One of the best parts of being a kid is the excitement that a new toy can bring. Few things in adulthood bring one that kind of pure joy, which is perhaps what makes toy nostalgia so enjoyable. From the hilariously cheesy Dream Phone game to the Talkboy that you still see every time you watch Home Alone 2, these items are still gems to the adults who once owned them. Take a walk down memory lane with Skip It, Poo-Chi, Wuzzles, and so many more legendary toys.
My Pet Monster Made Monsters Seem Friendly
My Pet Monster was a plush toy that hit the market in 1986 and made light of one of kids’ worst fears. Rather than being afraid of monsters, why not befriend one? The toy was so successful that it even got its own cartoon a year after its release.
The success of the cartoon eventually led to a live-action movie! A talking version was even released in 2001. Though you won’t be able to find this adorable toy in stores, many people are still selling used versions online. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one cheaper than $100, though.
Keypers Were Lockboxes For Kids
As a kid, there’s very little that you get to keep private. That’s what made Keypers so special. The toy had a compartment that you opened with a key. Kids could put tiny items inside and pretend that they were keeping them hidden.
Realistically, any parent could get into the toy if they absolutely had to. The point wasn’t really to protect a prized possession, but rather to give kids the notion that they could if they had to. Plus, the toys were adorable, so who wouldn’t want one? You can find them used for under $20.
What’s Her Face Was A Little Offputting But Still Loved
What’s Her Face gave a literal meaning to the term you use when you can’t remember someone’s name. In this case, it was a doll with literally no face! As unsettling as that sounds, kids got a kick out of having control over their dolls’ facial features.
The idea was that you could change almost everything about the doll’s appearance, including her clothes, hair, and face! The set came with stamps, markers, and wigs. Though the toy is a trademark of the early 2000s, it couldn’t stand the test of time.
Fans Of The Film Loved Princess Of Power’s Crystal Falls
A name like Princess of Power instantly attracts kids and parents alike who can appreciate female empowerment. In the mid-1980s, the film She-Ra: Princess of Power was timely as ever, so it only makes sense that the toys were a hit.
The Crystal Falls playset was particularly popular because, in the movie, it was a secret location. Kids who wanted the set undoubtedly knew this, so getting to pretend they were at the mysterious spot was all the more exciting. Today, it would cost you more than $100 to buy the nostalgic piece used.
Jem And The Holograms Were ’80s Female Rockers
Another nod to ’80s feminism was Jem and the Holograms, a toy line based on the cartoon television series that came out in 1985. The toys were essentially Barbie only the 1980s rocker version. In the age of MTV, what could a girl want more than that?
The dolls made such a splash that a live-action movie came out in 2015 based on the show! Considering the film has a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes, we can’t promise that it lived up to the nostalgic expectations of enthusiastic fans.
The Heart Family Was A Wholesome Version Of Barbie
If Barbie was the carefree young adult who couldn’t commit to her relationship with Ken, then the Heart Family was her more wholesome version. Mr. and Mrs. Heart had two little girls that completed their “home full of love and laughter.”
The family was so popular that they had various versions, from The Heart Family Surprise Birthday set to The Heart Family Goes To Disneyland. After all, who doesn’t want a stable and loving family? Although, parents may not have loved being compared to unrealistically perfect dolls. These dolls can be found today for $30 and up depending on the condition they are in.
Dream Phone Was A Crush-Based Board Game
Before the days of cell phones, kids could only play with fake phones. That’s why Milton Bradley created the Dream Phone game in 1991. The board game used a pretend phone that you could dial certain numbers on to get a prerecorded response.
The goal of the game was to use clues found by “calling” various “boys” to see which one had a crush on you. Though the original game sports a landline, more recent versions have a phone that looks more like a pre-smartphone cell phone.
Little Miss Echo Could Repeat What You Said
Little Miss Echo may look like your average doll, but she could do something that was groundbreaking to kids in the ’60s. Thanks to a hidden recording inside the doll, it could repeat anything kids told it to.
Marketers didn’t advertise it as a playback doll, but rather claimed that you could “teach the doll to talk!” In reality, kids were far more interested in recording their family members’ voices to make it look like a doll was talking in their voice. A good quality one will cost more than $100.
Wuzzles Were Based On A Disney Show
Wuzzles was an animated series that came out in 1985 and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Back when you could only watch shows when they aired, Wuzzles made Saturday mornings all the more special for kids.
The series was such a hit that Hasbro got involved to create a line of plush toys modeled after the main characters. Each one was a combination of two different animals, like the “rhinokey” (a rhino and a monkey), or the “eleroo” (an elephant and a kangaroo). The unique outcome made them all the more lovable.
