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22 of the Best 80s Toys You Can Still Buy Today

Are you a child of that legendary span of time that is the 1980s? Did you grow up without—gasp—a cell phone in your pocket from dawn to dusk? Were you forced to find ways to entertain yourself before the advent of Netscape Navigator?

Well pack your bags, McFly, we're about to go retro. Allow us to take a few moments to wax nostalgic about the final decade of offline recreation. The following is our humble take on the top 10 toys born in the '80s that will remind late Gen Xers and early Yers of the good ole days.

Glo Worm

Original Brand: Hasbro

Release Year: 1982

Designed by Hasbro’s Playskool division in 1982, Glo Worm used to be a popular toy for children born in the 80s. The stuffed plush toy contained a battery-powered system.

Part of the fun that most kids experienced with Glo Worm is by squeezing the toy which lights up the vinyl head.

This, in turn, creates a soft glow sparking an element of surprise and fun. Following the success and popularity of this toy, Playskool also released a series of storybooks and videos themed around Glo Worm.

$19.99 on Amazon

Game Boy

Original Brand: Nintendo

Release Year: 1989 (Japan)

Here is another popular toy from the 80s. According to the records released by Nintendo, the maker of this game console, Game Boy sold over 118 million units as one of the best 80s toys.

The game was first released in Japan on 21 April 1989. After that, the game was also released in America and Europe around this time. At its core, Game Boy features a dot-matrix screen and contrast dial. Also included are the directional pad and adjustable volume speaker.

$79.99 on Amazon

Nintendo Entertainment System

Original Brand: Nintendo

Release Year: 1985 (North America)

We think we speak for our contemporaries when we say Nintendo all but ended life outdoors for a sizable segment of the youth population. Atari's brief little experiment was fun and all, but NES ushered in a brave new world of home gaming entertainment. Who knew a fat little plumber and his brother could set the foundation for what is now an industry worth over $100 billion? Nintendo has since cashed in on millennials' newfound adult purchasing power and weakness for nostalgia by re-releasing a modernized version of NES in 2016. "NES Classic Edition" features 30 built-in games from the original system and has already sold millions of copies. And yet we STILL can't beat Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!!

$179.99 on Amazon

Trivial Pursuit

Original Brand: Selchow and Righter

Release Year: 1981

One of the description lines for this game reads as "test your knowledge of stranger things". Irrespective of how it is done, Trivial Pursuits is one of the cool 80s toys you can add to your collection. This board game is made for 4 players that could be aged 14 years and up. Originally produced by Selechow and Righter, it then was acquired by Parker Brothers in 1988 which later became a part of Hasbro.

$24.99 on Amazon

Cabbage Patch Kids

Original Brand: Coleco

Release Year: 1982

To say these were popular would be an injustice. Baby Boomer parents still reminisce about the department-store wraparound lines and aisle shoving that accompanied the release of CPK. The "Cabbage Patch Kids" brand has been licensed over 150 times since then for a wide variety of products from diapers to cereal, with varying degrees of retail success. What hasn't varied is CPK's position among the longest-running dolls in history. It also happens to be the only one we know of to be named the official mascot of the US Olympic Team. Use that little bit of trivia next time you're at the pub for a free drink.

$24.99 on Amazon

Monchichi

Original Brand: Sekiguchi Corporation

Release Year: 1974 (Japan)

Coming from the stable of Sekiguchi Corporation in Japan, Monchichi represents a line of vintage stuffed monkey dolls from the ’80s. Originally released in Japan in the 70s, they soon gained worldwide popularity starting from the United States in 1985 when licensed by Mattel, four television series were also produced around Monchichi. Today, you’ll still find an assorted collection of Monchichi monkey dolls on Amazon and other reputable retail websites.

$18.99 on Amazon

Pound Puppies

Original Brand: Tonka

Release Year: 1984

Whether you are a pet lover or not, dogs are cool and friendly animals that have had some enjoyable toys built around them. Besides color aesthetics, you’ll find an interesting array of plush stuffed dog dolls online and offline. The pound puppy doll is said to originate from Canada by Mike Bowling around 1984. To attract the admiration of kids around that time, Pizza Hut and other restaurants started offering pound puppy dog toys in their kids meals and coloring in materials at restaurants. Pound Puppies are still going strong today at $12.99

$12.99 on Amazon

My Little Pony

Original Brand: Hasbro

Release Year: 1982

What could be cuter than a bunch of multi-colored horses jumping lithely over rainbows? The answer is nothing. That's why there were over 150 million of them sold that decade. Like its boy-targeted cousin He-Man, MLP also inspired an animated series popular among girls. This was followed by another, which was then followed by a movie. As with several other items on here, the franchise has been revived a few times over the 30+ years since its initial intro, but no one can argue that this is an 80s achievement. A cute '80s achievement.

