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We Rewind To 1987 To Take A Look At "Totally Tubular" Toys


picture of toys from 1987 and musicians

1987, 37 years ago and most of us were teens, listening to the Pet Shop Boys, Rick Astley or maybe the Sisters of Mercy and The Smiths on our Walkmans whilst pedalling hard on our BMXs. A carefree time of feeling the wind in your mullet as you raced to the store to pick up the latest edition of Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters.


picture of TMNT figures and My Little Pony and Ghostbusters figures

It was a great time to be a kid. In 1987, Kenner was making Ghostbusters, MASK, Sky Commandos, and Centurians, to name a few. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were in their third year and going from strength to strength. Hasbro provided us with Visionaries, Transformers, My Little Pony, and the legendary G.I. Joe.

picture of movie posters from 1987 and a Blockbuster sign

Blockbuster enabled us to bring home big-name movies, such as Flight of the Navigator, Aliens, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Now, we could feel just like we were at the movies as microwave popcorn burst forth, the buttery joy.

picture of radioactive black belt hamsters comic books

Following in the successful footsteps of TMNT was a spate of other animal/ninja comic books, the most popular being Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. This follows the (mis)adventures of Chuck, Clint, Jackie and Bruce, who are launched into space by NASA in an attempt to save the world from the Blob Monster; however, they end up gaining mysterious powers and being trained by Tibetan Monks.

picture of NES, Commodore 64 and Archie comic

Other comic books at the time were Archie, EWOKS, Tales Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men, to name a few. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the best-selling home system for the fourth year running, followed by the classic that is the Commodore 64. We were playing Out-Run, Afterburner, Zelda II and Contra in the comfort of our own homes and throwing away coins on the arcade game Bubble Bobble, making it the top-grossing arcade game in May/June of 1987.


picture of Fabuland characters and sets

So what was LEGO playing us with during those day-glow-coloured times? Over 190 LEGO sets were released in 1987. From the quirky animal, Fabuland sets to the fierce Forestmen of the Castle theme, there was something for everyone. Fabuland was still going strong; it had been eight years since these cute animals appeared on the studded scene. LEGO Fabuland 3662 Double Decker Bus, 3645 Classroom Set, and 3675 General Store were all released in 1987.

pictures off LEGO Blacktron sets

LEGO Space Blacktron and Futuron had quite a few releases in 1987, some of the most notable being LEGO 6954 Renegade, LEGO 6941 Battrax, LEGO 6893 Orion II Hyperspace set and LEGO 6990 Monorail Transport System.

picture of LEGO Blacktron 6954 and instruction sheet

The LEGO 6954 Renegade is easily recognisable as part of the Blacktron squad due to its black and yellow colouring. This set comprises 313 pieces that come together to create one large spaceship (the Renegade), two smaller spacecraft, a land buggy, and two LEGO Blacktron Minifigure pilots. It is a grail for many as it was only released in the USA.

picture of LEGO Blacktron 6941

To back up the Renegade on its galactic missions was LEGO 6941 Battrax (Blacktron Prowler), another black and yellow beast, this time of the wheeled variety. It has a selection of detachable modules that can be recombined and a single LEGO minifigure to drive the vehicle.

pictures of LEGO Futuron 6893 and instructions

The LEGO 6893 Futuron Orion II Hyperspace set (Roboprobe Transporter) is a white and blue spacecraft with detachable pods for the two spacemen to sit in and a separate robot. The spacemen are different colours: one is blue, and the other is yellow. These are a great addition to anybody’s LEGO Space display.

pictures of LEGO Futuron Monorail 6990

Lastly, the LEGO 6990 Futuron Monorail Transport System is the train of the future. This was the first time the grey monorail had been seen, and the train had space inside for the 9v battery that powered it. This set has many large dark blue transparent pieces, which create a striking look next to the white bricks. LEGO 6990 came with five LEGO Minifigures: three Futuron yellow and two Futuron blue.

picture of LEGO Forestmen sets and minifigures

The LEGO Castle genre introduced the Forestmen in 1987, and they continued to release sets of them until 1990 (though there were only seven in total). The sets were comprised of hideouts, fortifications, and various simple carts.

picture of LEGO 6066 Camouflaged Outpost

The first set in this sub-theme was LEGO 6066 Camouflaged Outpost, which had six LEGO Minifigures, a brown horse and a small woodland hideout used to hide the plundered treasure. And if you can't get your hands on the original, LEGO treated us to an updated version of the Forest Hideout last year.

picture of LEGO City sets from 1987

In 1987 LEGO released many town sets, including the LEGO 1509 Town Value Pack, LEGO 6693 Refuse Collection Truck, and LEGO 6380 Emergency Treatment Centre. This was a great time to add to your LEGO city or town (with some of the sets highly collectable now), especially the ones that had limited releases, like LEGO 1472 Holiday Home which was only released in a few European countries.

So there we have it, a trip down memory lane; we're going to go watch A.L.F. and play with our turtle figures now! Has this made you nostalgic for any childhood toys? If so, which ones?

picture of Daloreans in acrylic display cases


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