Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Barely Remembered ‘80s Toys

I gave you fair warning the other day that there was cheap and lazy nostalgia to be done and here is some more of it. If you’re not interested in a whole posts worth of “Hey, weren’t those old toys weird/ugly/utterly bizarre” then prob best to give it a skip for today and come back later on.

There is a place were odd half-formed thoughts and partially regurgitated memories come bubbling up on a regular basis, sometimes to fade back away and sometimes to stick around for a little bit longer, like today. It’s called the shower and it’s where I do all of my best thinking.* This morning, an old toy just sort of popped into head and perched there, for some reason refusing to fade away...

Way back in the dim and distant of the 1980s when hair was big and you could still find dried out white dog poos just lying on the street**, The Brother and I had a load of these weird toys. They were basically misshapen rubber balls with weird lumpy faces on it. They were largely functionless as, due to their lumpy nature, they were no longer aerodynamic and bounced erratically. Still that did not prevent us from coveting them as they were weird and gross-looking and, being in that respect fairly traditional children, we were naturally drawn to gross things (as our large collection of Garbage Pail Kids cards would demonstrate).

Thinking of these weird and functionless toys lead me on to…

M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures
I think these were pretty niche. These were weird little wrestling figures made of hard plastic, all in pink, that came in these little plastic dustbins of 10 or bigger boxes of 28. Some of them looked like relatively straightforward wrestlers but others were a bit more out there. One of them was basically an upside down pyramid with a square head on it. And by pyramid I mean that it appeared to be made out of brick too. A quick internet search just now has revealed that they were in fact based upon a late 70s Japanese manga so that probably explains a lot.

And finally my mind came to upon…

Basically an ugly rubbery gobliny glove puppet. Maybe slightly more function as it was a glove puppet but I still feel that it’s main purpose was to “be an ugly toy”.

Do kids today still have weirdly ugly toys? Things that are gross for the sake of being gross? I guess with the ability to access pretty much anything disgusting via YouTube, there’s probably less need for gross-out toys these days. Or is it just that I’m not an 8 year old so don;t know what the latest gross toys are? It’s probably that one, I imagine.

* No, not when I’m sitting on the toilet. Thats reading time.

** To answer the question “oh yeah, why don’t you see white dog poo in the street anymore”, you didn't have to pick them up in the 80s so no one bothered hence they would lie around baking nicely in the sun

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