Due to overwhelming responses, I have compiled another 100 stuff (thanks to the generous feedback and contributions from nostalgia-lovers in Part 1) that remind us of the good ‘old days in Singapore during the eighties.
Apologies for other things that I’ve missed out.. There were just too many of them. 😉
1. Ladybird Storybooks
Ladybird is a London publishing company founded way back in 1867! Its classic pocket-sized hard-covered books were such a joy for kids in the eighties, covering many famous fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Three Little Pigs and The Magic Porridge Pot.
2. The Teenage Textbook (1988) & The Teenage Workbook (1989)
A set of popular novels by local author Adrian Tan in the late eighties, The Teenage Textbook and its sequel were about the life of a fictional girl called Mui Ee and her friends studying in Paya Lebar Junior College, and their encounters on Valentine’s Day.
3. Bookworm Club
The Bookworm Club was established in 1984 to encourage reading among the children. Many primary school students became its members, charmed by their short story series and the Young Generation magazines.
The company, however, experienced decline in the nineties and had to close down by early 2000s. Their poor business in later years, other than internet and competitive market, might be due to the fact that the bookworm image was too nerdy for the newer generation of kids!
4. Choose Your Own Adventure
Interesting game books that had charmed many in the eighties and nineties. With more than 40 possible endings per book, the reader could choose the development of the story he followed. Very often, he would need to flip the pages after he made his choices.
5. V-Sign by Chen Xiuhuan
Not many dramas about aliens were produced by SBC, but this one Flying Across the Galaxy 飞越银河 left a deep impression. Pretty alien Chen Xiuhuan’s 陈秀环 signature V-sign was imitated by countless of Singapore children, and maybe some adults, after the drama was telecast in 1989.
6. Old School Advertisements
Some old school advertisements gave us deep impressions with their catchy tunes, such as Myojo Mee and UIC Washing Powder. Others had classic slogans, like “不在乎天长地久, 只在乎曾经拥有” by Solvil et Titus, or Guinness Stout’s “你怕黑吗？黑有什么好怕?”
Well, I like the “胃仙U, 有效!” Just only five words! Veteran Hong Kong actor Wong Wai 王伟 starred in this advert for Weixian-U, a Japanese gastric pill, in the late eighties which left a lasting impression for viewers in Singapore and Hong Kong.
I also remember Fann Wong’s Oil of Ulan advertisement, but that was already in 1993. Looking back, the advert was quite corny, with the guy claiming Fann Wong was her classmate but instead Fann Wong said she was his teacher 😀 It did shoot Fann Wong to fame though.
7. SBC Magazines and RTV Times
There were not much choices in entertainment magazines in the eighties. At 50c, this would be enough to satisfy your need for gossip news. The English version cost 60c though, not sure why it was more expensive.
8. Match-Making Variety Shows
Who needs SDU (Social Development Unit) when you had match-making variety shows 天生一对龙凤配 and 金童玉女一线牵 in the eighties? Oh by the way, SDU was set up in 1984 to promote marriages among graduate singles, while SDS (Social Development Services) was formed a year later to promote marriages among non-graduate singles. Why did they have to emphasize the differences in education levels?
9. Veteran Comedians Wang Sha and Ye Feng
One was tall and skinny, the other was short and plump, veteran Teochew comedians Wang Sha (1924-1998) and Ye Feng (1932-1995) entertained us with numerous jokes on Channel 8 during the eighties. They were quite famous in Hong Kong and Taiwan too, having participated in several movies in the seventies.
10. No TV Transmission Screen
When you saw this screen, it’s either there was a lost transmission in the TV programs or it was time for you to sleep.
In the eighties, the main channels were not running on 24 hours. By the way, this screen came with an irritating monotone noise that was certain to force you to switch off the TV.
11. Ultraman Films
It was a popular Japanese production first made in 1966. The series were broadcast and repeated many times on our local channels in the eighties. Ultraman, nicknamed salted-egg in Chinese, always had unfinished business fighting against the rubbery monsters (with zippers on their backs) like Godzilla in an area full of miniature houses and buildings.
And not forgetting his stylo-milo cross-armed pose that would shoot out a powerful beam at those monsters.
12. Old Movie Tickets
In the eighties, the price of a movie was only $2.50 to $3, and that was inclusive of a 35% tax! Oh yes, in the cinema there was also an usher who would shine his torchlight to guide you to your seat.
13. Kacang Puteh
Before popcorn and hotdogs, there was kacang puteh for movie-goers in the eighties. Packed tightly in a cone, it came with a big variety of peas, peanuts or corns. Usually peddled by the Indians, there is probably less than a handful of them left in Singapore.
Food & Beverage
14. Ponggol End Seafood Restaurant
A favourite place for many, be it a birthday dinner or a celebration for striking 4D top prizes, in the eighties. Established since 1956, Choon Seng Seafood Restaurant was located at an ulu kopitiam near the Punggol end jetty, where a small bus terminal was situated. Famous for its mee goreng and chilli crabs, it has since moved to Changi.
15. Magnolia Pyramid-Shaped Fresh Milk
Magnolia launched its iconic pyramid-shaped Tetra Pak in the late fifties, which contained pasteurised and homogenised milk. The distinctive packaging was also applied to the soya milk in the early seventies. The brand enjoyed success throughout the eighties until the packaging was changed to the normal tower type in the early nineties.
16. Packet Milk For Students
In the late seventies to mid eighties, the government gave free packages of milk, in flavours of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, to primary school students. The nationwide campaign was to help in the physical development of those students who might be under nourished, with the aim of building a healthier nation.
17. Oldenlandia Water
A “cooling” drink from China since 1962. When young, I was “forced” to gulp down a bottle of Oldenlandia Water 白花蛇草水 whenever I was “heaty”. Still plenty of them available in the market today, sold in a different packaging.
American brand Icee was set up in Singapore in 1979, and was sold in many outlets at Oriental Emporium, old Cold Storage building, Thomson Yaohan and even the Science Centre. The brain-freezing icy drink with many flavours such as strawberry and grape was later licensed and marketed as Slurpee by 7-Eleven.
19. Singapore Restricted Passport
Navy blue passport for travel between Singapore and West Malaysia only. First issued in 1967 and stopped completely on the last day of 1999.
20. Old Singapore Identity Card
Big laminated paper Identity Card of the past, before the current credit card-sized plastic ones which are easier to fit into the wallets.
21. Library Passes
These library passes were used way before the electronic system came in place. Each person could apply up to four passes, which meant he or she could borrow a maximum of four books. When you wanted to borrow a book, you passed it to the librarian at the counter, and she’d retrieve the borrowing card attached with the book together with your pass.
22. PAP (People’s Action Party) Kindergarten
In the past, PAP = Kindergarten = two years before kids studied in primary schools. No miaomiao or doudou classes. Life was much simpler and less stressful for kids.
