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Today’s guest blogger approached me with an interesting post about “vintage” toys that was quite the blast from the past. How could I resist a good old ride on the 80’s time machine? Hope you enjoy and feel free to comment with your own childhood favorites…

If you don’t want to feel old – look away now. This post is likely to bring mixed feelings of pleasant nostalgia, with some kind of ‘Oh my gosh I’m so old, where have the years of my life gone?’ sentiments. For you may not have noticed, but the pastimes of your youth are now seen as something quite antique and bygone.

It’s quite something when you find the toys of your childhood listed on eBay as ‘vintage’. It can either affirm that, yes, you are now indeed an adult, and that can feel pretty good in some ways. It can also remind you of how much time has passed since you used to play with My Little Pony or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (heroes in a half shell – turtle power!).

Some eBay listings are simply ridiculous. For example there is a listing for a ‘vintage 1996’ transformers toy. That’s just silly. But others are a little more realistic, like ‘Werebears’ – those are kind of edging into vintage territory now, even though it only felt like yesterday.

But despair not! Getting old is no bad thing. We can drive. We can drink. We have the excitement of a mid-life crisis to look forward to. And we can feel proud of our childhood memories of a simpler time, when dolls grew from cabbage patches and all you needed to defeat a bad guy was a determined Care Bear stare.

So here are 5 toys from back in the day that you just know will always be better than any fancy games console. And pity tha foo’ who says otherwise!

Star Wars

Let’s be honest, the original Star Wars films were so the best. Star Wars action figures were hugely popular in the 80s, and some of the best Star Wars toys were made during this time. Like this fantastic Millennium Falcon Spaceship.

You could buy all your favourite characters: Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, Princess Leah, R2D2, C-3PO, Chewy and more.

Figurines from Film and TV seemed more popular and more in demand back in the 80s. Perhaps it was because there were no computer games to experience these well-loved characters through after the film was over? Or perhaps we were just more imaginative? Or more easily swayed by advertising maybe?

Whatever the reason, 80s Star Wars figures are still popular to this day, sometimes selling for hundreds of dollars.

Rainbow Brite

This little lady doesn’t even need an explanation. She has a rainbow dress, a purple star on her cheek and she has the power of the rainbow to make you happy. What more could you want? Oh, and her hair is pretty too. (Jamie B: I’m pretty sure I had that same doll! Bonus geek points to whoever can recognize the famous movie actress in that commercial.)


The WereBears started out in comic book form, created by children’s author and illustrator, George Nicolas. Hornby then produced a successful line of toys based on the characters, Grizzler, Gums, Howler and Fang, and made it cool for boys to have teddy bears.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

For most parents this was probably the worst thing that could be retrieved from the cupboard to play on a rainy day, for the sheer amount of noise must have been irritating beyond belief.

But when you were in the zone, going mad on that hippos derrière, did you care how much noise you were making? Nope. All that mattered was that your hippo ate the most plastic balls. Ah, simple pleasures. (Jamie B: I can’t begin counting the hours I spent playing that game! Thanks for sharing)

Care Bears

Originally, the Care Bears were designed by greetings card company, American Greetings. Two years later, in 1983, a toy company called Kenner turned the heart-warming characters into plush toys. They then went on to star in their own TV specials, movies and television series, and swiftly became an international sensation.

Part of their appeal was that there was a Care Bear for everyone. Wish Bear for those who love to wish upon a star; Champ Bear for the competitive type; Bedtime Bear for the lazy, and so on and so forth.

What better message could there be to spread to children across the globe? If you care then you can save the world! Maybe that’s why so many people who grew up in the 80’s are now actively involved in protest movements, etc? It must be all down to those lovable Care Bears! And their cousins too, of course. (Jamie B: I had at least three of the bears in that commercial! I believe I still do have one stashed away somewhere.)


Lucy Adams is a freelance writer from England who writes for finance magazines reviewing savings accounts and investment deals. She doesn’t spend too much time cuddling up with her Care Bear, honestly she doesn’t!