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Ads for Transformer toys and Barbie's Star Traveller were a big worry in the 1980s....

The country was in the midst of a recession with unemployment up to 16.1%.

IN THE RUN up Christmas in 1984 there were concerns that RTÉ was advertising very expensive toys.

It was the year when Transformers was the hit toy that every little boy wanted. You may remember this:


While everthing Barbie, like Barbie’s Star Traveller, was a top choice for the girls.

barbiestartraveler Source: The PeopleHistory.com

There was one big problem for parents that year – the economy was in severe recession, with unemployment rising to 16.1%.

Due to the reckless borrowing and spending in 1970s, the national debt had rocketed and industry had stagnated. Huge numbers of people were emigrating.

In short, everyone was basically broke.

Which is why in October 1984, the Minister for Communications, Fine Gael’s Jim Mitchell, said he would raise the matter of advertising expensive toys with RTÉ.

Under the 30 year rule the following internal note was released:

unnamed (13) Source: The National Archives/2014/105/130

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