You’ve amassed a bounty of small childhood treasures – a few pieces of candy, that coveted plastic jewelry from the gumball machine, a few coins you found under the couch. In a kinder world, you could trust the security of your bedroom door. But mere doors are no match for that roving group of pirates known as “siblings”, eager to rob you of your hard-earned trinkets the minute your back is turned. It’s going to take some crafty ingenuity to keep your valuables safe from the thievery of these prepubescent pillagers. You must find a place where they would never think of looking – say, perhaps, the belly of a cute plastic animal.
Tonka Toys were obviously mindful of this need for camouflaged safekeeping when they released Keypers in 1985, an assortment of animals such as snails, swans and kangaroos that acted as a safe-deposit box of sorts, complete with plastic key to keep every piece of treasure locked down and secure. On the outside, they seemed innocent enough, with their comb-able hair and cutesy appearance but looks can be deceiving. A secret lockable compartment was hidden within their torso, ensuring that you could sleep soundly, knowing that the five bucks grandma gave you wouldn’t fund your brother’s Jolly Rancher addiction.
Understanding that small parts such as plastic keys might not be wise to put in the hands of the smallest children, Tonka also released the Baby Keyper, which simply snapped closed, rather than needing to be locked. Sure, they didn’t provide the ironclad security that only a plastic key can provide, but they still managed to conceal those little keepsakes from the coveting eyes of those filching family members who persisted in trying to get their grubby little mitts on your personal property. And, in the dog-eat-dog world of sibling snatchery, you needed all the help you could get.
Were you the proud owner of a Keyper? What valuables did you keep stored within? Share all your memories of this 80s toy with us in our comments section.