4. Atari 2600
This was our first gaming console with interchangeable games. Looking back now the graphics were very primitive but this meant that the game play was the main feature. Dig Dug and Centipede were our favourites. Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushnell developed the Atari gaming system in the 1970s. Originally operating under the name “Syzygy”, Bushnell and Dabney changed the name of their company to “Atari” in 1972. In 1973, Atari, Inc. had purchased engineering think tank Cyan Engineering to research next-generation video game systems, and had been working on a prototype known as “Stella” (named after one of the engineers’ bicycles) for some time. Unlike prior generations of machines that use custom logic to play a small number of games, its core was an 8-bit CPU combined with a RAM-and-I/O chip and a display and sound chip known as the Television Interface Adaptor (TIA).
In 1976, Fairchild Semiconductor released their own CPU-based system, the Video Entertainment System, the first to use ROM cartridges for games. Stella was still not ready for production, and Atari didn’t have the cash flow to complete the system quickly. Nolan Bushnell eventually turned to Warner Communications, and sold the company to them in 1976 for US$28 million on the promise that Stella would be produced as soon as possible.
5. Cabbage Patch Kids
The 80s was the decade of the Toy Line. Were you lucky enough to get hold of a Cabbage Patch Doll? Do you remember the scenes of people fighting over them in the shops? Xavier Roberts was a ten-year-old boy who discovered the Cabbage Patch Kids by following a BunnyBee behind a waterfall into a magical Cabbage Patch, where he found the Cabbage Patch babies being born. To help them find good homes he built BabyLand General in Cleveland, Georgia where the Cabbage Patch Kids could live and play until they were adopted. BunnyBees are bee-like creatures with rabbit ears they use as wings. They pollinate cabbages with their magic crystals to make Cabbage Patch babies.Colonel Casey is a large stork who oversees Babyland General Hospital. He’s the narrator of the Cabbage Patch Kids’ story. Otis Lee is the leader of the gang of Cabbage Patch Kids that befriended Xavier.
6. The Matchbox Play Boot
This was one of many similar toys, like the Big Yellow Teapot, the Red Chimney and the next one our list. Matchbox is a popular toy brand which was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953, and is now owned by Mattel, Inc. The brand was given its name because the original die-cast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar in style and size to those in which matches were sold. Subsequently, the brand would encompass a broad range of toys including larger scale die-cast models and various other lines of toys, such as plastic model kits and action figures.
During the 1980s, Matchbox began to switch to the more conventional plastic and cardboard “blister packs”, that were used by other die-cast toy brands such as Hot Wheels. The box style packaging was re-introduced for the collectors’ market in recent years, particularly with the release of the “35th Anniversary of Superfast” series in 2004.