Won't The Real Quickies Please Stand Up?
One of the great things about modern toys is the fact that they are interactive. When I was a child, all toys were dolls, in effect - action men, GI Joe, transformers. The were pretty boring, and relied on a feminine insight and ability to internalise. Most boys don't want to do that - they want to go out into the world, and affect it. This is why old, traditional toys such as footballs are the best.
Now though, with modern toys, we are at last getting properly interactive, stimulating and outward looking toys, of the sort that both adults and children enjoy. It seems to me that the 80's were just a bad time for toys (except, perhaps, lego).