23. Primary School Scrapbook
It seems to be made of recycled papers, with brown covers and not-so-white pages. Usually there were two types: pages with straight blue lines for English lessons, and pages with square boxes for Chinese lessons (boxes for writing Chinese characters). By the way, that’s my primary school, which was defunct in the late nineties.
24. PEP Basic Reader
A reading material for all primary school students, produced by Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS), in order to beef up the English standard of the children. There were many interesting short stories in these text books.
25. Science Club Badges
I’m surprised Young Scientist badges are still available for primary school students today, after more than two decades! Currently there are 16 badges for students to earn, if they complete the given assignments. During my times, I managed to earn only five badges: Zoologist, Ecologist, Botanist, Meteorologist and Ornithologist. A complete list can be found here.
Kalkitos was extremely popular between 1976 to 1982. Children loved to customise their own worlds with these rub-on images of people, animals and objects onto the various types of backgrounds provided.
A necessary modeling clay commonly used in the Arts lessons. Came in different colours, they would leave a sticky, oily stain and smell on your fingers after usage. Plasticine was used in 1989 British short film A Grand Day Out, featuring Wallace and his dog Gormit.
28. Educational Magazines
A series of magazines for students in the eighties, Student Times were published by the local Pan Asia Publishing Company.
Another magazine for the students in the eighties, the Singapore Scientist magazines were produced by Science Centre and talked about everything related to science. No wonder so many friends of mine during primary school times inspired to be scientists.
Zoo-Ed was a quarterly publication by the Singapore Zoological Gardens, sponsored by Shell, in the eighties.
29. Friends’ Graduation Autograph Book
Towards the end of eighties, there was a sudden craze about writing autograph books, especially for those graduating from their schools. Short mushy poems were written such as “Roses are red, Violets are blue. I have a friend, the friend is you” and all those stuff. Mushy it might be, it also represented the innocence of the students during that era.
30. Mini Tennis
Called Mini Tennis, it was a new sport introduced to primary school students in 1988. The players used a small racket with a soft ball instead of tennis ball, and the game was played on a badminton court. Mini tennis.. What a name! 😀
31. Junie Sng Poh Leng
Junie Sng Poh Leng 孙宝玲 became instant Singapore hero when she won two gold and a silver medal in the 8th Asian Games (1978), at an age of only 14. In clinching the 400m and 800m race, Julie Sng not only beat the favourite Japanese swimmers, but also became the first and youngest Singaporean lady to win an Asian Games gold.
Swimming became a popular sport in Singapore after that, as many parents had their children signed up to learn swimming. 😀 Julie Sng would win another 10 gold medals at the 1983 Southeast Asian Games before her retirement.
32. Sing Singapore Song Book
This song book was printed and distributed in 1988, and had many classic National Day songs, such as “Count On Me Singapore“, “Stand Up For Singapore“, “Five Stars Arising“, “Chan Mali Chan“, and their scores.
Just like the Yahama Soprano recorder, I never had much success with harmonica. Tucked away in the drawers after several unsuccessful attempts to make audible music out of it.
34. Ma Biu Po
A heartlander living in a HDB flat during the eighties and nineties would know two identification codewords from two professions. One was the newspapers delivery man, who announced his arrival, armed with wanbao and xinming, by shouting “ma biu po” (马镖报) loud and clear.
The other was the garang guni man, pressing his horn with a signature chant: “garung guni, buay bor zua gu sa kor, ley lio dian si kee” (rag and bone, buy newspapers and old clothes, radios and televisions). The garang guni man is still making his rounds nowadays though.
35. Multi-Purpose Bamboo Stool
Commonly used as a sitting stool, it could also be used as a baby seat. Strong and durable, it came in different sizes too.
36. Darkie Toothpaste
Spot any differences between the toothpastes in the picture? Yep, the old name was Darkie while the new one is Darlie, and the face was changed from a black man to that of a white person. When Colgate bought over Hong Kong-based Darkie in 1985, they did the necessary changes which were deemed to be racist, but the toothpaste’s Chinese name remains as 黑人牙膏.
37. Old Logos
These are some of the most familiar logos and brands we see everyday in the eighties, versus present days. That former logo of PUB (Public Utilities Board) was one of the most recognisable logos in the eighties.
38. Centrepoint Kids
The mid-eighties saw the rise of the famous, or rather infamous, Centrepoint Kids hanging around Centrepoint after it was completed in 1983, replacing the old Cold Storage building. While many were just hanging around with hip outfits and loud hairstyles, some were engaged in illegal activities such as glue-sniffing, shoplifting and gang fights.
It raised the attention of the Singapore Police Force and many social workers and volunteers, who were keen to study and understand the rebellious behaviours of these kids, most of them not more than 20 years of age and numbered at 2000 strong. Other groups also included the McDonald’s Kids, Far East Plaza Kids and Marina Square kids.
How time flies.. The Centrepoint Kids of yesteryear would be uncles and aunties now. 😀
39. Ah Meng
All children loved Ah Meng. She was the icon of Singapore Zoo and arguably the most famous animal in Singapore. Although she was recused from illegal smuggling, Ah Meng, a Sumatran orangutan, was relatively approachable by humans. A popular “Breakfast with Ah Meng” event was organised by the zoo in the eighties.
Ah Meng retired from the spotlights in the nineties and passed away in 2008 at an estimated age of 48.
Established in 1830, this 170-year-old department store and supermarket, located at Raffles City, was forced to close in 2000 due to the bankruptcy of its parent company in Japan. SOGO has operated in Singapore since 1986.
41. Die-Cast Model Cars
Die-cast cars were favourites for many children last time, with the ones made in Japan being the best in quality. Some were also given free by Nespray or other dairy products.
42. Know Your School Sticker Book
A sticker book from a local publisher. You need to collect all primary and secondary school logo stickers to complete the book, and I never did so. A brief summary of each school was provided beside its logo.
43. Idol Cards
With the rise of Hong Kong and Taiwan pop idols from the late eighties to mid-nineties, their merchandise were also selling like hot cakes. Idol cards were one of them. If I’m not wrong, the idol card of Vivian Chow, every boy’s dream lover, was the hottest of all. 😀
44. McDonald’s Figurines
One reason why McDonald’s has been so popular and successful is their marketing… And giving of collectibles per value meal is one good strategy. From the eighties to nineties, McDonald’s collectibles included figurines of Smurfs, Garfield, Pooh and friends, Snoopy and animals in the Chinese horoscope for Chinese New Years.
45. Singapore Mascots
The respective government ministries and departments came up with these adorable mascots to promote the virtues of courtesy, productivity, sharing, caring and many more. Singa the Lion (1982), Teamy the Bee (1982) and Sharity the Elephant (1984) were some of these great works.
46. Fido Dido (1988)
Fido Dido was created in 1985 but did not appear in public until 1988 when the image was sold to PepsiCo. It became a popular mascot for 7Up soft drink in the early nineties.
Cartoons & Animation
47. G.I. Joe (1985)
Not surprisingly, this cartoon was about a capable American special force, out to defend humankind against evil terrorists, in full actions of muscle, weapons and courage. It did attract many boys to watch the cartoon series.
