Do you remember Rubik’s Cube, Care Bears and other great toys from the 1980s? Here’s a quick trip down memory lane.

Rubik’s Cube

"Rubiks cube". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Rubiks cube”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

The actual story of this most famous toys actually began in 1974 when it was created by a Hungarian professor of architecture, Erno Rubik.

At the time, Hungary was behind the Communist Iron Curtain so getting it to a wide audience was tough. That was thanks to mathematicians taking it to international conferences and an expat Hungarian entrepreneur took it to the Nuremberg toy fair in 1979.

It was at this fair that a toy specialist took on the cube and it was launched to the word in 1980. Since then, according to the Rubik’s cube website. an estimated 350 million of the cubes have been sold!

Sylvanian Families


“Sylvanian families” by SaimaOriginal uploader was Tristanb at en.wikipedia – from en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Off the back of a cartoon series, these cute looking animals with human-like features and doll houses were introduced in the UK market in 1987 and were named as toy of the year in that year and the following two years. This toy set also became a global success.

They were originally released in Japan in 1985.


"Tamagotchi 0124 ubt" by Tomasz Sienicki [user: tsca, mail: tomasz.sienicki at] - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Tamagotchi 0124 ubt” by Tomasz Sienicki [user: tsca, mail: tomasz.sienicki at] – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Remember the 90s craze for Tamagotchi, the handheld digital pet. Normally “housed” in an egg-shaped computer, there were three buttons. The owner then has to care and nurture their pet – with the more successful owners raising creatures that are happier, smarter and need less attention.

Care bears

Come on, admit it you had a care bear! These cute stuffed teddies started life on greeting cards (perhaps not a surprise in hindsight). They were turned into teddy bears in 1983 and went on to star on their own TV shows and even films.

Each care bear had a different colour and special insignia on its tummy to represent its personality and duty. It was originally know as the tummy symbol.

Nintendo entertainment system


“NES-Console-Set” by Evan-Amos – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

The now famous Nintendo Entertainment system – an 8-bit video game console – made it debut in Japan in 1983 going on to be released across all markets din the following years. The best-selling gaming console of its time, scores of kids wanted one of these with titles such as Donkey Kong!


An absolute must-have from the late 1990s, It looks something like a cross between an owl and a hamster but could utter speech – initially Furbish before starting to use English over time.

Game Boy


Gameboy Photo By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Another tech entry in our list, when this arrived in 1991 it was an instant classic. Enough said really, along with the awesome Tetris.



Still a firm favourite today, the train set from 1982 is recognised as one of the best sets (especially at Christmas).


Commodore 64 Computer

8 Classic Computers From The 80s


5 Cool Old Phones – Did You Have One Of These?


5 Iconic Examples of Tech That Today’s Kids Simply May Not Recognise