Remember a time before Beyblades, before Shopkins, before Disney Ooshies, when we used to play with piles of round, flat cardboard? We called them POGS, but let’s be honest – they were circular pieces of trash, and we absolutely obsessed over them.
And it wasn’t just POGS. Oh no.
I had plenty of weird toy obsessions as a kid – an assortment of smelly stickers I used to collect in photo albums. Tyco Quints – remember those??? T-shirt Tie Dye Kits because if you didn’t tie-dye your oversized T-shirt and pair it with high tops and a scrunchie, were you even an 80s/90s kid??
Some of the toys haven’t returned from the 80s and 90s grave. But some have. In fact, some have remained on toy shelves for decades such as LEGO, Matchbox Cars and Barbie.
The glow-up childhood toys
Other 80s toys have recently made a comeback but with some serious modern upgrades – and a new TV show and merchandise thrown in for good measure.
Trolls, My Little Pony, Smurfs, Popples, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Beanie Babies – all of these toys are back but they lack that classic 80s charm.
Unchanged 80s and 90s toys
The list of childhood toys reimagined goes on and on.
But then there are the true 80s toys that remain in classic form, just how we remember them. The 80s golden toy gems – barely touched and complete with that awkward 80s charm. #YAS!
How many of these childhood toys do you remember? And how many would you like to see make a return to your children’s playroom?
Tupperware Shape -O
This thing has been around forever! I swear little cave babies were rolling it around while their parents battled mastodons and collected pelts for underwear.
Tupperware’s classic Shape-O is still one of the most durable toys in our playroom. It’s lasted through three kids and doesn’t have a random sticker or pen scribble anywhere on it. Amaze-O!
Gawd, I loved these things as a kid and the original 80s ones are now back in selected stores such as Amazon. Don’t they look almost the same??
Uno and Rubix
Same games, same colours, same everything, really, both still widely available through pretty much every good toy stores.
Although there have been some interesting developments on how you actually play Uno. Do you stack these or not?
Now, I have spoken to a few Australian mums who didn’t grow up with Lite Bright, and to those people I’m truly sorry. I weep for your inner child. Because Lite Bright was DA BOMB!
It’s back now – Kmart has them for $25 – and the packaging remains nearly the same. It’s almost as if Kmart ransacked Nanna’s attic, found the old box, placed a price sticker on it, and regifted it to us. And I’m not even mad about it.
Etch-A-Sketch and Magna Doodle
Okay, so compared to games like Minecraft where you can build entire worlds, Etch-a-Sketch seems a bit outdated. But whatever, with Etch-a-Sketch you can sketch awkward drawings AND erase them through the power of shaking. I mean, that’s gotta count for something, right?
Fun Fact: Magna Doodle is still alive and kicking today too.
Puppy Surprise was another one of my faves growing up. She is back and, although she does look a tad different, she still has that 80s charm about her.
Nevermind the fact that there is now a Unicorn Surprise, both sold at Big W. Uni Surprise is a bit too 2020 for my liking though.
Technically not an 80s toy, but whatever, still a childhood toy classic, the original virtual pet that you could put in your pocket and kill with neglect is back in its original form today. You can get them for your own kids at JB Hi-Fi for double the original price. Score!
I was a bit hesitant to put ol’ Polly on this list because she has changed a fair bit in her 30-odd years. The newer Polly Pockets are fun and all, but they are much bigger and come with less of a choking hazard which, let’s admit, is one of the defining qualities of 80s toys.
Anyhoo, you can still buy the vintage Polly Pockets through eBay – some are worth a fortune! But you can also get a 30th-anniversary original compact Polly Pocket set through Amazon, complete with tiny choking hazard characters.
Cabbage Patch Dolls
This is another one that many people won’t agree with because the vintage version is still the better version. But these classic dolls are still pretty similar to the original ones, minus the Xavier Roberts butt tattoo. You can get them anywhere too – Big W, Kmart, Amazon, Costco even.
The old school ones are a huge hit on eBay also – certain dolls sell for $2000. If only I had kept my Cabbage Patch dolls in mint condition rather than chopping off their hair and adding my own signature to the other butt cheek to match Xavier’s. Shit.
Need more childhood memories in your life? Don’t we all! Check out