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Ultimate 80s school accessories



Trapperkeeper Ready for those words that used to make us all wake up in a cold sweat? "It's back-to-school time!"


Don't worry, my fellow '80s fritters. For most of us, the days of donning concert shirts and designer jeans and wolfing down Pop-Tarts and Jolt Cola on the way to the school bus are long over. These days we just get to torture the next generation with that nightmarish proclamation.

To celebrate the season, fellow '80s fanatic and TBT writer Sharon Kennedy Wynne (who'd make a great addition to the Stuck in the 80s podcast team) has penned a fantastic article comparing retro '80s-era school supplies with today's fare. Click here to read it.

While you're perusing amnesia lane, here's a list that will move you to tears about yesteryear. Many of Sharon's beloved tools are included.


Ewok 10. PENCIL TOPPERS: Garfield worked great. So did an Ewok. I can't imagine a Jar-Jar Binks pencil topper. Some trends are better left buried in time.

9. SCENTED MARKERS: Red was cherry -or watermelon-scented, green was usually apple. Just avoid the licorice-flavored black markers -- it reminds me of Jagermeister.

8. LIQUID GLUE STICKS: Really, did we ever use them? Umm, for gluing purposes, I mean. I bet I have a half dozen in a box next to the box with my high school diploma and scientific calculator.

7. METAL TV-THEMED LUNCH BOX: "Mork & Mindy" was always golden for these, since you were able to unscrew Mork's head from the Thermos bottle.

Digitalwatch 6. DIGITAL WATCH: With big huge numbers that only lit up if you squeezed the button on the side. Space-age technology at the time, especially if you had a built-in calculator.

5. BOOK COVERS: Oh sure, you could use paper grocery bags to wrap your books, but it's so much cooler to spend a buck a piece on a "Dukes of Hazzard" one for that ratty science book.

4. DENIM NOTEBOOK: Perfect for writing "Steve & Alisa Forever" (yeah, that worked out great) or drawing that beloved Van Halen symbol all over it. ("VH Rules!")

3. MECHANICAL PENCIL: Replacing the tiny rods of lead was akin to working with plutonium -- one wrong move and whammo! ... you need another new rod. And they never worked on Scan-tron sheets. Seriously, why did we bother?

Combs 2. THE COMB: Flat with a big handle. Always stored in the back pocket. Simple, elegant, timeless.

1. TRAPPER KEEPER: The holy grail of 80s accessories and possibly the single-biggest contribution the 80s generation gave to civilization. That being said, it rarely held together in one piece past Thanksgiving break. Still, all hail the enduring power of Velcro. (Click here to relive the TV commercial.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:37pm]


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