'80s Cartoon Paradise

I have made it no secret that I am a child of the 80's. It may or may not be the nostalgia talking, but cartoons today are nowhere near as cool as they were back then. Now the time has come to pour yourself a big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and cast your vote for the best 80's cartoon. With so many memorable shows to choose from, I used the following criteria to help me narrow down the choices:

• Featured an insanely catchy theme song
• Had a killer logo, preferably rendered in chrome
• Spawned a vast line of toys and merchandise

Kristen pointed out to me that my selections are pretty much all "boy" cartoons, but I am a guy and this is what I watched, so what can you do? There is once again an "other" option available for write-in candidates in case I left off your favorite show. But be sure to sure to leave a comment regardless, because commenting is half the battle.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Premise: The jingoistic Joes must utilize a new, elaborate, toy-like vehicle every week in their ongoing effort to defeat the ruthless Cobra Organization. In addition to some important public safety lessons, the series taught us that terrorists can be identified by their shiny metal masks and prominent snake logos stitched on all their periphenilia.

A real American hero, G.I. Joe is there.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Premise: With the aid of his magical sword, a nerdy prince transforms into an eerily similiar looking manly man wearing only a furry loin cloth. Using his "fabulous secret powers" (and hair-do) He-Man protects Eternia from the machinations of a muscle bound skeleton, and the occasional freelance super villain with a head shaped like a giant artichoke.
By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Premise: Always armed with a hip catchphrase ("Cowabunga, dudes!") and a bevy of fighting moves that little boys shouldn't imitate but do anyway, these pizza loving heroes in a half shell defend New York City from the evil Shredder and his buddy Krang, who just happens to be an overgrown talking brain in a human-shaped exo-suit.

Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!

Premise: Giant robots transform into cars and planes in the fierce battle for toy galactic supremacy. The benevolent semi truck Optimus Prime (with his magical disappearing trailer) leads the Autobots, while the evil Decepticons are headed by Megatron, who even though he already has a gun on his arm when he is a robot, transforms to become an even bigger gun.

More than meets the eye.

Premise: Forced to migrate to "Third Earth" when their native Thundera was destroyed, the ThunderCats are now locked in an eternal struggle with Mumm-Ra, the "ever-living source of evil." Lion-O, the leader of the ThunderCats, wields the mythical Sword of Omens, which gives him "sight beyond sight," gets longer when he tells it to, and overall is much, much cooler than He-Man's magical sword.
Thunder... thunder... thunder... Thundercats, Hoooo!


robmba said...

That's a tough call, and G.I. Joe almost pulls it out, but I'd just give the edge to Thundercats. Can't beat the Sword of Omens.

Christie said...

I never actually watched any of these (except bits and pieces from you and Rob). I was too busy trying to catch a glimpse of Simon LeBon on MTV, but I voted for HeMan anyway.. just because of his haircut.

Hali said...

I voted for HeMan not because of Evilseed, despite how evil he is. Although these are all boy cartoons when I was a little girl I actually loved to watch this show and I had a toy that when you took it apart became a sword and shield, where in I became HeMan. So there is my vote, plus we have best of season 1 and now Calvin loves (who he calls) just Man.

Team Ritz! said...

Okay, Steve stole our vote and voted for He-Man. Making He-Man kill Skeletor at home in the most creative ways possible was his favorite thing as a kid.

Since I didn't get a say in the poll, I'm going to unofficially vote for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched that all the time with my brother, and secretly hoped one day I would be just like April.

I'm with Kristin in being disappointed at the lack of REAL 80's cartoons being left off the list. Namely: Wonderwoman, The Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, Carebears, and Rainbow Bright. (In my book, all of those beat my poll options.)

brent said...

DUDE! One word: VOLTRON.

Did not both versions rock the cartoon party?

"And I'll form...the head!"

Oh, I'm friends with Kirsten (nee Kovacs). Your blog is great. Great, great, great!

Cheryl said...

Ok, I would have to say I didn't like any of these. I checked out a Heman DVD for the boys from the Library and they wouldn't watch it. I would pick Strawberry Shortcake or Smurfs, but for the purposes of the pole I will pick GIJoe, and knowing is half the battle.

Ben said...

What? No Voltron? No Go-Bots? No Gummi Bears? (oh wait, that last one didn't have a shiny chromed-out logo...never mind). That being said none of them beat out Thundercats or He-Man (ever notice that the He-Man theme song sounded a lot like the Remington Steele theme song? Just me?). So due to the fact that, out of the two, I actually remember more of Thundercats, there lies my vote.

ScottBoomer said...

Gotta go with cars that turn into robots. Pure genius.
Seriously, Gobots? Weren't they just a poor mans version of Transformers?

Dave said...

I know for a fact that Go-Bots are poor man's Transformers because that is what we had growing up. They were smaller, less complicated to transform, and a lot cheaper.

Voltron didn't make my final cut because every show was exactly the same (as opposed to these other shows which were the model of diversity). Some new monster threatens, the lion robots all attack individually and get their butts kicked until finally they combine together to make Voltron and handily conquer their foe. Why didn't they just combine from the start?

I'm voting for G.I. Joe because that is what we had the most toys of by far. Many of you will remember that the action figures were held together at the waist with a small black rubber band for better swivel action. I learned the hard way that you shouldn't twist their torso around several times and watch them spin back into place. Imagine my youthful horror as I twisted Duke's body around one time too many and accidentally severed him in half.

Rob and I so desperately wanted the 7 1/2 foot long G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier playset, but we could never convince our parents to get it for us. What did we expect though? They wouldn't even buy us real Transformers.

Krissy said...

I voted for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because I remember that one better than the others. I remember He-Man, but I have seen He-Man more recently and now realize how lame it is (here's looking at you, Evil Seed).

And perhaps I am a little ambivalent toward He-Man because a guy once told me that I looked like He-Man. Not very flattering, even if He-Man is a little bit girly.

robmba said...

We had a lot of Go-Bots, but of course Transformers were cooler. I don't really remember watching the Go-Bots on TV as much as the Transformers. We probably had more G.I. Joe toys than anything else, although Star Wars toys may have edged them out. There were just so many G.I. Joe characters and vehicles that it is the obvious toy king. In each show, you'd only have maybe half the characters, since there was just not enough time for all the Joes to make an appearance. I'm not sure I'd totally judge the shows based on the toys, though, but that is one of the original criteria. I still gave my vote to Thundercats in spite of their more limited toy-appeal. There were also limited Voltron toys, as I remember anyway. The biggest problem with Voltron was its dueling identities. The two Voltrons, either 5 lions or 15 vehicles, just caused confusion. The intricasies of two Voltrons, guarding different areas of the universe was just too much. Of course, if you really want to get technical, there were three Voltrons, just one of them was never dubbed into English.

Mike said...

What no love for Voltron? Seriously. This is a tough call I loved Voltron, Thundercats and Transformers. I watched a bit of He-Man. But the others were way better.

Here's a good question. Why aren't any of these shows on re-runs. There should be a cable channel that just plays classic cartoons. Cartoon network blows because they could do this, but they just play crap!

Penny :) said...

I don't remember much of the cartoons you suggested. But scooby-doo has to be top of my list.