8 Toys From The 80’s and 90’s That Would Make Great Horror Films

By September 12, 2013

Image courtesy of tshirtbordello.com

When the announcement hit that Dinobots would be indeed be featured in the new Transformers movie, I was rather excited. Sure, Michael Bay might have crapped on my childhood with the previous three films in the franchise but, DINOBOTS! COME ON! After the elation of this announcement subsided, I started thinking about how great it’d be if other toys from my childhood were developed into movies (to further poop on my own nostalgia, of course). It was once I started down this proverbial rabbit hole that I began to realize just how creepy most of the toys from my childhood actually are.

So, it has been decided by the powers that be (me) that these 8 toys from the 80s and 90s should be developed into horror films. You’re welcome, Hollywood.

Don’t Wake Daddy


Okay, seriously? Apparently, I’m not the only one out there who thought of some psychotic connotations behind this game’s theme. The first thing this reminded me of was the original Stepfather movies. Terry O’Quinn for the win!

Comedy troupe “Dr. Coolsex” put together the mock trailer below for “Don’t Wake Daddy.”

And here’s the original television commercial for all you inquiring minds.



Like most boys in the 80s, I had myself a set of Madballs (hehe). There was something pretty awesome about having toy rubber balls you can play catch with that happen to be in the shape of a skull or monster with a chain in its nose. Every Madball came with their own character name and description. Due to their popularity, a cartoon, comic book and video game (Commodore 64 anyone?) were made.

In the short-lived cartoon, the second series Madballs, named Badballs (hehe), existed as an evil organization who have conquered the planet Orb and thusly outlawed music. The show featured a bunch of humorous skits that were strangely accompanied by a laugh track. The influence of Terry Gilliam on some of the animated sequences is pretty evident as well.

So here’s my pitch: Let’s bring back Madballs in a live action B-movie style. Ghoulies, anyone?

Here’s a sample of that cartoon I referenced above.

And of course, the commercial that inspired some whining on my part to get my mother to buy me these silly things.




What was it about slime in the 90s that seemed so appealing to children? Okay, maybe Nickelodeon and “Double Dare” furthered along the coolness factor regarding “ectoplasm” that started with the Ghostbusters films. Needless to say, I was one of those children in the early 90s that owned some Gak. There was just so much you could do with this stuff. You could, let’s see here, squeeze it, and you could also squish it. It was very stretchable. There was the ever-classic move of throwing it in a girl’s face. Maybe even putting it down your pants if you were so inclined…which I totally never did…totally.

The possibilities were endless!

One thing I’m always reminded of when it comes to Gak are those nifty nuclear monster sci-fi movies of the 50s and 60s.

I’m also reminded of the cult classic horror film The Stuff. Except, it wasn’t advised to ever eat your Gak (heheh…ok…seriously, I’m only laughing cuz I’m a pervert) but weirder things have happened.

Here’s the commercial for Gak, which is still a thing apparently.

The Koosh Ball


There is something very weird about the Koosh Ball. I remember owning this toy and it being quite the thing back in the early 90s. But then again, I also owned a Pogo Ball so consider the source, right? As I began compiling this list, I knew I wanted to incorporate this kooky toy into the mix and the first thing I thought of when looking at the small furry (rubber fur, mind you) balls was they were rather Tribble-like. But Tribbles are cute, right? Then I happened upon this picture above of the giant koosh ball located at Google. Immediately, two thoughts entered my head:

Katamari Damacy (don’t ask me why)…

…and The Blob…if The Blob in question was an ever-growing ball of rubber fur whose sole purpose was to maul everyone and everything in its path, thusly adding its victims to its every growing mass and consciousness. Kinda like a gross furry Borg, or something….?

So what, pray tell, is the end result of this brainstorming session? DOGNADO, THAT’S WHAT!

YE Germany Dog ShowYour move, Syfy.

My Pet Monster


My Pet Monster is still a sore subject for me since I never had the privilege of owning one when I was younger. No matter how many times I asked for one, it seems that all my whining translated in my mother’s head that I really needed a Teddy Ruxpin instead. Whatever.

For those of you out there who do not know, My Pet Monster was one of the very first plush toys marketed to boys in the 80s. He was a blue haired monster with orange handcuffs that were not only breakable, they were removable giving your young child the ability to wear them himself or herself. This guy became so popular, he spawned a line of merchandise, some direct to video movies, and an animated series for ABC.

As you can see by the direct to video film below, the storyline is a little bit different from the animated series as in this movie, Max – the boy in question – becomes the blue haired monster when he gets hungry. I call it “hangry”.

While in the cartoon, the monster lives with a boy named Max. When his handcuffs are on, he becomes the mild-mannered furry stuffed animal.

All this talk of monsters befriending young boys reminds me of that movie Little Monsters. I feel a remake is highly overdue.



I never understood this craze at all. Furbies were all the rage in the late 90s. All I see when I look at these things are evil animatronic gremlins that will steal your soul if they have the chance. It is worth pointing out that over forty million of these things were sold in their first three years of production. When speaking in terms of horror films, I’m thinking of a Gremlins/Terminator mash-up.

Kill it!

Kill it with fire!


(Uh…on second though, don’t put it in your microwave….)



The game of Operation has been in existence since 1965. We’ve all played this game at one point or another, right? The main purpose and challenge here is to test the players’ hand-eye coordination as they must use different tools to remove different oddly shaped ailments that are made of plastic. Many different versions of the game have gone into production over the past five decades but one thing remains constant: the concept of children removing organs from unsuspecting patients is just a scary idea. Oh, and the torture porn possibilities here are ridiculous. Unleash Eli Roth on this movie and we’re sure to see ALL THE AILMENTS removed by oh-so-innocent toddler hands.

I ran across the below video put together in one day as a spoof on the classic game. While the overall video is sorta meh, the image of a patient with a large cavity in his chest and that stupid red clown nose makes for some interesting imagery.

Rubik’s Cube


Last and most certainly not least is Rubik’s Cube. Invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of Architecture Ernő Rubik, the Rubik’s Cube was originally titled “Magic Cube.” Magic, huh? You don’t say! While it has been said by many that this simple little colorful block is the world’s best-selling toy, it’s hard for me to not see the similarity between this and other puzzle boxes. Or maybe just one other puzzle box.

LeMarchand’s puzzle box, to be precise.


Surely, I’m not the only one out there who has made this connection? Obviously the geniuses at T-Shirt Bordello have (scroll to the top of the page for the t-shirt design of Pinhead and a Rubik’s Cube). How lovely would that be if you were just innocently minding your own business, playing with the Magic Cube in question, only to solve it and thusly summon a team of Cenobites from Hell’s labyrinth whose only mission it is to feed off of your sweet, sweet suffering?

I wonder if the Hellraiser reboot would’ve worked better if they threw this beloved toy into the mix. Probably not.

Well, that was fun. Of course, this is just a list of 8 creepy toys and there are so many more out there in the world. So, boys and girls, what toys out there do you think are worthy of their own horror film. Please be so kind as to enlighten me in the comments below!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.
  • Darcy Shepherdson

    Luckily I wan’t born in the 80s or 90s.