The 1980s were flush with playthings of all sorts as toy manufacturers competed for as many yuppie dollars as they could rake in as young professionals started raising their families. These gnarly 1980s ride-on toys were an outcropping of that effort, and they still make pretty sweet rides today.
Since 1984, Power Wheels has brought to life the wildest automotive fantasies of kids and adults alike. In an era where a kid could ride on practically any piece of machinery made, Power Wheels were among the most popular rides for little tykes everywhere.
Fisher Price Sit n’ Spin
This toy is a little more sedate than some of the others on this list, but that just makes it perfect for kids who aren’t quite old enough to understand how to use pedals and gears. The beauty of the Sit n’ Spin was its versatility—kids could spin until they were blue in the face using either the wheel in the center, by kicking against the floor, or ad the hands of a sadistic sibling.
It’s not that the Big Wheel is any less terrifying than it was when you were a kid, but with updated safety features like an extra wide wheelbase and improved stability, this toy just got better. The 1980s brought us “wheelies” and BMX bikes to further convince kids that there are few things more badass than riding around on two wheels.
The Green Machine was the “cool” ride on toy for kids in the mid 1980s. While it may not have had any affiliation with TV, movies or characters from a certain decade, this trike gave us hours worth of entertainment and still does today.
Schwinn Sting Ray Bikes
This is the bike that we all wanted, but your parents could never afford to buy you because it cost a month’s salary for a working-class family. But if there was one thing ’80s kids knew how to do with their imaginations, it was “borrow” things that they wanted—and the Sting Ray was no exception.
Radio Flyer Inchworm
You could see these Inchworms from a mile away—literally! The bright colors, the wiggly design and that iconic “wubba-wubba” sound all made this toy one of our favorites. It was also great for practicing balancing skills; while we may have been unsteady on two wheels, four felt like a walk in the park!
The 1980s were not a great time for personal space, and there’s nothing like a Pogo to make you feel right at home on your neighbor’s front porch! The simplicity of this toy still brings joy: just hop onto it, hold tight until you bounce off the ground, and repeat
Playskool Tyke Bike
Debuting way back in the 1960s, the Playskool Tyke Bike is a right of passage for, well, little tykes everywhere. Featuring a high-rise handlebars and a long seat, this toy was the perfect introduction to two wheels for any rider.
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
One of the best things about being an adult is speeding around in our cars with the top down when you get the chance. But when we were kids? Well, that honor goes to cruising around in our very own Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.
Bucky the Wonder Horse
Bucky the Wonder Horse was an iconic kids’ toy. Released in 1980, Bucky is a white horse with blue and red accents that rolls along on four wheels and has two stick handles for ears. Very realistic, huh?
(Like 1980s Ride-On Toys? Then you might like our article on Toys and Games that Ruled the 80s, click here.)
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