48. She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985)
While He-Man was for the boys, She-Ra was for the girls, although the skimpily dressed heroine was not that popular and successful as compared to her male counterpart.
Girls do not like blood and violence after all, and that’s a good thing.
49. Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983 – 1990)
This American cartoon was first created in 1958, but it was until the eighties that the series gained considerably success. It was three chipmunks named Alvin, Simon and Theodore, who loved to talk and sing in high-pitched voices.
50. Strawberry Shortcake (1980)
Cartoon and toys of Strawberry Shortcake were launched in 1980, and had been constantly popular among the girls. Many of the characters were all named after confectionery, other than Strawberry Shortcake, there were Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin and Raspberry Tart.
51. The Flintstones
Describing the life of a Stone Age caveman and his friends, this is an American cartoon series that has been popular since it was created in 1960. SBC used to telecast this cartoon during the eighties, and as a child, I always wondered why the Flintstones were running instead while driving their car.
52. Dick Dastardly and Muttley
Accident-prone bad guy Dick Dastardly and his sidekick dog Muttley were created in 1968. For those who remember this cartoon, you would either be amused or irritated by Muttley’s “wheezy snicker”, its trademark laughing at its master.
53. Spiderman And His Amazing Friends (1983)
Peter Parker had more help from Fire-Star and Iceman in the beginning of this short-lived cartoon series. Spiderman became a lonely hero just a year later, and never looked back.
54. Button Moon
Button Moon was a British children program in the eighties. The characters and everything in the program were made of things you’d find at home, such as button, broom, ladle, etc. Even the main characters were called Mr and Mrs Spoon.
A total of 91 episodes from 1980 to 1988, each episode only lasted 10 minutes, featuring Mr Spoon’s adventure to the Button Moon in his homemade rocket.
55. Dragon Ball (1984)
One of the most successful Japanese manga, Dragon Ball made its debut in 1984. Introduced to Taiwan and Southeast Asia in late eighties, its story took 42 volumes and ten years to be completed. I’m not really a big fan but many of my friends were loyal Dragon Ball readers.
56. Where’s Wally? (1987)
A real innovative puzzle book from the United Kingdom, Where’s Wally was released in 1987. Kids would spend hours trying to locate Wally in the pictures filled with red and white stripes. In the United States and Canado, the book series were called Where’s Waldo?
A French comic released as early as 1959, the story was set in Roman Empire era, where a group of Gauls, in a comical way, resisted their enemies. One of the rare English comics, along with Tin Tin, available in Singapore in the eighties.
58. Slam Dunk (1990)
Just short of the eighties, Japanese manga Slam Dunk actually made its debut in 1990. Its Chinese version caused a stir from Taiwan to Southeast Asia, including Singapore, partially helped by the rising popularity of NBA during that time. Many students could be spotted reading this comic on buses. 😀
59. Mr Kiasu (1990)
A creation by our local cartoonist Johnny Lau in 1990, the content was mostly in Singlish, which struck a chord with Singaporeans. The comic series would last a total of nine years.
Fun & Toys
60. Balloon Glue
It looked and smelled like superglue, you just need to squeeze a little of it onto the tip of short straw provided, and then blow it to become a big gluey balloon.
61. Mr Potato Head
I had a Mr Potato Head when young, and I actually felt it was quite a creepy toy, because you could detach the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, which might be the reason why I did not keep it to this day. The toy was invented in 1949 and sold to American giant toy-maker Hasbro, who initially used a real potato with separate plastic parts. At least the new version in Toy Story 3 looks more adorable.
62. Macross Robot
They called it Macross VF-1S Valkyrie or JetFire in Transformers. Whatever the name, this is really a cool toy in the eighties. It can transform in three stages: a fighter plane, a robot and a part-plane-part-robot.
63. Hungry Hungry Hippos
A noisy four-player tabletop game first released in 1978. The players compete against each other to see whose hippo eats up the most white balls. I think after two or three rounds, most would have gotten tired of the game.
A favourite game especially for the girls during recesses between classes. Made of many rubberbands interlocked together to form a long rubber “rope”, the game needed more than three players; two holding the ends and one attempted to jump over it, starting from knee levels, then waist, shoulder and finally head levels.
65. Pick-Up Sticks
Throw the plastic colourful sticks onto the table at random, and each player has to remove one stick at a time, not allowing to move or touch other sticks. Quite a boring game, ideal to play on a rainy day.
66. Styrofoam Airplane
A better version of a paper aeroplane, it could take a longer flight and had different designs printed on it.
67. Hantam Bola
As the name suggests, the game was using a ball to strike other people, usually a tennis ball. The victim, if fast enough, could pick up the loose ball and had his revenge to strike his “attacker”. A painful game for some, while others were able to train up their stamina and sprinting.
You spent 10c or 20c to play the tikam-tikam at the pasar malams, provision shops or the mama shops, hoping to strike the “big prize”. Very often, you just managed to get back some insignificant masak or candies, or lucky if there was cash rebate. Hugely popular from the sixties to mid-eighties.
69. Duncan Butterfly Yoyo
The butterfly-shaped (width) yoyo was invented by Duncan in the fifties, first made of wood, and then changed to plastic in later times. Yoyo did not really become a craze in Singapore, even though it was not unusual to see someone trying out difficult tricks in the public in the late eighties.
70. MasterMind Board Game
MasterMind is a two-player code-breaking board game invented by an Israeli Mordecai Meirowitz in 1970. It was quite popular in Singapore in the eighties and nineties, but like most board games, it has lost its charm to technology. A great brain-training game though.
71. String Game
Somehow this game was very popular, especially among the students, in the eighties. It was usually played by two person, each trying to solve and come up with new patterns. Some of the different patterns of the string using both hands were Cat’s Cradle, Mangle and Diamonds.
72. Road Safety Park at East Coast
Shell-sponsored road safety and traffic games had been organised since 1958. The park was initially located at Kallang, and had moved to East Coast in 1981. Students were encouraged to try out the games in order to raise their awareness on road safety.
At the park, they could play three roles: motorists (using peddled karts), motorcyclists (using bicycles) and pedestrians. I remember few would want to be pedestrians. 😀 The park is still operating today.
73. Pac-Man and the 20c Arcade Games
Parklane, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio… Arcade saloons opened one after another in the heartlands of the neighbourhoods, and they began with an affordable price of 20c per game.
From the classic arcade games of alien-shooting, spaceships, Pac-Man of the eighties to the popular Daytona, Virtua Striker and King of Fighters in the mid-nineties, arcade games were profit-making businesses. They were also once commonly found at clubs, canteens and army camps. Not anymore now.
74. Konami’s Contra (1987) and Super Contra (1988)
A popular arcade and Nintendo game for one or two players. The player controlled a commando in a run and gun tactic, shooting at the enemies popping up from everywhere. A little trivia here: the two commandos in the game were modeled after actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
75. Nintento Game Boy Tetris
The game of Tetris was actually invented by a Soviet Union computer engineer in 1984, but it was Nintento Game Boy in 1989 that promoted the game to extreme popularity. Brick Game released their own version in the early nineties.
