Playground Fads 1980’s Style


Remember the school playground and the craze that ruled? Our social status was established by material possessions such as these items. Which ones did you have or trade?

Pencil Toppers

They came from cereal packets to take over the world. Pencil toppers were the stationery addition that every child had to have. You could always get one from a quarter vending machine at your local supermarket too!

Deely Boppers

If you couldn’t cut the mustard with the big hair then you had a second bite of the cherry with a dashing pair of Deely Boppers wobbling about on your head.

Mood Rings

The jewelry must have that determined your mood by the temperature of what it was touching. They were almost always black which indicated ‘stormy’ though.

Garbage Pail Kids

Originally released in 1985 and designed to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which were immensely popular at the time. You had to make sure they were in protective sleeves to keep their value yet on the playground, the corners did get a little bent. Which was your favorite funny name?

Monster Finger Puppets

These little plastic puppets that were all teeth and flailing arms became a staple of birthday party bags before adorning the fingers of boys in playgrounds across the nation, as they act out their Godzilla (and Godzuki) stories. Swapping one with a classmate meant you were pals for the day.

Slap Bands (Or Slap Bracelets)

Who would have thought that a strip of sprung plastic would become public enemy number one in schools but after a few injuries were incurred, the bans started to happen. Of course, this made them all the more desirable.


It could be Halloween everyday with a Boglin on your hand. These were typical of a craze that went from nothing to everywhere before disappearing again.

Calculator Watches

Maths lessons were never as easy as the time when watches decided to look futuristic with the addition of a chunky calculator. Covering your whole wrist and with buttons so small that even a child’s finger couldn’t accurately use it. Wonder why they didn’t last?

Handheld LCD Games

Own a piece of the future with Donkey Kong on an amazing handheld game that was guaranteed to wow. This Italian advert makes it seem all the more exciting than it was, which is pretty good seeing as it was the height of cool to have one.

Spokey Dokes

If you were looking to pimp your Chopper or Grifter then look no further than Spokey Dokes. No bike ride would ever be quiet again.

Rubik’s Cube


Trying to get all the same colors to their prospective sides was harder than you thought! Once mastered, you ruled the playground and classroom. You enjoyed the high 5’s while they lasted. This made you a brainiac!

Jelly Bracelets

A search of Google can reveal the answer to anything. Except, apparently, how many jelly bracelets were sold in the 1980s. Our recent investigation was fruitless, quite possibly because infinity is a number that cannot be measured.

Buttons And Pins


You made sure to wear your favorite singer or band plus let’s not forget the popular phrases and words like “radical” and “cowabunga dude”. You made sure to cover your shirt or jeans jacket. The more the merrier!