Poo-Chi Was The Perfect Alternative To A Real Dog
Plenty of kids can relate to desperately wanting a dog but not being allowed to get one. After all, they are a ton of responsibility. That’s what made Poo-Chi such a great toy! The robot dogs behaved like a pet without needing to be taken care of.
The amazing toy could do tricks and even recognize its owner’s voice. Plus, if your friend had a Poo-Chi, they could “communicate.” Though they were popular at the start of the century, their hard exterior made them a passing fad.
Skip It Was Both Simple And Challenging
Skip It was a simple toy in theory, but challenging in practice. All you had to do was put the loop around your ankle and then spin the rest of the toy around, jumping every time it approached your leg.
The weighted end was designed so that it moved in a circular motion. Since the instructions were simple, any kid could figure it out. However, having the coordination to get a ton of skips in a row wasn’t always as easy as it looked. That’s what made the toy so entertaining!
Erectors Pre-Date Plastic Building Toys
Before the days of legos, there were erectors, a metal-based toy that children could use to build things. They first sold in the early 1900s but were discontinued in the ’80s. Twenty years later, Meccano bought out the brand to revive the beloved toy.
Now that there are so many plastic variations for building things, metal erectors have gone out of style. Still, there are some nostalgic builders who know nothing beats the original.
Micronauts Were Like Small Transformers
Similar to Transformers, Micronauts were toys that could bend and fold in ways that made them transform. They were such popular toys that in 1979, Marvel created comic books that starred characters based on them!
Later on, there was also a series of books inspired by the beloved toys. Kids loved the time-traveling warriors, but they eventually went kaput when Mego went bankrupt. It’s hard to believe that something with so much potential went out like that, but there have been talks of a revival. Prices for used Micronauts vary based on the condition, with some collections as cheap as $30.
Talkboy Was In Home Alone 2!
You know a toy is popular when it makes an appearance in a major Hollywood film! That’s what happened with the Talkboy, a recording device with instant playback. The item was so simple to use that kids became obsessed with it, driving their parents mad.
That’s why it was the perfect pick for Macaulay Culkin’s character in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. The young character of Kevin had no problem using it to help outwit his enemies. Though newer devices rendered the Talkboy obsolete, there are plenty of people out there who would still use it for nostalgia’s sake. Surprisingly, this collectors item can be found for around $35 today online.
Pocket Rockers Were The Original iPod
Before mp3 players took over in the 2000s, 80s kids could listen to tiny cassettes on a Fisher-Price toy called Pocket Rockers. As the name implies, they were small music players that you could listen to on the go.
Realistically, they couldn’t fit very well into little kids’ pockets, which is why they had a belt clip! Though kids of today would find the nostalgic toy dorky looking, back in the day they were revolutionary.
Speak & Spell Encouraged Kids To Learn To Read
Though LeapFrog and other electronic products have revolutionized how kids learn, Speak & Spell was one of the first of its kind. The Texas Instruments toy could speak and spell more than 100 words, making it a valuable resource for kids.
Mind you, this was the ’80s. People didn’t typically own home computers and electronic devices, in general, were nothing like they are today. That’s what made this kid’s toy so uniquely sophisticated and loved.
Even Larry King Wants To Bring Back ALF
When Larry King tweeted out that they should bring back ALF in 2015, half of his audiences’ hearts jumped and the other half had no idea what he was talking about. For those in the former category, you already know how dear this plush toy was to so many.
Short for Alien Life Form, ALF was a plush toy that was huge in the ’80s thanks to its adorable show. They even made a talking version of the toy!
Pound Puppies Were Too Cute To Resist
There are plenty of plush toys out there, and of them all, these dogs have got to be among the most popular. So what stood out about Pound Puppies? It has to be those big, glossy eyes. Something about their look made it seem cruel not to buy one.
Contrary to the Poo-Chi, pound puppies didn’t serve any purpose other than being one of the most snuggly toys you could own. Plus, the name made them all the more irresistable. It’s one thing to turn down a cute puppy, but a cute puppy from the pound? That’s downright impossible to do.
Clackers Had An Addictive Sound
By today’s standards, Clackers is one of those toys that child care workers and parents would probably be against using. However, the ’60s and ’70s were a little more laid back when it came to child-approved activities.
The toy consisted of two balls that would make a “clack” sound when they struck one another. Kids would go swinging them around for fun, banging them into their own arms and not caring. Hey, back then, bruises built character.
Betty Spaghetty Was Bendy And Changeable
Betty Spaghetty was unique to other dolls for one reason: she was bendy. Her hair, arms, and legs were all made in the likeness of spaghetti so that kids could fold her whichever way they pleased and she wouldn’t break!
Like other dolls, you could still change out her clothes and her long hair was easy to braid and decorate. Betty and her crew of equally-flexible friends were so popular that they eventually found their way into other forms of entertainment media.