4 MORE Weird Things That Kids Loved in the 80’s

Posted on February 07, 2011
Views: 15,189

Subscribe to our newsletter



Back by popular demand, it’s that 80’s article coming at you again. Last time we took a look at some of the more unusual retro junk which kids from the Goonies lovin’ era simply loved. We discussed the legendary Pee-wee Herman, a messy little show called Double Dare and some really bizarre collectibles. This time we’ll be discussing four more things which are sure to bring back some memories. For today’s youth we’re certain the following selection of oddities might make you thankful you were born much later.



The Rubik’s Cube


The Rubik's Cube was a notoriously difficult puzzle game invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor, Ernő Rubik. We believe the cube is named after him but we’ll have to research that even further to know for certain.


The “Magic Cube” as it was originally named debuted at toy fairs in London, Paris, Germany and New York in early 1980. Suffice to say, the addicting puzzle was an immediate hit.


The original Rubik's Cube contained six faces covered by nine stickers consisting of six solid colors (white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow). A device within the cube enabled each multi-colored face to turn independently, mixing up all the colors and driving you mad. In order to solve the puzzle you either had make each face appear as a solid color or just never mix it up to begin with. If you happen to own a Rubik’s Cube and you’re having trouble with it just watch this three year old solve the puzzle in record time…



THE COMEBACK TRAIL – Much like many novelty items this puzzle game never truly went away. Granted, its popularity isn’t what it was back in the 1980’s. However, competitions for “Speed Cubing” (solving Rubik's Cubes in the shortest times possible) have remained popular around the world ever since the first event from 1981.


Cabbage Patch Kids


We know what you may be thinking… okay they’re dolls, so what? Well you wouldn’t know it just by looking at their cold dead (stickered on) eyes and oddly misshapen heads but these cuddly little freaks were all the rage at one time. And by rage we mean parents nearly killed each other just to grab one in time for Christmas. The Cabbage Patch Kids were created by Debbie Morehead (whose last name likely made her popular in school) and Xavier Roberts whose name was branded onto the a** of each doll.


The rather distinct doll brand was undoubtedly one of the most popular toy fads of the decade. We find this somewhat interesting considering their Snooki-like features.


Aside from the fact that the dolls would likely scare the crap even out of Chucky – little girls adored them anyway. Adults with way too much time on their hands also sought after the dolls as prized collectibles. Topps obviously had a little too much love for them. They famously parodied the dolls with their Garbage Pail Kids trading cards which we talked about last time. However, claims of trademark infringement arose because Topps never bothered asking permission to make their weird homage.


Coleco, the holders of the Cabbage Patch Kids license at the time insisted that Topps “cease and desist” cranking out their gross-out cards or show them the money. The case never made it to court though because Topps wisely settled. In the end, Topps agreed to modify the Garbage Pail Kids' appearance so as to not infringe upon the Cabbage Patch Kids trademarked unique appearance.

THE COMEBACK TRAIL – Although the rights holders may have changed over the years the dolls never stopped being made. In fact in 2008 all of the U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates had a Cabbage Patch Kid made in their likeness.



Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood


Mister Rogers' Neighborhood starred the one and only Fred Rogers. The popular PBS children’s show hit its peak in the 1980’s (inspiring many a spoof) but it actually began way back as 1968. The series ran into the early 2000’s but by then folks were way too jaded to take Fred Rogers gentle and completely non-threatening demeanor seriously anymore. We suppose once the new millennium began the song “Won't You Be My Neighbor” stood in stark contrast to a reality which included George Bush bombing his way to “freedom”. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood however remains the second longest running series on PBS, after the mega popular Sesame Street.


Episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood never really had plots per say. They mostly consisted of the beloved host casually speaking directly to the viewer (kids and pot-heads) about various issues and teaching moral lessons as a jazzy soundtrack played in the background. To keep things moving, Mister Rogers would often take slow methodical tours around his neighborhood which essentially meant visits to the post office, an antique shop, a firehouse, some random wood carving store or local music shops.



The thirty minute episodes were always highlighted by an offbeat puppet segment via a small red trolley which would take viewers into the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe”.


THE COMEBACK TRAIL – Sadly Fred Rogers passed away in 2003 and his show no longer airs. We’re going to avoid any off-color jokes about the possibility of a zombie Mister Rogers returning to wreak havoc on kids with his loyal killer puppets.


Pogo Balls


Last but not least on our prestigious list is the Hasbro Pogo Ball. This popular 80’s toy basically served the same function as a pogo stick except it was considerably goofier looking. The Pogo Ball was essentially a rubber ball with a bright plastic octagonal platform firmly attached around it. You (the test subject) would stand on the cheesy neon colored platform squeezing the upper half of the ball with your feet and then proceed to jump. Many a child would bounce around on this inane contraption until they either got bored, tired or seriously injured.


The toughest thing about the Pogo Ball was balancing your weight long enough to even get to the point of being able to jump. The second toughest thing was realizing you can easily jump higher without the blasted contraption. Nevertheless, anything that got kids out of the house was something that made parents happy. For those curious enough to see this thing in action check out the really bizarre vintage commercial below…



THE COMEBACK TRAIL – Hasbro manufactured the Pogo Ball until the early 1990s. It can now be purchased as a “Lolo Ball” from other manufacturers. The classic versions can likely be found on eBay. There’s also a ton of extreme (mountain dew drinking) pogo ballers all over youtube should you decide to waste even more time on the internet than you already do.

Written by Anthony Quaglia – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com

Page 1 of 2

Latest Articles

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

People all over the world have different tastes in all sorts of things. Music, movies, television, politics, and so forth. And in some cases, it’s their actual tastes that vary...

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

Kids say the darndest things, as the old saying goes. They also say some of the most horrifying things, as well. Most of the time it’s just because they don’t know any better...

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

Hospitals can be scary places. They’re sterile and often impersonal, and oh yeah, there are often people dying all around you. And let’s not even get into the fact that...

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

People like their booze, and have for centuries upon centuries. It’s not a secret that basically as long as there have been human beings roaming the Earth, there have been human...

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

With a few odd exceptions, people love sex. Sex sells, people enjoy watching it, and more importantly, people enjoy having it. That’s because sex makes you feel good, and it...

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

Believe it or not, music videos are actually things that still exist, despite the fact that channels like MTV would have you believe otherwise. Celebrities popping up in a music...

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

One of the hardest things about writing fiction is coming up with interesting, fully developed side characters. After all, you can’t spend too much time on them because you...

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is an absolute juggernaut. There’s no denying it. Along with Walking Dead, you’d be hard pressed to find a television show that gets more online chatter that...

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

With the return of the immensely successful and wildly popular Game of Thrones, it’s only natural to look at the bookshelf and imagine what books may have a chance to rival the...

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

First things first, let’s not pretend that zombie movies are ever going to be exactly “normal.” After all, we’re talking about movies that center on the conceit that the...