My 80s Dream Toy Chest

Posted by | on June 30, 2008

A collection of my favorite long lost childhood toys.

You won’t find Cabbage Patch Dolls, My Little Ponies, or Barbies in this list. The following are some of my favorite toys from my childhood…

Etch-a-sketch Animator

Etch-A-Sketch Animator
The Etch A Sketch Animator debuted in 1986 – Possibly the coolest toy ever invented up until that point, and I’ve always been surprised by its lack notoriety among my generation.

The Animator featured a low-rez dot matrix screen and used two knobs for drawing along with several buttons to manipulate drawings. Animation – pixel by pixel…up to 96 frames of it.

I still check ebay for these sometimes, they don’t run too expensive:
Etch-a-sketch Animator – Etch-a-Sketch Animator on Ebay

Tomy Air Jammers

Tomy Air Jammer
These were vehicles that came where powered via little hand-pump. I had one that resembled a VW Bug. I remember sticking the pump hose up my nose. I want to stick one up my nose again. Damn it.

Tomy Air Jammers on Ebay

Lego Space Set

Lego 80s Space Set
I always loved Legos, but became a complete addict after receiving my first set from the Lego Space collection. I spent hours inventing alien dramas and dreaming about actually owning the parts to make the space monorail.

Years later I visited a cousin’s house and he had the full Lego SpaceLand set complete with monorails and more. My cousin explained he built only built it as a model and never played with it. I remember I wanted to punch him.
Lego Space Set (with monorail) – Lego Space Monorail Set on Ebay

Rubik’s Snakes

Rubik’s Snake
Rubik’s Snakes – I never owned these but would grab this over a friends house, hide in a corner, and play until it was time to leave. The mechanics of the 24 pivoting wedges completely fascinated me.
Rubik’s Snakes on Ebay

Article about Rubik’s Cubes, Snakes and other Puzzle Toys from

WikiPedia entry about Rubik’s Snake – Includes more photos.


Madballs 80s Toy
These were just balls with grotesque or silly faces. I didn’t have any, and didn’t really want any as a child. But now, I think it would be great to have a collection of these…maybe for decorating purposes.

I had a quick look for these on ebay, and it seems that they are being re-released.
MadBalls – Madballs on Ebay

Speak and Spell

Speak and Spell
My Speak and Spell became possessed at one point when I was about 8 years old. It wouldn’t turn off and kept saying “echo, echo, echo” – I pulled out the batteries and it continued to speak…so I chucked it under a pile of clothes in my room and left for a couple of hours.

Speak and Spell – Speak and Spells on Ebay

Omnibot 2000

Omnibot 2000 by Tomy
The Omnibot 2000 was the most advanced model in Tomy’s toy robot collection. Personal butler, friend, and cassette player all in one. Oh, how I longed for one of these.
Check out these 1984 TV Commercials for Omnibot: 1 & 2
Omnibots on Ebay

What are some of your long lost toys from the 80s?

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7 Responses to “My 80s Dream Toy Chest”

  1. AvatarNostalgiaholic

    Hey what about your “Lazer-Eye-Susan” !!???

    Reply to this comment.
  2. Avatarchuck u farley

    MADBALLS!!! I seriously thought the world had forgotten about those…

    Reply to this comment.
  3. AvatarZahra

    Who remembers TALKING TODDS? I used to have them! They were two dolls, one blonde and one red headed and they both spoke!


    Reply to this comment.
  4. AvatarJeremy

    I am looking for an old toy and was wondering if anyone can help. It was an old electronic hide and seek game, a finder and 2 receivers. Up to 2 people would go hide and take a device that was in a shape of a triangle that someone could clip on their belt. It had a red light and a receiver on it. The person who was seeking had a device that looked like a tv remote, had 3 lights(red,yellow, green) that would flash faster and faster the close you got to the people hiding. it also had sound that would get faster as you got closer. If you got close enough you could push a big red button and “tag” the person, if you missed the device would reset and the person hiding could go and hide again. Thanks!

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  5. AvatarJ LA ROCK

    Hide and Sneak I believe that was called.
    I got it one year from Xmas from my biological father who my mother hated and my mom through it in the trash while I was at school two days later.
    It was an awesome toy for a few hours that night I played it with my dad though. :)

    Reply to this comment.
  6. AvatarKris

    Looking for a toy I had as a kid. It was plastic mine was 2 tone it looked like a hula hoop with handles on it but it was really wide and grooved out on the inside to allow a plastic ball to set in I would guess the ball to be the size of a softball. You placed the ball in the groov of the loop grabed the handles and spun it around making the ball go around the loop once you mastered that you went on to harder things like keeping the ball going around while going thru the hoop yourself. It was about the size of a hula hoop. It had all kids of tricks you could do with it like one handed ball spinning and such. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone else with one I. don’t know if it was that they just didn’t take off or if it was just a limited toy. I have looked all over for it I don’t have the name of it if it even had a name. If someone could please help me out I have been racking my brain for years. I can even draw up a picture of the toy if that would be helpful. Thank so much.

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  7. AvatarPaul

    Hello I am lookin for the name of a toy I had ,it was from toy’s r us , it was a big red spaceship with about 50 tiny purple space soldiers a few white an black soldiers too an the would have loads of lil gadgets to it also about 10 miny shuttles and a few other small space ships would break off the big red one I thought the toy was called magna force but I can’t find it on google….. Any ideas????( thanks )

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