What a time the 1980s was! It was the era of power dressing, Ferris Bueller becoming the bad boy of young girls’ dreams and Michael Jackson releasing hit after hit of musical gold. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, the decade also produced all kinds of knick-knacks that cluttered girls’ bedrooms across the land. Prepare for some serious nostalgia!
40. Lockable diaries
How do you protect your biggest secrets from nosy people? And how can you be sure that your innermost thoughts will never be revealed to your enemies? Well, this is when a lockable diary comes in incredibly handy, by keeping secrets such as the details of your current crush hidden from prying eyes. If there’s anything we’ve learnt from Mean Girls, it’s that when someone reads your secret musings, all hell breaks loose.
39. Fan posters
More or less every 1980s girl plastered her bedroom walls with posters of her latest craze, from Duran Duran to Tom Cruise. Of course, you would judge someone on their choice of poster. And that critique would even extend to which members of a certain band you liked most. For instance, some girls were devoted to Duran Duran’s singer Simon Le Bon, while others were besotted with bassist John Taylor.
38. Bedding trends
The 1980s girl chose her bedding very carefully. And it’s not hard to see why: there were loads of cool designs to plump for. Strawberry Shortcake was totally pink, cute and even smelt like the fruit in question, whereas Victoria Plum featured gentle woodland scenes with adorable bunnies and the like.
37. Radio cassette player
This was an excellent piece of equipment and the perfect kit for the 1980s girl to tune into her favorite radio station, play the cassettes of the hottest bands or go one step further and record a live show of her own. Who knows just how many future radio DJs started out this way?
36. Transparent phone
A landline located in your room might seem weird now, but back then taking a call from the privacy of your bedroom was the only way on a Sunday morning to discuss what had happened on Saturday night. And to make it even cooler, they designed a see-through phone where the inner technical parts were visible! It didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but who wouldn’t want a transparent phone?
35. Scratch ’n’ sniff stickers
What better way to enjoy your favorite scents than from an easy-to-reach sticker? The various odors to choose from are extensive, including grape, popcorn and pizza. Simply stick one on your cupboard or headboard, give it a scratch, have a quick sniff and be on your merry way.
34. Giant Swatch watch
It was a Swatch watch but giant, so it could be hung up on your wall like a clock. They could pretty much cover a wall, in fact, they were that big! The timepieces came in all kinds of fun block colors and would add a pop to your bedroom – if it wasn’t bright enough with all those Strawberry Shortcake designs!
33. Care Bears
Whereas kids these days might use a Nintendog to focus their caring instincts, back in the 1980s things weren’t so technically advanced. The Care Bears were collectible toys that were a lot simpler but no less fun. You’d get your friends to bring theirs round and then have yourselves a careful, caring, Care Bear party!
With her luscious hair, enviable pins and countless beautiful clothes, Barbie was many girls’ guilty pleasure. As well as playing dress-up, the interactions with her other Barbie friends were also plenty of fun. You could buy her a Ken-doll boyfriend, for instance, or save up to get a killer set of wheels for Barbie to drive around in – a convertible, of course. Seriously, the possibilities were endless.
31. Ballerina jewelry box
You could make choosing jewelry even more fun with a ballerina that would start twirling to some twinkly music as soon as you opened the lid. This was a much more exciting version of a music box and successfully pandered to many girls’ dreams of being a ballerina. Who needed actual ballet classes, after all?
30. Cabbage Patch Kids’ books
Seemingly everyone had a collection of these books, even if they weren’t necessarily fans of them. From Xavier’s Fantastic Discovery to The Shyest Kid In The Patch, they formed part of many 1980s girls’ libraries. And then there were the Cabbage Patch dolls that you could adopt and become one big happy family.
29. A knitted afghan
Grandmothers usually love to spoil their young granddaughters, and what better way to show how much they care than to get out the knitting needles and produce something handmade? This is where the afghans came in. Mind you, these large, bold bed covers probably clashed terribly with your Victoria Plum bedding.
28. Cut & sew dolls
These were great fun to do with your mom or your friends. And the best part was that you ended up with a professional-looking doll that required very little effort to make! Which character would you choose to sew? Would it be Cora the Mermaid, perhaps, or a Tommy Turtle?
