Depending on your choice of terminology, the '80s were either "awesome", "radical", or "gnarly." Of course, it needn't be an all or nothing thing -- the decade could easily be described as all three things.
And one of the best things about growing up in the '80s, to quote the Joker from 1989's "Batman," were "All those wonderful toys."
Sure, the '70s gave us such great playthings as Stretch Armstrong and the Big Wheel, but stuff really got exciting in the 1980s. Toys became so much more than the one-note Lincoln Logs, Tiddlywinks, or any of those other crummy toys our parents were raised on.
Let's take a look at some of the decade's toy awesomeness, and we'll start with the biggest dog the decade is proud to call its own ...
No. 5: Rubik's Cube
You could ask anyone what a Weeble or Hippity Hop are, and some might know the answer, but most wouldn't. That's not the case with a Rubik's Cube.
Everyone knows (and has likely owned) a Rubik's Cube. The six-color puzzle was created by Hungarian mathematician Erno Rubik and took the world by storm in 1980.
The cube's sides were twisted to mix up the colors, and then you had to figure out how to rotate the sides to unscramble them. The thing was tough to figure out, but it was easily solved if you knew the secret trick, and here it is: Simply peel off the stickers and then put them back on the correct sides.
That wasn't so tough now, was it?
While Rubik's Cube was a solitary game, there were other toys that you could enjoy either by yourself or with your friends ...
No. 4: Action figures
Action figures had been around since the 1960s, but had not achieved their peak popularity.
The first action figures that really launched the genre -- and it should come as no surprise -- were the 3-¾-inch Star Wars action figures, introduced by Kenner in 1978. And it turned out that the furious popularity of Star Wars action figures had primed the action figure pump.
By the '80s, there were plenty of franchises cranking out their own action figures of the same size.
G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Batman (in a plethora of different costumes), and He-Man. Thought you had them all? Just watch an '80s Saturday morning cartoon, and they would unabashedly remind you which new ones you needed to convince your parents to buy.
Action figures usually didn't do much more than hold toy guys, but some action figures took a unique twist (literally) on the genre ...
No. 3: Transformers
Whoever thought up Transformers were either geniuses or evil masterminds. These were action figures that could be turned into a car, airplane, boom box (what? A boom box?), whatever, just by flipping and rotating different sections of the Transformer.
And it wasn't enough to simply have the Transformers change into one thing or another. They came complete with a back story that explained how malevolent Transformers faced off against the heroic Transformers, in some epic tale of good vs. evil.
Many times, however, you were stymied by the Transformer and couldn't figure the thing out. As a result, you wound up with a third type of Transformer -- one that was halfway converted between a robot and a car -- and that's how a lot of them existed, in a partially converted state.
As you can assume, action figures and Transformers were popular with boys, but the girls weren't left out ...