Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 1980s…
Cabbage Patch Dolls: It may be hard to imagine now, but these cloth-bodied dolls with plastic heads were the must-have toy of 1983. Fights broke out among crowds of angry Christmas shoppers who were looking for the nearly-sold out dolls.
Teddy Ruxpin: It’s the original bear with a cassette player inside of it. I’ve heard from friends and relatives that they were made poorly and broke within a year, but I really don’t know.
My Buddy: An innovative idea for its time, a doll designed for boys to play with.
Rubik’s Cube: I’ll admit it. I never figured mine out. It’s in a drawer somewhere, just like the vast majority of all Rubik’s Cubes are.
Transformers: Long before they were successful movie franchise, there was “more than meets the eye” to these action figures, who could be switched back forth between a robot and usually a vehicle.
Movies on VHS: For the first time, people could own and watch movies any time they wanted, or they could rent them from the video store and try to copy them using two VCRs.
Sony Walkman: Sony specifically targeted their ads to teenagers in order to make their product hip. The Discman eventually replaced it in the 1990s, but Sony has recently made a number of MP3/Video players under the Walkman name.
The Popeil Pocket Fisherman: Fishing, especially bass fishing, was very popular in the 1980s. If any of your relatives knew you were into it, then you were getting a pocket fisherman for Christmas.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.