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80's Easter memories

Easter is the poor man’s Christmas, speaking from a purely secular point of view. Instead of a jolly fat man giving us presents, we get a humanoid rabbit hiding eggs. As an alternative to filling our stockings with toys, we get a basket full of plastic grass and chocolate bunnies. In place of ham, we eat…well, ham. But my point is, for most, Easter will never have the volume of memories associated with it that Christmas does, but there is still a lot of fun to be had. Allow me to share a few of my favorite 80’s Easter memories.

The Basket

Some of you reading may have been victim to the giant handled, cheap-o plastic baskets stuffed with generic toys that your parents bought in a rush at the supermarket on the way home from work. I pity you. The basket really set the stage for how much you were going to enjoy the treasures within. My Easter basket growing up was a yellow tinted woven beast covered with feathery fluff, a giant cloth duck face and orange webbed feet. It was garish, unnecessary and I loved it. It reeked of the homemade style crafts that Mom’s nowadays don’t have time for with their Pilates and Words With Friends accounts.

Action Figures

The centerpiece of my Easter fortune was always a super rad action figure. There are 3 lines of action figures I most associate with Easter and they made my Sunday morning that much more amazing. The first was the Army Ants line from 1987. These brightly colored insects sported military helmets and were ready to battle for supremacy within the dense jungle of green plastic strands. Somehow they skirted the line between cute and violent.

In 1989 it was all about Food Fighters. I’ll never forget seeing Lieutenant Legg and Fat Frenchy sitting side by side and anticipating the fun that was going to be had in the shelves of the fridge (come on, it was the perfect playset!). Then in 1990 I woke to find two Barnyard Commandos ready to duke it out for control of the cornfields. Now that I’m looking back, my Easter mornings were filled with a lot of war-themed playthings. I wonder how that got past my parents.

Egg Carton Gum

I’m pretty sure these things are still around, but this is one of those candies I associate most with the 80’s. Really, any miniaturized version of everyday items was a welcome sight to my young eyes back then, but these had the benefit of also being gum. Gum was a special event unto itself, but formed into tiny eggs it became precious. I really didn’t even want to chew it, because I never knew if I would see such confectionary artistry again. Plus, it was just fun to play with little eggs, am I right?

My Outfit

I feel like I see little boys these days in skater wear as the standard look. Gone are the sailor suits and overall shorts of years past. I wore both in my lifetime, but this gleaming white American equivalent of Lederhosen (which I have also worn) was always the definitive Easter outfit in my mind. Just look at Lil' Hoju, so proud of his single egg find, with another lurking in the background beneath the fern. Maybe it’s just because the imagery of Easter is so prominently on display in the photos where I am wearing it, but if I could convince my son to wear something like this today I would declare him Easter King!

Easter Egg Hunt

Though my childhood home had a massive backyard, for some reason our Easter Egg hunts always took place in the living room. It would be a mix of tiny, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs (which were my favorite, but hardest to find) and freshly dyed hard-boiled eggs (we never went plastic) courtesy of the colorful PAAS decorating sets. These boxes always managed to hang around in our cupboards long after Easter had ended, promising that in another year the fun could be had all over again 

The Candy

In the end, Easter is all about the candy. The standards were always Brach’s jelly beans, hollow chocolate bunnies with even more hollow blank stares and a few crispy chocolate rabbits or eggs. Of course no basket would be complete without a Cadbury Crème Egg. I didn’t even really care for the candy itself, but the way those multi-colored foil wrappers were positioned at the local drug store made them seem like an imported delicacy reserved for the kings of Europe. I had to have one!


So tell me, what did you look forward to most each “Bunny Day”? Was Easter bigger than Christmas to you? Let’s hear it!

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Spencer Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 04:40 PM

Loved Eggums!

pikachulover Posted on Mar 28, 2016 at 08:06 AM

I loved Eggums! I used keep the little cartons and put them in my toy fridge. The cartons were also good for molding playdoh. i think they still sell them, but they don't taste the same.

I would usually get 2 baskets a generic store bought one and one that my parents put together. Sometimes I would get a new dress and then they would take my to get my picture taken at the photo studio.

echidna64 Posted on Mar 28, 2016 at 02:26 AM

Barnyard Commandos were perfect cannon fodder for my TMNT toys lol

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 28, 2016 at 12:12 AM

Almost exclusively, my memories of Easter in the 80's consist of only two things... those blow up Easter Bunnies from the title card you've used, and large, hollow, chocolate bunnies. I know there was a great deal more to it than that, but the memories are fuzzy. Cadbury Eggs were certainly consumed, I can remember doing so, and aside from Easter you couldn't find them around.

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