Forgotten 80s Toys | From Twister to Popples

Take a trip down memory lane with these nostalgic toys that defined the 1980s. From classic board games like Twister, to fun collectibles like Popples, here's your guide to forgotten 80s toys!

Forgotten 80s Toys | From Twister to Popples
Forgotten 80s Toys

Forgotten Toys of the 80's: A Retro Romp Down Memory Lane

The 80's! A decade where our neon dreams met gnarly adventures at every turn. It was a time when Saturday mornings were sacred, and the jingle of ice cream trucks was our siren song. But most importantly, it was the golden era of toys - a plastic playground that stretched as far as our imaginations. From the household heroes that were in every home, to the lesser-known legends that we swapped in the playground, these are the forgotten 80s toys that whisk us back to those carefree days of bubblegum pop and cassette tapes. So grab your leg warmers, put on your Walkman, and let's take a trip down toy memory lane!

The Forgotten Toys

Now onto the main event - the forgotten toys that were once beloved by many but have sadly faded from memory. These may not have been as popular or as widely known, but they still hold a special place in our hearts.


Who could forget the adorable Popples? These plush, colourful critters were not just toys, but companions that brought endless joy to their young owners. With their unique ability to tuck into a ball and then pop out in a delightful burst, Popples became a staple in many children's playrooms. Each Popple had its own personality, reflected in its distinctive colour and name. From the ever-cheerful Puffball to the party-loving Party Popple, and not forgetting the lovable Pancake, they were as diverse as we were. The real charm of Popples lay in their simplicity - no batteries, no screens, just pure imagination. Their popularity was so vast that they even had their own animated TV show! Though they might not hold the same recognition as other 80s toys today, Popples undoubtedly hold a special place in the annals of forgotten toy history. So here's to the Popples, the unforgettable, pop-able companions of our childhood!

Sylvanian Families

Step into the world of Sylvania, and you are immediately greeted by a whole community of endearing animal families, each with their own stories to tell. Launched in 1985, Sylvanian Families charmed the hearts of children and adults alike with their delightful anthropomorphic animal characters, quaint houses, and detailed accessories. From the cosy cottages of the Milk Rabbit Family to the Grand Hotel run by the Walnut Squirrel Family, every setup was an invitation to a world of imagination and endless story-making. Each family, be it the beavers, hedgehogs, dogs or rabbits, had their own personalities and occupations, fostering a sense of community and teaching children about various societal roles. The beauty of Sylvanian Families lay not only in the intricate detail of the characters and their homes but also in the value they placed on family and community—lessons that transcended beyond playtime. Fun fact, 'Sylvanian' means 'of the forest', reflecting the brand's commitment to creating a play world in harmony with nature. While they may not be as prominent on the toy shelves today, Sylvanian Families remain a beautiful keepsake from the 80's, a toy line that symbolises simpler, more innocent times.

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite kids game

Say hello to Rainbow Brite, the shining beacon of the 80's that brought a spectrum of joy into our lives. A small girl with a massive mission, Rainbow Brite and her band of Colour Kids were all about spreading colours and happiness throughout Rainbow Land. The Rainbow Brite doll, with her kaleidoscopic hair, star freckles and sparkling dress, was the embodiment of all things bright and joyful about our childhood. The magic didn't stop there - accompanying Rainbow Brite were her trusty steed Starlite, and her loyal sprite, Twink. Each doll in the line had its own distinct personality, making them more than just toys. They were friends who taught us about courage, kindness, and the power of imagination. Who could forget the exhilaration of recreating epic battles against the colour-stealing King of Shadows, Murky Dismal, in our living rooms? Rainbow Brite might not be a household name today, but for those who were lucky enough to grow up in the 80's, she remains a vibrant memory - a symbol of a time when all it took to save the day was a dash of colour and a heart full of hope. So, raise your Star Sprinkles in salute to Rainbow Brite, the forgotten heroine of our childhood who made the world a little bit brighter.


Boglins toy figures

Ah, Boglins. What child of the 80’s could resist these delightfully ghastly creatures? Born from the mind of Tim Clarke, a designer at Mattel, Boglins were hand puppets that were unlike anything else on the toy shelves. These unique companions were warty, squishy, and came with movable eyes that made them eerily lifelike. Available in a variety of types - from the aquatic 'Sea Boglins' to the elusive 'Halloween Boglins' - each Boglin boasted its own unique features and personality quirks. Whether it was the daring Dwork, the mischievous Vlobb, or the kooky Klang, these Boglins were always ready for some monstrous fun. The real magic of Boglins lay not just in their design, but also in the interactive play they promoted. They encouraged children to engage in imaginative play, take on roles, and enact wild fantasies - be it a thrilling quest or a spooky story. And here's a little trivia for you: the original packaging, designed to resemble a crate, bore a humorous warning about the ‘creature’ inside. While they might not be a familiar sight today, Boglins remain a treasured relic of the 80's, a testament to a time when toys were as outrageous as they were fun. Here’s to the Boglins, the creepy, charming companions that added a touch of the macabre to our childhoods!

