Retro Argos catalogues from the 1980s

Some classic handheld games from 1986. Picture: Michael Hay

Some classic handheld games from 1986. Picture: Michael Hay

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WITH less than nine weeks until Christmas, parents up and down the country are starting to think about shopping for their children.

Cataolgue retailer Argos predict Lego, Nerf and a sing-a-long Elsa from the Disney film Frozen will be popular present choices for children in 2015, but what topped the Christmas list for families in the 1980s?

Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer was yours for just 119.95. Picture: Michael Hay

Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer was yours for just 119.95. Picture: Michael Hay

Michael Hay, the creator of vintage site Retromash, decided to scan and upload his whole collection of Argos catalogues, dating back to the 70s.

From Mini Munchman and Astro Wars to Masters of Universe figurines and Tomytronic 3D games. We take a look at some old Argos catalogue offerings from the 1980s.

“These magazines are an amazing snapshot back to a bygone era which show not only what was out there but what were the hot properties of the day. You can often see which ones were hot by how much ‘real estate’ each property got in the catalogue that year,” creator Michael wrote on his RetroMash site,

“What’s also incredible to see is how many properties lasted for so long with literally the same photographs being used of a product for nearly a decade.

This Knightrider racing set was 44.95. Picture: Michael Hay

This Knightrider racing set was 44.95. Picture: Michael Hay

“It really is a window into the past.”

He continued: “My favourite sections were the digital watches, action figures and electronic games but there is so much good stuff in them. Some of the photos that have real life models in them are pretty ‘interesting’ in terms of haircuts and fashion too of course! And it’s great to see what the level of technology was in each year from the pages that have the media formats such as blank VHS tapes or floppy disks etc.

“It’s like stepping into a time machine. It really is a window into the past.”

According to a 1982 catalogue, mini arcade games were all the rage, with Mini Munchman, Pacman and Astrowars among the most popular models of the day.

Retro Casio watches from the 1980s. Picture: Michael Hay

Retro Casio watches from the 1980s. Picture: Michael Hay

By 1985, Star Wars figurines were one of the most popular toys on child (and adult) Christmas lists across the country.

Knightrider and Masters of the Universe were also popular in the Argos catalogues of the 80s.

Nintento handheld games were a big hit by 1986, with Donkey Kong proving a popular choice.

Speaking of digital watches that featured in 1986, Michael wrote: “One of my personal favourite sections of the catalogues. I loved digital watches, particularly the ones with games or special features on them. I had no.5 here, the one with the analogue/digital face and I also remember the day vividly when I got no.8 the Casio Databank.”

Mini arcade games were a hit in the 80s. Picture: Michael Hay

Mini arcade games were a hit in the 80s. Picture: Michael Hay

Ghetto blasters and personal steroes were a feature in many 1986 households and are one of the most iconic gadgets of its time.

Retro 80s gym gear. Picture: Michael Hay

Retro 80s gym gear. Picture: Michael Hay

Transformers are still a hit today. Picture: Michael Hay

Transformers are still a hit today. Picture: Michael Hay

Argos made shopping easier in the 80s. Picture: Michael Hay

Argos made shopping easier in the 80s. Picture: Michael Hay

Retro Argos catalogue. Picture: Michael Hay

Retro Argos catalogue. Picture: Michael Hay

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