10 extremely Eighties products introduced in 1982

Lordy, Lordy, look who's 40 — CD players, Diet Coke and Ms. Pac-Man!

It was a pretty awesome year for movies, music and television in 1982. Cheers, E.T., Thriller, Blade Runner, Tron, Tootsie, "Little Red Corvette," Knight Rider, Toto's "Africa," Captain Kirk yelling "KHAAAAN!" The sayings "I pity the fool" and "Just say no" both entered the vernacular. The Eighties fully became THE EIGHTIES that year.

There was also a lot of, well, stuff that year that made that decade one of the most fondly recalled in history.

Colas, action figures, sneakers, computers, scents…

Let's turn the clock back 40 years and take a look at 10 memorable introductions.

1. Bud Light


Originally branded Budweiser Light, this lo-cal quaff went with the shortened "Bud Light" two years later. The beer then introduced Spuds MacKenzie, the bull terrier who became a pop sensation. At the end of the decade, in 1989, Bud Light was battling Budweiser — literally — in Bud Bowl ads during the Super Bowl.

Image: Anheuser-Busch

2. CD Players


The temporary death of vinyl began here. (Vinyl has had the last laugh. Well, until CDs become cool again?) When introduced, Compact Disc players were insanely expensive, upwards of a thousand bucks. They sold nevertheless. The Sony CDP-101, seen here, was the first commercially released CD player, hitting electronics shops in '82.

Image: Sony

3. Commodore 64


For many Gen-Xers, the Commodore 64 was their first personal computer. It is said that between 12 and 17 million units were sold. The 64 stood for 64 kilobytes of RAM. We just typed that sentence on a computer with 16 gigabytes of RAM.

Image: Commodore

4. Diet Coke


The original wave of diet colas splashed into supermarkets in the Sixties. Pepsi had its Patio, which it quickly renamed Diet Pepsi. Coke offered up Tab. It would be another 15 years or so until Coca-Cola decided to just sell "Diet Coke." Which do you prefer?

Image: Coca-Cola

5. Drakkar Noir


Ah, the smell of so many teenage dates. And college.

Image: Guy Laroche

6. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero


Boomers had their G.I. Joe, the foot-tall "America's Movable Fighting Man" dolls introduced two decades earlier. Their kids would play with the far more fantastic miniatures, now dubbed "A Real American Hero." The Joes now had their adversaries, Cobra. The cartoon would follow a year later. The more you know…

Image: Sears / Hasbro

7. Ms. Pac-Man


The first sequel to the global sensation Pac-Man arrived in 1982 — and gave the yellow ghost-chomper a lover. Ms. Pac-Man improved on the game in every way — more warp tunnels, bouncing fruit, smart adversaries. It was a banner year for video games, the peak of the first wave of gaming. Also arriving in arcades and cartridges that year were Q*Bert, Pitfall, BurgerTime, Dig Dug, Zaxxon and so many more.

Image: Midway

8. Nike Air Force 1


Sneaker freak culture arguably begins here. The Air Force 1s (yes, named after the President's plane) remain a coveted icon in basketball and fashion. It was that Velcro strap, you know?

Image: Nike

9. Pepsi Free


Most know of Pepsi Free because of a moment in Back to the Future. Marty finds himself back in a diner in 1955. He asks for a "Pepsi Free." The disgruntled chef spits back, "If you wanna Pepsi, you're gonna pay for it." It still exists today, in a way. It's simple Caffeine Free Pepsi. But Pepsi Free just sounds cooler. Maybe too many people weren't paying.

Image: PepsiCo

10. Runts


Hot take: The banana is our favorite. There. We said it. Fight away. When the candy launched in '82, they came in banana, cherry, strawberry, orange, and lime flavors. 

