The 10 Most Amazing Toy Commercials from the 1980s

The first commercial on television was for a Bulova Watch Company. That was in the ’40s, 1941, to be specific. A lot of improvement took place between then and the 3 decades in between. Back then, the advertisement industry had a cultural status. As the ’50s came along with the Cold War and prosperity began to increase, TV advertisements started growing economically. For instance, TV ad spending rose to a record high of $1 billion. Soon enough, toy companies introduced characters to give better illustrations to the description of products. Then came the ’80s commercial. Its uniqueness is the audience satisfaction. The commercials from this era bridge the gap between selling the product itself and satisfying the audience’s ad culture. “If the kids want it, the parent should also want to buy it.”

Follow through to see a countdown of the 10 most amazing toy commercials from the ’80s. I tell you, watching these ads again would give you goosebumps if you have seen them before. They are as golden as they were back then.

Presenting the 10 most amazing toy commercials from the 1980s!

10. Cabbage Patch Kids [1984]

To kick start this list of ‘80s most amazing commercials, Coleco’s 1984 Cabbage Patch Kids’ commercial gets the 10th position. They were special cloth dolls with plastic heads. For three years, this toy line was leading among toys in the ‘80s. A commercial entry Cabbage Patch Kid’s is bound to draw every little lady or gent to their TV screen. Hence, the demand in stores was superb.

The superficial voice behind the commercial loosens up every emotion. It starts with the most eloquent definition of compassion: “when you open your arms…” All through the commercial young lads can be seen doing exactly that. They were all hugging a Cabbage Patch Kids, expressing their delightful love for their dolls.

9. Pogo Bal [1987]

I had rather refer to it as the Bouncy Pogo Bal, but there is a handful of other names you can call it. Let me begin the list with the most popular Pogo Bal. You can call it Lolo Ball/Lolobal, Disc-O, Pogo ball, or Pogo-it. The Disc-O appellation is the best fit for the design of this toy. It is a rubber ball looked into a sturdy, circular, plastic platform. To use it, you will stand on the platform and hop around.

If you ever saw the Pogo Stick in use before it was banned in some countries, it follows the same style of use as the Pogo Bal. They only have different designs. It is this fun catching exhibit of the toy that the commercial illustrates. The teenagers were seen hopping around a room while trying to avoid a big dark-colored hand trying to catch them.

8. Teddy Ruxpin [1985]

Teddy Ruxpin, the storytelling bear, is our eighth ’80s most amazing commercial. Yes, this one talks, and it will like to be your friend. Not just the mouth moves when it is talking; the eyes do as well. Ken Forsee is credited with creating this classic piece. He was assisted by the pair of Larry Larsen and John Davies. Their creation was awarded the best-selling toy of 1985. The toy’s commercial is one major contributor to this.

I believe it is a class presentation. This cute little boy came forward to make his presentation. His presence was not matched by much applause from his classmate. That was going to change in no time. Has soon as the toy was plugged in with an audiotape cassette, it began to talk. Now, the mood in the classroom seems to be turned on as well. And that was how the commercial conquered other commercials from 1985.

7. Transformers [1984]

If you have seen the Transformers sequel on TV, its ’80s commercial was the preliminary set. It was called the G1. A Japanese company and an American company by the names Takara and Hasbro respectively came together to produce this toy line. The concept behind this production is an astounding one in itself. The idea is that parts of a toy can be shifted to form a robot or an action figure. This robot or its action figure can also be changed back to its toy form of vehicle, device, animal, and so on.

What good is the commercial of an action pack without the actions? No doubt, such a commercial will not see the light of day in the ’80s. It is these actions that studded the Transformers commercial. The tagline says it all, “More Than Meets The Eye.” The fast-moving transformations on the screen were outstanding.

6. My Pet Monster [1986]

The ’80s had its infusion of scare and fun like the ’70s Alien Action Figure. Our sixth pick is My Pet Monster. You can imagine what it looks like already. It is big, has fur, horns, and a fanged smile that makes it qualify as a scary but funny doll. It is also considered a plush doll for its soft and luxurious feel. My Pet Monster’s description would not be complete without a mention of its breakable orang plastic handcuff.

The aesthetics that make My Pet Monster commercial amazing were the many diversifications of the explored doll. Its battle fighting was mentioned, which is that he always wins. Its “bigger than big” size was acknowledged. The commercial noted that the doll “is your friend too.” It also stated that it breaks its chain. My Pet Monster commercial is indeed a great pick.

