A Trip Down Memory Lane: 12 Amazing Things 80s Kids Loved to Collect

People have different hobbies according to their interests. Some are into extreme sports, while others prefer more relaxing hobbies, such as painting or gardening. Others enjoy collecting different types of collectible and valuable items, such as vintage stamps, baseball cards, stackable rings, and other interesting trinkets.

12 Awesome Things ‘80s Kids Used to Collect

The ‘80s was one of the best decades when people collected cool and awesome stuff. Here are some of the most common collectibles that ‘80s kids had back in the day.

1. Stickers

Whether they’re ordinary stickers or the ones from Panini, stickers were a childhood staple of someone who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. The most popular stickers were the glittery sparkling kind and cartoon character stickers.

2. Cereal Bowls

Cereal bowls, especially from Kellogg’s, were a huge thing back in the day. These cereal bowls featured the characters that represented each variant—Snap, Crackle, Pop, Coco the Monkey, and Tony the Tiger. These vintage goodies are selling at pretty great prices on eBay. If you still have them with you and you’re willing to part with them, you might be surprised at how much people are willing to shell out to add these to their collections.

3. Micro Machines

Most of the boys in our neighborhood had at least a handful of Micro Machines miniature cars. Some even had those portable foldable playsets called Travel City. These things had the habit of disappearing in hard-to-reach places, such as behind the refrigerator, the sofa, or in some random shelf or drawer around the house.

4. Cabbage Patch Kids

One of the most popular toys that every little girl wanted in the ‘80s was Cabbage Patch Kids. These little soft-cloth dolls with plastic heads came in different designs and were fairly easy to collect. These were so popular among ‘80s kids that those who grew up in the decade are willing to pay good money to get their hands on some of them again.

The Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were created and designed by Xavier Roberts, who based it from another toy line he created called The Little People. However, the name “Cabbage Patch Kids” was actually the idea of Roger L. Schlaifer, a licensing agent who convinced Roberts to sell the dolls worldwide. For more information on this specific toy line, check out The Interesting Origins of Cabbage Patch Kids.

5. Garbage Pail Kids

One of the reasons kids, especially boys, from the ‘80s and ‘90s were tough as nails is that they were exposed to these disgusting characters at such a young and impressionable age. These cards, intended as some sort of spoof of the Cabbage Patch Kids, were their grosser versions. But hey, you have to admit that they were very creative. We even appreciate them more now as adults, especially since we now understand the references made on the cards.

6. Action Figures

Almost every little boy who grew up in the ‘80s had their own action figures. Whether they’re Star Wars, M.A.S.K., Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, or Thundercats, we all had a blast playing pretend with our action figures in our bedrooms and backyards. A boy and his trusty ol’ action figures spent countless hours of fun and imaginary play. G.I. Joe is considered to be the toy line that made action figures popular. The action figure is a type of toy that is inspired by fashion dolls or plastic dolls, but the difference is that the action figure is designed to be enjoyed more by boys, as fashion dolls are originally meant to be played with by girls. To know more about action figures and other types of dolls, check out our article, “What Types of Dolls Have Been Popular from Various Eras?

7. Badges

Badges were pretty popular in the ‘80s. We pinned them on our bags and jackets. Some kids even owned hundreds of them as these can be easily found as freebies in magazines or birthday cards. They’re easy to find and cheap, which made collecting them a breeze.

8. Comic Books

Comic books from online comic books store were a big part of one’s childhood. The ‘80s and the ‘90s saw an unprecedented rise in the popularity of comic books, especially when a lot of comic book characters made their way to Saturday morning cartoons. From DC’s best superman comics to Marvel Comics to Archie Comics Digests, comic books can be found in kids’ rooms all across America.

9. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Bobbsey Twins Books

For kids who loved to read something more serious than comic books, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Bobbsey Twins were their go-to novel series. The young super sleuths’ series were such a hit that they all had their extended series in paperback prints. The hardbacks still make for a better display today.

10. Freebie Toys

Different food products geared toward kids had a lot of freebies back then. From Kellogg’s Cereals to Kinder Surprise Eggs, kids were looking forward to the toys more than the treats.

11. Spokies

Every kid who rode their BMX bikes around the neighborhood knew what spokies were. These cute collectible items were attached to the spokes of their bike wheels. They came in different designs, from reflectorized spokies to ones that made clucking sounds warning people of your approach.

12. Yoyos

Almost every ‘80s kid owned at least one or two yo-yos, especially when those silver and gold edition Coca-Cola yo-yos came out. It’s not uncommon to find kids hanging out after school “walking the dog” or going “around the world,” trying to outdo one another with their yo-yo tricks.

What other things do you know that kids from this decade collected? Are you also a collector? What are some of the things you collect? Share the with us in the comments section below, and let’s see how much we all have in common.