7 Current Kids’ Toys That Will Appeal to Your Inner Child of the 80s

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on December 24, 2013

in Lists, Nerd Culture, The 80s

Some of the toy lines that currently fill retail shelves remind us of our youth because they are straight up reboots or continuations of properties that were popular in the 80s and 90s. TMNT, Power Rangers, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and WWE figures come to mind (wow, didn’t expect that many when I started typing) and it’s obvious that toy companies know who their target market is.

Current moms and dads are far more likely to splurge on that toy for junior if it reminds them of the carefree days of yore. Here are 7 current kids’ toys that will appeal to your inner child of the 80s:

Nano Speed

What They Remind You Of: Micro Machines

Nano Speed are tiny cars and other vehicles that rival the size of Micro Machines, but with pull back action. Playsets are available as they were with Micro Machines, but more in the form of loops and track sets that allow Nano Speed to show off their zippy little talents.


The Ugglys

What They Remind You Of: Boglins, Madballs

Moose, the Canadian toy manufacturer that specializes in gross-out toys for a new generation, clearly knows who they are marketing to- more on them later.


Switch & Go Dinos

What They Remind You Of: Transformers (specifically Dinobots)

Not an exact copy of Grimlock & friends’ super-popular dinosaur-to-robot formula, VTech’s Switch & Go Dinos transform from dinosaurs to vehicles, but it’s close enough. Targeted at younger kids, Switch & Go Dinos typically transform with only a few moves, and feature an electronic display and sounds.


Trash Packs

What They Remind You Of: Garbage Pail Kids

Take all the gory, gross-out, collectible fun of Garbage Pail Kids and make them 3D miniatures. Moose comes through again with a toy that appeals to children of the 80s- Trash Packs are miniature creatures and characters, each coming in their own mini trash can (or toilet, in the newest series). Trash Packs have all the style and panache of GPKs, with 100% less folded corners.

(Side note: GPK actually now has minifigures, which I have to believe were inspired by the success of Trash Packs and similar lines.)


Trash Wheels

trash wheels

What They Remind You Of: If Micro Machines andĀ Garbage Pail Kids had filthy, tiny offspring

The next step in the logical progression of Moose’s Trash Packs, Trash Wheels capture the nostalgia of GPKs AND Micro Machines. Teeny tiny garbage guys on wheels? Must have.



What They Remind You Of: Adventure People

The debut issue of Cool & Collected Magazine features the first edition of a recurring column called ‘Collectibles of Tomorrow’, and Imaginext was the first toy line featured. Fisher Price had a hit with their Adventure People in the 70s and 80s, and 30 years later they’ve recaptured the magic. Imaginext offers licensed lines, such as DC Super Friends and Spongebob Squarepants, to go along with their samurai, knights, police, and other fantastic collections.


Max Steel

What He Reminds You Of: The Silverhawks

If you’re young enough, Max Steel might actually remind you of your childhood without having to invoke Silverhawks comparisons. Mattel released Max Steel in 1999, and a rebooted version debuted in 2013 on Disney XD. If you grew up in a time before Max Steel however, he may remind you of a certain partly metal/partly real team of space cops that had an eerily similar design. When the Silverhawks reboot that I’ve been begging for for years finally happens, the updated design could look very much like Max Steel.

Jason G December 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I actually found the Nano cars at dollar tree this year and added 2-packs to the boys stockings!

Dex December 25, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Anyone remember Penny Racers? I had a few of those back in the day.

I never really watched Silverhawks so all I see with Steel is Tron.

@eclectik December 26, 2013 at 1:25 am

Makes me feel even worse for kids these days, their options are unfortunate; but what they dont know wont hurt them.

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