Towards the late nineties, simple mono-colour handheld games went into steep decline, with digital pet Tamagotchi (1996) perhaps the last of them to have recorded outstanding sales.
76. Pentium 486 and Window 2.0
A Pentium 386 (1985) or 486 (1989) (the actual names were Intel 80386 and 80486) were considered one of the most advanced CPUs (Central Processing Units) in the mid-to-late eighties.
Mine lasted until early nineties, it was still good enough to play games like CM (Championship Manager) Italia (1993). Technology certainly progressed fast, and it was not until the late nineties when I got my first 56kb dial-up modem. The unmistakable noisy dialing sound still lingers in my mind.
77. Dai Gor Dai
First launched in the market in 1984, the brick-like handphone was a bragging right, although later it would be demoted to something that was being heavily ridiculed, especially during a crab feast. 😀 Its image was perfect for a big boss or a triad leader.
78. Cassette Tape Recorder
There was a time when it deemed to be cool and stylish to carry a big old cassette tape player, powered by a series of large batteries, on your shoulders, walking around or lingering in the void decks blasting loud Western music. Not me, I never did that.
The even funnier ones put the player, a smaller one, in their bags and cut two holes for the speakers.
79. Old Electric Clock
Trusty old clock of the Diamond brand that ran on electricity. Accuracy of the time was almost guaranteed. The plain silver face with large black numbers made sure you noticed the time and would not be late for schools.
80. Polaroid Instant Camera
Made in 1983, it produced each self-developing film in less than a minute. With digital photography ruling the world now, Fujifilm is the only company left that still produces instant cameras.
81. Old POSB Bank Account Book and POSB Piggy Bank
Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), dubbed as the people’s bank, was restructured in 1974 by the Ministry of Finance to become a main deposit bank for Singaporeans. Children of the eighties were strongly encouraged to open an account with them. Notice the wordings (Guaranteed by Government) at the bottom of the booklet?
The idea of using piggy banks for saving purposes was actually came up by the prestigious Aw family’s Chung Khiaw Bank in the fifties (Aw family was the owner of Haw Par Villa). This POSB saving piggy bank was given away in the eighties to children who opened their account with the bank.
82. OUB Bank
In the eighties, there were certainly more saving and investment options in the number of banks for Singaporeans. OUB (Overseas Union Bank Limited), Tat Lee Bank, Keppel Bank, Chung Khiaw Bank were some of those that did not exist anymore today as they were being merged or took over by OUB (United Overseas Bank Limited) and OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Bank Corporation Limited).
83. Orange-Top Bus Stops
They were once abundant in Singapore. A dozen still can be found today among the 5200 bus stops in Singapore, but most have been upgraded since the 2000s.
84. Student Concession Cards
An annual pass made available for all students from the late seventies to mid-nineties, so they could get discounted fares when taking the public buses. Monthly bus stamps were also sold to those who needed regular bus trips.
85. Old Bus Tickets
The old bus ticket system was operated from the seventies to eighties, where a bus conductor would board the bus, collect your fare, punch a hole and pass you the ticket. This system would be replaced by the coin payment system, and later the electronic fare card system in the early nineties.
When the red Transitlink machines were implemented on buses, commuters were issued a small rectangular ticket after they pressed their fare values on the machines. One common practise was to press the cheapest fare, and alight whenever you saw the bus inspector boarded the bus. It was reported that this loophole cost SBS millions of dollars in losses per year. 😀
86. SMRT and Transitlink cards
Public transport commuters used these thin magnetic cards to access MRT and buses from the late eighties to 2002, until the implementation of the EZ-link.
87. Non-Airconditioned Double Decker Bus
The first double decker fleet was Bus 86 kicking off at Tampines. In the initial weeks, Singaporeans were not willing to take the double decker buses as they were afraid the buses would topple. Later in the eighties, SBS introduced the Leyland Atlantean AN68 and the Mercedes-Benz O.305 models. The last of these non-airconditioned rectangularish double decker buses will cease operation in 2012.
My favourite seat used to be the front seat of the upper level.
88. City Shuttle Service
Started in 1975, City Shuttle Service (CSS) used to operate within the Central Business District (CBD). Receiving poor responses from the public, the service began to switch to regular trips from the new towns to CBD. By 1990, due to low ridership, the bus fleet was downsized and the service was finally terminated in 2007.
89. Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) & Restricted Zone (RZ)
A scheme to control traffic before the implementation of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). It was introduced in 1975, and was mainly applied to the CBD. At the 6-km-sq of CBD, as many as 34 blue overhead gantries were set up. The scheme was replaced by ERP in 1998.
90. Concorde Plane
Famous for its pointed front, sleek body and supersonic speeds, the Concorde was a joint venture between Singapore International Airlines (SIA) and British Airways (BA). The logos of both SIA and BA was painted on the tail, SIA on the left while BA on the right, and the plane started making flight services from Singapore’s Paya Lebar to Bahrain in 1977. However, this would last only three years to 1980 when all the Concorde flights were stopped due to low traffic and high cost.
91. Breast Milk Is Good For Your Baby (1980, 1985)
In 1980, Ministry of Health launched this campaign with the slogan “Breast Milk – Nature’s Balanced Food for your Baby” in order to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies. It was sponsored by Nestle. The second poster “Breast Milk is the Best Milk” was released in 1985.
92. Say No To Cigarettes (1983)
Another campaign by Ministry of Health, this poster was released in 1983 to discourage smoking. The slogan was “Never Say Yes To A Cigarette”, and it used the image of the popular Superman battling against an evil Nick O’Teen (derived from Nicotine). Creative indeed!
93. Say “Please” and “Thank You” (1985)
Smile, say please and thank you, a little thought means so much. These two excellent posters created by the Ministry of Communication and Information in 1985 aimed to build a polite and caring Singapore society.
94. Big Splash at Katong
Built in 1976, Singapore’s first water themed park with its rainbow coloured slides was the much-loved water park in the eighties. The slides were gone, and its name was renamed as Playground @Big Splash when it was re-opened in 2008.
95. National Library
It was once the favourite hangout for students, especially the eighties and nineties. The red building held many memories for those who would scramble to do their revisions before the exams. Despite repeated appeals, the nostalgic National Library was torn down in 2004 to give way to the construction of Fort Canning Tunnel.
96. Expo Gateway at World Trade Centre
World Trade Centre of Singapore was opened in 1977 and used to have large exhibition halls known as the Expo Gateway. The shopping mall was renamed as Harbourfront Centre in 2003 while the halls were demolished, allowing VivoCity to replace them. Meanwhile the exhibition facilities were shifted to Singapore Expo and Suntec.
97. National Theatre
An iconic building with a five diamond-facade and a crescent-shaped fountain that represented the national flag. It was demolished in 1986 after 24 years of concerts, plays and performances.