Sky Dancers

Sky Dancers 80s kids toys

Here's to the charming creatures that made the sky their stage - the Sky Dancers! These enchanting fairy dolls had a trick up their sleeves that set them apart from the rest. A simple pull of a string, and voila - they would twirl upwards into the sky, pirouetting gracefully before returning to the ground. Their elegant dances were a spectacle that brought many a child's imagination to life. Each Sky Dancer had a unique personality and came with their own individual launch pad, reflecting their distinctive style. From the fiery, red-haired Rayne, to twinkling Tinker, each Sky Dancer was more than just a doll - they were performers, captivating us with their aerial ballet. And while they were a sight to behold, they were also a lesson in physics, teaching us about the magic of flight and gravity in the most entertaining way possible. While Sky Dancers may not be a common sight in the toy aisles today, they remain etched in the memories of those lucky enough to have witnessed their spectacular performances. So, let's raise our glasses to the Sky Dancers, the twirling troubadours of the toy world that made our childhoods a little bit more magical!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake in box

Last but certainly not least, who could forget the sweet scent of Strawberry Shortcake wafting through our childhood days? Introduced in the early 80's, this delightful doll and her fruity friends, from Blueberry Muffin to Apple Dumplin', brought a burst of olfactory joy into our lives. Each doll was infused with their own unique fruity scent, making them more than just a toy. They were a sensory experience! From her freckled face to her cute strawberry bonnet and pink dress, Strawberry Shortcake embodied the innocence and charm of childhood. And let's not forget her adorable little pet, Custard the cat. It was not just about the dolls – the animated television series, teeming with adventures in Strawberryland, further embedded Strawberry Shortcake in our hearts (and noses!). A fun fact for you: The original Strawberry Shortcake range was expanded to include a variety of merchandise – lunch boxes, clothing, bedding, and more – showcasing just how popular this fruity friend was. Today, Strawberry Shortcake may not be as commonly found on toy shelves, but the sweet scent of nostalgia she brings with her ensures she’ll never be forgotten. So here's to Strawberry Shortcake, the fragrant friend from our childhood who made playtime a little bit sweeter!

Mighty Max

Mighty Max game

For all those lads who felt a pang of envy when their sisters opened up their Polly Pockets, Mighty Max was our ticket to adventure. Bluebird Toys knew just how to tap into the wild imagination of every 80's boy with these pocket-sized playsets. Each compact set, cleverly disguised as a cap worn by our hero, Max, opened up to reveal a micro-world teeming with danger and adventure. From the haunted Skull Dungeon to the terrifying Doom Dragon, each set came with its own band of grotesque monsters and ghastly villains. Max, armed with his wit, courage, and trusty cap, battled these adversaries, giving us a thrill with every play session. A fun fact for you - did you know that there was a hit animated series based on these playsets? That's right! Our battles with Max weren't just confined to the playroom. We cheered him on as he took on the forces of evil on our TV screens too. Mighty Max may not be a name that rings a bell for kids today, but for every 80's boy, Max isn't just a toy. He's a reminder of our own courageous adventures, our fights against monsters under the bed, and our triumphs in the playground. So here's to Mighty Max, the pocket-sized hero who added a dose of daring to our childhood days!

Polly Pocket

Polly Pocket game

Proving that great things truly do come in small packages - let's give it up for Polly Pocket! These petite playsets changed the meaning of 'fun-sized', fitting entire worlds into compact cases that could be carried in our pockets. Each case, decorated with vibrant colours and intricate details, unfolded to reveal an array of miniature rooms and secret spaces for our tiny heroine, Polly. With her interchangeable outfits and a host of accessories, Polly was ready for any adventure, from a day at the beach to a royal ball. Polly Pocket was more than just a toy - it was a passport to a world of imagination, where we were the storytellers, spinning tales of adventure, friendship, and fun. Now here's a bit of trivia for you - did you know that Polly Pocket was originally designed by a dad for his daughter? That's right! Chris Wiggs first created the miniature doll and her compact home in a powder compact for his daughter Kate, sparking the idea for one of the most popular toy lines of the 80's. Today, Polly Pocket might be overshadowed by more high-tech toys, but for those of us who spent hours hunched over these mini marvels, Polly will always hold a special, pocket-sized place in our hearts. So here's to Polly Pocket - the tiny toy that gave us gigantic adventures!

