December 04, 2014

4 Must-Have Toy Trademarks From The 1980's

by Guest Blogger

The holiday season is upon us! For those of us who have young children, it is crunch time. Our Elf on the Shelf, Chippy, has returned from the North Pole to take up residence in our home. The Christmas tree is decorated (and baby proofed). And the UPS delivery person is wearing a path between the street and our front door with various packages from Santa's helpers at Amazon.

My two kids (3 years old and 6 months) are still too young to have extravagant lists for Santa. Train sets and stuffed animals are high on the wish list ⦠although my three-year old son has asked for a toy washing machine so he can wash his sister diapers. We might need to consult with the experts at Santa's workshop on that one. I don't think we want to encourage him to play with his sister's dirty diapers.

All the talk about toys conjures up a lot of Christmas memories from my own childhood. A lot of the toys that I remember from the 1980's are still around today. Given their continued popularity, it should come as no surprise that many are protected by federal trademark registrations. Federal trademark registration is not required, but it provides important legal benefits such as a presumption of nationwide validity and the right to use the ® symbol. Federal registration can also be instrumental in enforcing rights with Google; in obtaining user names on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; and in combating other types of fraud and trademark misuse occurring online.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite must-have toy trademark registrations from the 1980's:


The SNOOPY trademark was registered for toys in 1983, and the SNOOPY SNO-CONE MACHINE was hands down my favorite SNOOPY-themed toy. This toy is responsible for my lifelong love affair with snow cones. You can pick up a "new and improved" version of this classic toy on Amazon.

12 04 14 Blog Snoopy Original


The TRANSFORMERS trademark was not registered for toys until 2001. Oddly enough, it claims a first use date of 1992 even though Santa Claus gave me an Optimus Prime toy for Christmas in the mid-1980's. In addition to trademark protection, Optimus Prime was protected by U.S. Patent 4,516,948 (along with an ion blaster in his trailer). Here are the patent drawings showing how Optimus Prime transforms into a Kenworth K100 cab over truck:

12 04 14 Blog Optimus Prime Original


The MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE trademark registration issued in 1982 (by the power of the USPTO ⦠not Grayskull). I spent many, many hours defending the realm of Eternia from the forces of Skeletor during my childhood. Sadly, I never obtained the physique that I imagined when I was a kid:

12 04 14 Blog He Man Original


The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES trademark registration issued in 1987. Here is an example of the original packaging:

12 04 14 Blog Tmnt Original

I never really got into the toys, but I was a big fan of the cartoon. I can still recite the theme song word for word. For the uninitiated, here's a video clip of the show's intro:

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