98. Van Kleef Aquarium
Singapore’s main aquarium featuring many marine creatures before the opening of Sentosa’s Underwater World. The decline of visitorship in the eighties sealed its fate, as it shut down in 1991 due to operational cost.
99. Big Fountains at Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh Centrals
When young, I was always fascinated by the big fountains located at the centrals of Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh. The Ang Mo Kio one was just beside the popular Oriental Emporium, while the Toa Payoh one was in front of the library, built in 1973. I could not remember when was the time the fountains stop functioning, its water dried up and suddenly one day they were not around anymore.
100. RPL to Tekong
For recruits who trained in Pulau Tekong in the past, booking-in was perhaps the most demoralising moment. And it was not helped by the slow RPL (Ramp Powered Launch) where thousands of soldiers board at the Commando Jetty. The trip to the island would take a long boring 30 minutes. Luckily this outdated mode of transport had ceased operation years ago.
Back to 100 Things We Love About The 80s (Part 1)
Published: 06 November 2011
Updated: 04 September 2013
Great post! Also reminds me of other stuff like games cards (UNO, Happy Family, Snap etc), Heart Health school books and the set of toothbrush & mug to brush teeth after recess. I remember the Bookworm Club books were too expensive for me (they were $5 each I think). And who carries the water bottle slung on the shoulder these days? 😉
I was estactic to find Old Maid in an old toy shop in Holland Village. Had to buy one pack.
Visited Bras Bersah Complex’s Popular, the small toy section still have Old Maid, etc card games (sold in pack of 4)…
I remember Mr. Yakki, Mr. Willie & Miss Lala. 🙂
Pardon the typo – I meant “Mr. Wollie”.
Glad I am not the only one who remembers Mr Yakki and Miss Lala. I thought the other guy was Mr Wocky.
You made me remember so much of the past in just a flash.
You have such an amazing list of nostalgic places and things. It must have taken you a long time to source for all those images. What a collection!
Both lists are brilliant! Thanks for taking time out to compile this… brought back many enjoyable memories! I remember the huge handphones my parents first got – the size of a YEOs packet drink!
I think it’s twice or 3x bigger than YEO’s drink! haha
For the Fann Wong Oil of Olay commercial, the ending is the man compared her passport photo and her face in person and commented she couldnt be that age (according to the passport). She looked only 25. . . . the one about high school teacher is Qi Qi (Simon Yam’s wife) and it is about hair shampoo.
haha thanks for the clarification..
I was searching for the old video clips on the internet but couldn’t find any
Thanks for a great site. By the way, the actor in the Oil of Ulan commercial was James Kwik.
the sweet girl in post #93 on courtesy campaign is 林秀明. She also appeared in the tv commercial for the same campaign. she later became an SBC actress and appeared alongside Li Nan Xing in <>.
What a brilliant collection!
I started 1980 in Sec 1.
Oh my god! If I met my secondary school friends, I can truely say we 20 odd years never see each other like those 70s melodrama movies!
I a bit sore that you left out the HK “Long Hu Men” comics… LOL!
wonderful collections! brings back so much memories for me. thanks!
Where’s the “Mat Yoyo” children shows? That was soooo 80s to miss it.
Mat Yoyo is coming back to TV…
a blast from the 80s!
Madu dan Racun… very nice song!
awesome! i read tons of ladybird books as well as those choose your adventure books 😀 and i miss those triangular milk! thanks for this post 🙂
I was in Chong Li Primary School in P1 and 2. Damn that’s a long time ago.
Love it great great site ❤
Junie Sng was invited back to Spore in 1995? by the Spore Sports Council to be inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame. she now lives in Australia.
wish i have a time machine to go back in time..
perhaps Mediacorp should do a variety show on the 80’s and get pple to share their 80s collection or how to get hold of some of these.. i bet it will be great..
speaking of which.. anyone knows where i can find Tintin and Asterix comics? I lost my collection when moving house 2 years ago :~(
With the screening of the Tintin movie, Tintin comics are available again at Popular bookstores.
i am curious about one thing. is this a group effort or individual effort?
This post and Part 1 were absolutely brilliant and beautiful. Certainly had a tear in my eye when reading the entries and I’m sure I had a giant grin on my face reading from start to finish.
I now live in Australia but remember the nostalgic 80s; I was in Primary 1 in 1985 and can certainly remember maybe about 90% of the things in both posts
So many more cartoons I can share with you that were popular though, the Wuzzles, Duck Tales (late 80s, maybe early 90s though), the Snorkels, Visionaries, Brave Starr, Sabre Rider and the Star Sherriffs (on RTM 1 or 2!) are the ones that come to mind.
I remember another game called “Pepsi Cola 1-2-3” which was played in primary school, ESPECIALLY on Mondays, first day of school when our Bata shoes were all nice white and clean: we would literally try to jump/step on each others’ shoes to try and make them dirty. Heaps of fun, especially when you win!
In terms of food and candy, I remember chickadees and loved eating kaka. 20 cents a pack! And being able to buy 3 to 5 Hacks sweets for 10 cents (or 20 cents, can’t remember)! Also a bubble gum that was in the shape of a small square box, with 3 to 4 round pieces of gum inside.
Reminiscence of the 80s…of one’s childhood…is absolutely divine.
Like zzzisle, I, too, am curious as to whether this was a group or individual effort.
Hi ianinozzie & zzzisle, the article was done by me, but definitely with the helps of google, feedback & forums, other than memories of my own childhood 😉
Now that you mentioned Visionaries, I think I had the toy a long time ago! I remember the holograms on their amours or weapons…
wow, u really deserve a big clap. 200 items :O unimaginable.
zzzisle: I reckon Remember Singapore would be able to get another 100 items in there easily. Part 3 perhaps? If you need help with contributions, I’ve love to help. Reminiscing about my childhood is one of my favourite things to do.
Haha… I think it’s difficult to cough up another 100 items for Part 3
‘hantam bola’ also brings back memories of ‘one leg catching’, ‘yeh yeh'(only chance to play w girls hee), aeroplane cards, ‘ping qi’, monkey bar fighting..
oh! and ‘Police and Thief’
Dear “Remember Singapore” and other contributors in the discussion thread, thanks for keeping our history, heritage and culture alive and remembered. This is an excellent source of information, especially for future generations.
Wow, what a post!
looks like you and this blog make a perfect team!
What a collection! All the emotions known to man i felt it… when i went though these… thank you very much…. seems to be a lifetime ago…i was is Secondary 1 back in 1984…..ha! the book worm club!!! ….. funny enough…. was never a reader back in primary school…. which was a blur!,…thanks again
Hey! We were from the Same pri school. I reckon ard the same period oso. I was there from 1985 to 1990…. Ohhhh…u still have the badge….
Hi there, do you have any idea which year did our primary school shut down for good?
I was also from Chong Li! Was so happy to see the exercise book and badge & this blog really woke me up fr my dozing! I moved out from AMK in 1992, heard from my ex CLPS mates that the school was torn down around 1994. It’s such a heartpain 😦
Anyway this is a great compilation that is so representative of our childhood 🙂
This is a fantastic blog dude! So many lost icons and motifs here! Choose Your Own Adventure, Mastermind, those old buses like CSS!
