Highlights From the 1984 Montgomery Ward Catalog

Nothing reminds me of Christmases gone by more than browsing through old catalogs. As a kid, I could sit for hours looking through the many pages of possible gifts, circling the things I wanted in hopes Santa Claus would make my dreams come true. Let’s go back in time and replicate that today and uncover some highlights from an old catalog, and this time we’re looking at the 1984 Montgomery Ward catalog. Check out what I found that I want to add to my Christmas list.


Bed Tent

I had one of these bed tents, but I didn’t have it by 1984, so I would have been asking for one I’m sure. I’m not really sure what the intent was with these bed tents, but I can tell you that I used mine in a multitude of ways. First off, it made for a great fort in my bedroom. And when I wasn’t using it for defensive measures, I was using it to imagine I was camping out under the stars. And sometimes, I liked to imagine I was sleeping in some fancy bed. You know, the old four-posters that you could draw the sides on.

GoBots Power Cycle

I probably had at least a dozen different power cycles through the years. My cousin Tim and I would just wear them out going up and down the hill at my house. We’d do down the hill at top speeds, and then lock up the front wheel for a sliding stop. All of those sliding stops would wear flat spots on the front wheel, and before long, they would be un-rideable. But I never had this GoBots cycle. That kind of surprises me as I was a big GoBots fan, and this looks like a cycle I would have been asking for.

Books on Tape

I was also big into books on tape, and books on records, especially when they featured properties like these G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe ones. I don’t remember having any of the ones shown here, so I’m adding them to my list.

Rocky III Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

Oh man, I always thought that Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots were pretty damn cool when it was Red Rocker vs. Blue Bomber, but this set featuring Rocky Balboa vs. Clubber Lang is so much cooler! You could replay the fight of the century over and over again, and if you were really feeling your oats, you can dare your friend’s sister to come over and find out what a real man was like, just like CLubber Lang!

Crayola Designer Kit

The designer kit on the left is the one that my brother had, and I was always so jealous. Mainly because he loved the damn thing so much that he would never let me touch it. He designed so many cool cars on that drafting table, that he developed a lifelong love for stuff like that and ended up pursuing a career in blueprinting. But since he never once let me have a turn at trying my hand, I’m adding it to my list now.

G.I. Joe Toys

So at this time, my two main toys were G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe. When it came to G.I. Joe, I had several figures pictured in the above scene, but none of the playsets featured. My brother had the Sky Striker, but like a lot of his things, I wasn’t allowed to even touch it, let alone put it through its paces. But it’s the Hovercraft that really catches my eye. Of all the toys to be produced for the line, it’s the one I always wanted the most, with the notable exception of the USS Flagg Aircraft Carrier. So I’m definitely putting the hovercraft on my list from this catalog.

Masters of the Universe Snake Mountain

As mentioned above, MOTU was one of my two favorite toy lines. I don’t know what year I got my Castle Grayskull for Christmas, but Snake Mountain came the year after that. I want to say I got Grayskull in ’84, and would have gotten this Snake Mountain in ’85. But memories are funny, so I can’t say that with any certainty. Regardless, it was an awesome addition to the MOTU line and a toy that I would go on to play with for hours and hours after getting it. We had a fireplace in our den where I played, and I would set this thing up in front of it, and the fire behind it became kind of like a Mount Doom before I knew what that was.

I also had the Fisto figure pictured here, and he was one of my favorites. I want to say that I had the dragon walker as well, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that, so don’t quote me. But for shits and grins, let’s add everything seen here to my list.

Construx Toys

Construx was another big toy for me. I had several of the sets through the years. Whenever I got a set, I would build it the way it was supposed to be, but then quickly take it apart and incorporate the pieces into my larger collection and make my own creations. I had the big set pictured on the left, as well as the truck and helicopter at the top. I know I had several space sets, but can’t remember exactly which ones. Let’s assume I had one or both of the ones pictured here. Again, let’s just everything seen here to my list.

The Fall Guy Remote Control Truck

The Fall Guy was a kick-ass show, and I never had a remote control car as cool as Colt Seaver’s truck. I would have taken this thing everywhere and run it up and down my long driveway. It probably wouldn’t have lasted long as I can see myself wearing it out quickly, but that’s not going to stop me from adding it to my list!


I don’t want to be too greedy, so we’re going to stop this list right here. Getting even some of these things would have made for an awesome Christmas back in ’84. Hell, it would make an awesome Christmas this year. C’mon Santa, work your magic and bring me some of this stuff this year!

About Mickey Yarber 239 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Sometimes referred to as the Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via my Retro Ramblings column.

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