What about mugs reflecting crazes of the 1980s? Well, you couldn't find a better representation than the two 1981 mugs pictured below featuring the mighty Rubik's Cube. The Cube was one of the greatest success stories of the decade, sweeping into our lives in 1980 (or, more likely, 1981 - there was a shortage) and then taking those aforementioned lives over. Could we solve it? Our fascination was endless.
Sadly, I couldn't solve it and had to concede that it really was a 'mug's game'!
These mugs are also great for packet soups. Being slightly smaller than most, if you stir it up well you get a nice thick tasty slurp rather than the usual insipid powdery hot water.
Just remember to stir well and make sure the powder is fully dissolved. YUM!
Here's our old mate Henry's Cat with a very '80s message: 'Nothing succeeds like excess!' Absolutely!
Talking about famous cartoon cats, what about Garfield? From 1981 (in America) and 1983 (England) we were swamped with Garfield stuff.
And here's a word about Garfield mugs and general merchandising. If you have Garfield merchandise it will date from the 1980s at the earliest. If it says '1978' on it that's simply because it was the year when the character first appeared in American newspaper comic strips - was first copyrighted - and he looked liked this:
His appearance evolved during the 1980s and evidence of that evolvement is obvious from the merchandising. Jim Davis founded his own Garfield merchandising company, Paws Inc. in 1981, and that's when the flood of Garfield stuff began. He made his way to English shops a year or two later.
1978 being the first copyright date for Garfield, it was often used on subsequent merchandising. The same rule applies to the Pac-Man mug later in this blog post. It's dated '1980' because that was the year the character debuted, but the mug is actually from a couple of years later.
So, next time you nip onto eBay and see a Garfield mug - apparently from 1978, don't be fooled. It won't be.
Right, pressing on, we say 'qua qua, fa diddily qua qua' and meet our next mug...
Yes, it's Adam (with the 'D' authentically the wrong way round) and his Ants on this little beauty from 1981. Actually, we loved Adam. We think he made David Bowie - even in David's fab 1980 Ashes To Ashes phase - look like Hilda Ogden. Adam had great street cred, and also great behind-the-bike-sheds-with-a-ciggie-and-a-transistor-radio cred, back then. It's easy to go all tongue-in-cheek about it now, but I genuinely felt Adam was something of a marvel back in the early 1980s - and I still treasure the memories. The music, the videos, the image... fantastic!
And here's another larger-than-life 1980s celebrity - Mr T - BA Baracus himself - from the A-Team. Some English TV critics were dubious about the show when it debuted here, but the kids loved it and it quickly assumed legendary status.
This mug is simply very 1980s and nice. Well, I like it. Dates from 1986.
Another favourite - the Cadbury's chocolate block mug from 1983. Lovely with hot chocolate. And a couple of choc biccies… And maybe even a couple of bars of chocolate - particularly another 1983 debut...
… the Wispa bar! Bite it and believe it, as the ads said. Scrummy!
And here he is, then! The one, the only, PAC-MAN! Remember the copyright date rule we discussed regarding Garfield? Well, this Kiln Craft mug contains the copyright date '1980' for the character, but the mug dates from around 1982.
The kettle never stops boiling at our place so we'll be revisiting the 1980s teatime soon...