Image: Nestlé

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CouchPotato19 30 months ago
CD's will be back, it's already starting. CD's still beat vinyl and streaming your invisible music. Best to have a tangible product you can keep forever, if you choose. They take up way less space than albums, you don't have to flip 'em over and no crackle 'n' pop!
UTZAAKE 30 months ago
1. Emcee: "And now, The Freight Train of Pain, Blue Larry Blue."
Blue Larry Blue: "I just drank a Bud Light. I'm happy as a lark. I'll never sing the blues again. Let's go dancing in the park. I'm so happy!"
(From an actual 1980s Bud Light radio commercial.)
DuanneWalton 30 months ago
I was into Star Wars figures, so I didn't get into G.I. Joe. I did like reading the files on the back of the cards. I liked they that gave them all real names and backstories.
AnnaRentzVandenhazel 30 months ago
RE: Pepsi Free

While it was still a "thing" I attended a church party where they had several punch bowls with different kinds of soda pop. I do not like Coke or Pepsi (not judging others who do, it's just my preference) but I love root beer, and in the dim light I found it necessary to the young lady hovering over the drinks what was in the first punchbowl with brown liquid. She said "it's Coke, but it's Coke Free!" I said "then I don't want it, I don't like Coke" but she kept insisting "but it's Coke Free!" She just didn't get it that I hated the TASTE of Coke and didn't care whether it had calories or sugar in it (I suspect she bought too much and didn't want to have to take it all home is why she was being so pushy). I finally managed to get away from her and choose a different punchbowl, but I never did get around to telling the silly girl that "Coke Free" wasn't even a thing! :D
CouchPotato987 30 months ago
I never knew CD players came out in ‘82…I always thought they came out a few years later. Guess you learn something new everyday. Lol
TheDavBow3 CouchPotato987 30 months ago
I remember that Beatle albums were first put on CD @ 1987. I thought CD players came a few years after 1982 as well.
Michael CouchPotato987 30 months ago
CDs and CD players were really expensive to begin with, so there were a few years where most of us wouldn't have bothered. Because of the cost, it was promoted as a very high end thing, for peoole who already had very expensive equipment. So I can't remember the exact point where I first read about them, but itwas still before I bought any.

The last record I bought was in 1986, an old recording newly released. After that it was cassettes. I wasn't buying much music at that point, so maybe it was convenience rather than no more vinyl. Someone gave me CD at some point, I couldn't hear it until someone I knew got a boombox with CD player for Christmas, I think 1989.

I didn't get a CD player until 1997, a used and very cheap one. The cost of players was down by then, but I still hesitated over the cost of CDs. I used the CD clubs like Columbia House to get tye best deals from then on.

madmark1 30 months ago
Well to be honest CD’s aren’t as popular as they used to be. Neither is DVD’s for that matter everyone now streams get my music mostly from Apple Music Siriusxm satellite radio and IHeart radio as for movies it’s Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.
Michael madmark1 30 months ago
I'm still buying them. The neat thing us that lots of CDs and DVDs are available cheap at book and rummage sales, though I've not been to those in 3 years.
madmark1 Michael 30 months ago
I still have a ton of old CDs and DVDs yeah I still occasionally buy DVD’s and CD’s at flea markets Some parts of the country they call them swap meets who knows maybe someday in the future don’t know that I will live to see it CDs and DVDs will be collectors items and will be worth lots of money.
TheDavBow3 Michael 30 months ago
I still buy them too. I'm always looking on Ebay, Discogs and other sites for music treasures. Fun.
TheDavBow3 31 months ago
I still buy CDs. I love my music played on a component system. Fill the entire room. Last 10 years, I upgraded to 5.1 surround. Used to make "mix tapes" out the wazoo so I could play my music in my car. Went from strictly vinyl to CD @ 1990. Went from mix tapes to burning CDs. Now putting music on thumb drives so I can listen in my car. Still buy vinyl for my hard-to-get music.
BrittReid 31 months ago
TAB was/is Nasty.
TheDavBow3 BrittReid 31 months ago
Very nasty!!
bsantaniello BrittReid 31 months ago
TAB was an acronym for Totally Artificial Beverage!
bsantaniello 30 months ago
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Runeshaper 31 months ago
I'm a Diet Coke guy, but I can never forget the Pepsi Free scene in BTTF (-:
Michael 31 months ago
The product I remember from 1982 was "deely boppers". Headbands with "antennas" sticking out. The "antennas" woukd wiggle. When we got to New York City in June of 1982, they seemed everywhere. People wearing them, but also sidewalk vendors selling them.

