We know that toys from the 70s and 80s were fantastic. Well made, built to last and just great to play with. There are a few toys from the era that can only be described as iconic. They are the most recognisable, classic toys, toys that we all played with at some point during our childhood. Here are 10 of those iconic 80s toys.
1. The Fisher Price Garage
It seems that everybody played with ofne of these when they were younger. There are still a few kicking around now! Fisher Price made some very iconic toys in the 70s and 80s, this is probably one of their most recognisable. Fisher-Price has created approximately 5,000 different toys since the early 1930s. One of Fisher-Price’s best-known lines is Little People toys, which includes people and animal figures along with various play sets such as a house, farm, school, garage and vehicles. The figures, which originally were wooden peg-style characters, are now molded of plastic and have detailed features.
In addition to Little People, some of the toys and toy brands that have remained popular for many years include Power Wheels, View-Master, Rescue Heroes, the Chatter Telephone, and the Rock-a-Stack. Other brands marketed under the Fisher-Price name over the years include Disney, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and See ‘n Say. Fisher-Price also designs and sells infant care products and has begun developing electronic toys for preschoolers. In 2009, Fisher-Price bought all toy rights to Thomas & Friends except for the Wooden Railway line. Through Mattel’s 2012 acquisition of HIT Entertainment, which subsequently became a division of Fisher-Price, Mattel now owns the property outright. With this, toys based on Mike the Knight and Bob the Builder have been subsequently released.
2. Evel Knievevel Stunt Cycle
This was a toy that has been passed down to the last few generations. Once upon a time Evel Knievel was the most famous man on the planet. The daredevil stuntman was the hero of many young kids. His range of toys were very succesful, but the best seller by far was this stunt cycle.Between 1972 and 1977, Ideal Toy Company released a series of Evel Knievel-related merchandise, designed initially by Joseph M. Burck of Marvin Glass and Associates. During the six years the toys were manufactured, Ideal claimed to have sold more than $125 million worth of Knievel toys.The toys included the original 1972 figures, which offered various outfits and accessories. In 1973, Ideal released the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. After the release of the Stunt Cycle, the Knievel toys were the best selling item for Ideal.
During the next four years, Ideal Toys released various models relating to Evel Knievel’s touring stunt show. The models included a Robbie Knievel doll, the Scramble Van, a Dragster, a Stunt Car, and the Evel Knievel The Stunt World. Additionally, Ideal released non-Knievel-touring toys, including a Chopper Motorcycle, a Trail Bike, and a female counterpart, Derry Daring. The last item marketed by Ideal Toys before it discontinued the distribution of Knievel toys was the Strato-Cycle, based on the film Viva Knievel!
In 1977, Bally marketed its Knievel pinball machine as the “first fully electronic commercial game”; it has elsewhere been described as one of the “last of the classic pre-digital games.”(Both electromechanical and solid-state versions were produced. The electromechanical version is extremely rare, with only 155 made.)
3. The Space Hopper
We all had one of these in the 70s and 80s and we all fell off on more than one ocassion! It has often been relaunched but it will never be as popular as when we were kids. The space hopper was invented by Aquilino Cosani of Ledragomma, an Italian company that manufactured toy rubber balls. He patented the idea in Italy in 1968, and in the United States in 1971. Cosani called the toy “Pon-Pon”.
Space hoppers were introduced to the United Kingdom in 1969. The Cambridge Evening News newspaper, England, contained an advertisement for the hopper in November of that year and described it as a trend. The space hopper became a major craze for several years, and remained widely popular through the 1980s. They are sometimes considered a symbol of the 1970s. The original space hopper of the United Kingdom was manufactured by Mettoy (Mettoy-Corgi). Wembley made a similar model which had smooth handles rather than the ribbed original. The orange kangaroo design is now available in adult sized versions in the United Kingdom.