Category Archives: Toys from 1980s

Along with a massive increase of plastic toys including child domestic appliances and plastic lunch boxes, video and computer technology began to invade most childrens lives.

Interactive speak and spell toys made learning more interactive and ranged from a electronic robot call Aphie through to Vtech computers for young kids.
For the older kids the launch of Space Invaders, and smaller handheld devices brought hours of video games into the home.

Image of Original Spirograph Box

Spirograph

A Spirograph is a drawing toy that produces geometric mathematical curves and shapes. It was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold back in 1965.

“Spirograph” term has also been used to describe a variety of software applications that display similar curves. It has also been applied to the class of curves that can be produced with the drawing equipment, the name has been a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., since they took over and bought the Denys Fisher company. continue reading>>

Buckaroo

Buckaroo is a children’s game where you take turns and use your skill to take turns in placing small items and hooking, securing, sitting them on a mule without the mule being knocked or vibrations which can make the mule kick/trigger the spring inside and the items will be thrown off and the player loses that round of the game.

Buckaroo was always a favourite game of mine, because it included chance, anticipation and small amount of skill in which items would you pick and see if you could balance them and outwit the other players. It was similar in respect of a trigger/spring system to the Pop-up Pirate toy which was also quite good and also very frustrating at the same time if you were on a losing streak. continue reading>>

Glo Worm

Glo Worm was a stuffed toy released in 1982 by Hasbro Playskool arm and was aimed at young children. The Glo Worm soft worm like body contained a small battery, when squeezed the toy would light up the vinyl toys head from with a soft glow.

The toy proved very popular and a number of books, night lights and merchandise followed and continued through till 1990.

In 2005 the range received bad press when the plastic head design was found to contain phthalates within the plastic to increase durability, these can be dangerous if swallowed by kids, at the time these were used in many plastic toys and are now phased out. continue reading>>

KerPlunk

KerPlunk is a popular children’s game which was first marketed by the Ideal Toy Company back in 1967. The game is made up of a plastic tube and a number of plastic straws or rods in various colors which numbered around 30 or 26 in total. 

The base contained four separate numbered trays and the straws are pushed through the holes midway through the tube to form a web or criss cross lattice. Then some marbles are then placed in the top of the tube, but they are held up by the straw web.

At the start of the game the whole tube is turned so that a hole of the base of the tube is in line with the tray each player is using. Players then take it in turns removing a straw one at a time… but they need to pick wisely with the aim of having the least amount of marbles falling through the web and landing into their tray. continue reading>>

Hand Buzzer or Joy Buzzer History

Hand Buzzers or to some they are called Joy Buzzers, these toys or joke toys are favourites with pranksters or when playing a joke or practical trick on someone. Hand Buzzers have been giving a jolt to victims since 1928 when they were created by a Danish inventor called Soren Sorensen Adams who went on to form a company and a novelty producer. Sorensen also came up with Sneezing Power in 1906, and also the razzberry or Whoopie Cushion, the snakes in a can, and the exploding cigar novelty toys. – So a huge amount of practical and comical jokes all from one guy, very impressive. continue reading>>

Mater Pogo stick

Pogo Stick

Razor Bogo Pogo StickPogo Sticks have been around since the 1950s and became a massive hit through the 1970s when a redesign took place. Pogo sticks are still a popular childrens toy and most children are still keen to try the humble Pogo stick and see how they fair. So a Pogo stick is a pole with a handle at the top and footrests near the bottom, at the bottom a spring is in cased inside the pole. You need to place a foot on the foot rests or hop onto it and balance whilst you jump up and down with a slight bending motion at the knees. This motion allows you to control by adding or removing energy which goes into the spring below. Or you can see how many full bounces you can do to pretend you are Tigger or to travel in larger but potentially more uncontrollable steps.Super Pogo StickMaster X-Pogo Stick The modern pogo stick was invented in Germany by Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall, they filed a patent in 1920 for a device called spring end hoping stilt – catchy hey.  Over time different designs have been made mainly focusing on adding more movement and higher bounce but also trying to protect the user from chin or head injury’s did also feature in several designs. Extreme Pogo or Xpogo is a growing action sport featuring 10ft jumps in height and many modern materials this has led to number of athlete and exhibition teams have been formed, this is one to watch the stunts and flips which are possible is great to watch.

Clackers

Clackers are made from two hard plastic balls on arms or a string which when jerked up and down the balls hit together making a loud click clacking noise. the idea was to keep them active and clacking for as long as possible – Yes ok this was another toy fad 🙂 but they have had a number of come backs. They were very popular in the late 1960s through to the early 1980s. Original version of ClackersSmall Neon 90s version of Clackers The Clacker was discontinued over safety concerns as the balls/ends could be a little wild. A newer version of the Clacker which added fixed arms to the balls so the motion and sound was easier to achieve. The size of the weights/balls varied between models but a diameter of two inches was typical, with the original version with practice you could make the balls hit together above the hand and not just below. As we many toys Clackers were also known as Ker-Bangers and Clatter Balls and many other names.

A Pogo Ball is also known by many different names including lolo ball, Ball Hopper, or Space Ball. It has a similar function to a pogo stick, however it is smaller and to many kind of resembles the planet Saturn. It’s made from a tough rubber ball, which is inflated within the platform that is then stood on to bounce, hop and jump about up and down on it.

Image of Pogo Ball, Ball Hopper did you own one

You stand on the platform squeezing the upper ball with your feet and then jump and bounce around, and try to keep you balance, once you have the hang of it, you can shuffle or bounce to your hearts content. You were never more than a couple of inches off the ground if you didnt want to try some big bounces. For many this was preferred to pogo sticks as they were less heavy and less powerful compared to the mighty pogo. continue reading>>

Yo-Yo History

The Yo-Yo can be traced back to around 500 B.C. but it took until the 1920’s when a young US immigrant name Pedro Flores saw the potential after recalling its popularity in his Philippine roots. He founded the Yo-yo company whilst working as a bellboy in 1928. He began by selling handmade yo-yos to children around LA and managed to open a factory where within a year the company was producing 300,000 Yo-yos a day!!

Yomega Plastic Yo-yoYomega Aluminum Yo-yoThe Yo-yo was a craze which led to countless yo-yo contests all over the country. continue reading>>