Our last post described some of the 80’s stuffed animals and reminisced about some of the loveable animals you may have grown up with. If you haven’t read that post, I am sure you will quite enjoy it if you find yourself on this page. In this post, I would like to share with you a few more whimsical stuffed animal characters of the 80’s that I did not include in the first article. Some of these are among my very favorites. So have a seat, if you aren’t already seated, and reminisce with me, dear friend.
Garfield Window Stick-ons
Remember this guy. He was everywhere in the 80’s. John must have been on the road a lot, and Garfield always seemed to be tagging along–at least this is the impression one would get cruising the highway during this decade and beyond. Garfield stick-ons were ubiquitous. Jim Davis is not only a talented cartoonist but also a marketing genius. It was he who was sparked with the idea that evolved into Garfield stick-ons (car window toys). This became a great way of getting not only children but also teenagers and adults interested in his sarcastic feline via this automobile “extra.” I still remember sitting in the back of our ’85 voyager near the back hatch, playing with Garfield and his adhering suction cups on the way to school.
I was in second grade. I remember the commercial for the most adorable mouse I had ever seen. The movie The American Tale had just come out, and Sears had capitalized on it. I got excited when going there during the holiday season–and it wasn’t because I wanted to look at washers, dryers, or refrigerators. I wanted to see Fieval Mouse. I wanted that plush animal for Christmas, but I didn’t think I would get one. They were probably expensive, but I secretly hoped Santa would bring me one. Weeks passed. Finally, Christmas day arrived and I was elated to open my gifts. I finally got to one of the last gifts–one that looked rather bulky. As I tore into the paper, I was ecstatic when I saw that adorable pal I had been longing for. Not only was that doll cute, but his clothes were quite unique. His dark blue hat and red shirt were velvet: a texture I am still very fond of.
And I don’t think I was alone. Thos Don Bluth films were popular at the time, esp. the Fieval movies as well as The Land Before Time. Yes, I am sure there were a lot of other boys and girls who got Fieval Mouse for Christmas that year. Did you see the movie or own this stuffed toy? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
Alien Life Form (ALF) was a popular show in the 80’s. He was hilarious, wasn’t he? There was something about a puppet interacting with people– and that very human-like sense of humor– that made it almost believable. Well, they seem to have made a doll to represent just about every show or movie that appeared in the 80’s–a trend that continues today. Some of them were simply plush creatures with that shaggy fake hair; others were puppets, I believe. He wasn’t scary either. Often, aliens from outer space have an eerie or scary sense about them. But not Alf. He was too funny to take too seriously.
I remember many of the children in my class having these guys. My friends brought them to school to play with at recess. They were so fun because you could turn them into a ball, sort of like an armadillo–but of course, they look and feel nothing alike. These balls of joys were so soft, fluffy, and cuddly you just had to love them. As with many other dolls and stuffed animals of this decade, there was an animated cartoon made about these whimsical creatures. Again, as was true of other dolls of the 80’s, what made these so novel was the interaction children received from these toys. They were more than a stuffed toy. Children could turn them into a ball and kick them around. I remember some that turned into soccer balls and basketballs. This really got thw boys interested in them too. I even remember once kicking a soccer Popple around in the store aisle with my twin brother. Shhh! Don’t tell.
I will never forget these creatures. They were quite strange to look at but very friendly-looking and cute. Some creatures of the era were simply monsters, but these were not. What made them unique was that they combined the features of two animals (like a combination of a bumble bee and a lion–Bumblelion), which really isn’t very unique, is it? But the creators’ morphing them together into half species is what made them unique and memorable. They made children laugh, and I was one of those children. And of course, they made an animated cartoon for these guys too. Watching the Wuzzles cartoons made us children want to collect all the plush animals and reenact the shows–or create our own episode.
These adorable pups were mostly for girls, but believe it or not, I really wanted one. A yellow one though–not pink! There was something about the simple old-fashioned design that I liked. The hair of these fluppy dogs was like yarn. That gave them a more homemade look, even though they were mass produced for toy retailers. Their noses were like large pom-poms, again– creating a homemade style toy. That feature really produced smiles upon the faces of many who saw them. And, of course, no puppy dog stuffed animal is quite complete without a dog tag. The cartoon series really brought them to life and added a storyline to these unique fluppy dogs. (They’re not your average pups!).