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The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
'80s Memorabilia
Keypers -- The idea was to use the key to unlock the shell and store jewelry and notes, etc, inside. Each Keyper came with a "Finder" (the small, large-eared creature in matching colors.) Pictured are Fancy, a pink snail, and Tango, an orange ladybug. Produced in the mid-80s by Tonka. There was also a series of "baby" Keypers that did not require keys. Two Keypers Annuals were published (1988 and 1989) by Fleetway Productions containing stories and games.

A set of Burger King "Star Wars" glasses. The first is a "Luke Skywalker" The Empire Strikes Back glass (1980), the second is "Ewok Village" Return of the Jedi (1983), the third is "Jabba the Hutt" Return of the Jedi (1983). The Empire Strikes Back promotion started in July 1980 and contained four glasses -- Luke Skywalker (pictured), Lando Calrissian, R2D2 & C3PO, and Darth Vader. The Return of the Jedi promotion was launched in May, 1983 and consisted of four glasses (as well as four plastic tumblers with the same images) -- Jabba the Hutt and Ewok Village (pictured) along with Emperor's Throne Room and Tatooine Desert.

 
Three GI Joe figures from the 1980s and the cover of the first (1982) G.I. Joe catalog. The figures are 3.75" tall. (The 12" figures came later.) The  first 3.75" G.I. Joe action figures (Series One) were available in 1982 and consisted of seventeen characters. A new series was introduced every year thereafter. (It should be noted that the very first G.I. Joe figures came out in the 1960s.) The G.I. Joe animated TV series was launched in 1983. This was successful enough to warrant a second mini-series in 1985. Later that year, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero became a regular weekday program that ran through 1987. In 1987 an animated movie was made. A second series was launched in 1989 and ran through 1992.


The Doom Patrol and Adventures of The Outsiders were two popular DC comic book series. The Doom Patrol was a comic book series from the Sixties that was resurrected in the early 1980s by Paul Kupperberg and enjoyed an 87-issue run. (Grant Morrison took over from Kupperberg with Issue #19, and then Rachel Pollack took the reins with Issue #64.) Originally, Adventures of the Outsiders began as Batman and the Outsiders in August 1983; the title was changed in November 1985, and the series continued through Issue #46 in June 1987.

5"x6" Michael Jordan poster sticker; the photo is from Jordan's rookie year with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was selected in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft. (He was the third pick overall.) He'd had an outstanding three years at North Carolina, and was named College Player of the Year in 1984.He was also co-captain of the U.S. Olympic basketball team, which won a gold medal. He ended his rookie season (1984-85) with a scoring average of 28.2 points a game, third in the NBA, and was voted a starter in the 1985 All-Star Game.

A British pop music magazine, ACE (Issue #3), 1984, featuring The Eurythmics on the cover.

4-piece Buddy L Spiderman set that included a pressed steel and plastic Spider-copter,Spider-car, Spider-bike and Spider-van. Manufactured in 1984.

Nobody can market a major event like the American entrepreneur, and it seemed like everybody was getting into the act when the Summer Olympics came to the U.S. in 1984.This is an M&M jar commemorating the XXIII Olympiad, Los Angeles.

Huge quantities of Duran Duran memorabilia were sold in the '80s, from posters to badges, postcards to earrings. Pictured above: Duran Duran "Rio" sew-on patches, in black and red, 20 to a package.

My Little Pony set, 1982-1985. My Little Ponies, by Hasbro, were immensely popular collectibles in the Eighties, so successful, in fact, that they spawned a host of imitators, two TV specials in 1984 and 1985, and a film, My Little Pony: The Movie, in 1986. A TV series, "My Little Pony 'n' Friends" ran from 1986-87, and in 1992 a second series, "My Little Pony Tales," aired on the Disney Channel. The first generation of My Little Ponies were produced from 1981-1992, as were innumerable accessories such as the Show Stable, the Dream Castle and the Pony Purse, to name a few. A second generation of My Little Ponies was produced by Hasbro between 1997-99.

Garfield phone; when the receiver is lifted, the eyes open. By Tyco, Model 1207, available in 1986 and made in Hong Kong. The unit measures 10.75" by 7". The most common complaint was that the black stripes eventually wore off the receiver. A wall-mounted model (Model 1209) also made in Hong Kong, was available in the 1980s as well. It was 12" in length, and the head could be turned 360 degrees.
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An incredible variety of novelty mementos were made available at rock concerts in the 1980s. They were usually cheaply made and over-priced, but fans didn't care. One of the most popular for a time was the guitar necklace, featuring the images of your favorite rock star or band. Pictured is a Howard Jones guitar necklace, circa late '80s.

An E.T. diary, 1982. The Spielberg film was one of the decade's first big blockbusters, and naturally it spawned a whole host of merchandise. The diary is, these days, one of the more difficult to find.