TV Lists

10 Animations from the the 1980s That Were Based Upon Toys

Toy makers and Hollywood came together in the 1980s, leading to a years of animation like no other.

In the 1980s, toy producers aimed to target an entire brand-new audience by pursuing kids who had no cash, however had excellent impact over the purchasing power of their moms and dads. They understood that if they might get kids hooked on particular brand names, the grown-ups would hand over huge dollars to keep them pleased. It was industrialism at its finest throughout a years when consumerism ran widespread, as everybody aimed to stay up to date with the Joneses.

This equated to lots of toy brand names being become Saturday early morning animations, and after-school animations that attracted kids in methods never ever seen before. Animation permitted the creativity to cut loose, making kids believe that if they had the toys these programs were stemmed from, they might produce their own experiences in the house. Let’s have a look at a few of the more popular animations of the 1980s that were based upon toys still cherished to this day.

Pound Puppies (1986)

The Pound Puppies from the Pound Puppies 1986 animated series

Launched in 1986 and lasting for 26 episodes, Pound Puppies was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, the very same business behind the similarity The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and Tom and Jerry It fixated a lovable group of canines that did their finest to discover a home for young puppies in requirement. In addition to their human buddy, Holly, they likewise worked to ward off the craven strategies of Captain Massacre, an enormous villain with a metal hand, and Katrina Stoneheart, Holly’s wicked godmother.

Produced by Mike Bowling in 1984, Pound Puppies were a series of luxurious pets with huge ears and saggy eyes that were initially offered in Canada before being gotten by Tonka, and dispersed worldwide. Sales in the very first 5 years remained in the $300 million dollar variety, resulting in the popular toy line being become an animated television special in 1985, before ending up being a full-fledged series the list below year. While it’s challenging to include tradition to a toy line of packed pets, the series was successful in lots of methods by producing an engaging backstory for the young puppies that saw them come down from a long line of practical pets. Though the animation might appear rather simple today, it mesmerized a generation of kids who were captured up in the toy trend of the 1980s that started previously in the years with Cabbage Spot Children.

Rubik, the Incredible Cube (1983)

The kids from Rubik, the Amazing Cube 1983

Launched in 1983, Rubik, the Incredible Cube was a half-hour Saturday early morning animation that might frequently be seen paired with The Pac-Man, another animated series on ABC. The program concentrated on a group of kids who discover a Rubik’s Cube and find that not just is it alive, however it likewise has wonderful powers. Together, they resolve numerous secrets, Scooby-Doo design, all while attempting to keep the cube out of the hands of a wicked magician.

When it concerns products that specified a years, you can absolutely include Rubik’s Cube to the list of 1980s toys that took the world by storm. The 3-D puzzle was produced by a Hungarian teacher of architecture, and in between 1980 and 1983, it offered approximately 200 million systems. It even generated the World Rubik’s Games Champion to see who might resolve the cube the fastest, and it wasn’t too long before Hollywood kept in mind, and chose to make an animated series based upon the popular puzzle. While the plot was a little bit of a stretch, for kids sitting in front of their televisions on Saturday morning, it sufficed to ignite their interest over a bowl of cereal. The stories were enjoyable, the characters were relatable, and the cube had a special voice that made everybody laugh.

Dino-Riders (1988)

A dinosaur from Dino-Riders 1988
Marvel Productions

Launched in 1988 as part of the Marvel Action Universe block of programs that likewise included an animated variation of RoboCop, Dino-Riders saw the Valorians, a superhuman race of beings, fighting the wicked Rulon Alliance, a race of humanoid animals that consisted of sharks, snakes, and crocodiles. Occurring throughout ancient times, the Valorians handled to befriend the dinosaurs, while the Rulon Alliance did whatever in their power to persuade them.

