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80s Memories

Christmas Present Ideas

Stuck for what to buy for that 80s obsessed person in your life? Have a look through the list below for a few ideas. They are all things I either have myself, or would want to receive. If you love the 80s as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll love them too.


1980s Bumper Activity Book by Mel Elliot.

The 1980s Bumper Activity Book is a brilliantly unique art and craft book for all those ’80s-obsessed people in the world. And last time we checked there were absolutely millions of them!

Stuffed to the gills with hugely quirky and fun things to do, the 1980s Bumper Activity Book contains easy peasy instructions to creating and making your own favourite art and design projects.

Packed within its glorious technicolour pages are 52 awesome things to create, including: paper dolls of iconic 1980s celebrities; WHAM! glove puppets; funky ties and T-shirts; a ‘Pong’ duvet cover; 3D glasses …and even how to bake your very own ‘Pac Man’ cake! So, don’t be a dipstick, step back in time to the decade no one wants to forget with the best 1980s Bumper Activity Book in the world …EVER!

It is the sort of thing that will keep me busy for HOURS! I’ve made a list of things I want to do from it. First I want to make a DeLorean. Then I’m going to cut out and dress Tom Selleck. Then make a Pac-Man cake. Then….. *drones out*

Wired for Sound by Tom Bromley

The eighties was a golden era for British pop: Radio One served as the soundtrack of the nation; the chart run-down on Sunday evenings was compulsory listening – ditto watching Top of the Pops and reading Smash Hits. It also saw the launch of the Now That’s What I Call Music series. In the States, the arrival of MTV helped usher in what became known as the ‘Second British Invasion’, echoing the success of the Beatles twenty years earlier.

Wired For Sound tells the remarkable story of the great eighties British bands (and Kajagoogoo) and how their music captured the nation’s imagination: the more radical beginnings in the early eighties (the new romanticisms of Duran and Spandau, the ‘protest pop’ of early Wham!); the full pomp of their mid-eighties success (the worldwide tours, the glamorous video shoots, the ubiquitous ‘Choose Life’ and ‘Relax’ T-shirts); and their fall from the top of pop’s pedestal (the splitting up of Wham!, Boy George’s drug problems).

All In The Best Possible Taste by Tom Bromley.

Television past, as LP Hartley might have once said, is another country. And, in the early 1980s it certainly was a different beast. There were still only three channels to watch; the evening’s programmes finished with the playing of the national anthem; and the biggest prize on TV was not Chris Tarrant’s million pounds but a speedboat on Bullseye …

But as Tom Bromley suggests in this funny and warming memoir, all that was about to change: The 1980s saw the end of the original golden era of television, and the beginnings of TV as we know it today. In 1982, Channel 4 became the first new terrestrial channel for almost twenty years and by the end of the decade, Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Television was vying to become Britain’s first multi-channel provider. The result of all this was that slowly but surely, British viewers had more choice than ever before…

We Could Have Been The Wombles by Tom Bromley.

Packed with information, interviews with the one hit heroes and snippets of lyrics from those songs everyone loves to hate, “We Could Have Been the Wombles” is the perfect book about this very special element of pop culture.

Mr. Blobby: Is it just me, or is Mr. Blobby the love child of Bungle and Zippy?

Eric Carmen’s All by Myself: Perhaps the reason Eric is all by himself is because he’s just so bloody down all the time. If you were his mate, would you pick up the phone?

Billy Ray Cyrus: I’m no expert on human biology, but I’m not aware of exploding hearts being a common cause of death, even among mullet-wearing cowboys.

Nena: The true message of 99 Red Balloons’ is this – if you live near a war zone, for God’s sake keep hold of your balloons.


I could put hundreds of links to CDs here, there are that many out there. The ones I have selected below are the ones I would buy if I were to want to buy an 80s comilation CD. They’re all under a tenner and they all have at least 3 discs in each one. The first one, I Grew Up In The 80s, also has the Grange Hill theme tune on it!

Clothing and Stuff!

Truffle Shuffle are SO well known on the internet as selling superb 80s t-shirts, but they also sell a huge range of retro themed goods. Do click through and have a browse, but I’ve put my favourite 6 items below.

Toys and Other Stuff

Unique 80s Gifts.

One way to ensure you get someone a genuinely unique gift is to get them some hand painted art. Not a print of some art, but something that someone has spent time drawing or painting.

Celbase sell animation cels that were actually used in cartoons on TV. The process of making a cartoon in the 80s involved drawing hundreds and hundreds of frames of animation, each with subtle differences between each drawing. When photographed in sequence and played back at speed, it gives the impression that the drawn characters are animated. Each single piece of an animation sequence is called a cel.

I have a few animation cels from Celbase, featuring Venkman from 80s cartoon The Real Ghostbusters, but they also sell He-Man, Ewoks, Droids and many other cels. Click the picture to visit and browse their amazing range.

McLevey Art

Artist Adam McLevey, at the time of writing this, is running his Persona Project. Every day he is painting a new canvas of someone famous and putting it up for sale. My words seriously do not do this project justice. It is the sort of thing you have to see to understand how cool it is. With this in mind, click here to visit – McLevey Art

Adam is able to paint a representation of whatever 80s idea you would like. Maybe you’d like a hand painted Doc Brown from Back To The Future? Or a painted ET poking Elliot in the face? Personally, I went for the Lionel Richie “Hello” painting from the Persona Project…

Amazing piece of unique art. Go and look at his things!


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