It's Christmas time again and of course we all know what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is... TOYS, TOYS, and more TOYS!!! Growing up in the 1980's there were so many great toys out that my Christmas' were filled waking up and finding the latest and greatest toys! What would my childhood and those of my generation have been without great toys like G.I. Joe or Transformers! (but NOT Cabbage Patch Kids, they made the '90's Furbie craze look like the Bubonic Plague!) For anyone who grew up with these toys you might remember some of these, if not, just watch an episode of Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken" http://www.adultswim.com/shows/robot-chicken/index.html and you'll see what I'm talking about! So, I made my list (and checked it twice!) of the TOP 10 1980's Toys (Christmas Edition):
#10 "My Pet Monster" - My Pet Monster, it says it all! He was a huge, blue, stuffed-toy, with an ugly face full of hard plastic teeth. He came in this huge box which looked like a jail cell AND he had these weird orange handcuffs that could break when pulled apart. You could also take them off and put the handcuffs on yourself! Brilliant!
#9 "M.A.S.K." - M-m-m-m-mask! Mobile Armored Strike Kommand! (And no I am not misspelling it!) M.A.S.K. were vehicles that turned into other vehicles like a green motorcycle that turned into a mini-helicopter or a red sports-car that turned into a jet...fun!
#8 "Centurions"- Power Extreme, Men-Machine!" The Centurions were a team of cyborg superheroes (easily forgotten) who could attach weapons to their armor (which were full of holes) and you could even mix and match them depending on their mission either by land, sea, or air! The villains Doc Terror and Hacker were the ugliest and most awkward looking cyborgs ever!
#7 "Robocop (and the Ultra Police)" - Here's a great idea: take a violent R-Rated Sci-Fi movie about a cop who gets killed only to come back as a cyborg cop THEN turn it into a kids cartoon TV show and develop action figures! Awesome! The best part was the Robocop toys had caps in their backs which would simulate shooting! Don't you just LOVE cartoon violence! I know I did!
#6 "Thundercats"- "Thunder, Thunder, Thunder Cats! Ho!" Based on the popular cartoon series these anthropomorphized cat-people are still a nostalgic favorite, especially Cheetarah (nuff said!) My favorite toy was the actual "Sword of Omens", a short, plastic, sword based on Lion-Os sword with a glowing red "Eye of Thundera" (you pressed the button and it glowed)!
#5 "The Real Ghostbusters" - These were "The Real Ghostbusters", based on the popular movies starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd but more so based on the spin-off cartoon series which featured "Slimer" as their ghost-mascot! My favorite was the full Proton Pack with a foam tube to simulate the ion stream and with it the ghost trap which opened by stepping on an air pump foot peddle. Hours of fun busting imaginary ghosts (unless you had the projector gun too)!
#4 "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" - He-Man was especially popular (and somewhat overly homoerotic?) the action figures based off the cartoon show was one of the biggest toy lines ever with outrageous bases and vehicles to go along with it. My favorite was the actual Snake Mountain (Skeletor's castle) with all kinds of creepy trapdoors, giant snake and a voice modulator!
#3 "Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye" - Probably one of the biggest and longest running toy lines of the 1980's, The Transformers were extremely popular with literally hundreds of robots and not just vehicles as later came the Dinobots, Insecticons and even a city (Omega Supreme)! When I was a kid I wanted Megatron most of all (as did every kid) but my parents thought it looked too much like a real gun? They were right, that's why we all wanted it! Instead I got Perceptor, he changed into a microscope...yeah...thanks a lot!
#2 "Star Wars" - What child of the 1980's didn't play with Star Wars toys, the highly sought-after and often valuable Star Wars toys brought a whole new level to movie merchandising! My favorite was of course the Millennium Falcon (it took forever for my Dad to assemble it! lol)
#1 "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" - I was a HUGE G.I. Joe kid! I had the comic books, I watched the cartoons, AND had lots and lots of action figures and vehicles (played with while wearing camouflage fatigues bought from the Army/Navy store), THE best (and biggest!) was of course the 6-foot long aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Flagg!!! (Original retail cost: $89.99 Yikes!) Absolutely Amazing!