Top Five Animation Action Figures of the Eighties

Top Five Animation Action Figures of the Eighties

Do you have vivid memories of brightly colored plastic lining the shelves of Toys’R’Us? Was your Christmas list filled with awesome playsets and vehicles? If so, then you were lucky enough to grow up in the glory days of the 80s action figure. 

Muscle and machismo were the order of the day. From military madness to blonde barbarians, 80s kids were spoilt for choice. Below, 80sTees picks our top 5 animation action figures of the decade. 


Masters of the Universe & Battle Armor Skeletor

He-Man was legendary, but when you think of Masters of the Universe, is he the first character that springs to mind? For many, that accolade goes to Skeletor. This nasally, manic villain with a skull for a head is arguably the greatest cartoon bad guys of all time.

Skeletor also had some of the best, most bad ass toys. His ride was a giant panther, and his home was a mountain shaped like a snake. That beats our shack in the woods any day of the week. 

However, the greatest of his outings was Battle Armor Skeletor. This figure had a panel in its chest that switched round to show a smashed-up armor plate. It was perfect for any child who wanted to give the bad guy a serious beat down.

 Masters of the Universe & Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure and Shirt

You can rock the look with this battle armor T-Shirt. The image is taken from the original comic books that came packaged with the action figures. 


Thundercat’s Lion-O

The Thundercat’s were a humanoid feline race from the Planet Thundara. When their planet was destroyed, they set off into space crash-landing on a planet named Third Earth. They also crashed into the Saturday morning cartoon slot, creating a huge wave of excitement. 

LJN was the company responsible for creating the Thundercat’s toys. Despite having a reputation for making some terrible Nintendo games and wrestling figures, LJN actually excelled with the Thundercat’s line. 

Lion-O, leader of the Thundercats, had an action figure packed with features. Not only did he have a battle magic slicing sword action, but he also came with a power pack to give him light-up eyes. Along with his Sword of Omens, it was everything you needed to recreate the perfect Saturday morning cartoon slot. Say it with me…thunder….thunder…..Thundercats……

Thundercat’s Lion-O Action Figure and Shirt

Unfortunately, it is hard to look as cool as Lion-O. Unless you have a huge shock of red hair and don’t mind walking around in a leather bodysuit. But you can come close with our choice of awesome Thundercat T-Shirts here


Transformers Soundwave

Due to their enduring popularity and the recent reboot, Transformer needs no introduction. The eternal war between Autobots and Decepticons has reached further than we could ever have imagined as children. It has hit cartoons, toy store shelves and spawned a massive Hollywood franchise. 

The figurehead of this has always been Optimus Prime, the fearless leader. However, here at 80sTees we have our own favorite, and that is Soundwave.

What could be more 80s? A transforming robot that turns into a ghetto blaster, and even plays tapes. While he may not be that useful in a fight these days, he is the retro pal we would opt for. 

Image of Transformers Soundwave Action Figure and Shirt

Looking for some cool clothes to wear while listing to your mixtapes? Get this awesome Soundwave T-Shirt by clicking here. 


G.I. Joe Snake Eyes

G.I. Joe had an unbelievable cast of characters. However, for the first line up one figure really stood out and remained a firm fan favorite. That was Snake Eyes. 

In theory, this guy should not be popular. Toys of the 80s were bold and colorful, yet he was a monotone figure in black. While the rest of the line got statistics and a backstory, Snake Eyes information was all strictly classified. This gave him an air of mystery and a whole heap of cool. 

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes Action Figure and Shirt

It may scare the neighbors if you choose to walk around in a black, ninja style suit of armor. But you can chill in the yard wearing this cool T and not look too menacing. 


Ghostbusters & Fearsome Flush

Ghostbusters was a smash hit movie franchise, with the cream of Hollywood royalty. It was followed by a cartoon, a successful comic book, and thus it was inevitable that a toy line would follow. 

The problem was that when it came down to it, the Ghostbusters were just four guys in overalls. In addition, they really lacked any sort of arch enemy. How do you make toys based on that?

The answer was to get creative. Makers Kenner set about creating some of the most underrated transforming toys of the eighties. 

Volkswagen cars turned into giant mantis. Quarterbacks turned into giant ghostly alligators. But the greatest was this, Fearsome Flush. Because what could be scarier than getting spooked when you are on the toilet?

Ghostbusters & Fearsome Flush Toy and Shirt

You can get the look with this neat Fearsome Flush T-Shirt.


What 80s Animation Action Figures Did We Miss?

Annoyed we had no Ninja Turtles? Mad we missed M.A.S.K? Let us know the animation action figures from the decade you as a child in the comments!


Silver Hawks, Dungens and Dragons, Insectors, the O.G. action figures Star Wars, I wish I was a transformer Go-Bots, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo, A-Team and a few I know I missing.


Strawberry shortcake
Scooby doo
Tom N Jerry

MOTU- Sorceress

Thundercats- Cheetra
Thundarr the Barbarian- Ookla

My favorite of all was also a very hard one to find. The first original edition of GI Joe figures in the ‘80s contained one simply named Grunt. The most underrated of their figures from that first generation. And the only one I was never able to obtain as a child. I managed to collect the entire first edition most of the second and probably half of the third. Poor Grunt never had a spot in the comic books or the TV shows and really no attention whatsoever except for that one toy. Heck I haven’t even been able to find a decent digital copy of what the box art looked like.
From The farthest reaches of the galaxy comes a legend,VOLTRON!

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