$21.95 on Amazon

Three-man Chess

Original Brand: Husaria

Release Year: 1984

We all know that a game of chess is played between two people. But, in the 1980s something different was invented, three-man chess! Amazing, right? Each person gets his or her army. The game was played on a hexagonal board, with 96 quadrilateral cells.

Most of the rules remained the same. The queen had similar powers, and so did the rest of the pieces. The pieces, however, could not capture two pieces at a time. Meaning, if there are two pawns in the same line, it can only capture one of them.

This is a game for people who have patience. Also, the rules are a little more complicated than the two-person chess. Overall, this game is fun-loaded. If you can successfully win this game, consider yourself highly intelligent.

$52.00 on Amazon

Domino Rally

Original Brand: Pressman Toys

Release Year: Late 80s

Domino Rally is a great STEM toy and invented in the late 80s. Kids would have to build long domino rallies by carefully placing all the dominos and watching them fall was the joy of this toy. It took a lot of patience but it was certainly worth it, and has created some amazing domino rallies which you can view on YouTube.

The dominoes came with different accessories, such as bridges, rockets being set off by marbles and other cool features such as one domino causing several other dominoes to fall in different directions. Due to the ability to acquire multiple sets and the creativity of building long rallies and filming these builds and falls this popular 80s toy is still seeing good sales today.

$44.99 on Amazon

Guess Who?

Original Brand: Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro)

Release Year: Created in 1979, mass distributed starting in 1982

A classic 80s game which kids loved. This toy was a broad game and had twenty-four cartoon characters on each player boards which could flip up and down. Every player had to pick one card from a deck with all these characters in. The motto of this game was to determine the opponent’s card. This could be done by asking questions about physical appearance. As the game went on you would flip the characters down on your board as you got closer to determining which character your opponent had. The game not only imposed a fun aspect but also helped children to enhance their description skills.

$19.99 on Amazon

Jenga

Original Brand: Leslie Scott Associates (now owned by Hasbro)

Release Year: 1982

Jenga was one of the most popular games in the 80s and still extremely popular today with over 80 million Jenga games and 4.3 billion Jenga blocks, sold worldwide. The game requires players to be very focused and have great dexterity skills.

Any number of people can play this block game, which is great for both kids and adults. The more the players you have the more challenging it gets but limiting to six is recommended.

Players have to take one block from the tower and place back on the top of the tower. The next player has to do the same. But the catch is that the tower should not break. The one who is responsible for the tower to topple is the loser.

$16.99 on Amazon

Jenga

Original Brand: OddzOn Products (now owned by Hasbro)

Release Year: 1987

The Koosh Ball was one of the most bought toys in the 80s and helps children master their motor skills. The inventor came up with the idea when playing catch with his son and perhaps want to invent something slightly easier for children to catch than your traditional ball.

This rubber ball is naturally made and there are various color combinations you can choose from. In addition to this, the Koosh balls also had cartoon figures! They are available in various sizes too.

Recent developments have made the ball much more attractive. But in the 80s, it was something that every child always wanted to have – no matter what the size and color is.

$6.98 on Amazon

Simon Says electronic memory game

Original Brand: OddzOn Products (now owned by Hasbro)

Release Year: 1987

This electronic memory game was one of the favorite games of most of the kids of the 80s. With its glowing colorful buttons and ambient tones there was something that really made you want to keep playing Simon for as long as you could manage. It was a great game to develop memory skills and was popular with both children and adults. Simon has four colored buttons and they would light up in any random order, when lighting up you had to mimic the order in which the buttons lite up and repeat these yourself, every round you were correct an additional button would light up on the new round, adding to the other and making the sequence even longer and harder to remember.

$42.99 on Amazon

Rubik's Cube

Original Brand: Rubik's Brand Ltd

Release Year: 1980 (worldwide commercial release)

Erno Rubik must have been a sick, sick man. What else could possibly explain the creation of a device capable of such torment? If you're like us, you probably thought you had a brain until you picked up what has become the most instantly-recognizable piece of casual geometry in history. Although it's no longer quite as prominent on store shelves as it was in its heyday, it's definitely still as frustrating, and it's certainly established its place in the toy hall of fame. In fact, it has its own event in the World Cube Association's organized puzzle competitions. And then there's this insanity.

