It was the 80’s, the dawn of the awesome toy era. From My Little Pony to G.I. Joe, Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids and Star Wars the toy machine was in overdrive. Advertising bombarded us kids with more toys than our little hearts could handle. We swam in a sea of wants. Though not all our desires could be fulfilled, this was the time to be a kid.

I recently visited The Powerhouse Museum‘s 80’s exhibition. It’s a bit surreal. And it makes us Gen ‘X’s feel a little old. First you see  a wall of very familiar records, old clunky computers and games and some outrageous outfits but it was the toy section that threw me. It felt very wrong to see some beloved toys locked in glass cabinets. What had they done to deserve such treatment? It’s not like they are antiques or anything. The poor things were crying out to be played with and my kids were upset that they couldn’t have a go. Afterall, many of the 80’s toys have been reproduced for the modern child, so it felt a little odd to my littlies as well.

The exhibition held toys such as the full band of Barbie and the Rockers, a couple of Cabbage Patch Kids, Star Wars figures (so that’s what Princess Leia looks like with her head on) and of course My Little Pony figures.

And there was one doll I had completely forgotten, the My Child doll. Do you remember? It has felt for skin, a little round nose and crystal clear eyes with real feeling hair. I remember one of my friends having this doll. I loved it!

image by wrapped in grey (talk)

It’s amazing the memories that flood back. All those playdates with buddies, ogling their toys, yearning for a certain toy of your own. One toy I was in love with was my friend’s oven. She had plastic, bendy food and this magnificent appliance that looked so real. Only recently did I find out that the mum actually made it out of a stereo system of all things. So I spent all that time eyeing off a one of a kind oven stereo. It’s funny how you see things as a kid. ‘Tis a lesson for us parents.

I love looking back at the 80’s. Probably because I actually don’t remember a lot of it (not due to drugs but simply a bad memory). I love peering back through those rose coloured glasses, remembering the toys, music and even the dodgy clothes. It was the dawn of a new era. Technology was on the move and with it new toys, games and the like. Excitement hung like a wet rag on a summer’s day. The best (or better) was to come. As good as things are today, I still like to take a moment to try on those rosy glasses and enjoy the kitsch and fun of that embarrassing decade.

 

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