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The 12 Finest 80s Motion Determine Toylines


If you happen to have been alive within the 80s you doubtless have fond recollections of a less complicated time and attending to play with a few of finest motion determine toylines.

The Most Numerous Toys

Action figures
Picture Credit score: Aisyaqilumaranas and Shutterstock.

Kids love toys. For the extra lucky kids of the world, they seem to be a essential and memorable a part of their childhood for enjoyment and studying. Though the earliest-known written historic point out of a toy dates again to round 500 BCE in Greece, referring to a primary yo-yo (though it is believed yo-yos existed even sooner than that in China), it is debatable that toys peaked within the Nineteen Eighties.

Motion figures have been probably the most enjoyable and various toys within the 80s. They got here in all sizes and styles and have been the primary to fully deviate from the extra grounded “Motion Man” kind figures of earlier years.

Put your nostalgia hats on as a result of, on this piece, we’ll take you thru what we consider are the 12 finest motion determine toylines from that nice decade.

1. Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe action figures
Picture Credit score: Sean P. Aune and Shutterstock.

Masters of the Universe was excellent. The Mattel toys revolved across the battle between the heroic He-Man (a muscular, magically-empowered, sword-wielding warrior) and the villainous Skeletor (an imposing, skull-faced sorcerer) on the planet Eternia. A Filmation animated collection adopted in 1983.

This franchise was a hybrid of stereotypical medieval sorcery and sci-fi expertise, which made for a really assorted array of characters. There have been people, monsters, aliens, robots, legendary beasts, and extra. The unique toys noticed new releases till 1988, which meant there have been lots of to buy should you needed the entire set.

2. Star Wars

Star Wars action figures
Picture Credit score: Krikkiat and Shutterstock.

The primary Star Wars film hit theaters in 1977, however Kenner made the unique toys between 1978 and 1985. Because the epic area opera, Star Wars is among the hottest media franchises in popular culture historical past, so it is no shock the toys have been an enormous hit.

Characters from the unique trilogy have been all made into plastic determine kind, together with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo and villains like Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt. Nonetheless, the autos have been the most important hits – the AT-AT, AT-ST, and Millennium Falcon have been notably cool and fashionable.

3. ThunderCats

Image from the cartoon ThunderCats
Picture Credit score: Pacific Animation Company.

ThunderCats was influenced by Masters of the Universe, with a sword-wielding protagonist, a magical antagonist, and plenty of different spinoff characters, nevertheless it was nonetheless nice. The toys have been launched in 1985, as was the cartoon. They featured a gaggle of catlike humanoid aliens combating towards the evil Mumm-Ra and his beastly minions on Third-Earth.

The L.J.N. vary of toys was comparatively small and obtained restricted distribution. Nonetheless, the figures have been unbelievable – with Lion-O and Mumm-Ra memorably having light-up eyes. It lasted for 3 years, ceasing manufacture in 1988.

4. Transformers

Transformers action figures
Picture Credit score: Aisyaqilumaranas and Shutterstock.

Transformers continues to be a preferred franchise right this moment, thanks primarily to the live-action film collection that is been going since 2007 and has six installments. Its reputation peaked within the Nineteen Eighties when there have been cartoons and Hasbro toys based mostly on the franchise, and the toys lasted eight years from 1984.

The franchise is concerning the Autobots and the Decepticons – warring alien robotic factions that may remodel into different types, equivalent to autos and animals. That idea lent itself completely to creating nice toys and although Transformers toys have been pre-dated by Go-Bots, made for probably the most artistic strains of figures ever seen. Youngsters performed with the likes of Optimus Prime and Megatron for hours on finish.

5. The Actual Ghostbusters

Real Ghostbusters
Picture Credit score: seaonweb and Shutterstock.

The Actual Ghostbusters was an animated spin-off of the 1984 live-action Ghostbusters film. The franchise spawned a cartoon and a line of Kenner toys – each of which lasted from 1986 till 1991. The toys have been a very color-filled pleasure.

There was an array of spectral villains to buy, a wide range of ghost-busting autos, the 4 Ghostbusters (together with proton packs and ghosts, and the crew’s fireplace station headquarters. The figures and equipment supplied every thing required for a radical spook-busting playtime.

6. Dino-Riders

Image from the cartoon Dino-Riders
Picture Credit score: Marvel Productions Tyco Toys.

Dino-Riders was an excellent idea. It targeted on the battle between the heroic Valorians and the evil Rulon Alliance on prehistoric Earth. The 2 sides harnessed the energy of dinosaurs – the Valorians by befriending them and the Rulons by brainwashing them – and so they rode the creatures and geared up them with futuristic weaponry.