Nuclear Disarmament was also big in 1982.
Simon9 31 months ago
If you haven't had bud light and runts for breakfast you haven't lived.
Deleted 31 months ago
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ncadams27 30 months ago
My guess is that this is a photo of them when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.
30 months ago
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Zip 30 months ago
Let me take a gander at this. The photo of the Beatles was because of DavBow3's comment on the 60's doing the same thing; like suggesting they didn't start until the Beatles came about, maybe? Because they WERE the 60's?. That's my guess.
TheDavBow3 30 months ago
Thank you, Zip. That was about it. 😊
KJExpress 31 months ago
I've never been a beer drinker, but I always liked the Spuds MacKenzie and Clydesdale ads. 🐎

I don't think I ever tried Pepsi Free. I did take the Pepsi challenge once, when I was in college (in the early 80's.) 🥤🥤
Zip 31 months ago
"Their kids would play with the far more fantastic miniatures, now dubbed "A Real American Hero."

I have to take issue with this comment. "More fantastic miniatures"?!
I much prefer the bigger GI Joe's with the "real-feel" hair and beard. They were more fun to play with and maneuver as well. It was like you had your own little mini soldier with you, not some little plastic toy.
KJExpress Zip 31 months ago
My brother had the larger versions, but his were from the 60's and had the smooth plastic hair and faces. When my cousin came over, she and I would pretend they were our Barbies' boyfriends.
KJExpress 31 months ago
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Zip KJExpress 31 months ago
Barbie could do worse...
Like be with Ken.
CurleyGirl1018 KJExpress 30 months ago
Me too….Joe was way cooler than Ken!
CoreyC Zip 30 months ago
I worked in a toy department when G.I Joe mini figures came out. We were forced to put it in a locked cabinet because of theft.
Zip CoreyC 30 months ago
Well see, there you go. One more reason to make GI Joe bigger; Not as easy to steal.
Stoney 31 months ago
I remember my mom letting me have Pepsi Free because it was caffeine free (or, "didn't make me hyper" lol).

And I still use Drakkar Noir lol
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harlow1313 Zip 31 months ago
I always went with the Hai Karate. Man, that stuff was Jimmy J.J. Walker DY-NO-MITE!
Zip harlow1313 31 months ago
I always thought that Hai Karate was something that Bruce Lee yelled.
Zip LoveMETV22 31 months ago
So this seal walks into a club....

retro6 Stoney 31 months ago
My husband is my college sweetheart and I would not be mad at him if he had some Drakkur again. I was obsessed with that scent for him, whole indulged in Giorgio of Beverly Hills!
daDoctah 31 months ago
I remember Tab from the sixties, which the Coca-Cola people refused to call "Diet Coke" because they realized it didn't taste very good, and they didn't want that to influence people's feelings about their main brand.

Don't recall Pepsi's Patio, but Royal Crown's diet version was called "Diet Rite" (recently re-watched Nancy Sinatra's "Movin' With Nancy" special from 1967 which was sponsored by RC).
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Pacificsun LoveMETV22 30 months ago
Heard from our friend, to assure us. Still working on an issue, sounded the same. But didn't want us to worry. 1-6-22
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 30 months ago
I'm guessing you mean our MQ tl ? I hope all is well, but that is very considerate if that's what you referring. Tent is stitched up, had just enough thread. But the trees might need pruning though. LoL.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 30 months ago
Yes, to all. And I'll get out there point blank to trim the branches of those trees. What's strange is I only get a line or so. Was in hospitable formerly. Than again for 2 days. So you might want to put that together with anything else you know or have heard. Sounds very debilitating because earlier in the event, seemed able to work around the issue. So I can't even imagine, but at least doesn't sound like the current variant.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 30 months ago
Thank you for the update, also in the way you phrased it. I got it and you're very kind in your wording, very respectful.
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