Monchhichi

Monchhichi

In the mid-70s, the Japanese unleashed the cuddly, thumb sucking monkeys called Monchhichi on an unsuspecting world. But it wasn’t until 1980, when Hanna-Barbera decided to follow up their decidedly cute Saturday morning offering, The Smurfs, with another adorable addition. Working with Mattel Toys, the two conspired to bring the lovable Monchhichi to the airwaves and, of course, the toy stores. Continue reading...

Upsy Downsy

Upsy Downsy

The year was 1969 and lava lamp-laden hippies roamed the earth. Besides gathering together for the lovefest that was Woodstock, they also helped to create a fashion style that went so far as to invade the toy world. The result was a set of colorful characters that had their own little commune of psychedelic happiness, the groovy and ever-lovable Mattel Upsy Downsys. Continue reading...

Battling Tops

Battling Tops

Assuming you didn't have access to cockfights and bare-knuckle boxing bouts as a kid, the next best thing to getting your gladiatorial fix was Battle Tops. Once you released your spinning top into the plastic arena, you could sit back and watch the carnage erupt as you cheered on your fearless plastic cohort and hoped that, once the dust cleared, it emerged the last one standing, er, spinning. Continue reading...

Holly Hobbie Oven

Holly Hobbie Oven

It arrived on the toy aisle almost a decade after its Easy-Bake competitor, but its appearance gave the impression that it was century older. Fashioned after an antique stove, the Holly Hobbie Oven gave youngsters the ability to bake cookies and cakes just like mom ... or more appropriately, just like grandma. Continue reading...

He-Man

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Every generation has its pantheon of great toys. In the 1980s, toys such as Transformers and G.I. Joes were the Titans of the toy world. But the masters were He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Clad essentially in nothing but furry briefs and all-terrain Ughs, He-Man nevertheless captured the fancy of thousands if not millions of little boys across the country. Continue reading...

Glamour Heads

Glamour Heads

For years, little girls rummaged through Mom’s makeup bag, anxious to delve into a world of lipstick, eyeliner, blush – pretty much anything else that would give them that look of stylish sophistication that all the older girls possessed. Therefore, moms everywhere rejoiced at the introduction of the Glamour Head series of styling centers, allowing little girls to practice their beauty secrets to their little heart’s content. Mom could relax knowing that little Mary was tarting up a plastic head, rather than making herself look like an up-and-coming circus performer for all the neighbors to see. More importantly, mom no longer had to worry about her makeup stash being prematurely depleted. Continue reading...

Uno

Uno

Nothing brings a family together like a nice game of cards. But many games are either too complex for the little ones to get a handle on, or too simplistic for the older crowd to enjoy. Then, along came Uno - a card game that could be learned in a few minutes but proved addictive enough to keep families playing until the wee hours of morning. This balance of simplicity and challenge has made Uno one of the most beloved card games of all time. Continue reading...

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite had one goal in life – to bring color back to Rainbowland. Along with her friends, the Color Kids and the furry Sprite animals, a world of black and white stood no chance. Meanwhile, back in realityland, Rainbow Brite toys were quite popular in the 80s and spawned a sizable multimedia franchise that lasted well into the next century. Continue reading...