The cartoon aired briefly in 1988, however the Tyco toys lasted from 1987 till 1990. They have been unbelievable and featured varied breeds of dinosaurs, characters to experience them, and the weaponry with which to equip them.

7. Visionaries

Image from the cartoon Visionaries
Picture Credit score: Hasbro/Sunbow Productions.

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Gentle was very short-lived. The cartoon aired in 1987, and the Hasbro toys have been launched after it ended. They solely lasted for one yr, however they have been very cool regardless.

Set on the planet Prysmos, the franchise’s story sees all expertise and sophisticated equipment instantly stop functioning. The residents then depend on historical magic to outlive. Two opposing factions of knights – the Visionaries and Darkling Lords – obtain magical totems on their chests. On the toys, these totems got here within the type of a massively fashionable 80s fad: holograms.

8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT action figures
Picture Credit score: Lutsenko_Oleksandr and Shutterstock.

All through the years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has existed in a number of media types, however the unique cartoon aired from 1987 till 1996. The unique toys, subsequently, have been launched by Playmate Toys in 1997 – and so they’ve by no means actually stopped.

The franchise idea sees 4 anthropomorphic turtle brothers educated in ninjutsu combating evil in New York Metropolis. The unbelievable toys included motion figures, autos, playsets, and equipment. They have been a few of the most sought-after and difficult to pay money for in toy historical past.

9. M.A.S.Ok.

Image from the cartoon M.A.S.K.
Picture Credit score: Ashi Productions/Studio World.

A French/American creation, M.A.S.Ok. targeted on the battle between the titular protagonist underground process pressure (Cellular Armored Strike Kommand) and the legal group V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Community of Mayhem). Either side wore masks that granted the wearer extraordinary powers.

The M.A.S.Ok. cartoon aired from 1985 till 1986, whereas Kenner produced the toys from 1985 till 1988. They have been good and consisted of autos with hidden gimmicks designed to symbolize combat-ready types and drivers who got here with distinctive masks (usually one or two drivers).

10. Centurions

Image from the cartoon Centurions
Picture Credit score: Studio 7.

Set within the not-too-distant future, Centurions is a franchise a few crew of males sporting exo-frames that enable them to fuse with unbelievable assault weapon methods. The crew battles the cyborg mad scientist Doc Terror who seeks to overcome the Earth and switch people into robotic servants.

The cartoon aired for almost all of 1986, whereas the road of toys – which wasn’t very in depth however was definitely cool – was launched the identical yr. The motion figures have been large by 80s requirements, and all got here with superior attachable equipment.

11. G.I. Joe

GI Joes
Picture Credit score: ZayacSK and Shutterstock. Editorial Use Solely.

G.I. Joe has been round for the reason that Sixties when Hasbro launched a line of 12-inch motion figures. Nonetheless, in 1982, a brand new line of extra miniature 3.75-inch figures hit retailer cabinets worldwide. The 80s idea adopted the battle between the army G.I. Joe crew and the nefarious Cobra group.

There was a 1983 cartoon collection, a 1987 animated film, and a 1989 cartoon collection to accompany the toys – and the “A Actual American Hero” line of toys continued manufacturing till 1994. They have been wildly assorted and nice enjoyable with which to play. Along with the figures, they featured autos, playsets, and extra.

12. M.A.N.T.A Power

Retro Toys and Games https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDe1PoExD3Q
Display Seize from Manta Power Bluebird Industrial, Courtesy of Retro Toys and Cartoons

Of the entries on our listing, that is in all probability the one most individuals least anticipated to see. There was no MANTA Power cartoon, only a line of Bluebird toys that started in 1987 and resulted in 1991, accessible nearly solely in Nice Britain. The franchise initially featured two important factions – the heroic MANTA Power and the evil Viper Squad – however different foes later emerged within the type of the robotic Karnoids and the swamp-dwelling Stenchoids.

The motion figures have been tiny, which made the autos the most effective options of those toys – and so they have been so cool. MANTA Power is among the most playable strains of toys ever made – and that is not an exaggeration.

This publish was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Kristin Stones is the founding father of Cents + Goal, an internet group devoted to sharing sensible private finance content material. Her mission is to equip girls with the required instruments and information to take again management of their cash and dwell a extra purposeful life. She creates actionable content material to assist her viewers obtain monetary wellness utilizing her easy method to managing cash – all realized via her private expertise of paying off nearly $55,000 of debt in below two years.


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