Can You Identify These '80s Tech Fads!

Jacqueline Samaroo

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The decade of the 1980s is one tech junkies will always remember fondly. The best part was waiting to see what new and exciting tech would pop up next! If you think you know 1980's tech like none other, can you identify these tech fads from the decade from just one image? Take our quiz and see!

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Although the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in Japan in 1983, it would be two years before it hit the North American market. Consumers in Europe and Australia had to wait another two years before the NES was commercially available to them in 1987.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Promax J-1 Super Jumbo boombox -- or ghetto blaster -- was designed with three pairs of speakers and 8-inch woofers. It was released in 1987 and also featured flashing lights and a sleek black casing.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Polaroid 660 instant development camera truly simplified picture taking. It was designed with built-in flash and “Sonar” autofocus.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This sound activated switch was marketed with the soon-to-be popular jingle “Clap on! Clap off!” One issue owners faced was that The Clapper was not just activated by clapping, but by whatever loud noises occurred in the home.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Sony Walkman was initially released in Japan in 1979. For its 1980 U.S. release, the name Disco Jogger was among those suggested. The company eventually decided to stick with Walkman.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

In the early 1980s the Betamax was the media player with which most people were familiar. Manufactured by Sony, the Betamax videotape format was out-marketed by VHS, which was produced by JVC.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Casio G-Shock DW-5000C, released in 1983, was the first in what has grown into a long line of dependable and collectible watches. They are designed with superior resistance to mechanical shock and vibration, and they are water resistant, as well.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This Hasbro toy was on the market since 1967 but really took off in terms of popularity in the early 1980s. The Lite-Brite came with pegs in eight colors (red, blue, orange, clear, green, yellow, pink and purple).

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

In the decade of the 1980s, VHS began replacing Betamax as the home entertainment system of choice. VHS players featured 120-minute maximum length, recording capabilities and could be bought at a much lower price.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Guinness World Records currently lists the Commodore 64 as the all-time highest-selling single computer model. Released in 1982, the Commodore 64 was ready for use by simply connecting it to any television set.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The first in the Nintendo Game Boy line was released near the end of 1989. It was launched with six games, including Super Mario Land and Tetris.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Etch A Sketch Animator appeared in 1986 with Ohio Art releasing the more advanced Etch A Sketch Animator 2000 in 1988. It was designed with a cartridge slot for expandable memory and for playing video games.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Game & Watch line of handheld electronic games was released by Nintendo between 1980 and 1991. Some of the models were Silver (1980), Gold (1981), Wide Screen (1981–1982) and Multi Screen (1982–1989).

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This motorized robot was released by Japanese toy maker TOMY in the 1980s. The Omnibot had a plastic bubble over its head, could carry light objects and play cassette tapes. It was the forerunner in a line of androids that has since been produced by the company.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Although the Speak & Spell was released by Texas Instruments in 1978, by the early 1980s it was still a very popular toy for children. The game has been featured in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," and both "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2."

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Impressive by 1984 standards, the Atari Touch Tablet allowed users to drop and drag images, as well as draw, paint, doodle and erase. It came with a digital pen, or stylus, and utilized Atari Artist software.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This electronic memory game was at the peak of its popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. The game has been upgraded several times, with the Simon Swipe and the Simon Air being two of the later models.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The steering wheel control used by TOMY on the Turbo Dashboard marked the first time this now popular feature was used on a video game-like device. The Turbo Dashboard also featured key ignition, a speedometer, four-speed gearshifts and a digital viewing screen.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The world’s first commercial handheld GPS receiver was the Magellan NAV 1000. It was released by Magellan Navigation, Inc. in 1989.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Androbot Inc. put Topo the Robot on the market in 1983. At 36 inches high, Topo was indeed impressive. It was joystick-controlled and could be programmed through an Apple II interface.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

While the Yamaha SHS-10 was by no means the first keytar on the market, it had some features which made it quite popular among musicians. Those features included 32 minikeys, an internal FM synthesizer and the ability to sound like 25 different instruments.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Sony Watchman was a pocket-sized television that weighed less than 1.5 pounds and featured a 2-inch grayscale screen. It was first released in 1982 and discontinued in 2000 during which time over 65 models where released.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

When it was released in 1989, the Sharp Wizard OZ-7000 was one of the first personal organizers to hit the market. The original Wizard did not feature the popular QWERTY keyboard but later models did.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

When Sony released its Betamovie BMC-100P Recorder in 1984, it was the very first one-piece camcorder for use by regular consumers. It had a video camera, a Betamax deck, and its grip housed a battery compartment.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This radio-controlled toy dune buggy was released in 1984 by Tamiya Corporation. It was well-built, looked very realistic and could reach moderate speeds.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Worlds of Wonder's Lazer Tag was released in 1986. It was hugely popular and inspired a one-season television series called "Lazer Tag Academy" (or "Lazer Patrol" in reruns).

