Ah, the ’80s — a time of leg warmers, acid-washed jeans, and totally tubular tunes…and a lot of other stuff. Maybe you’ve blocked out the memories of how you used to style your hair in public. Perhaps you don’t remember the simple joys of light-up art. Remember when you once had to blindly fast-forward or rewind a cassette to catch your favorite song? Wait, back up, a cassette?

Those are just a few of the nine items we bet you totally used to love, until you forgot they existed.


Photo Courtesy of Sony

This might sound crazy, but you couldn’t always listen to music on your phone. In fact, they even used to have long twisty cords attached to walls! But we digress. Before smart phones, the Walkman was a portable cassette (another throwback) player that made it possible to jam out on the go.


Photo Courtesy of Playskool

Mr. Frosty
So many ‘80s toys tried to make cooking cool. The EZ Bake Oven gets most of the street-cred, but we’re nostalgic for the more gender-neutral, Mr. Frosty. It chopped and churned ice into little piles of slush, which were then drenched in sinfully sweet, heavy syrups. Chemical ignorance was bliss!

lite brite

Photo Courtesy of Hasbro

Lite Brite
‘80s kids were really easy to entertain. Hasbro let us play “digital” artist by sticking a bunch of glowing pegs into a box that lit up unique designs. From animals to rainbows, this retro gem was truly illuminating. Sorry, had to.


Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Slap Bracelets
Here’s an idea: give children a sharp object covered in colorful prints and let them smack themselves with it! That was the idea for this “bracelet.” It was made of layered, steel spring bands which curved to fit the wrist when slapped against the forearm. Somehow, it was banned in several schools.


Photo Courtesy of Sebastian

Crimping Iron
Fun fact: Barbra Streisand was the first celeb to reportedly covet crimped hair, leading Sebastian Professional co-founder, Geri Cusenza, to create the crimping iron after working with her. It wasn’t long before the trend took hold and soon any freestanding hair was fit to be crimped.


Photo Courtesy of Bronx Banter Blog

Trapper Keeper
A Trapper Keeper was a brightly colored three-ring binder holding folders called Trappers, secured with a wrap-around Velcro flap. These bad boys all had themes: Lisa Frank unicorns, cartoons, TV shows, video games, and of course, terrifically cheesy ’80s graphics.


Photo Courtesy of toyrus.com

Skip-It made exercise fun, but experience showed it also separated klutzes from the athletically inclined. A loop around the ankle connected to a ball and chain that you continuously skipped over. It tracked each hop and was basically the jump rope’s cooler cousin. Possibly the precursor to fit-tracking technology?


Photo Courtesy of CostumeCraze

Teddy Ruxpin
Finally, a stuffed animal that held its weight in the kid-toy relationship. Teddy came with cassettes inserted into his back so he could “read” to you at bedtime. He let parents off the hook and gave kids an interactive friendship. He was also the inspiration for the movie Ted!


Photo Courtesy of Texas Instruments

Speak and Spell
You gotta give the ‘80s credit for toys that doubled as educational. Speak and Spell helped millions with spelling thanks to a chip that dictated words for kids (and bored adults) to spell out on the keyboard. This prehistoric Siri even played a supporting role in E.T.

xx, The FabFitFun Team