How about Wonder Women and Superman?
i remember playing “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” and Hamtam Bola and slipper game and big balloon. Not forgetting watching Black and White TV!
Riveting stuff! I still catch myself occasionally lamenting to my wife “how come the carpark at Thomson Yaohan is always full???” Incidentally, we were from the same Primary School (I was there from 1983-88 – were we from the same batch (if so would be great to touch base)??). To address your qn above, I believe Chong Li merged with Teck Ghee in Dec 2002 to form what is currently still known as Teck Ghee Pri Sch. Once again, thanks for the lovely post(s).
Hi, I was from ’83-’88 too
It’s a pity our primary school was gone… forever
Same goes to Chong Boon Primary School, was from there ’83-’88. Both schools shared the same soccer field ;). Thank you for putting this up! Bring back many fond memories… and i totally forgot about the packet milk! lol
Correct me if I remember wrongly…
The dental clinic at Chong Li Primary School was also shared by Chong Boon Primary School and Anderson Secondary School right?
It was the scariest place for me during primary school times… 😀
Now it was Pathlight school campus 2 i am studying at Pathlight School Campus 1 now.
“thomson yaohan “, guess only generations before 90s will know what it is. 🙂 there is this shopping center that is called ‘daima-ru” if im not wrong… the only cafe that still brings in the 80s 90s feel is probably left with only the HANS cafe located in raffles place whereby the interiors are still so old-school. We should encourage the HQ not to renovate it , just preserve the way it is dont u guys think? 🙂
The daimaru is the departmental store located at current Liang Court. It finally closed down in the 90s if I am not wrong… There is also SOGO (at the current Raffles City). Always remember the days when my mum will bring my sis and I there for new year clothes shopping… LOL!
Diamaru had their business in Singapore from 1983 to 2003 😉
At Ang mo kio street 44 which is now Pathlight school campus 2?
I mean for the Chong li error
Hey, does anyone remember those Brazilian drama serials dubbed in mandarin? I remembered the historical drama series ” Girl Slave”, and the modern “wild cat”… it was pretty addictive then…
Yes, I remember. I remember thinking it was weird to see Caucasian people speaking Mandarin.
Its called Ba Si ( Brazil in chinese )
Omg, was starting to think I imagined the whole thing! Yes, remember the weird Brazilian dramas on channel 8. The slave girl drama is quite famous but can’t seem to track the black/wild cat drama. Anyone has any idea?
It’s called Fera Radical (Wildcat). The female lead rides a motorcycle, right?
Yeah… its called 女奴。
thank you SO MUCH!
i had been searching high & low for the right name to ask the bookstores, often leading to a description of what the books do/are like & them not knowing what I am talking about. Now thanks to you, I know they are called ”Choose Your Own Adventure”!!
do you know of similar game / adventure books that come with dice?
I used to “rent” those adventure books from second-hand bookstores 😉
But I’m not sure of any games that associated with these types of books
Sure, you’ve helped a lot, thanks!
@aretha k, that might be the Bloodsword series, lone wolf, Way of the tiger (ninja) gamebooks.
Thanks for the lead @Ben! Will search for it!
What? No Ghostbusters the cartoon series?
You know what ? I still have the Multi-Purpose Bamboo Stool still sit in our living room at the moment. lol
We as readers can really see the great amount of time and effort invested in research and write up for this article. HUGE THUMBS UP to this awesome article!! For a moment, I was brought back to my exciting childhood memories once again in the midst of a typical busy adult life.
Esp when u showed the pic of the fountains in AMK Central, gosh, that was classic! I almost forgotten about that. SOmehow it looked familar yet blurry but once i read ur write up, ah-ha!
Having stayed there for 16 years at blk 710, AMK central (up to date) is still my best hangout place. It has almost everything, from bus interchange, to bookstores, to the Emporium , to even Jubilee Cinema. Whenever I take slow stroll along the shophouses , lovely memories will still swim back. Never failed once. I believe it is the same for many Singaporeans and their each little childhood place too. thank you for this wonderful post! Technology has brought us forward to the future but these posts help bring us back once in a while to our roots that formed us today. Will definitely return for more!!
Same here.. I lived in AMK for 25 years, loved the central very much
Have fond memories of the A&W, Broadway cinema and the second hand book stall between the wet market and hawker centre…
you left out the tickets we get from arcade machines in the 90s and also tikam machines which produces collectible cards! =)
Thanks for sharing! what about some fashion trend like carrying ‘designer paper bags’ to school!! and wrap our ring file with ‘highlighted’ colors paper, and some loves to paste their idols or designer brands on it too!! I still rem there was a period of time wearing branded socks was very popular e.g ELLE, RL …….hahaha~ oh dun forget Neckermann sandals! Think they are back again!
Wow… i almost forgotten about the file and paper bag trend.. thanks for reminding!!
How about playing catching…zero point, paper dolls, and Lao Foo Zi….? heheheh, for the gals!!
hey, i was in chong li pri sch too! did my PSLE in 1991. remembered i used to like to buy paper dolls with paper interchangeable clothings from e bookshop in sch. i also like the canteen stall in chong li selling dry noodles wif a superb nice brown sauce. also played some hand games eg. clapping tapping hands sequence wif this song : mi mi mi re mi fa so mi, fa fa fa so fa mi re do…. anyone remember the games we play with another partner using just our bare hands?
Vampire vampire vampire rock..vampire “sorry sorry”. *makes hand gestures* vampire rock..I remember playing that.
why no Vinny the Vampire????
How about Sony ‘Walkman’?
It is at 100 Things We Love About The 80s Part 1 😉
Don’t forget the 40 cents ice kachang at the small hawker centre just outside the national library circa early 80s. My fellow bookworms and I would religiously have our fix after each library session. A bit expensive, considering our average allowance were about 80 cents a day.
And I thought ice balls disappeared by early eighties. The last one I had was at changi village in 1977, which involved licking of forearms and begging the Ah Pek for a tiny extra splash of syrup after our ice had gone ‘white’. 5 cents.
Woah, how did you remember so much? My memories were sure triggered after seeing the Ladybird Storybooks!
Those are precious memories that we will hold on till the days when we grow old.. 😉
Thankz for this wonderful article – lots of memories swamped in and I must say, whoever read this post and found out that they had experienced all/most of what you had mentioned, then I must say we had a great childhood! 😀
Yes these were wonderful memories you posted…I have fond memories of cycling thru Cheng San Kg…and going to the fishing ponds there..now Ang Mo Kio…Life was so adventurous, lots to discover…
I was from Chong Boon Pri, so does the bitter rivalry (including fights of course) between boys from both of our schools make it to your list? The pooh coloured VS the blue podka dots. 😀 Thanks for the memories! Let’s see a version 3 of this series!
