1980s, toys, nostalgia, childhood, classic, top 10, retro, playful, colorful, action figures, cartoons, board games, fun

Classic ’80s Toy Lines: We Ranked the Top 10 of All Time

The ’80s were a golden age for toy lovers. From action figures to dolls, there was no shortage of offerings for kids of all ages. Many of these classic ’80s toy lines hold a special place in our hearts and have even spawned their own movie franchises. But which ones are truly the best of the best?

Our Ranking Criteria

Before we dive into the list, let’s establish our ranking criteria. We considered the following factors:

  • PoPularity and Longevity: Did the toy line capture the hearts of a generation? Did it stand the test of time?
  • Innovation and Creativity: Did the toy line introduce something new and exciting to the market?
  • Cultural Impact: Did the toy line have a lasting impact on pop culture? Did it spawn any spin-offs, movies, or TV shows?

Keeping these factors in mind, let’s get into the list!

10. My Little Pony

My Little Pony took the world by storm in the ’80s, with its cast of colorful pony friends and magical adventures. With its emphasis on friendship and positivity, My Little Pony remains a beloved franchise to this day.

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a phenomenon in the ’80s, with their unique blend of action, comedy, and pizza. The toy line spawned a hit TV show and multiple movies, cementing its place in pop culture history.

8. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had it all: buff heroes, wicked villains, and a universe full of adventure. The action figures were incredibly detailed, with intricate armor and weapons. The toy line also spawned a popular animated series and a cheesy live-action movie.

7. Transformers

Transformers revolutionized the toy industry with its line of robots that transformed into everyday objects. The toy line inspired multiple animated series, as well as a blockbuster movie franchise. Its popularity shows no signs of slowing down.

6. ThunderCats

ThunderCats combined sci-fi, fantasy, and action in a unique and compelling way. The toy line featured some of the most detailed and articulate figures of its time. Though the franchise hasn’t had the same staying power as some of its peers, ThunderCats remains a nostalgic favorite for many ’80s kids.

5. Care Bears

The Care Bears were a cultural phenomenon in the ’80s, with their soft and cuddly appearance and messages of love and caring. The toy line spawned multiple movies and TV shows, as well as a recent revival that introduced the beloved characters to a new generation.

4. G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe revolutionized the action figure market with its highly-detailed, poseable figures and extensive line of vehicles and accessories. The toy line inspired multiple animated series and even a live-action movie franchise. G.I. Joe remains a treasured franchise for many ’80s kids.

3. Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake was a breakout hit in the ’80s, with her sweet personality and delicious scent. The toy line featured a wide cast of fruity friends and spawned multiple animated series and TV specials. Strawberry Shortcake remains a beloved franchise to this day.

2. Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids were everywhere in the ’80s, with their unique look and adoption certificates. The dolls inspired a frenzy among kids and parents alike, with long lines and even reports of violence at some stores. The toy line remains a symbol of ’80s nostalgia.

1. Star Wars

Is there any contest? Star Wars dominated the toy market in the ’80s, with its highly-detailed action figures and extensive line of vehicles and playsets. The franchise inspired multiple movies and TV shows and remains a cultural touchstone to this day. May the force be with you!


And there you have it, our ranking of the top 10 classic ’80s toy lines of all time. While there are certainly other toy lines that could have made the list, these are the ones that had the greatest impact on the era. Whether you grew up in the ’80s or just love the decade, these toy lines are sure to bring back memories and warm fuzzy feelings. Which one was your favorite?

If you’re feeling nostalgic, why not check out some of these classic toy lines on eBay or at your local toy store? Who knows, you might just find a new treasure to add to your collection. Happy hunting!