Dinosaurs have actually constantly been a preferred amongst kids, however when coupled with rockets, metal saddles, and brave buddies, you have the makings of a toy that permits the creativity to cut loose. Combined with the release of the animated series in the hopes of offering more product, the Dino-Riders toys were so comprehensive that Tyco was approached by the Smithsonian Institute to replicate them for their ‘Dinosaur and other Ancient Reptile Collection’ screen. While the series might be viewed as a take on the similarity Transformers, and even He-Man, it separated itself enough from the pack to base on its own for a while, and though it just lasted for a quick time, its impact can still be felt in such programs as DinoSquad, and Dinotrux

Related: The 10 Longest-Running Cartoons for Kids

The Experiences of Teddy Ruxpin (1986)

Teddy Ruxpin and his friends from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin 1986
DIC Home Entertainment

Luxurious toys were all the rage in the 1980s, so it’s not a surprise that The Experiences of Teddy Ruxpin was okayed in 1986. Airing in syndication, the program followed everybody’s preferred talking bear, Teddy Ruxpin, as he and his friend entered search of captivated crystals in the land of Grundo.

While packed animals were a staple for kids in the 1980s, Teddy Ruxpin took them to an entire brand-new level by including animatronics that permitted the bear to talk. An audio cassette was placed in Ruxpin’s back, and when played, his mouth would move as if he were informing the story. This resulted in it ending up being the very popular toy of ’85 and ’86, and when the animated series debuted, kids feared seeing their cherished toy come to life on the little screen. What made The Experiences of Teddy Ruxpin vary from other animations at the time is that instead of including self-contained episodes, it existed in a serialized format, implying kids needed to tune in if they wished to see what occurred next. It lasted for 65 episodes, and it’s difficult not to see its impact in such franchises as Five Nights at Freddy’s.

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My Little Pony ‘n Buddies (1986)

The ponies from My Little Pony 'n Friends 1986

Debuting as an animated unique, and after that a theatrical film, My Little Pony ‘n Friends ultimately discovered its method to television in 1986. The story was basic, however charming, with numerous ponies residing in the magical land of Ponyland. While they chose to reside in peace, they frequently discovered themselves fending off witches, goblins, and other animals that aimed to disrupt their otherwise tranquil presence.

Still a preferred today, My Little Pony has actually had a long lasting impact on popular culture. The toy line was initially presented in 1981 under the name My Pretty Pony, however an absence of success triggered Hasbro to reestablish the line in 1982, this time including more colors, and altering the name to My Little Pony. The shift in focus worked, and triggered the toys to explode amongst girls, who invested hours combing the hair of their preferred ponies. Though the animated function movie was a flop for Hasbro, the series My Little Pony ‘n Buddies carried out far better, permitting kids to see a more broadened variation of the mythos behind their preferred toy. This resulted in it lasting for 65 episodes, and while it ended in 1987, it resonated throughout the years with fans who matured on the program. This led the way for a revival in 2010, and since today, the series My Little Pony: Make Your Mark is still going strong on Netflix.

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M.A.S.K. (1985)

Scene from M.A.S.K.
ICC Television Productions, Ltd.

Part Transformers, part G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. struck the airwaves in 1985 and followed the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand as they utilized changing automobiles to fight the Vicious Evil Network of Chaos (V.E.N.O.M.), all while using helmets instilled with superpowers. To state the 1980s liked their acronyms would be an understatement, however this animated series took the very best of both worlds and integrated them into a brand-new take on the fight of great versus wicked.

Hasbro had the toy market cornered in the mid-8′ 0s, and appeared unstoppable, so it was not a surprise that Kenner wished to take a piece of the marketplace share by presenting a line of toys entirely various from the Star Wars action figures they were understood for. Launching soon before the animated series premiered, the M.A.S.K. figures were vibrant, intense, and included an entire host of tricks focused on children with huge creativities. The success of the toys resulted in the animation ending up being a hit, and it ran for 75 episodes throughout the next year. It would go on to be adjusted into comics, and computer game, and with Kenner becoming acquired by Hasbro, there’s even been talk of M.A.S.K. making its method to the cinema.

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ThunderCats (1985)

Various heroes in ThunderCats
Rankin-Bass Productions

Couple of things were as pleasurable for kids in the ’80s as running home from school to capture up on your cherished animations. All of us had our favorites, and amongst them was ThunderCats, which aired in syndication from 1985 to 1989. The story followed a race of humanoid felines that leave their passing away world, just to arrive on Third Earth, and do fight with the Mutants of Plun-Darr. Including magic, action, and a host of vibrant characters, ThunderCats had something for everybody, and is significantly revered by Generation X.