My contributions (sorry if it had been already listed and I missed it) – Probably more for us in AMK:
– Hanta Bolla (aim at those podka dots shirts 😀 )
– Bus 261
– The road-safety park besides Broadway
– The scratch-off games of KFC
– Old AMK Bus interchange (anyone has a pic for this?)
– The fish shop in AMK Central
Show me the AMK bus int pic
RE: 10. No TV Transmission Screen
The “irritating monotone noise” is a 1KHz tone…
Who remembers Campus T? The t-shirt all teenagers swear by? It comes in many different colours with a duck logo on it? Also United Colors of Benetton? Karrimor haversack? Jansport back pack? Diadora shoes? K mart at Orchard Road? Top 100 Top 11 Top… Fashion. Also there’s Baskin Robbins 31 flavors ice cream, Hardy’s fast food at Parkway Parade… Too many!
baskin robbins is still in operation
Also remembered Orchard Road used to flood! Flooding and blackouts were common in the 80s. There were also a whole stretch of second hand bookstores along Bras Basah road where Hotel Rendezvous is now.There’s also the Mad Magazine and you can still find it in Sunny Bookstore at Far East Plaza.
Thank you for taking me down memory lane.
good job! kudos to your detailed documentation!
howabout the “games-cards”?
those you can buy from mama -shops with numbers on the reverse side…
and you can bet the bigger number wins….
eg: if there are 3 players and 1 banker…there will be 4 or more stacks of these cards placed for betting…the last one behind the betting stacks reserved for banker…
In 2012 711 have club penguin(sorry that gamed was formed 2005) cards past 1980 what kind
I used to stay in AMK from 1977 to 1985… and that picture of the fountain was something that I’d forgotten!
As for story books and magazines, there was also this popular magazine called “Young Generation” that I used to read in Pri School and there was this Police segment called “From the Desk of Constable Acai” 😉
for dragonball fans, you can still read the manga in english @ http://www.mangabit.com/manga/dragon-ball
Just read that veteran Hong Kong actor Wong Wai 王伟 has passed away recently (15 November 2011), mentioned at number (6) above… RIP
In the 80s, when the teacher is not in for class, the whole class splits up and tumpang neighbour class, often sitting behind of classroom, on the floor..
Oh, primary school was also where we learn brushing of teeth, beside the drain cos the school canteen was small haha
How can one forget the Reebok pump shoes? Costing at $400 it was a must-own shoe for anyone in the early 90s. Anyone who wear one at that time was accorded the same respect as one who carries the brick hand phone.
The boy in on the PEP textbook is my ex-neighbour and he’s wearing our Primary School’s Uniform! I still remember my neighbour who’s also my nanny telling us that the boy is her son. 🙂
Oh those PEP books were the bane and boon of my entire class!!! Everyone always looked forward to English class, when the teacher would gather everyone to the front of the class to seat cross-legged on the floor, and she would read the stories out loud to us, or the whole class would read as a group. There was once when we got into a “battle” with the class next door to see who could read louder haha! And remember those blue ink erasers??? We weren’t allowed to use ‘liquid-paper’ so those ink erasers were the only way to make corrections, but they always ended up rubbing big holes in the pages. Kena so many ruler-slaps on the palms for that urgh. After a few times I decided to just color-over my mistakes using my Red Leaf ballpoint pen haha.
I miss all the things so happy back than 🙂
Wow, looking at some of the images makes me realise something: the handwriting on the autograph book looks like mine. I think that’s due to the standardised school teaching in the old days. And the report card “V. Good” handwriting again looks just like my report card. Either we had the same kindergarten teacher or again they were taught to write in a standard way.
How come i feel like that too? hahaha! For a moment I thot why is my pri sch autograph book and report card on this? :p
I still remember the Bookworm song. Here it goes:
I am a bookworm, a very special one
A worm that can read, play, sing and dance
Reading is fun, reading is fun
So be like me, just be like me
A worm that does everything.
Read more books and become wise
Read a story and don’t be shy
It could be happy, it could be sad
Just tell it, just tell it
And make people glad!
Great contribution! 😀
The Big Splash was in Katong? I though all the while it was at East Coast?
Good Memories!! What about kite flying, Tamiya cars and sticker books?? 😀
Hi there! There was this advertisement on TV, ABC Mei Jian Nian, featuring an old kungfu master….that left me a very deep impression hahaha!!
Thanks for doing up the lists.
really like to relive all these again if there is any chance
i guess the current generation won’t understand all these if we show it to them
I wandered here when I was googling about Isetan in the 80s. Man, what a great article, such nostalgia, brought a tear to my eye (have been away from Singapore for close to 10 years now).
If any one has any photos of the Transformers toy aisles of these shopping centres in the 80s/ early 90s, please, please shoot me an email – Isetan (Havelock Road), Kids’ World (Goldhill Square, as it was then called), Kids’ World (on 8th floor of Wisma Atria), Yaohan (toy section in basement of Plaza Sing), Metro (toy section in basement of Paragon), Metro (Beach Road), OG (People’s Park), Daimaru (Liang Court), Parkway Parade….
I would be eternally grateful. =)
Thank you very much for part 2. I stayed up till 5am to read…..gosh…I threw most of my old items away. Now I realized they bring sentimental value!
It’s always only when age catches up with us that we start to treasure our past, and appreciate bittergourds 😉
can anyone remember this sweet which i love very much when i was a child. The wrapper is purple in colour and it has the flavour of licorice/ grape. sigh.. really wish they can bring it back…
I believe that purple wrapper sweet that becomes chewy like tar after awhile is called Benson’s.. Had looked that up myself too! If my research was correct that is, they were produced by the british liqourice co. And just vanished somehow! Used to love that sweet!
Its been over a year since this article was posted and I stumbled upon this site while actually looking for another particularly forgotten thing we used to have at selected busstops isoandwide called the “pet machine” (i think) . A turqoise green color touch screen booth, WAY bigger than the axs machines today! And one could watch music videos on it!
I recall watching “fool’s garden – lemon tree”… anyone here remembers that machine? I couldnt find any photos of it on google.. 😦
Love this site!
I remember the chewy dark purple sweets! & that huge machine that had the current pop songs MTV… i used to watch it for those songs on the top 10 of the MTV chart… & it was popular in about early to mid 90s i thk…
YEAH!!!! 😛 That was my favourite sweet during my childhood!
Currently, there’s an exhibition of memorabilia related to our familiar void decks.
It’s held by the Singapore Heritage Fest. Interested nostalgia fans can go take a look 🙂
Hi there, thank you so much for updating this blog constantly! It has been an amazing read so far and I really appreciate your keeping up with what has happened to some of the very amazing places/buildings Singapore once had.
One point to note in this entry that I thought was a little misleading is the Concorde bit.
The Concorde was not a joint venture between SIA and BA. Singapore Airlines merely rented/code-shared one of the the concordes (G-BOAD) on the route you mentioned. The Concorde was a joint-venture between the British and French Government and were mainly operated by British Airways and Air France.
In the 1980s when Singapore Airlines ceased their Concorde service, the aircraft continued to fly until 2003.
