We all missed the toys from the ’80s. Whether it’s the hunger for all things retro, the inevitable recycling of our childhoods, or the relentless cycle of capitalism, the toys from our childhood are BACK! And we’re super excited not just to share them with our kids, but in some cases, to buy them for ourselves (one of my friends did purchase a Cabbage Patch doll for herself because her parents were too poor to afford one for her in the 1980s).
But whether it’s for you are your kids, here are some ‘80s toys we’re thrilled to see back on the shelves.
Now it’s your kids’ chance to turn on the magic of colored light! Sure, some of the newer Lite-Brite sets come with weirdo pegs and shapes. But if you look, the old-school ones — the ones with those narrow pegs that always rolled under the couch, and those nifty black cut-outs that showed you how to make cool designs — they’re out there.
2. Teddy Ruxpin
It’s good to know some things haven’t changed since the 1980s, and that includes Teddy Ruxpin, the magical storytelling bear. Except now he runs by Bluetooth app, so you can’t plug your NKOTB tape into his butt and watch his mouth move to “Hangin’ Tough.” Because, of course.
Everyone knows My Little Pony came back with a new series, but did you know My Little Pony has often come back in retro?! My Little Ponies came in baby ponies and baby pony triplets and scented ponies and winged ponies and unicorns. They came with ballet studios (in retrospect, WTF?), pretty parlor playsets, and more. Now you can get the retro ponies of your childhood, without the big creepy eyes that make them look vaguely like Bratz dolls. Score!
See the shining light! Maybe you were unaware, but you can actually get your hands on the Rainbow Brite dolls of our youth. Only disappointment: the horse does not look like the original horse in the least.
5. Care Bears
Now your kids can too experience the weird awesomeness of small bears shooting caring rays from their bellies, with everything available from old-school bears to Care Bear cousins DVDs.
Strawberry Shortcake and the rest of these sweet-smelling dolls — including Huckleberry Pie, and Blueberry Pie, and Lemon Chiffon — are back, baby! And they’re retro AF.
7. Polly Pocket
Polly Pocket’s so small you can take her anywhere. Which, in retrospect, is a fucking terrible idea, because she’s destined to be lost forever under the couch, but whatever.
They pop just for you! Were you aware they were popping just for you on a new Netflix series? They look funkier, with weirder hair and and bigger, more soulful eyes, but their general construction is still the same, their pointlessness (popping and bouncing?) remains intact, and they’re ready to numb the brains of a new generation.
The bitch is back. Our original soldier girl Adora finds a magic sword and transforms into the PRINCESS OF POWER, SHE-RA! She’s got her own Netflix series now, ready to inspire legions of girls to hit things with swords.
If you mastered this, you could draw anything and you were amazing. But some of us never progressed beyond vertical and horizontal lines, so, you know, there’s that. But it’s back! It’s red! And it’ll still frustrate the crap out of you!
There are stickers and notepads and pens and folders and bedspreads and everything covered with glitter tigers and unicorns and zebras and hearts and stars that your tacky little heart could desire, because Lisa Frank is back, folks, and she is cooler than ever. You can even find those velvet posters that you color in with special markers.
12. Koosh Ball
You know you had one. If you didn’t, you wanted one. Why? Because you could hold it by one of its little rubber-bandy strings and zoing it at your friends’ faces, that’s why. Duh.
In the before time, in the long long ago, our parents beat the crap out of each other for the chance to purchase us one of these things. Now they’re everywhere, in every permutation. From cheap Cabbage Patch Cuties to expensive vintage dolls (think fifty bucks, and that thing better have Xavier Roberts signed on its ass). You can even get Drink and Wet Travel sets. You know, just in case your Cabbage Patch needs to pee real bad or something.
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