Jem and the Holograms

1980s Jem and the Holograms doll figures

Turning the volume up to eleven, let's take a moment to appreciate the truly, truly, truly outrageous world of Jem and the Holograms! These weren't your average dolls - they were rockstars, commanding our living rooms with their vibrant fashion and pop star glamour. Each band member, from the fierce lead singer Jem (a.k.a. Jerrica Benton in her civilian life) to the vivacious Pizzazz, was a standout character with unique outfits and instruments, ready to put on a show at a moment's notice. What set them apart was their 'Jem Star' earrings, which would flash when Jerrica transformed into her alter ego, Jem, using the high-tech holograms created by supercomputer 'Synergy'. Now, here's a trivia nugget for you - did you know that Jem was intended to be a Barbie competitor? That's right, Hasbro aimed to rival Mattel's blonde bombshell with a lineup of dolls that not only looked fabulous but rocked hard! Accompanied by a hit animated series filled with music, rivalry, and drama, Jem and the Holograms went beyond being mere toys. They were pop culture icons, setting the stage for the feisty female action figures of the future. While they might not be chart-toppers on the toy scene anymore, Jem and her band hold a special place in our hearts, reminding us of a time when every day could be a rock concert. So, let's strike a power chord for Jem and the Holograms, the rocking heartthrobs of the '80s toy scene!


Madballs toys for children

The oddballs of the toy world, Madballs took the 80's by storm with a blend of the bizarre and the brilliant. These rubber balls, decorated with outrageously grotesque faces, were the perfect mix of gross-out humour and squishy delight. From Screamin' Meemie, a one-eyed baseball with a manic grin, to Oculus Orbus, a literal eyeball, each Madball was more wacky and weird than the next. They were the kind of toys that you'd hide from your squeamish sister, only to whip them out at the schoolyard to show off to your mates. It wasn’t just the toys either – the Madballs comic book series added a whole layer of backstory to these grotesque spheres, transforming them into bizarre superheroes, each with their own quirky personality and powers. And as a fun bit of trivia, did you know Madballs even made their mark in the video game world with two games released in the late 80's? While today, they might seem like relics of a bygone era of toy design, for those of us who were kids of the 80's, Madballs represent a time of unbridled creativity and unabashed silliness in playtime. So let’s roll out the red carpet for Madballs, the gloriously grotesque goofballs of the 80's toy scene!

Glo Worm

kids Glo Worm toy

Now, let's switch off the lights and shine the spotlight on Glo Worm, the luminary legend of our sleepovers. This squidgy, snuggly, light-up friend wriggled its way into our hearts with its comforting glow and cuddly curves, turning every night into a whimsical wonderland. Designed to help children overcome their fear of the dark, Glo Worm was more than just a toy – it was a beacon of bedtime bravery, banishing boogeymen and lighting up our dreams. Now, here's a glowing piece of trivia for you - did you know that Glo Worm actually underwent a design change because of safety concerns? That's right! The initial version had a hard plastic face, but this was softened in later versions to make it more huggable for its little fans. While advancements in nightlight technology may have dimmed Glo Worm’s fame, for those of us from the 80's, this glowing grub takes us back to a time when the simplest of toys could ignite the most magical of moments. So, let's flick the switch for Glo Worm - the shining star of our childhood nights!

Micro Machines

Here we have the titan of the tiny - Micro Machines! Tucked away in their bite-sized boxes, these miniature marvels took the toy world by storm with their intricate details and vast variety. From sports cars and military vehicles, to fantastical spaceships from 'Star Wars', the world of Micro Machines was as diverse as it was diminutive. To top it off, each set often came with its own mini cityscape or landscape to zoom around in, transforming your tabletop into a bustling metropolis or a daring racetrack. And who could forget the iconic Micro Machines commercials? Spat out at breakneck speed by the legendary pitchman John Moschitta Jr., these adverts were as much a part of our childhood as the toys themselves. A little-known fact for you, Micro Machines were considered a game-changer in the toy industry, leading to a trend of miniaturized versions of popular toys in the late 80's. While today's toys might dwarf them in size and sophistication, for those of us who spent our youth squinting over these tiny titans, Micro Machines will always hold a macro spot in our nostalgia-filled hearts. So, here's a salute to Micro Machines - the tiny toys that delivered a mega dose of fun!

