For a start here are the top Christmas Gifts Santa delivered during the 1980s.
The Top Christmas Gifts of the 1980s
So, 1980 the start of the decade, all we wanted for Christmas was the latest craze, a Rubik's Cube. "Designed in 1974 by a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture, Erno Rubik. It was originally called the Magic Cube and was licensed to be sold by the Ideal Toy Corporation in 1980." (Wikipedia) It was a craze that swept the world, and since its international launch in 1980 over 350 million cubes have been solved.
[nerd alert: there are 43 quintillion different combinations, apparently]
[nerd alert - Lego is the world's biggest manufacturer of tyres and by 2011 annual production was 381 million tyres, more than twice that of other major tyre manufacturers including Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear!!]
BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Sothern California, drawing inspiration from the motocross superstars of the time. The size and availability of the Schwinn Sting-Ray made it the natural bike of choice, since they were easily customized for better handling and performance. BMX racing was a phenomenon by the mid-1970s and children were racing standard road bikes off-road, around purpose-built tracks in California.
[nerd alert - the first BMX World Championships were held in 1982]
His Little People were not offered for sale, but were "adopted" each with their own individual name and birth certificate. Many other soft sculpture dolls dating back to the 1800s were created using similar needle molding techniques, but the execution of Xavier's own design has been certified to be unique and copyrightable as a work of art.
The Little People were first offered at arts and crafts shows, then later at Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia. The doll brand went on to become one of the most popular toy fads of the 1980s and one of the longest-running doll franchises in America.
The name change to Cabbage Patch Kids was made in 1982 when Xavier's company, Original Appalachian Artworks, began to license a smaller version of the hand made creations to a toy manufacturer named Coleco. An abbreviated version of the discovery legend was reproduced on every Cabbage Patch Kids product from 1983 onward.
[nerd alert: to date roughly 115 million dolls have been sold worldwide!]
The Transformers (retroactively called Generation 1 or G1) started as a joint venture between two companies: Hasbro of America and Takara of Japan. After an idea to rebrand and sell Takara's Diaclone and Microchange robot toys as a whole new line with a new concept behind it, Hasbro unknowingly would wind up creating what would be one of its longest-running franchises.
In contrast to today's franchises, which tend by design to run 12 to 18 months, Generation 1 was essentially an unbroken line from 1984 to 1991; its logo and packaging format only underwent one major change in that time.
[nerd alert - Optimus Prime has been around since Generation 1]
The Care Bears are a group of multi-coloured bear characters created by American Greetings Corporation, LLC in 1981, through its Those Characters From Cleveland research and development division, for use on greeting cards. The original artwork for the cards was painted by artist Elena Kucharik. In 1983, Kenner turned the Care Bears into plush teddy bears. The Care Bears appeared in TV specials called The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings (1983) and The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine (1984). They then had a television series from 1985 to 1988, and three feature films: The Care Bears Movie (1985), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986), The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987).
Each Care Bear comes in a different colour and has a specialized insignia on its belly that represents its duty and personality. This insignia was known as their "tummy symbol." However, the movie Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! renamed them "belly badges." Adding to the Care Bear family are the "Care Bear Cousins", which feature a lion, rabbit, penguin, raccoon, monkey, elephant, pig, dog, cat, and other such animals created in the same style as the teddy bears
[nerd alert - over 40 million bears were sold between 1983 and 1987 and over 70 million have been sold since the relaunch in 2007]
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By 1986 technology was beginning to infiltrate our Christmas wish lists and this year the best selling toy was Lazer Tag - pretty much an early home version of Laser Quest and children couldn't get enough of lighting each other's chest pads up by pointing a plastic gun at them.
The Lazer Tag brand name was acquired by Shoot The Moon Products of Pleasanton, CA, after Worlds Of Wonder ceased operations in late 1990. Since then, the brand name has been licensed to Tiger Electronics from 1996–1998 and to Hasbro from 2004–present under the Nerf banner.
In August 2012, Hasbro released an all-new Lazer Tag line, which allows users to integrate their iPhone or iPod Touch units with the blasters. The provided apps convert the smartphones into HUD units, which display power levels and update players' gaming progress on an online leaderboard. Gaming experience is further enhanced with unlockable attacks and gear.
The ball consists of about 2,000 natural rubber filaments, and has been released in a variety of color combinations. A variation was the Koosh Kins line of Koosh balls with cartoon faces and hands. Koosh Kins was made into a comic book mini-series by Archie Comics, where they kept their cartoon-like appearance.
Koosh balls are often used with QuickStart tennis exercises to help children develop motor skills.
Koosh balls are currently manufactured by Hasbro, and the brand has recently expanded into different product lines starting with Koosh Galaxy. The new line consists of toy blasters that fire foam balls similar to the original Nerf ball, and includes a cross-promotion with Angry Birds Star Wars
The Real Ghostbusters Toy line was created by Kenner from 1986 through 1991. It was mostly related to the Animated Series, however the Ecto-1a and ECTO-Charger where both related to the Ghostbusters II Film.
It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, and was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo Research & Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Redesigned versions were released in 1996 and 1998, in the form of Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Light (Japan only), respectively.
The Game Boy is Nintendo's second handheld system following the Game & Watch series introduced in 1980, and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch. It was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.
As part of the fourth generation of gaming, the Game Boy competed with the Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and the TurboExpress. Despite these other handheld consoles, the Game Boy was a tremendous success.
[nerd alert - GameBoy and its successor GameBoy Colour have sold in total 118.69 million units worldwide and upon its release in the United States it sold its entire shipment of 1 million units within a few weeks!]