CIJ Christmas Through the Decades: 1980's- Toys

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Oct 13, 2007
This graphic holds just a handful of representations of toys that came out and were popular in the 1980's. I had a couple of the toys in this photo growing up. I remember having multiple Cabbage Patch dolls. It was a coveted item to receive for Christmas. I also received one when my brother was born. The Glo Worm was also something that topped many a list. I loved Rainbow Brite! I used to watch the cartoon regularly and played with My Little Pony on a daily basis.

* Cabbage Patch debuted in 1983 and were the most popular toy of the year.

* My Little Pony came out after a year after My Pretty Pony in 1982 and was a very popular toy in the 80s.

* Rainbow Brite was created by Hallmark Cards in 1984. She appeared as an illustration on a card. She had an animated series, books, videos, dolls, toys, etc. all throughout the 80s and then the hype died off.

* Glo Worm came out in 1982 and is made by Hasbro’s Playskool in Rhode Island. These are making a comeback with new technology.

* The Puffalump stuffed toy came out in 1986.

* Speak & Spell is actually from 1978 but was a popular gift in the 1980s.

* NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) came out in 1988

* Gameboy came out in 1989

What I was also finding is that a lot of the toys of the 1970s became really popular in the '80s. For example, the Atari, Lite-Brite, the Pogo Ball (invented in 1969 but was mass-produced in the '80s)- this was one of my favorites growing up and everyone had to have one at recess.


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Lori K

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Nov 13, 2018
Cabbage Patch ... When my DD was 3, the only thing on her Christmas list was a Cabbage Patch Premie. None were to be found. They'd be gone within 2 minutes of arriving in the store. Fights over dolls were a regular occurrance in the news that year. We searched and searched, without any luck. My DH was talking with a a co-worker and asked if they would check their stores (in an ethnically different neighborhood) and buy it, if they found one -- whatever the price, and he'd pay them an extra $20. The guy called his wife and she immediately went out had one for us by the end of the day. And that's how Myrtle Harmonia joined our family.


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Oct 24, 2007
Wow, while I know about all those, I don't think we had any of those toys. Weird. My sis and bro are younger so they would have still been into toys ... but with my parents divorce in 1979 and we moved to FL .... Christmas was slim after that. We had all the left over toys from me in the '60's and then the '70's ones, I guess. We never had any of the electronics.


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Aug 30, 2008
Long Island, NY
DS wanted a Cabbage Patch and when none were to be found my mother sewed one for him. It was a boy doll and actually had a penis! Still have it tucked away.

Finally got him a real one when they became more available.


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Jan 4, 2014
Shopping for toys in our small town was a nightmare - we had a K-Mart and a Montgomery Ward catalog outlet. DH and I gave homemade items and helped the kids make gifts for each other, but Santa always put toys under the stockings. One year the bicycles we ordered did not arrive until nearly a month after Christmas, and the kids got an apology letter and IOU from Santa. That was NOT popular. We learned to shop early. Over the years Santa brought our boys Hot Wheels, He-Man, Star Wars, and Voltron. The girls had Care Bears, Barbie dolls, Light Brite, handmade Cabbage Patch dolls. By the end of the 80s they were no longer interested in toys; and they were heavily into computers, boomboxes & music cassette tapes, vhs movies, camping & backpacking equipment, and developing hobbies.


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Nov 6, 2007
Southern Arizona
My sister who is 6 years younger than me got a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas- it was all the rage
and I remember it was a big "score" when my parents found one for Christmas.



MHH Member
Oct 14, 2007
Central Wisconsin
I was a teenager when the Cabbage Patch dolls came out, and that Christmas I worked in a toy store. They definitely were all the rage. The manager who wasn’t a very nice person. used to keep a few back in the stockroom to give out to people that he liked, but people would be at the door in the morning when they would see a truck coming to see if there was a new shipment of cabbage patch dolls, they sold out almost as quickly as they came in.


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Oct 14, 2007
South NJ
I was never into the cabbage patch dolls and absolutely never said I wanted one. My grandmother had gotten all her granddaughter's a cabbage patch doll for Christmas one year. While my other cousins loved and played with theirs mine just sat there LOL.


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Oct 22, 2007
South Bend, IN
I don't remember having a Cabbage Patch doll but I remember wanting one! I did have a Gloworm! And Rainbow Brite was my favorite by far!!! I think I had to settle for coloring books of her as opposed to the dolls. My Little Pony was another big favorite of mine! I remember frequently seeing the Seek and Spell at doctors offices, school, etc.

Lite Brite was another toy I loved - as well as POPPLES! My sister and I both got one - not sure what was so spectacular about being able to roll a stuffed animal up into a ball but to us it was magic! LOL
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Apr 10, 2008
I remember having to look very hard to find the glow worm for DS (age 16 months then) I did find one and he went to bed with it every night.
Funny thing...I just bought a glow worm for my granddaughter last year. She liked it, but my daughter said it's scary!! lol Now I was a bit to old for the cabbage patch craze as a kid I think, but I did buy my daughter a baby cabbage patch kid in the 90's and she carried "Randy Ray" around for years. She had one little tuft of hair on her head and that's how my daughter would swing her around. I do see the roller skates in that picture and I'd have to say 100% roller skates were my thing. When I wasn't at the roller rink I was skating outside on my own. I have lots and lots of memories on those skates from the time I was little until I was a teenager.


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Sep 12, 2009
With three brothers and most of our neighbors being boys, I was more into the boy stuff. We had GI Joe, Matchbox cars and tracks and the city garage, Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Atari. I think my mom felt bad for me because I did get some really nice Madame Alexander type dolls for display. She knew I'd be tortured if I played with dolls around the boys. I forgot about Voltron.
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