Smurfs Figures

Let's embark on a nostalgic tour to the idyllic Smurf Village, where these charming blue beings resided in mushroom-like houses and stole our hearts with their endearing antics. A beloved offshoot of the animated television sensation, Smurfs Figures brought our favourite characters to life in vivid detail, enabling us to create our own whimsical adventures. From the wise Papa Smurf, with his signature red hat and white beard, to the mischievous Jokey Smurf and his explosive 'gifts', each Smurf figure was unique, reflecting their distinct personalities and roles within the Smurf community. And let's not forget Smurfette, the enchantress of the village, whose blonde locks and sweet nature won us over. These palm-sized treasures not only gave us the chance to immerse ourselves in the fantastical world of Smurfs but also became cherished collectibles. A fun fact to tickle your nostalgia - did you know that Smurfs Figures were often used as promotional items in cereal boxes? Yes, indeed! Many a breakfast was consumed in the hope of finding a new Smurf to add to the collection. Though they might be overshadowed by today's sophisticated action figures, Smurfs Figures hold a special place in our nostalgia-steeped hearts, harking back to a time of simple joys and innocent play. So, let's bask in the blue nostalgia of Smurfs Figures, the captivating collectibles from our childhood!


Sectaurs toy game from the 1980s

Stepping into the ectoplasmic expanse of the '80s toy scene, we encounter the insectoid oddities known as Sectaurs. Half human, half insect, these strange and superbly detailed action figures captured our imaginations with their uncanny blend of the familiar and the alien. Each Sectaur was paired with an insectoid steed, replete with creepy-crawly features like fluttering wings and wriggling legs. From the heroic Dargon with his companion dragonfly, to the villainous Spidrax and his spider steed, Sectaurs offered us a creep-tastic cornucopia of characters to enact our epic battles of good vs evil. But here's a juicy bit of trivia for you - did you know that some of the Sectaurs toys had a puppet feature? That's right, you could literally stick your hand into the belly of the beast and control its movements. While the Sectaurs may not have enjoyed the same lasting popularity as other '80s icons, their unique design and fascinating concept make them a truly unforgettable part of our nostalgia-filled toy chest. So, let's give a rousing cheer for Sectaurs – the fantastical fusion of humans and insects that added a buzz of excitement to our '80s playtime!

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light

As we delve deeper into the chest of yesteryear, we pull out the Visionaries. These weren't your average action figures. No, sir! The Visionaries were knights, armed not with swords and shields, but with holograms that held their mystical powers. Each figure was a spectacle in itself, emblazoned with a holographic chest plate that defined their unique abilities. The noble Leoric with his lion hologram symbolized courage and strength, while the sinister Darkstorm, laden with a reptilian hologram, embodied deception and cunning. But the magic wasn’t limited to their chests. Their weapons, too, held individual holograms, adding another layer of charm to these mystic masters. Now, here's a shiny nugget of nostalgia for you - did you know the Visionaries were one of the first toy lines to incorporate holography into the design? Quite groundbreaking for its time! Not to forget, they had their own animated series, where they brought the mystical land of Prysmos to life. While modern action figures might outshine them with advanced tech features, the Visionaries, with their blend of medieval chivalry and futuristic holography, hold a magical spot in our 80's nostalgia. So, let's raise our holographic swords to the Visionaries - the knights who made magic tangible and playtime unforgettable!


Wuzzles toys

Who remembers the delightful oddity that was Wuzzles? These charming critters took the toy scene by storm, mixing and matching animals in ways we'd never seen before. Each Wuzzle was a quirky combination of two distinct animals, giving us wonderfully whimsical creations like Bumblelion (half bumblebee, half lion) and Eleroo (half elephant, half kangaroo). Did you ever wonder what it would be like if a rhinoceros and a monkey were one creature? Well, Wuzzles had you covered with Rhinoki, with its monkey tail and rhino horn. You couldn't help but marvel at the creativity that birthed these fantastical hybrids. Just when we thought we knew all there was to know about the animal kingdom, along came Wuzzles to throw a spanner in the works. Who could resist the allure of these plush, vibrant toys that were as soft as they were amusing? For a dollop of fun trivia - did you know Wuzzles originated from a short-lived animated television series? Sadly, the series only lasted for one season, but it was enough to cement the Wuzzles in our hearts and on our bedroom shelves. They may not have been conventional, but that's the beauty of Wuzzles. In their weirdness, they encapsulated the spirit of the '80s, a time of innovation, experimentation, and, above all, fun. So, here's a toast to the Wuzzles, the hybrid heroes of our childhood who taught us that two heads (or in this case, animal bodies) are indeed better than one!


