10 Awesome Toys from the 80s That No Longer Exist

Kids in the 70s and 80s had it good when it came to things to play with. Slapped down right between the stone ages of the 1950s and 1960s and the internet age of the 1990s and after, we were blessed with awesome, high-quality toys that still let us use our imaginations (and bodies, for that matter). But nothing lasts forever, and even some favorites went by the wayside, eventually. Which of these awesome toys from the 80s that no longer exist did YOU play with?

Speak & Spell

In the 80s, Speak & Spell was a game that tested your knowledge of spelling. It had two modes: quiz and word-builder mode. In the quiz mode, you would answer multiple choice questions related to language arts skills (spelling words). If you missed one or more answers, it could take up to five tries to get the all correct. The word-builder mode was for children who wanted to learn how words were put together, and it consisted of two modes: letter wizard or make your own wordform.


Clackers is a toy that consisted of two individual plastic or wooden pieces on a string. Clacking the two sticks together makes an interesting “clacky” sound, and when you throw them up into the air they will make different sounds depending on how high your release them (airplane engine, bongo drums).

In full disclosure, Clackers actually still exist today, but they’ve been whimpified to a significant extent, including replacing the acrylic used to make the balls with something less, uh, explosive.


Skip-It was sort of like a one-legged jump rope, where you’d look a hoop around one leg and use said leg to swing a ball-thing attached to the other end by a plastic-rubber rope thing.

Then, as the ball swung in circles parallel to the ground, you had to jump with the non-swinging leg to avoid crashing and burning.

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it was. Hard telling how many emergency room visits and coffin sales this toy led to.

Atari 2600 Console

Atari 2600 is one of the most successful video game consoles in history for a few reasons, not least of which being that you could play your favorite arcade games at home without having to take out a second mortgage on your house.

It freaking revolutionized childhood and built a generation of gamer and diabetics.

The console lasted from 1977 to 1992, which is a darn good run for any toy.

And, technically you can still get this beauty at garage sales and the like, and you can also buy a decent NEW proxy with the Atari Flashback.

But … meh.

Waterful Ring-Toss

As it turns out, you don’t need microchips, or even batteries, to build a handheld game.

If you have any doubts about that, just cast your memory back to the awesome Waterful Ring-Toss.

Just pop open the little lid, fill with water, pump that button, and twist yourself around trying to catch the little plastic rings on the little plastic pegs. Sounds simple and silly, but it’s at least as addictive as Tetris.

And, like, Facebook endorphin hits.

Erector Set

Yeah, yeah.

This is another classic toy that you can find in ripoff, knockoff, dumbed-down form on toy shelves today.

But do any of them feature the full-on joy of building freaking robots and real bridges and, like, blow-torch furnaces out of nuts, bolts, levers, motor, and knives with screw holes in them.

Nah, baby, nah.

If you missed out on the original Erector Set, you’re very likely just doomed.

Nothing you can do about it at this point, really.

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