We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


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 The The

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) The National Archives / 2014/105/130 The National Archives / 2014/105/130 / 2014/105/130

Read: 15 toys from your childhood that are worth a fortune now>

Read: Dutch woman reaches the South Pole on a Massey Ferguson tractor>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.