27. McDonald’s collectible cups
As is still the case today, one of the perks of a Happy Meal in the 1980s was the accompanying toy or collectible you got free. Cue a barrage of cheap, plastic cups that invaded many children’s cupboards and shelves. But they at least had fun designs featuring your favorite characters that made drinking a cup of juice very exciting indeed.
26. Ceramic piggy bank
Every spare ounce of change went into one of these, and over time, the savings would sometimes become so heavy that you’d think you had amassed a small fortune. It was only when you ceremoniously – and often with great satisfaction – smashed the piggy to smithereens that you discovered you only had enough to buy a few chocolate bars.
25. Makit & Bakit Suncatcher
Arts and crafts are made easy with kits like these and add stylish embellishments to your bedroom. Simply place the baking crystals into the metal templates, pop them in the oven and out comes a glittering, colorful suncatcher. Then while away the hours watching it sparkle by your window.
24. Magna Doodle
There’s no need to sharpen your pencils and no difficulty rubbing stuff out with a magical Magna Doodle. In short, it’s a magnetic drawing board that allows you to easily erase what you’ve just created by simply swiping the sliding magnet across! That’s right, leave the pencil case and paper pad at home: this is far easier to take around.
23. Happy Meal toys
The Happy Meal is the meal that just keeps on giving. As well as cool cups to sip from, they also often gift you a toy, making for an awesome collectible item. Most likely you would have compared the ones you had with your friends’ and then become green with envy when they had one you lacked.
22. Giant Lego container
As much fun as Lego is, the pieces are your worst enemy when you’re walking around with bare feet and you step on one. So what better way to store all your Lego than in a container that is itself shaped like a Lego brick? Only true fans had one of these containers, and most importantly, they never lost any pieces!
21. Castle Grayskull
You might look at this and think it’s a fraction boyish for a girl’s bedroom. And while the creation was designed with boys in mind, there was also a much more girl-friendly spin-off from the main He-Man cartoon series. It starred She-Ra, He-Man’s feisty sister who eventually got a whole series of her own and came with a bunch of awesome, battle-ready accessories.
20. Laura Ashley bedsheets
Potentially you have arrived at this entry wondering if half of this article is about bedsheets. Well, no, but prepare yourself for the bedlinen from Laura Ashley, which was wholly subtler and more sophisticated than Strawberry Shortcake. If one your friends had it atop a day bed in their room, moreover, you’d be riddled with envy.
19. Pop Snap Beads
Pop Snap Beads meant that you didn’t have to fiddle with string or chains when fashioning a necklace or bracelet. Instead, these beads fitted into one another, making bright, if rather garish, jewelry that you could present to your best friends. Following in their wake are the modern equivalent: Scoobies, a true art form that sees people knotting together colored plastic strings to create extravagant necklaces.
18. Charms for your charm necklace
By now, this article has proved that creating your own jewelry is a lot of fun. But you don’t even necessarily need to craft it yourself to add that personal touch. Charms were an easy way to make a piece your own, and 1980s girls went crazy for them. From bananas and lipsticks through to roller-skates, the charm shop was a palace of delights.
17. My Little Pony
Trotting hot on the heels of Barbie came My Little Pony, a collection of plastic ponies with better hair and longer eyelashes than you. Seriously, how can a horse be that attractive? The equine beauties come in all kinds of colors and hair lengths as well as having different distinguishable traits such as freckles. They also give off a plasticky scent that is almost as moreish as the scratch-and-sniff stickers.
16. Doll lamp
Now, dolls can be freaky at the best of times. The Chucky character from the Child’s Play horror-film series is a murderous doll who exacts revenge on his enemies. Thus imagine waking up with your lamp still on, shining its beams onto a motionless, vacant doll. You see, it’s the stuff of nightmares.
Another collectible graces the list, and this time it has a very strong color theme. These endearing, blue characters came free when people bought gas, and many 1980s kids will remember begging their parents to fuel up as a result. Laugh all you want, but they’re now really valuable!
