80s | 90s | Life | Toys

10 Iconic Toys From Your Childhood That You Couldn't Live Without

Let's be honest for a second, it's the internet, there is no one here to judge you. When you were growing up, what did you care the most about?

Was it your family? No, that's just what you said near Christmas so you would get good gifts. Was it your friends? No, they weren't always there for you when you needed them. The thing we all cared about more than anything was our elaborate and extensive toy collections.

Sure, does that make us all a little bit materialistic and selfish? Probably. But those are the facts and there's not much we can do to change the way we thought when we were young, and obviously now we know what really matters.

Even though we have now grown up into less greedy little monsters, it's still fun to look back on the time when we could be purely selfish and become tiny dragons hoarding their treasure. A lot of us had the same things in our collections, and these were the items that we were the most excited about.

1. Monchhichi

These little monkeys were so important to us. Were they monkeys? Or were they tiny babies in monkey costumes? Either way, everyone had to have one (or more than one) of these little things.

Most of the time you'd end up receiving a bunch of them as gifts, often wearing different outfits, and you loved all of them like they were your hair little children.

2. Cabbage Patch Kids

Getting your first real Cabbage Patch doll was an actual huge deal. You would peel back the wrapping paper on your birthday or Christmas to reveal the sweet little face you had been wishing for and then you were immediately in love.

The exciting thing about Cabbage Patch Kids is that they have their little birth certificate so that's how you learn their birthdate and their name and it was just such a wonderful moment.

3. Backflipping Puppy

Maybe it was just me, but I think a lot of kids out there were absolutely obsessed with the idea of getting their own dog. How did our parents try to combat that when they didn't want to adopt a new family member? Well, they kept our toy boxes stocked with a bunch of different stuffed animals to try and fill the void.

The backflipping puppies probably had a real name, but I think we all know the ones I mean. You would turn it on, it would make this high pitched squeaky bark and it could walk a few steps before it would sit down to prepare for a backflip.

I don't think I ever appreciated the physics of the toy until now, because I don't know about you but mine made the jump roughly 99% of the time unless there was something in the way. The fact that toy makers could engineer something that kids would think is cute but also make it reliable is really pretty impressive.

Those aren't the only toys that made a huge impact on our lives...

4. Transformers

On a scale of one to ten, how mad do you think the toy developers were when someone came to them with this idea? "Hey, I need you to make a super cool looking robot, but when you bend all of its arms and legs in it turns into a super cool car. Thanks, bye!"

I don't know how someone starts this process, but I am really glad they did. Playing with Transformers was a real highlight for a lot of kids, and our lives wouldn't be the same without them!

5. Strawberry Shortcake

People talk a lot about the iconic scent of a Cabbage Patch doll, but there is nothing quite like that artificial berry scent that come off of a Strawberry Shortcake doll. If you were to throw a Strawberry Shortcake doll into a room full of 30 year olds, even if they were blindfolded they could tell you what it was.

It's one of those scents that is now burned into our memory. I haven't seen my Strawberry Shortcake figure in roughly 25 years, but I still remember that smell as if I was holding it in my hands right now.

6. Lego

Your lego collection was something that would give you pride and joy. For the most part when we were young, there weren't as many "sets" like there are now. I feel like it used to be a lot more common just to buy a big ol' box of loose pieces that you could fit together into whatever you want. No rules, no instructions, and no need to color coordinate.

Sure, your mom would yell at you every time you dumped the bucket out on the floor, but how else were you going to get all the pieces you needed? Digging through Lego hurt, not as bad as stepping on it, but still.

While personally I love the sets you can buy now, there was something so wonderfully special about creating something awesome out of nothing.  I mean, how else would you build a huge rocket that had wheels for some reason, and also a small place to load horses? Or maybe your cool castle featuring real people built right into the walls.

No matter what you were building, Lego was the most creative and wonderful tool that would let you go completely crazy as often as you wanted to.

7. Play-Doh

Play-Doh, like Strawberry Shortcake, is one of those smells that you can identify with your eyes closed. It's such a distinct scent that there's no way you can even just walk by some Play-Doh without getting flashbacks to your childhood.

Personally, I was always a big fan of the Fun Factory set, but maybe that's because it was the only one I had. I always wanted the barber set, but I still had so much fun making my own creations.

The only thing about Play-Doh that was annoying was when you wanted to put it away. If you were like me, you tended to make a lot of colorful creations. For example, your unicorn would be blue but its hair was purple, and the tail was pink, and the horn was yellow, etc, but when you went to put it away, you either needed to carefully pull it all back apart, or just commit and smush it all together. I ended up with a lot of tubs of various shades of greyish brown...

We still had even more treasures in our kid-sized dragon hoards...

8. Lite-Brite

"Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite, shine so bright, beautiful colors come to life!" Not only was the toy an absolute treasure, the commercial jingle is still stuck in my head over twenty years later, so you know someone did a good job on that!

It was the best thing ever, especially for those of us who were a little bit (okay, a lot) afraid of the dark. This way, you could build a custom nightlight as often as you wanted. You could make it brighter by adding more pegs into the board, but you could also just make some pretty amazing dseigns.

I used to get all of the Disney pages that had essentially paint-by-numbers markings on them so you knew exactly which color went where. That way you could have your perfectly designed Ariel night light one night, and then the next, switch it out for Belle.

9. Puppy Surprise

Maybe I am a little bit bias because I wanted my own puppy so much, but literally anything that was puppy themed was 100% my favorite. My Puppy Surprise was a gift for my sixth birthday and I was SO excited I thought my little heart was going to explode.

It was such an exciting moment when you had to open the mommy dog's tummy to see how many puppies she was going to have. Looking back it's a bit of a rough caesarean, but she makes it through like a champ.

Mine had three puppies, two girls and a boy, and I loved all of them so much it was ridiculous.

10. Teddy Ruxspin

Okay, so those eyes were maybe a little bit intense, but you've got to admit, he was one popular little dude. Teaching kids to read is such an important thing, and the fact that we could have this really cute little buddy help us out was always a really comforting fact.

He sang to us, he told us stories when we were bored, and basically he was one of the first pieces of technology a lot of us became obsessed with. My favorite thing was when I would be sick and my mom would set him up to tell me stories while she made me soup or something and I would just lay in bed listening to stories and cuddling with a cute bear who I loved (even if he was a little bit creepy).

All of these toys made a huge impact on our childhood, but they aren't the only ones out there that kids loved. Let us know on Facebook which toys were your absolute favorites as a kid!

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