10 retro toy commercials to make you nostalgic

The ads that taught Gen X and Gen Y how to covet.

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Instead of annoying the American TV audience, these commercials spark visceral reactions—viewers love the Doritos spot and hate the GoDaddy.com ad. A Chrysler commercial divides the nation politically (like that’s some great feat), and an H&M spot provokes a homophobic tweet that will probably cost a pundit his job.

Perhaps the only ads to inspire equally intense reactions are the ones from our childhood. Ever find an old VHS cassette of a sports milestone or movie of the week? The commercials are usually the best part.

In the spirit of nostalgia, we compiled 10 commercials from our childhood—the ’80s and ’90s. We’ve undoubtedly left some off that you remember fondly (or not so fondly); let us know about them in the comments section.

1. G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier (1985)

The introduction of this 6-foot-long aircraft carrier taught me the meaning of the word covet. My older brother and I wrote lengthy pleas to Santa, insisting we’d been good and begging him to schlep it in his sleigh on Christmas.

It seems we weren’t good enough that year. Santa brought us something else, and I was forced to play with the magnificent aircraft carrier at the house of a friend whose parents actually did love him. Here’s the ad that started it all:

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