Nowadays, being a troll refers to making fun out of people on social media, but in the 1980s it was a much more innocent word. Trolls are simply these ugly creatures with a frenzy of bright hair that were fun to collect. And they shot back into popular culture with the help of the Trolls movie in 2016.
13. White Keds
They are perfect because they literally match everything! Put on a pair of these shoes with pretty much any outfit, from your favorite jeans to a lime green tutu, and you are ready to roll. The only problem, however, is that they are made from white canvas, meaning they get mucky really quickly. Once dirty, there is little hope of returning the footwear to their previous unsullied splendor.
12. Heart-shaped bracelets
With Pop Snap Beads and garish charms, the 1980s perhaps wasn’t the decade of sophisticated, elegant jewelry. Add heart-shaped bangles to the mix, and it was a young girl’s paradise! These bracelets were bound to give you street cred at the time, although they were doubtless incredibly uncomfortable.
11. Movie posters
Were you even in touch with popular culture if you didn’t have a movie poster on your bedroom wall? Indiana Jones was a popular choice, and Back to the Future was a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Whether they were from an animation, an action-packed thriller or a comedy, these posters were pretty much compulsory – and a great way to gaze at your movie crush for hours on end.
10. VHS tapes
They might seem clunky to us in a time where mobile phones are becoming increasingly slimmer, and shows can be recorded at the touch of a button, but the humble VHS was pretty much the only way to replay things back in the 1980s. Arguments would inevitably ensue when someone recorded over your favorite Transformers episode, but then again, at least kids didn’t face the trauma of a cracked iPhone screen.
9. Flomo pencil case
These Flomo pencil cases were made for perfectionists. With compartments inside and hidden drawers to keep your stationery ordered and neat, they were pink and fun. You could carry your Hello Kitty pencils around in this for the ultimate cool factor. Some of them even had a built-in calculator, too. You don’t get tech like that these days!
8. Canopy bed
The canopy bed made you feel like a complete princess. It was basically a scaled down version of a four-poster bed and made sleepovers ten times more fun. The pattern of your canopy was totally up to you, and the best bit was that it was more or less a ready-made den, therefore perfect for exchanging secrets or telling horror stories with torches.
7. Pound Puppies
Kids these days are accustomed to technologically advanced video games such as Mario Kart and the like, but the 1980s were a much simpler time. And back then, Pound Puppies were the height of complexity. They could talk, and their backs doubled as a cassette player, which made them the most exciting toys on the block.
6. Big Yellow Teapot
Well, who wouldn’t want to live in a massive yellow teapot that’s impossible to miss? Strictly speaking it was the figures that lived in it, but still. What’s more, the toy came with accessories that couldn’t be swallowed by toddlers, including a figurine family and an adorable dog.
5. Casio keyboard
It wasn’t enough just to listen to hit songs on your radio – every budding songstress in the 1980s also wanted the opportunity to perform renditions of them. And that was where the Casio keyboard came in. This smart piece of kit had all kinds of settings that made a normal piano seem boring. Or you could just cheat entirely and whack it on demo mode.
4. My Pet Monster
These had the same ugly charm as the Troll toys but were more cuddly. And instead of a shock of florescent hair, they were bright blue and came complete with an orange handcuff. Furthermore, the truly monstrous items came in a variety of characters, which made picking one out all the more fun!
3. Polaroid camera
Forget going to the printers to have your snaps developed. With a Polaroid camera, you could take the picture and have it in your hands a few seconds later. It was a great way to immortalize the moment when you dressed up as your favorite stars with your friends, for example. Plus, who doesn’t love huddling around a photo to watch the image slowly emerge?
Surely the best way to make awesome shapes with no real talent! Simply let the plastic model do all the work for you and watch your swirly masterpiece take shape. Of course, everyone tries to replicate the amazing example designs on the inside of the box – but to no avail.
These objects were as useful as they were cute. Sitting pretty on your shelf, they could contain all manner of knick-knacks that you wanted to hide away. And you’d conceal your treasures while singing the “Keypers, Keypers, what’s inside those Keypers?” song from the commercials. They were like a lockable diary but more top secret!