, they were a ton of fun.
  • G.I Joe - Every boy on the block had G.I Joe's. You could even buy vehicles for your G.I Joe's! These were a very hot toy, and are still made today. Their popularity soared in the 80's and 90's and are still a huge part of being a young boy growing up.
  • Furby - These cute little robot type creatures were made by Tiger electronics starting in 1998. When you first bought a Furby, it only spoke a language called "Furbish". The more you played with it the more English it would learn to speak. Furbys also were capable of carrying on a conversation with other Furbys through a sensor between their eyes.
  • Skip it - The skip it was first created in the 1980's. It attaches to your ankle with a small hoop, and has a ball shaped object on the end. You use the motions of your ankle to make the skip it move in a 360 degree circle, while you repeatedly hop over it. In the 90's, a counter was added to the side so that you could count your jumps!
  • Puffalump - These were originally released in 1986 by fisher price. Puffalumps are made of a parachute type of material on the outside, and poly-fil stuffing on the inside. The line included animals such as a cat, dog, bunny, etc.
  • My Buddy - My Buddy was a doll made in 1985, targeted towards young boys. You could buy a blond haired Buddy, a Brunette, or the African American version. They also made a doll called "Big Sister" for girls.
  • 2XL - This toy got its start in 1978. Tiger Electronics re-introduced it in 1992. It was an educational robot that ran on cassete tapes. His eyes and mouth would light up as he spoke to you.
  • Teddy Ruxpin - Teddy Ruxpin is a talking bear who first got started in 1985. He would read stories to you, through a tape deck built into his back. He was also animated, with moving eyes and mouth.
  • My Little Pony - My Little Pony was launched in 1983. It was a huge hit with little girls everywhere, and they still are very popular today. Newer versions have been released over the years. A real My Little Pony has a colorful body and hair. They also have a symbol on one or both sides of the hindquarters. Throughout the years there have been many different types of ponies released, such as unicorns and glitter ponies.
  • Pound Puppies - Pound Puppies were created by Tonka in the 1980's. They were packaged with an adoption certificate and a carrier. They are known for their big droopy ears and sad eyes. They also released a cat called "Pound Purries". Both were hugely popular and everybody wanted their very own Pound Puppy.
  • Stretch Armstrong - This stretchable doll got its start in 1976, but was reintroduced during the 90's. The fun of Stretch Armstrong was that his arms and legs stretched extremely far and were supposedly unbreakable. He also had a little dog as a sidekick named "Fetch Armstrong".
  • Hungry Hungry Hippos - The object of this game is to eat the most marbles with your hippo. The hippos have a button on the back that causes the hippo to lunge forward and open its mouth to consume marbles. This game is still available today, and has remained popular with young children.
  • Rainbow Brite Dolls - The dolls were produced by Mattel during the 1980's. The doll had soft, yarn like hair and a soft body. She came outfitted in a rainbow colored dress and leggings.
  • Pogs - Pogs is a game that got its start during the 90's. If you were like me, you probably paid more attention to collecting the various pogs than actually playing the game. Everybody wanted to have the most original and hard to find pogs and brag to their friends!
  • Giga Pets - These were a small electronic toy first released in 1997. The object was to care for an electronic pet by feeding it, playing with it, etc. The originals include pets such as Bit Critter, Compu Kitty, Digital Doggie, and Micro Chimp. They were reintroduced in 2006.
  • Glo Worm - A Glo Worm is a doll in the shape of a cute little worm. They are soft bodied with a vinyl face. When the Glo Worms belly was squeezed it would light up the Glo Worms face, creating a warm glow.
  • Little People - These little characters got their start in the 1960's. They have undergone many changes since that time, and are widely popular. The characters were originally made out of wood, and later changed to plastic. Little People play-sets were also available.
  • Lite Brite - Lite Brite is a toy that allows you to create various glowing pictures and scenes with the use of colored pegs, and black paper. The holes are pre-cut into the paper to make the desired picture and you just attach the paper to the Lite Brite and poke away.
  • Big Wheel - A Big Wheel is a sort of bicycle, but with a large front wheel and two small back wheels. It rides very low to the ground, unlike traditional bikes. Do you remember how great it felt speeding down the sidewalk on your big wheel?
  • Erector Set - This is the mother of all building sets. They consist of metal parts, nuts, bolts, screws, and also mechanical parts such as pulleys and gears. Every little boy dreamed of getting an erector set on Christmas morning. The best part is you can still buy erector sets today!
  • View-Master - The View master was a device used for viewing 3D pictures on a paper/plastic type disc. The one I had used a small handle on the side that you pushed down to change to a different picture. They had a huge assortment of discs to choose from and I remember my favorite being the Disneyland disc and the wild animal disc.
  • Care Bears - The plush Care Bears were created in 1983. They come in many colors,and represent different things. Some of the more popular bears include Bedtime Bear, Cheer Bear, and Grumpy Bear. There are also Care Bear Cousins, which include a penguin, monkey, and lion.
  • My Pet Monster - Released in 1986 by AM toys. My pet monster gained popularity rather quickly, and is remembered fondly by many. A cartoon and live-action film based off the plush were released, but neither one was particularly successful.
  • Lil Miss Singing Mermaid - Released by Mattel in 1991. I remember begging my mom for this doll and was so happy when I finally got it. When you squeezed her she would sing a mermaid song, and another thing I found really cool was the battery compartment. It's hidden in her tiara!
  • Fisher Price Grow With Me Roller Skates - These skates are sure to bring back the best memories. In fact, I'm pretty sure I can still hear the sound these skates made against the sidewalk! And as a kid I thought it was pretty neat how they adjusted to fit over your shoes. If you were a true dare devil, you probably tried them without shoes on too!
  • Kitty Kitty Kittens - Kitty Kitty Kittens came out in 1995 and were all the rage. These plush Kittens felt very realistic due to a squishy belly filled with water, and a purring sound they made when you pet them. There was actually a recall on some of them for containing contaminated water.
  • Mini Football Helmets - These were a wild popular collectors toy in the 90s, and were available in gumball machines.

