For kids of 1987, the most desired gift for under the tree was inspired by a television show: Popples.
Those Characters From Cleveland (TCFC), a division of American Greetings, created the Popples, which are teddy bear/marsupials with a long tail that ends in a pom pom. Each one can transform into a ball.
TCFC’s Susan Trentel, the plush toy designer who had created Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears, came up with the idea for Popples, based on rolling up socks.
Initially manufactured in 1986 by Mattel, there were nine Popples that were introduced to the market, including Pancake, Puzzle, Puffball and Pretty Cool (PC as seen above).
An animated television series aired on Saturday mornings during the cartoon hours, adding to the desire for kids to want a Popple for their own.
Each toy corresponded to a TV character, and could be rolled into an attached pocket to make the toy into a ball, similar to how the characters could become one on screen. The majority of Popples were female, but there were two males in the collection.
And for kids of 1987, those Popples were the IT toy that they wanted to see on Christmas morning.
The old and new of Rennes, France:
In 1977, the coveted toy for Santa to bring was The Atari 2600.
Early on in the personal gaming universe, it was The Atari 2600 that every kid pleaded Santa and their parents to bring them for Christmas 1977.
Debuting on the market in September 1977, this home video game console offered a microprocessor that could handle multiple games and came with two joysticks and the game Combat.
Paired with advances in technology and development of video graphics, Atari also benefitted from its acquisition by Warner Communications.
The infusion of cash allowed Atari to get The Atari 2600 to market, eventually including Pac-man as the second game for the console. With the ability to build the home video game console in Hong Kong as opposed to California, the toy became more affordable.
But for parents, $199.99 was a lot to pay for a gift, the equivalent of $800 in current money.
Sales were slow but steady in the first years, but it was the inclusion of Space Invaders that kicked this console into the ultimate gift.
But for Christmas 1977, early adopters were salivating for the ability to play Combat endlessly through the holidays.
My feelings for Monday…
of an alley in Chicago:
In the year 1980, a Brit band made its eighth studio album and hit the top of the album charts: The Game by Queen.
Recorded in summer 1979 and in the first months of 1980 in Munich, Germany, the album included new influences for Queen like rockabilly (as heard on their first single) and the first time the band included a synthesizer to its music mix.
The band’s first single was Crazy Little Thing Called Love, released in October 1979, becoming the band’s first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US.
Save Me and Play the Game were released as follow-up singles before the album was released by EMI /Elektra in June 1980. The fourth single from the album was the notable rock song Another One Bites the Dust, which became the band’s second number one single on the Billboard charts.
In concert, the band tried something new with Freddie Mercury playing guitar during performances, the first time that had been done.
Critics’ reviews at the time were mixed, praise from Record Mirror and Rolling Stone, and disappointment from Smash Hits and The Washington Post.
But fans didn’t agree with those negative critics, making this Queen album their first (and only) album to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The Game is the band’s bestselling album of all time in the US.
The Game was nominated in the Producer of the Year category by The Grammys, as well as receiving Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Another One Bites the Dust. At the American Music Awards, the band was nominated for Favorite Pop/RockBand/Duo/Group and won Favorite Pop/Rock Single for Another One Bites the Dust.