7 More Forgotten 80s Toys

by Brian Morin on April 30, 2012

in The 80s

The 1980s were truly the decade of the action figure.  From G.I. Joe to M.A.S.K., Transformers to Masters of the Universe, on to Thundercats, Silverhawks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; just about every great line of action figures began in or reached their peak in the 80s.

In March, we examined ten (non-action figure) 80s toys you may have forgotten. Since that was one of our more popular posts, here are 7 more often-forgotten 80s toys!



GUTS came to the toy market riding the popularity of M.U.S.C.L.E. and GI Joe.  They were basically fancier army men, broken down into six units of ten soldiers each.

There were Green Berets, Frogmen, Jungle Fighters, Ground Troops, Lazer Troopers, and the obligatory ninjas with Aikido force.



Robotix were building toys that were originally sold in 1984 by Milton Bradley.  They could be built into a variety of robots and vehicles that could either walk or roll.  The coolest feature was that they included motors and a control that could be used to turn the wheels, move the legs, operate claws, or rotate parts of whatever the builder constructed.  Milton Bradley stopped manufacturing Robotix in 1994 and it passed to The Learning Curve until the line was discontinued in 2001.  You might also recall the short lived Robotix cartoon.

Hit Stix

Hit Stix were basically electronic drum sticks that came with an amplifier that you would attach to your belt.  They had a variety of drum styles that you could select on the amplifier and then just play by air-drumming.


(Dare ya to watch this one and NOT have the jingle in your head the rest of the day)

Flipsiders were tiny board games that were made by Milton Bradley from 1987-1992.  The board folded up and made the entire toy look like an audio cassette (what could be more 80s than that?)  You would move a little slide that turned build in wheels with numbers on them in place of rolling a die to move.  The pawns and board were magnetic which made it a good toy for long car rides.

The Animal

The Animal was a motorized truck that had claws in the wheels that would come out to help the truck traverse rough terrain.  The wheels could be set to be always in, always out, or could come out whenever the truck came across terrain that required them.  The other cool feature was that if you just wanted to push the truck around you could switch it to freewheeling mode so you wouldn’t destroy the gears.

Domino Rally

Domino Rally was manufactured by Pressman Toys and sold until the early 90s.  It was based on a toy called Domino Track that was invented by a 16-year-old boy and his father.  Basically, it took what we all did when we had dominos, which was build tracks to knock over rather than actually play the game, and took it to the extreme by setting up courses that could go down stairs, over bridges, and around corners.  One common complaint about the toy was that the dominos had poor molds that often made it very difficult and frustrating to get them to stand.

Hot Wheels Crack Ups

Every kid had at least a few Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars.  These were extra cool because you could crash them together and create damage.  There were four basic types of the cars; cars that cracked up in the front, on the side, on the top, and in the back.  It worked in a way similar to the Battle Armor He-Man from the MOTU line, one of the great play features of that line.


To reminisce about other fogotten 80s toys such as My Pet Monster, Mad Balls, and Boglins click here!


Brian Morin is a fan of anything related to the 80s.  His love of playing with G.I. Joe developed into an obsession that continues to this day.  He hosted an 80s themed radio show while in college which justified the building of a library of over 250 80s CDs.  When he isn’t collecting and obsessing he is spending time with his wife and kids in Myerstown, PA.

Hit Stix image credit: retrothing.com

Dex (@Dex1138) April 19, 2012 at 7:06 am

I can hear “Who puts the future in your hands? Robotix!” part of the commercial in my head. No idea why that particular thing stuck there.

I still have the one Flipsider game I bought back in the day. There was another similar brand called Triple Flips (I think) that packed 3 mini-games into a folding case.

Howie Decker April 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

Yous still have a Flipsider? Nice! aaand now I have the sing in my head again. Thanks Dex.

More0_0Than April 19, 2012 at 8:12 am

I seem to remember getting GUTs one year from someone because they “knew I was into G.I.Joe” should have just gotten me G.I.Joe then don’t ya think? LOL I remember my brother and I lusting over The Monster, never saw one up close until a few years ago in a friends kids junked up toy box, didn’t look as impressive today

Howie Decker April 19, 2012 at 9:22 am

Tom- same here re: The Animal. Never had one, none of my friends did, yet we all wanted one badly. Finally saw one in person much after the fact and remember thinking “Wow, glad my folks didn’t waste money on one of these.” Thanks for the comment!

Will April 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

I still have a Flipsider, too. No clue what game it is, but I know the “tape” casing is turquoise. I actually found The Animal in a thrift store last week, but it was missing its battery door, so I left it behind.

Howie Decker April 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

Flip out! Flipsiders… now you’ll never have to worry ’bout what to do!

Brian Morin April 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I would have totally forgotten about them if I didn’t still have mine.

Lamar the Revenger April 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I just got a box of Robotix on Sunday. Might try to build something this weekend

Brian Morin April 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I still have my old set, but the motors don’t work anymore.

Jason G April 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

Unlike the last edition of this column, I do remember all of these.

As a matter of fact, 3 of the 4 sets of GUTS you have pictured I STILL HAVE!! Two soldiers sets and the ninja set. I didn’t remember they had a vehicle…

I also have an Animal truck that I picked up at a garage sale. I had one crack-ups car, but that is long gone. Will have to find some now on Ebay to show my boys…

Good times! Thanks Brian!

Michael August 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Did I make this list? I didn’t have THAT many toys as a kid but I had all these.

I had no interest in GI Joe but I loved GUTS. Then again I loved MUSCLE too.

The only thing that would make this list better would be the inclusion of Battle Beasts.

Brian Morin August 31, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thanks for reading! I think if you explore the rest of the site, you’ll find something about Battle Beastx.

Regina Robinson December 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Where can I buy The Animal ( truck with claws)?

Brian Morin December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

Contact nerdragetoys.com. They mostly deal in action figures, but they might be able to help you out.

Previous post:

Next post: