Remember all of those amazing things you had as a kid. Whatever happened to it all? Some of it might still be in the loft somewhere but much of it has disappeared without a trace. Now you wish that you’d taken more care of it, that you hadn’t let your mum give it all away when you were a teenager! Well here are 10 of the things every 80s girl wishes she had kept.
1. Your Walkman
Walkman is a Sony brand tradename, originally used for portable audio cassette players from the late 1970s onwards. In later years, it has been used by Sony to market digital portable audio/video players, as well as a line of mobile phones introduced in 2005. The Sony Walkman was blue and silver which contained bulky buttons. It also included an extra audio jack so two people could listen at a time. The original Walkman cassette player, released in 1979, changed music listening habits by allowing people to listen to their music whilst on the move. This could turn everyday tasks like commuting and running into pleasurable experiences, give commuters a sense of privacy, and add a soundtrack to urban surroundings.
The Walkman was devised by Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka, and first built by audio-division engineers Nobutosi Kiraha and Kozo Osohne in 1979. Ibuka loved listening to opera on his frequent trans-Pacific flights, but felt Sony’s existing portable player – the notebook-sized, five pound TC-D5 – was far too unwieldy for everyday use, and far too expensive to ever sell successfully. Sony thus began work on a portable player that could combine light weight and stereo sound with a price an ordinary consumer could afford. The original prototype was built from a heavily modified Sony Pressman, a lightweight, compact tape recorder designed for journalists. By replacing the recording head with a playback head, and the speaker with an amplifier, Sony engineers were able to combine the portability of the Pressman with the stereo experience of the TC-D5. By using lower-end components to reduce the price, and enclosing the parts in an attractive casing, they had solved Ibuka’s challenge. The original idea for a portable stereo is ultimately credited to Brazilian-German inventor Andreas Pavel, who patented the Stereobelt in 1977. Though Sony agreed to pay Pavel royalties, it refused to recognize him as the inventor of the personal stereo until a legal settlement in 2003.
The Wuzzles features a variety of short, rounded animal characters (each called a Wuzzle, which means to mix up). Each is a roughly even, and colorful, mix of two different animal species (as the theme song mentions, “livin’ with a split personality”), and all the characters sport wings on their backs, although only Bumblelion and Butterbear are seemingly capable of flight. All of the Wuzzles live on the Isle of Wuz. Double species are not limited to the Wuzzles themselves. From the appleberries they eat to the telephonograph in the home, or a luxury home called a castlescraper, nearly everything on Wuz is mixed together in the same way the Wuzzles are. The characters in the show were marketed extensively. The characters were featured in children’s books, as poseable figures and plush toys (similar to Care Bears), and in a board game.
Disney premiered two animated series on the same day in the same time slot, 8:30 AM ET, in the United States, with the other being Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears on NBC, and both series were successful during their first seasons. However, The Wuzzles ended production after its initial run largely due to the sudden death of Bill Scott, the voice of Moosel. However, Scott was also the voice of Gruffi Gummi, Sir Tuxford, and Toadwart (aka Toadie) on Gummi Bears (which also saw the deaths of voice actors Bob Holt and Roger C. Carmelwithin 15 months of one another) and Corey Burton and Carmel (later Brian Cummings in 1987) took over those roles. CBS canceled the show, and ABC (later acquired by Disney in February 1996) picked it up and showed reruns during the 1986–1987 season; they aired it at 8:00 AM so the two Disney shows would not be in competition with one another. It was a bigger success in the United Kingdom, where the pilot episode aired as a theatrical featurette in 1986 alongside a re-release of Disney’s Bambi. In the United Kingdom, The Wuzzles and Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears were originally screened on the same channel (ITV) in 1985/1986; therefore, both series enjoyed high popularity, and The Wuzzles was also repeated on the Children’s BBC (now called CBBC) in 1987. Reruns of the show were aired on both The Disney Channel and Toon Disney. Songwriter Stephen Geyer performs the lead vocal and composed the theme song for The Wuzzles.