Believe it or not, these things are now all 40 years old

The Walkman, DustBuster and Happy Meal revolutionized our lives.

If you are under the age of 40, consider yourself lucky in some regards. You have never known a time without portable music players or tiny vacuums. You have never had to worry about bubblegum sticking to your face, or making written mistakes in ink. As a kid going to McDonald's, you knew exactly what to order — and it came with a toy.

But for those who remember a time before 1979, these things did not exist, because the following products were all introduced that year. 

Let's take a look at some beloved brands and items that first hit the market in '79.

1. Walkman


Until Sony revolutionized the music with its Walkman, popular songs were primarily consumed via records and radio at home or in the car. Not only did this palm-sized player allow listeners to take music with them into any environment, the Walkman helped popularize mixtapes. Music suddenly became more personal and customizable.

Image: Sony

2. Happy Meal


The name itself was brilliant — who wouldn't want a Happy Meal? But the true genius of the Happy Meal was giving picky kids and their parents exactly what they wanted, from burger and fries to cheap, plastic toys. No more would mom and dad have to prod children, "Just pick something." 

Image: McDonald's

3. DustBuster


Roomba are cool and all, but they can't crawl up the cabinets and suck crumbs up from kitchen counters. The DustBuster became a symbolic appliance of the '80s. No yuppie home was complete without one mounted on the kitchen wall like a cordless phone.

Image: Black & Decker

4. Hubba Bubba


As grandfathers like to say, "Back in my day, we had to walk five miles…," etc., etc. But if they really want to tell young'uns how hard their childhoods were, they should stick to gum. Because gum itself used to be hard — rock hard. Bubblicious introduced soft chewing gum in 1977. When Hubba Bubba hit the market two years later, the brand instead focused on its lack of stickiness. It pops all over your face and easily peels away!

Image: Wrigley

5. Mello Yello


Coke needed a competitor to Mountain Dew and thus dropped this soft drink in '79. Originally dubbed "The World's Fastest Soft Drink," Mello Yello proved its point in an early commercial by having dueling cowboys chug cans of the stuff in five seconds.

Image: Coca-Cola

6. Sunkist


The Beach Boys made a major comeback in the mid-'70s. The California band had fallen into a career funk until the compilation Endless Summer reintroduced their sunny harmonies to a new generation in 1974. Sunkist rode the wave and used "Good Vibrations" as both its commercial music and slogan when it hit grocery stores in 1979. Is it just us, or did you also just notice that the joined "UN" in the logo reads more like "Sinkist"?

Image: Sony

7. Honey Nut Cheerios


Honey Nut was not the first flavor variation of the iconic Cheerios cereal. Cinnamon Nut Cheerios first poured into bowls in 1976. Honey Nut proved to be far more popular, with a little help from that cute cartoon bee. Now there are a bazillion varieties of Cheerios.

Image: General Mills

8. Erasermate


Erasable ink! Now that made crossword addicts and essay writers happy.

Image: Gillette

9. Ring Pop


One of the great Halloween treats first slipped onto fingers in '79, a decade after the invention of the Blow Pop. Tart and Sour Raspberry flavors soon followed as the giant gem candy became a kid favorite.

Image: Topps

10. The Klingon language


Star Trek: The Motion Picture remains pretty underrated. The movie is knocked for being slow compared to the classic film serial action of Star Wars, but the cinematic debut of Kirk and crew gave the franchise new life. Plus, it also, at last, introduced the Klingon tongue. Actor James Doohan (Scotty) came up with the basic sounds of the language for the film. It was later fleshed out into a full language, which is now taught in apps and used online.

Image: Paramount Pictures

SEE MORE: 9 sweets, treats and snacks turning 50 years old in 2019


After all those Funyuns and Manwiches, you needed a Tic Tac. READ MORE

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


WilliamJorns 13 months ago
Actually, the Sony Walkman was introduced a year or two earlier, and under a different name. I remember first hearing about it in late '77 or early '78. It was first marketed here in the USA as the "Soundabout," and it was rather pricy at first, costing about $100. To improve sales, Sony renamed it ("Walkman" was its original name in Japan) and lowered the price dramatically. As sales increased, competing electronics firms manufactured their own versions of this player. There were so many after a few years that the name "Walkman" became a generic term for all portable cassette players with headphones.
Michael 67 months ago
My first computer turns forty this year, I got it in April, and still have it.
Sometime in the summer it will be forty years since I last stopped eating meat.

I also met most of the 1979 Greenpeace anti-sealing campaigners that year. And spent time with Bob Cummings, the other one, who was on the first Greenpeace voyage to Amchitka in 1971.

Some guy turned to me and said something, I later realized it was Don Francks, actor and father of Cree Summer. I'd never heard of him, but about a month later I was watching TV and there he was, "oh, that guy". I was in Vancouver the next year and he came over and said something, including "we're all family".

1979 was a good year.


AllisonWunderland Michael 66 months ago
Go 1979...Fantastic year ever!
dth1971 67 months ago
I thought Ring Pops were introduced by Topps circa 1974-1975, not 1979!
AllisonWunderland dth1971 66 months ago
Ring pops were out before 1979
Equalle 67 months ago
I just got paid $858o working off my computer this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do........
harlow1313 Equalle 67 months ago
Man, what a sucker you must be. I made $25,000 my first month selling AMWAY. I plan to build my own rocket ship!
Michael harlow1313 67 months ago
Are you looking for investors?

Amalthea harlow1313 59 months ago
Oh, man...Amway...thanks for that nightmare-fuel memory. LOL
Lucyneenah19701 67 months ago
I still love Mello Yello! It definitely tastes much better than Mountain Dew! Mello Yello is a better name, too.
harlow1313 Lucyneenah19701 67 months ago
quite rightly
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?