Tag Archives: 80s toys

Jem collection update

30 Apr

Finally getting around to organizing my dream room full of 80’s stuff. It is a work in progress, but thanks to how perfect my new Ikea cabinets are.. some of Jem dolls are ready to be shown off in style! More pics to come as the room evolves into something truly outrageous.

Hasbro Jem dolls

First display case for Jem


New from Hasbro – Jemgirl’s dream house (prototype)

21 May

No, it doesn’t feature an elevator operated by string, well, there is an elevator- but thank god its not operated by string, although at times it feels like it is. However, it is pink enough to give Barbie a run for her money. Its all new from Hasbro – its Jemgirl’s dream house! Well, let me clarify a little.. Technically, this isn’t my dream house, not by a long shot. Actually, I’m currently in the process of getting ready to move, so the title is sort of ironic, if not prophetic. On a whim, I  decided to take some photos of my apartment as it is at this very moment, and capture some of the great instances of random 80s awesomeness that are visible to me on a daily basis.

Ah, my never ending, overflowing collection of VHS tapes. They dominate the living room in every way. The first thing you see when you enter my place is a toppling tower stacked nearly to the ceiling with videos. Some people are puzzled, wondering why such a large storage space would be put to use crammed with heaps of a now defunct media format. But I just laugh and think ‘Oh,  the  BETA tapes are in the closet’ . I know they’re confused by the lack of presence of DVDs. Look closely, however, and you’ll see that this truly was housing DVDs originally, but was overrun by VHS.

The shelves embrace an eclectic mix of 80’s cartoons, obscure movies and various Disney animation compilations, among other things.

This isn’t really a proper home for my VHS collection, though. Its become  as unruly as a bad 80’s hairstyle.  They’re all over the place, scattered around.

Perched atop a small bookshelf in the hall, is my collection of Sears Wishbooks. Which would normally be kept safe in a better position, but they’ve been out frequently being used as reference guides. They’re  the ultimate research manual when it comes not only to toys, but housewares, clothing, and the overall aesthetic of a certain time.  Also visible are a couple misplaced books.  A collector’s doll guide (which I purchased because it briefly discusses Jem) and a very cool book simply titled “Hal Lifson’s 1966!” which is a  picture packed retrospective of mid-60s pop culture.

More collectibles guides. I love that there is a book titled “Contemporary fast food drinking glass collectibles” I ran across it in a little independent book shop, and I had to have it.  To the right is my massive book of 80s advertising.  Its pretty much about 5 pounds worth of solid print ads ranging every category you can think of. I love Taschen.

A view of the hallway. Yes, the two large tubs Party Popple sits beside  are full of 80s toys. The top one is full to the brim with my entire vintage My little Pony collection.

A sampling of the various contents of my room  that  make it look like either that of a 6 year old girl, or the dumping ground of a closed out  Toys R Us circa 1985.  A few Care Bears keep Rainbow Brite and Star lite company in the vintage red chair.

A couple items of my Jem collection waiting to get packed away. A Jem dresser set, and the Rock n Romance board game. To the right is my Hasbro shipping box, which holds the collection of Jem Wrist Rocks I previously wrote about, and a couple other light weight, fragile Jem items, including party favor bags and Jem sunglasses. I have two of the 25th Anniversary repro My little Pony collector’s sets. The one pictured above features Blue Belle, Butterscotch and Cotton Candy.

Gizmo, a Pound Puppy and the Swarovski eyed Love a Lot bear hanging out with the rest of their plush toy pals.

The other set of My Little Ponies decorate my DVD player,

while the puffling Popple Daniel gave me hangs out by my stereo.

A vintage metal Care Bears waste bin I picked up at Goodwill a few years ago.  I’m inclined to think that it was part of one of those theme bedroom sets, with the toy chests, curtains, and linens and whatnot. Another instance of the Sears Wishbook coming in handy!

A totally awesome Totally Minnie poster circa 1988.

This Mickey and Minnie design, along with another very similar one of the pair standing back to back, was on everything from puzzles to metal tins to posters and Mylar balloons. Strangely enough, this particular poster I won at a fair only a few years ago.

Cheer bear pokes her head out from my closet in the form of character slippers. Yes, thats right ; I have Care Bear slippers. And I wear them.

Don’t forget to say hi to Lloyd Dobler on your way out.

Some randomness from another room: The thermos collection.  a RotJ figure. A Rose Petal Place lunchbox. There are plenty of other metal lunchboxes stored in the closet. I’m hoping to find a way to display them in my new place.

A few interesting things here. An original display for the 1991 McDonald’s Happy Meal featuring ‘Hook’. A couple new old stock Mattel Heart Family dolls. A basket full of vintage GI Joe and Star Wars figures, and a couple McDonald’s Halloween Happy Meal pails.  Unfortunately nothing is organized, yet again. This room functions as both a dumping ground for the collectibles we bring home, and a bedroom for me and my fiance. After the move I hope to have both of those spaces separate and clearly defined.

Old board games stacked up high on the closet shelf.

In the living room, the NES lives harmoniously with the Wii fit.

To finish the photo tour off, how about some more VHS.

More VHS??

Surely you’re think since this is the last photo, it must be the last of my VHS collection. Far from it. Try under the bed and digging through half a closet full as well.

I plan to update this entry with a follow-up post after I’ve moved and settled into my new place. I’ll have a new space, with a new look and feel to it, and I’m hoping I’ll find the perfect way to marry style and my quirky self expression. Although, I don’t find myself to be all that quirky, I’m just me. But, then again, maybe its because I live in my own world that I don’t see it.

As I walked from room to room, impulsively trying to capture evident pieces of my expression of love for the 80s, I noticed that it really does say something. When I looked at  the photos all together, I realized that these things mean so much more than just an ever growing collection of junk. Sure, I almost desperately hoard anything I can get my hands on that was produced between 1980 and 1989 (with a little early 90s thrown in for good measure), but I also feel each one of these things I find pieces together a tapestry of a by gone era. A time I’d like to remember and hold on to. You can’t live in the past, but you can remember its legacy. To me all these things feel like home.