Sometimes all it takes to put a smile on someones face is a memory and a picture. Let me know if I missed anything and I will gladly add to this list. I hope you enjoyed remembering the toys of our past as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Mitch on January 10, 2015:

Me and this article, sitting in a tree, L--G--RANEI-N--!

Mariusz on January 01, 2015:

Thanks again, I appreciate all the help i can get. And I would love to guest post on your site let me know if there is anihtyng in particular that you are trying to rank for and I'll see what I can do. I came across the crunch stitch this week and am itching to make something with that. Yes, engaged followers make a huge difference! I notice it every time when someone else links to me from facebook the results are so much better than when I post it. All in good time I guess.

Melanie on November 03, 2014:

My favourite toy was glow worm i think they dont make it anymore, but i search pages and find and read some reviews. Now i will buy this toy for my kids.

Matt on June 28, 2012:


Ashley on February 20, 2012:

I had been trying to remember what those Puppy Surprise toys were for the longest time. I had a pony version. And this reminded me of my beloved 2XL and the hours I would spend playing through the Batman adventure tap.

GreatToysMall from NEOH on February 16, 2012:

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Furby, but no Tickle Me Elmo. I was around for each of these fads. It was great times and I love to see when the new gem turns up now and again.

sal on December 30, 2010:

does anyone remember Match n Learn?

Michael on December 04, 2010:

The Giga Pet was my favorite toy as a young boy. I loved it. I am surprise you didn`t have the slinky

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on November 11, 2010:

Ha ha! I remember Teddy Ruxpin. My 2 yr old was asked to try out an experimental preproduction one. We turned our backs for a minute and he had pulled out all the tapes. I still laugh when I remember that! Thanks for the memories!

Earle on November 08, 2010:

For me its no toys are larger, talk, walk, I ride them...hmm even my toy soldiers...tanks...rockets and spacemen...

nancy_30 from Georgia on February 01, 2010:

I loved your article. It brought back some really great memories of my childhood.

Annalisa (author) from Pennsylvania on February 01, 2010:

I didn't have a big wheel either,but my friend did. I always borrowed hers.Glad you liked the article!

Meghan Fitz from Texas on February 01, 2010:

This is awesome! Pretty sure I had every single one of these toys!! Except the Big Wheel - that was for boys :)

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