poster for the kids toy:Zoids

Last but not least on forgotten 80s toys let's turn our nostalgic gaze to the Zoids. These weren't your run-of-the-mill action figures, oh no! Zoids were robotic beasts that you had to assemble yourself. Each Zoid was a meticulous blend of mechanical precision and imaginative design, mirroring the anatomy of real-world animals. From the four-legged Zaber Fangs (a mechanical sabre-tooth tiger, if you please!) to the flying Red Horns (imagine a robotic Triceratops with wings!), Zoids offered a unique twist on traditional play. The beauty of Zoids lay in the assembly - the joy of watching a pile of nuts and bolts transform into a fearsome, futuristic creature was unparalleled. And just for a dash of trivia - did you know Zoids were originally released in Japan before they found popularity on Western shores? Indeed, Zoids were as much a testament to Japanese innovation as they were a source of endless playtime fun. While today's world may be awash with high-tech toys, nothing quite matches the mechanical mastery of Zoids. So, let's wind up our nostalgia gears and tip our hats to Zoids - the build-it-yourself buddies that combined the thrill of construction with the allure of make-believe!

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • The original Strawberry Shortcake dolls had hair made of real straw, giving them their signature scent.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids were originally called Little People but were renamed after being featured in a famous toy store's Christmas catalog.
  • Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts and she has had over 150 careers in her lifetime.
  • My Little Pony was originally created as an item for boys but became popular with girls due to their bright colors and cute designs.
  • The first Transformers toys were made from rejected Diaclone and Microman toys from Japan.
  • The name 'LEGO' is an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well".
  • The Pound Puppies franchise included a line of adorable kittens, called the Pound Pur-r-ries.
  • The creators of the Care Bears, American Greetings, also created Strawberry Shortcake and the Popples.
  • The Madballs line was so popular in the 80s that it even spawned a short-lived television series and comic book.
  • Sky Dancers were so powerful that they were recalled at one point due to injuries resulting from their high-speed flight.
  • The Jem and the Holograms doll line was Hasbro's direct competitor to Mattel's Barbie, boasting more 'modern' and 'rock star' attire.
  • Mighty Max was marketed as a 'boys' toy', but it later gained a significant following amongst girls, breaking traditional gender-targeted marketing of the time.
  • The Glo Worm wasn't just a toy, it was also a nightlight for kids who were scared of the dark. Its face lit up when you squeezed its body.
  • Micro Machines were immortalized in pop culture thanks to their fast-talking pitchman, John Moschitta Jr., who was recognized by the Guinness World Records for his rapid speech.
  • Despite their cute appearance, Smurfs Figures were often banned in schools due to the disruptive trading sessions kids would hold during break times.
  • Zoids were perhaps the first toys to inspire their own anime series, reversing the conventional 'cartoon-to-toy' trend. So there you have it – a trip down memory lane filled with forgotten 80s toys that may not be as popular now, but will always hold a special place in our hearts. Who's ready to do some online shopping and relive their childhood? Let's just hope our wallets don't hate us afterwards!

Fun Games to Play at Home for a Nostalgic Experience

Let's keep the retro vibe going with a selection of fun, at-home games that will transport you back to a simpler time. Who needs flashy gadgets and pricey consoles when you can indulge in some good old-fashioned fun? Let's dive into our time machine and explore!

Firstly, how about Charades?

Board game Charades

It's a classic that never fails to entertain. Just gather your friends or family, jot down your favourite movies, books, or songs from the 80s on small pieces of paper, and let the guessing games begin!

Next, there's always the thrill of a Board Game Marathon. Dust off your old Monopoly, Cluedo, or Scrabble sets. These games have a timeless charm that modern video games just can't replicate. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right?

Remember Twister?

The floor game Twister

Well, it's time to get tangled again! This hilarious and interactive game is a great way to stir up some laughter and relive those carefree childhood moments.

Ever tried DIY Trivia Nights? Put your 80s knowledge to the test! Create your own questions or download some from the internet, split into teams, and see who emerges as the ultimate 80s savant. Winners get bragging rights!

And finally, why not consider a Puzzle Swap? Find those old jigsaw puzzles you've solved a hundred times, and trade them with your friends. It’s a fun, relaxing, and eco-friendly way to spend an afternoon.

Remember, it's not about winning or losing, it's about enjoying the journey down memory lane. So why wait? Let the games begin!