The Masters of deep space toy line from Mattel that included characters from He-Man were so popular in the early ’80s that other business were seeking to take advantage of its success. Couple of had the ability to strike the target, however LJN handled to get a grip when they launched the ThunderCats toy line in combination with the animated series. Essentially He-Man however with felines, ThunderCats took the cherished animal and turned it into a juggernaut of a franchise, producing an entire universe for kids to delight in. The animation was so effective that it ran for 130 episodes, which was a remarkable accomplishment for the time. It can frequently be discovered on lists concentrated on the very best animations ever made, and a live-action movie is presently in advancement from Warner Bros., with Adam Wingard ( Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire) set to direct.

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He-Man and the Masters of deep space (1983)

he-man and the masters of the universe

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Release Date
September 5, 1983

John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, Lou Scheimer

Main Category

There have actually been simply a handful of traditional animations that have actually handled to permeate into popular culture for many years, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is absolutely on the list of programs that have actually had a long lasting influence on kids of the 1980s. Launched in 1983, the series informed the tale of Prince Adam of Eternia, who, when wielding the Sword of Power, changes into He-Man to do fight versus the wicked forces of Skeletor that threaten his home of Castle Grayskull.

Established by Mattel in the late 1970s and striking shop racks in 1982, the initial He-Man toy line included character descriptions on the plan, and would later on consist of tiny comics to broaden on the tradition of Eternia. Taking motivation from Conan the Barbarian, the figures included huge muscles, and great deals of weapons that kids might utilize in their fictional fights. In the very first 4 years alone, the toys offered approximately $400 million dollars worth in the United States, and the subsequent animated series assisted strengthen those sales to excessive heights. The program gathered 9 million audiences in its very first year, which was a big success at the time. It would later on generate a whole franchise of spin-offs, motion pictures, and comics, and it has actually seen a renewal since late thanks to 2 hit Netflix reveals, that include an upgraded variation of the initial, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

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Related: Why Exactly Was the He-Man Movie Canceled?

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983)

g.i. joe

g.i. joe

Release Date
September 12, 1983

Michael Bell, Neil Ross, Arthur Burghardt

Main Category

The Cold War in between the Soviet Union and America was at its peak in the early 1980s, with everybody worried about the hazard of nuclear war. Obviously, if you were a kid at the time, all you appreciated were cereal, and animations, and what much better method to patriotize kids than with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, which saw the brave, militarized heros fighting the forces of Cobra in a race to see who might get control over a weapon of mass damage.

Army guys have actually constantly been a staple of toys for kids, since they were produced in 1938. Hasbro took the principle to an entire brand-new level when they launched the G.I. Joe toy line in 1982 to accompany the release of a comics series of the very same name from Marvel. This one-two punch into the marketplace permitted kids to not just produce their own fights, however picture them too, thanks to pen and ink. When the animated series debuted in 1983, kids sat mystified in front of their tvs, viewing these fights come to life in marvelous technicolor. Throughout its initial run, the series produced 95 episodes that were inscribed on the brains of kids for several years to come. It saw a revival in 1989, and once again in 1995. There’s been live-action motion pictures, computer game, and comics galore, and it did its task well by motivating a generation of kids to mature and join the military.

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Transformers (1984)



Release Date
September 17, 1984

Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Jack Angel, Corey Burton, John Stephenson, Dan Gilvezan, Casey Kasem, Don Messick

Main Category

Airing from 1984 till 1987, the animated series Transformers caught the creativity of kids by integrating their 2 preferred things: cars and trucks, and robotics. The series saw 2 factions of Transformers, referred to as Autobots, and Decepticons, wage war in the world after leaving their home world of Cybertron to look for a brand-new source of energy to help them in their relentless fights.

Influenced by the Japanese toy line, Microman, the Transformers line from Hasbro was launched before the launching of the animated series, and saw 28 characters in all, that included the similarity Optimus Prime, Jazz, Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream. These ingenious productions included a backstory helmed by Marvel editor Jim Shooter, and were when again launched in combination with a series of comics, a marketing method that did marvels for G.I. Joe the previous year. This all resulted in the animated series ending up being a blockbuster that lasted for 98 episodes throughout its initial, syndicated run. An animated theatrical film in 1986 would just serve to strengthen its appeal, and the toys and television program have actually gone on to be understood for not just assisting to specify the years, however our youth too.

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