30 at 30: The Christmas toys of the 1980’s

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Time-honoured tradition dictates that this Christmas morning thousands of wide eyed children will bolt out of bedrooms and shoot down the stairs to see what the ‘Big Man’ dropped off.

Carefully-wrapped presents will be torn asunder to reveal everything from Nintendo DS and PS4 consoles and games, to sought-after toys such as Disney Descendants, Pieface game, BB8 from Star Wars and Paw Patrol.

Winter sleighs were a big draw for the ice and snow.

Winter sleighs were a big draw for the ice and snow.

Till then, and to coincide with the launch of the Journal’s new publication ‘Derry Journal: the 1980s A Decade in Focus’, we thought we’d go on a bit of a time warp.

After dusting down our checked jeans and slip-ons, crimping our hair, and donning the ear muffs and leg warmers, we have headed up to raid out the attic with the sole purpose of bringing you some of the toys which topped wish lists for Santa during that decade.

The 80’s may now be seen as the decade taste forgot but to the youth of Derry, Donegal, Limavady, Strabane and the wider north west we thought we were the bees knees in our new best clothes as we took to the streets on Christmas morning to proudly display our snazzy new bikes, yoyo skills, dolls and prams and go-karts.

And back then, if disaster struck and Santa failed to bring you a single thing you had been dreaming of, you could always vent your frustration via a game of conkers (dipped in vinegar to harden them of course) or by tuning out to your T’Pau cassette.

Rubik's cube is another toy that has survived the decades.

Rubik's cube is another toy that has survived the decades.

The main man himself- He-Man, the blond Master of the Universe charged ahead of the pack on back of Battle Cat.

The main man himself- He-Man, the blond Master of the Universe charged ahead of the pack on back of Battle Cat.

Thirty years on, many children will be waking up to Star Wars toys again this Christmas.

Thirty years on, many children will be waking up to Star Wars toys again this Christmas.

Roller boots with the giant stopper sent children across the world hurtling into the 1990s, or towards the pavement.

Roller boots with the giant stopper sent children across the world hurtling into the 1990s, or towards the pavement.

Boy and girl's best friend, pound puppies.

Boy and girl's best friend, pound puppies.

Operation, with the wee man and his funny bones.

Operation, with the wee man and his funny bones.

My Little Pony was the introduction that led to many a child's interest in horses and animal welfare.

My Little Pony was the introduction that led to many a child's interest in horses and animal welfare.

Glow Worms were an ingenious way of combating a fear of the dark for kids.

Glow Worms were an ingenious way of combating a fear of the dark for kids.

Etch A Sketch was one of the earliest pieces of equipment which made pen and paper redundant.

Etch A Sketch was one of the earliest pieces of equipment which made pen and paper redundant.