5. Popples [1986]

Those Characters From Cleveland (TCFC) are the creators of our fifth pick for this great list. Popples are brightly colored teddy bears. These brightly colored teddy bears take the resemblance of marsupial animals thought to be pouched mammals. These dolls usually come in the form of a ball. Hence, at its teddy bear state, one can tuck it in to form a ball.

Its uniqueness was what Mattel put on display in the commercial. It started with a little girl showing another little girl how the Popples doll can transform from a teddy bear to a ball. These two girls kept enjoying the amusement of their bedtime. At this time, an elderly voice called “girls!” they both tucked in their teddy bears and climbed into their beds.

4. Care Bares [1982]

The fourth commercial on this list is Care Bears. Kenner’s Care Bears were kid favorites in the ‘80s. A kid would hardly pass over such a soft toy. But what was more appealing than embracing the bear was watching it on the screen. Although the commercial did not feature all 10 pieces, the line’s re-launch at the New York City Toy Fair wrote the toy line’s name in gold.

The commercial started with a big balloon flying in with a couple of kids. The balloon landed, and all the kids ran out of it. Later on, a kid held out her hands as a mother bear pushed out a Care Bare into her hands. Then came two kids who were given the same gift, but this time the Care Bear was on the table. On came the other four kids separately to receive their gifts. This amazing “gifting” commercial did astound its audience.

3. Barbie Dream Kitchen [1984]

This list would be incomplete without a slot for the famous Barbie. But it is the reputable commercial of the Barbie Dream Kitchen that commands our third choice for this list. Ruth Handler is said to have created this brand of Mattel manufactured doll line. There were Barbie Dream House commercials on display this decade, but it is the kitchen playset that was most outstanding.

Many ladies have suffered from “Barbie Syndrome.” Perhaps the Barbie Dream Kitchen commercial should be credited with Barbie’s kitchen syndrome among ‘80s girls. These ladies would not stop making kitchen purchase. Maybe the 60 kitchen playset that was always on display is setting the standard for them? The commercial also had cabinets. Many people would even say it was the baked cake that set the commercial apart.

2. My Little Pony (MLP) [1989]

“Here comes pony bride, the bride with everything. A wedding cake and bell and a dazzling wedding ring…This is the most beautiful bride ever…sweet steps ballerina. My little pony girls!”

Up here as #2 on our list of the most amazing toy commercial from the ‘80s is My Little Pony (MLP). The trio of Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger, and Steve D’Aguanno created the My Little Pony line. From there, the American toy company, Hasbro, developed MLP to target girls. In the ‘80s, there was hardly a little girl with MLP. The special commercial deserves the credit for this feat.

Three girls knelt around a short table during their fun time. All three kids had a pony each, which they were playing with. But there was a particular pony which was color white. This special pony donned a white pony wedding attire. The commercial continued to target its audience as it went on to show the ladies making some ballerina movies with their ponies.

1. Lite-Brite [1980]

“Lite-Brite!! Turn on the magic of colored light, Lite-Brite!! Make a face to glow at night, smiling friend, shining bright, make a sign to say good night…Lite-Brite!! Turn on the magic of shining bright!”

The most astounding of the bunch is Hasbro’s Lite-Brite, which Joseph M. Burck invented. Although it was first marketed in the ’60s, Hasbro’s ’80s promotion makes it worthy for this list. The promotion featured a catchier tune, and that was what glued ’80s kids to this amazing invention. Kids from back in the day sing about “turn on the magic of shining bright!”

Apart from the upped tune, the commercial featured the gameplay. A couple of examples of “lited” shapes were on display. The commercial showed multi-colored translucent plastic pegs. These pegs when into the lightbox to create lit pictures or shapes. Even Time Magazine can attest to this game’s astounding nature as the magazine named it one of the top 100 toys of all time.

Final Thoughts

Toy commercials are essential parts of popular toy sales. Due to this, many companies invest a lot to see that their commercials draw in and amaze the kids and their parents. The ’80s is a classical demonstration of this resolve, which is why many of our ’80s lists are still in stores to date and on TVs.

Author: Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

The 10 Most Amazing Toy Commercials from the 1980s
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The 10 Most Amazing Toy Commercials from the 1980s
Explore the 10 most amazing toy commercials that emerged from the 1980s, from Cabbage Patch Kids to Transformers to My Little Pony.
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Wheeljack's Lab
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