It’s 1985, I’m eight-years-old…
…and the Sears Wishbook just came in the mail.
Was there any better moment as a child in the eighties? I should think not. Kids these days will never know the look, the smell or the heft of a Sears Wishbook. 600 pages, of which I only needed 50 or so, packed full of Christmas gift ideas for the whole family.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I started at page one and slowly worked my way to the last fourth of the book where all the good stuff was. If I’m going to be honest, I just did it again while taking a trip down memory lane.
I’ll also admit that I was an only child, blessed with two wonderful parents who liked nothing more than to make my Christmas mornings memorable AF. So I may have been slightly spoiled… but I recognized it and valued what I was given. So much so that half of it is still in storage tubs or was played with by my son.
They Still Exist
Thanks to a neat website called Wishbookweb.com you too can weep as you gaze upon these glorious pages that feel like a time machine back to simpler times. Join me in my journey, as I flip through the pages of the 1985 Sears Christmas Wishbook.
This girl is me. She is all of us.
Great Gift Ideas
At the beginnig of each book was always a section with some of the ‘Hot Items’ for the season. A hodge podge of things your uncle might like or pehaps a Secret Santa gift for your office Christmas party.
Get your child a panda bearskin rug so they can feel like they traveled to China and murdered a panda.
Not sure what to get your lover? Why not matching karate outfit pajamas? Bow to your sensei.
Things Your Mom Might Like
Pastel! All the pastel. Like Easter but on Christmas.
These ladies are just relaxing after a long Easter workout.
A blonde, a brunette and a redhead walk into… patterns and pleats.
“I bought this for you, Janet.”
“I don’t want it, Cynthia.”
Tucked in flannel for the disapproving grandma.
“I spent all of my money on this fur coat, I had nothing left for my haircut.”
Are you a Cool Dad?
Only if you hang out with other dads in bathrobes.
Breakthrough’s in Technology
Anyone else cut out these televisions and put them in your dioramas? No? Maybe it was just me.
The neighbors had one of these in their basement. It belonged to the dad. He had strip poker on it. I was very bad at strip poker.
Be kind, please rewind. And also, hold the door open with your fingers and blow into it if it’s not working great.
The wealth of a family was determined by their phone and if it had a cord or not.
You’re telling me that I can tape something off of the radio and also tape that tape onto another tape?
Everything turned into robots in the eighties. Also, watches had calculators back then. Take that, Apple.
Many of the things on this page want to kill you.
The Girl’s Section… Ew.
How I assumed every girl’s sleepover looked.
These girls can afford the best… and they know it.
Did girls really wear their hair like this?
This girl is so sad that her Cabbage Patch Kid doesn’t look like her that she has a tummy ache.
*** Insert sexist joke about women in the kitchen ***
Toys for Every Girl and Boy
Two horror movie inspiring dolls on one page! No thanks. “Lasting Friendships” as in for…ev…er.
“Let’s make the whole extended family listen to our kid’s sh*tty rock band.”
The makers of “My Buddy” gifted us with a horror movie franchise that is still going strong today.
“Hey Billy, these things work great. I can hear you perfectly.”
“I’m standing right behind you, Tommy.”
“Hold on, I need to call in this hit and run on my landline telephone.”
While Battlecat looks awesome, there wasn’t a time in my childhood when I didn’t get my thigh skin pinched by one of the four springs on these things.
I never wore a suit when playing with toy cash registers. Perhaps that’s why I run a struggling podcast while that kid grew up to know what dividends are.
I come from a time when all of my toy guns looked more real than actual guns.
Get in Shape, Kid!
Did you even lift, bro? As a kid, I was always wondering when I’d get my next set of reps in.
“Aw honey, Santa thinks you don’t look good enough.”
Don’t Judge Me
I owned Muppet Babies, Pound Puppies and a Glow-worm. So what? I played hard and cuddled hard.
(Black circled items I had – Red circled items I wanted)
My first camera was that blue Fisher Price beauty. Durable as heck but most of the photos were of my own thumb. I’m sure my dad cringed every time he was asked to take a role of my film to the Fotomat.
The Lego castle was one of my first Lego sets. I liked the knights but space was more my jam.
My dad and I played the heck out of the violently vibrating football game as well as that ping pong ball basketball game.
The Honey Hole
No joke… looking at these pages made me emotional. So much hope, happiness and battle planning.
DC’s Super Powers line of figures were incredible. I never understood why Superman needed a jet but I had it and played with it non-stop. Marvel’s Secret Wars figures were not as dynamic but also awesome.
Say what you will about Go-Bots but the cartoon was great and these little guys had personality. The base was big fun to play with too. Shame on Sears for using Transformer verbiage at the top though.
I loved my Transformers. I loved them so hard that I broke many of them. Dinobots were a game changer. I had Grimlock and Slag, my buddy had Swoop. The radios were unknown to me and I never had the Insecticons. I did, however, have the Constructicons.
Aw man, I was hoping that the 1985 Wishbook wouldn’t be the one featuring the G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier. Seven feet of awesomeness that almost made me lose hope in Santa. I can remember seeing it on store shelves in Toys r’ Us. It is my “White Whale”. G.I. Joe was probably my most collected toy series and I had a bunch, including the hovercraft which was pretty rad… but it wasn’t the aircraft carrier.
As you can see by all of the red circles, I didn’t have many He-Man figures. But I feel like I did… so maybe I had a different series of them? Are these early figures or later figures? Where is Ram-Man and the bumblebee guy? Anyway, this page made me happy. He-Man figures smelled cool and were a lot of fun.
Star Wars figures were another big deal in my house. My Transformer collecting buddy had a lot that I didn’t have and vice versa, so it worked out well. I didn’t have many of the Return of the Jedi vehicles or playsets but I did have Jabba and Leia in her ‘slave outfit’ which made me feel funny.
Last but not Least
I’ll end my trip down memory lane here with M.A.S.K. figures. You may not remember this line of toys but they were incredible. These toys might provide some of my best memories. I’m fairly certain I got Thunder Hawk (the red car) and Rhino (the purple truck) at Christmas that year. The vehices all did different things and the guys were simple and little. M.A.S.K. stood for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and the toy line, comic books and animated series all came out that year.
I hope you enjoyed this look back at the 1985 Sears Christmas Wishbook. It left me with a big smile on my face. I want to thank my mom and dad for giving me so many memorable Christmas mornings.
If you need me, I’ll be on e-Bay.