Nostalgia trip | From Hungry Hungry Hippos to Pound Puppies, Brits reveal their best-loved toys of the 1980s

Hungry Hungry Hippos, Pound Puppies, and the TreeTots Family Treehouse have all been named among the top ten most era-defining toys of the 1980s, according to a survey of some 40,000 nostalgic British parents this year.

 Taking participants on a trip down memory lane to an age dominated by terrestrial TV, mix tapes, and a lot of hair cuts, the online nostalgia-focused platform, Eighties Kids set out to uncover the best-loved and best-remembered toys played with and owned by children of the ’80s.

 From emerging technology found in the SEGA Mega Drive and Speak & Spell, to toys that fuelled our imaginations, such as Fashion Wheel and Spirograph, and the divisive Cabbage Patch Kids, over 40,000 Brits have had their say, with the TreeTots Family Treehouse revealed as the number one item of the era.

 The now iconic pop-up treehouse, complete with nuclear plastic family – originally brought to audiences by Kenner Toys in 1975 – topped the polling, followed closely by the Nintendo Game Boy and Care Bears.

 Over the past three months, the poll has invited the public to list and vote for their favourite toys from the era, resulting in a ranked list of 153 classic toys, games and gadgets that take us straight back to the days of ET and Kajagoogoo. 

 Other items in the top-ten include LEGO, Fuzzy Felt, Etch A Sketch, Pound Puppies, Hungry Hungry Hippos, The Big Yellow Teapot and SEGA Mega Drive. The voting also threw up some of the biggest toy franchises still hitting the big numbers today, including Barbie, Mr Potato Head, Polly Pocket, and Playmobil, all of which have been at the centre of respective revamps over the decades.

 80sKids founder, Oliver Jones, said: “The lockdown has spurred a nostalgia for simpler times, where technology and entertainment was uncomplicated and wholesome. 

“This quiz, which has attracted over 200,000 views to date, has really captured the British public’s imagination and I’m delighted to see a mix of unforgettable technology, imagination-based, educational and craft toys on the list – it’s like reconnecting with old friends.”

The Top Ten Best Loved Toys of the 1980s according to 80sKids, are:

  1. Tree Tots Family Treehouse
  2. Nintendo Game Boy
  3. Care Bears
  4. LEGO
  5. Fuzzy Felts
  6. Etch a Sketch
  7. Pound Puppies
  8. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  9. The Big Yellow Tea Pot House
  10. SEGA Mega Drive

Discover the list in full here.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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