$11.99 on Amazon

Masters of the Universe (aka, He-Man)

Original Brand: Mattel

Release Year: 1982

Seriously, how cool does a toy have to be to inspire an entire TV series based on it? That's right, the action figure was first, and the cartoon rode its coattails. And then there was the surprisingly awful 1987 live-action production starring Ivan Drago Dolph Lundgren and a post-Springsteen video / pre-Friends Courteney Cox. If you haven't seen it, don't. Anyway, there have been reboots of the toys and cartoon since then, and there's even talk of a new live-action film in 2019 (up against a bar that couldn't be any lower). If you ask us, though, nothing can top the O.G. Castle Grayskull squad.

$38.98 on Amazon

Care Bears

Original Brand: Parker Brothers, Kenner

Release Year: 1982

So '82 was apparently an epic year for toys. What started out as a Care Bear drip later turned into a full-blown waterfall. There are now over 200 in the happy little litter, including Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Grumpy Bear, Funshine Bear, and a LOT of other sibling bears. The characters actually debuted as part of a greeting card line by American Greeting. It wasn't long before the belly-badged bears turned up in stores to the delight of ankle biters everywhere. From MTV music videos to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, these guys have a history of popping up where you least expect them.

$9.94 on Amazon

Teddy Ruxpin

Original Brand: Worlds of Wonder

Release Year: 1985

Back when it supposedly wasn't creepy for your dolls to talk to you as long as they weren't named Chucky, Teddy Ruxpin rose to fame as everybody's favorite chatty stuffed animal. This was, like, the pinnacle of toddler A.I. back in the day. And that ought to tell you something since everything that came out of his mouth was pre-recorded. On cassette. To call Teddy the predecessor of Siri may be a bit of a stretch, but hey, it was still fun. Hence its place as the top-selling children's toy of the mid-'80s.

$19.99 on Amazon

Power Wheels

Original Brand: Pines of America

Release Year: 1985

Stop the music. You're telling me there's a toy you can drive? Like mom and dad? Whoa. How cool was this one with its 12 volts of unbridled horsepower opening up a brand-new way of getting from one end of the backyard to the other. Power Wheels did have its share of product recalls over the years for one reason or another, but so has every single automobile manufacturer on the planet. And last time we checked, cars were responsible for more casualties each year than Power Wheels High Riders. So pipe down, CPSC.

$279.99 on Amazon

Micro Machines

Original Brand: Galoob

Release Year: 1987

These were cool even before McCauley Culkin popularized their use as anti-burglary devices. Unlike the previous generation's Matchbox cars, Micro Machines could be carried by the pocketful all over the neighborhood. Of course, their size also made them ripe for misplacement, and we must have begged for no less than two dozen police cars over a brief but careless three-year stretch. Fun fact: MM toymaker Galoob also made Game Genie, the grandfather of all video game cheats. That was released in 1990, but who cares, we all know '90 was really just a transition year. Count it.

$29.99 on Amazon

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Original Brand: Playmates Toys

Release Year: 1987

Okay, we could build an entire list of best original action figures from the 80s (Voltron, Centurions, M.A.S.K., Dino-Riders, etc.). We've already mentioned one of the best, and we don't want to load up this top 10 with nothing but five-inch agents of destruction. But come on, it's the freakin' Ninja Turtles, y'all! The fact that this was originally a comic book franchise intended to punk other popular superheroes at the time like Daredevil and New Mutants just makes it that much more awesome. Our four half-shelled friends have spawned multiple animated TV shows, movie franchises, games of all kinds, and more magical memories than you can shake a nunchuck at. Cowabunga, dude.

$25.99 on Amazon

Bicycle Wheel Spoke Beads

Also featured in our cool bike accessory for kids guide, this classic is still popular today. Back in the 80s kids were always looking for ways to accessorize their bikes and these spoke beads simply clip onto the bike spokes. They make a cool sound as your kid pedals down the road. If you're interested in other bicycle noise makers check out 4 ways to make your bike sound like a motorcycle.

$11.99 on Amazon

Ahhh, those were the days. You feeling all sentimental, too? Well, for the special people in your life who already have everything and are currently on their way to middle age, now you've got some vintage gift ideas that'll send them into orbit.

If '80s toys aren't your bag and you're sticking with inventory for today's tykes, check out our stocking stuffer suggestions. If you're still feeling nostalgic and want a little retro back in your life, why not try our alternative to sticking playing cards in your bike spokes.


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