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Audio-Technica released both the Sound Burger and the Mister Disc in 1983. They were both versions of the same portable vinyl record player with slight differences between them.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Milton Bradley’s programmable electric vehicle, Big Trak, took the toy car market by storm in the 1980s. It featured a keypad at the back for programming actions into the toy and an optional cargo trailer which was also programmable.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

This TOMY toy was joystick-controlled and could be used to pick up objects. The unit’s crane-operated arm also came with a countdown timer.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

One of the Sharp PC-1211 pocket computer’s best asset was its battery life of over 200 hours. The Sharp PC-1211 could perform calculation and was programmable with over 1400 steps.

Which 80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Motorola’s DynaTAC 8000X took over 10 hours to be fully charged and once it was, only gave users 30 minutes of talk time. Its $4000 price tag meant it was out of the reach of most consumers, but the DynaTAC would go down in history as the forerunner of all cellular phones.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Kenner Star Wars “The Force” Lightsaber bettered its numerous competitors in terms of quality and durability. It was even made with a hollow shaft which gave a “realistic” lightsaber hum when the toy was swung back and forth.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Epson HX-20 is frequently referred to as the world’s first laptop computer, notebook and handheld computer. Its features included a calculator-size printer, an LCD screen and built-in rechargeable batteries.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Bose brought out its Aviation Headset Series I in 1988 as the headset meant specifically for pilots and ardent music fans. The Bose Aviation Headset Series I became the forerunner of the company’s dominance in the field of noise-reduction technology.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

It is often said that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum had a similar impact on the UK IT industry as the Commodore 64 had on the IT industry in the US. In fact, the ZX Spectrum is often credited with launching the UK’s IT industry.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

With its 1980 release, the C-80 surpassed other smart watches available at the time. Its preferred status was partly due to the fact that it did not need a stylus like other smart watches did.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic talking bear which achieved best-selling toy status in 1985 (the year of its release) and again in 1986. The toy had moveable eyes and mouth, and read bedtime stories via its built-in audio cassette player.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Sony CDP-101 was the first ever compact disc player available commercially. The asking price on its release in 1982 was just over $700.00.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Dirt Devil Classic Red Hand Vac was introduced to consumers in 1984. It was upgraded and re-released in 2005.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

When it released the Power Glove in 1989, Nintendo went so far as to produce a movie about it, "The Wizard," which came out in December of that year. The family film starred Fred Savage, Christian Slater and Beau Bridges with Tobey Maguire making his film debut.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Launched in 1984, the Apple Macintosh 128K was otherwise known as the Macintosh 128K or the Apple Macintosh. It is hailed as the forerunner of the computer giant’s later developments.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

1982 saw the release of the GRiD Compass 1101 – a portable computer or laptop. The GRiD Compass had its own operating system and several other top-of-the-line features. It was, however, priced at over $8000, so members of the general public never really got their hands on one.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Nikon F3 was built to last and had superior picture quality – two reasons it became a hit with professional and amateur photographers alike. Its design was by world famous Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

Close to the end of the decade (September, 1989 to be exact) Atari rolled out its Lynx handheld game. The Atari Lynx was the first handheld game console with a color LCD screen. Owners with a ComLynx cable could take advantage of its multiplayer functionality.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The Fujifilm Quick Snap disposable camera had its release in 1986. It wasn’t the first disposable camera invented, but was by far the first to enjoy wide commercial success.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The IBM 5150 gave consumer dependable performance, several expandability options and solidly built hardware. It was discontinued in 1986, five years after its initial release.

Which '80s tech fad is shown in this picture?

The word “Swatch” was coined as a combination of the words “second” and “watch.” That was because the 1983 release of the first set of Swatch watches was meant as a challenge to cheaper, more disposable digital watches.

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