Hope this clarifies and once again, thank you so much for this amazing blog! 🙂
i was a growing up in 80s kid! thanks for these amazing collections: bring back so much happy memories;))
Wow! What a jog down memorylane! Thank you soooooo much for posting this… it has brought back many many memories for me and evidently for many others too.
I still remember got a series of book call Peter & jane, but when i move hse than throw it away http://big-picture-stuff.blogspot.sg/2011/04/peter-and-jane.html And a show call bao biao on channel my mum say te show was cut off half way due to borning i think so………
Coca-Cola launched Cherry Coke in Singapore on 6th February 1986
but it did not do too well here… ‘cos many think it tasted like cough syrup
It exited the Singapore market many years later…
Coca-Cola also launched Diet Coke in Singapore in 1985 and later Vanilla Coke in 2003.
Well the”fake medicine” was made in US
you still can get cherry coke in mustafa centre
THERE WAS ALSO THE DEAR POLICEMAN SERIES
GREAT COMPILATION! It sure brings back my childhood memories. Thanks for sharing!
Anyone owned the plastic 圓月彎刀toy sabre? I used to have that. But i suspect my mum threw it away…
Cool, I had that too 🙂
SBC magazine featuring Wang Yuqing and Chen Bifeng, the most popular on-screen lovers in the 1980s 🙂
The popular weekly SBC magazine (电视广播周刊) was first started on 24th January 1981, selling at 50c per copy.
The first edition had Carol “Dodo” Cheng (郑裕玲) on its cover due to her popularity in the HK drama “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (网中人).
The subsequent copies featured many HK stars such as Chow Yun Fat and Leslie Cheung, before putting the emphasis on the emerging local artistes.
I miss the Brandoll bakery in Metro and Yaohan’s doughnut was so yummy! Metro & Liang Court’s Christmas adverts were so lively……Metro Christmas Magic!
the original metro christmas slogan is “Metro lights up your christmas” which i truly loves it and remembering till today”
Thanks for all the contribution of the 80’s. You made me remember my childhood days in Ghim Moh Road where I saw 90% of the things in part 1. I was in Tanglin Primary school from 1984 to 1989. I remember my friends and myself playing the Super Mario Brothers game. What a great website about Singapore. Cheers!
Hi there i am a newbie here from Sembahwang Primary Sch just beside sembahwang beach in the 80s and sembahwang school too at Jln mata ayer
Use to go to Thimson Youhan whenever i skip class with my brothers ….cause they screen The Indiana Jones movie cant remember but its was near the Toys side
Anyone remember A&W coney dog ?
Tuesday was Coney Day! I recently stumbled upon an A&W in Kota Bharu and enjoyed a long overdue Coney Dog. Here in China, Dairy Queen serves up a decent chilli dog for 10 RMB.
The songs from Parker Pen and 2nd Chance commercial ads in the late 80s still left me a deep impression…
Talking about 2nd Chance… does anyone remember an apparel shop called Tutti Fruitti? Think i bought a couple of shirts for new year from them back in the 80s… 😛
Heyy..any idea where to get those picture of those 90s primary sch coursebook? Those wif animal..rmbr?? ;))
The classic commercials shown in SBC and TCS! How many do you still remember? 😀
SIA commercial (1970s)
nice music, nice scenery of old Singapore
The Weisen-U commercial (1980s)
mentioned in the article above
Kah Mee Optical commercial (1980s)
That familiar music was classic!
And the telephone number shown was still in 7 digits
The McDonald’s commercial (1991)
Classic line by McDonald’s grandma: “带他出来很麻烦”
This was one of the few commercials aired in Singapore with various dialogues in English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and even Hokkien!
M1 commercial (2000s)
This one not very old, but its humour has left a deep impression on me
Not exactly the 80s, but rather in the 90s… ie the chatting programs and instant messengers we once enjoyed
MSN (started in 1995) has finally followed the footsteps of mIRC (1995) and ICQ (1996):
Microsoft will shut down its Messenger service on March 15 2013 and migrate the over hundred million users of the messenger service to Skype, according to emails Microsoft began sending out to subscribers this week. According to several technology websites, the emails advised Messenger users to update to Skype using their existing account information in advance of the deadline.
We are also saying goodbye to the good old Hotmail (1996-2013)
May 04, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Microsoft’s Hotmail, the free webmail service used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, was phased out on Friday, as the United States (US) tech giant completed a rebranding to Outlook.com.
“We’re excited to announce that we’ve completed upgrading all Hotmail customers to Outlook.com,” Microsoft’s Dick Craddock said in a blog post late Thursday.
“Coupled with the growing organic excitement for Outlook.com, this has pushed us to over 400 million active Outlook.com accounts.”
The transition began in February, when Microsoft began a test of moving users to the new Outlook.com services.
I can’t find any pictures of the text book of miss lala and talking zebra. Anyone seen such pics anywhere?
Looking for Centrepoint Kids to make a heritage documentary. Would appreciate if you know of any we can interview. Thanks, ok45sg [@] gmail.com / hp 
酒干倘卖无 had got to be one of the most popular songs in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 80s
It was the theme song of Taiwanese movie 搭错车 (1983)
These items just bring back lots of good old memories! How I wish i kept some of these stuff when i was younger. Thanks for compiling!
hey man, great posts ! (both part 1&2). really made me remember my childhood quite abit hahahaha. Btw, point 99, i think should include clementi’s interchange fountain as well. i believe that place is also same. haha
I remember got this playing cards with Jackie Chan drunker master etc… anyone remembers?
Does anyone remember the Best Denki advertisement? its usually played during Japan Hour in the mid 2000s. I wish to know to tittle of that song. =p any help is appreciated.
I hope this link will help its from youtube i cant remember the song title
Remember the Wisma Atria aquarium, downtown’s most important meeting point?
Yes it was removed some years ago when Wisma Atria underwent renovation.
The facade of Wisma Atria was also quite different back in the day.
Does anyone remember back then, KFC sold this delicious cheesecake?
It was in a small, round transparent container. Top layer was red raspberry/strawberry. Bottom was the biscuit crust.
It was heavenly. Dont know why they stopped selling it.
Anyone knows what i am talking about?
Have a pic of it?
can anyone tell me the exact meaning (words) of “ma pi bo”??
is it hokkien or cantonese?
I always thought it’s “ma biu bo”/马镖报 which is cantonese . It means the newspaper with the lottery results.
sgparlay, are you by any chance referring to
I’m searching for a photo of an ice cream I used to eat called “Eskimo Pie”? It was a rectangular ice cream sandwiched by wafers and wrapped in gold with a picture of an Eskimo kid on the outside. Would anyone happen to have it?
Wow!! Thank you very much for your effort! Brings back wonderful childhood memories. I was from chong li primary school too. Used to run over to chong boon primary school after class for their delicious chicken wings(with extra chilli) and scare ourselves silly from looking at the snake caged somewhere near the primary school. I am also glad I kept many toys and things from the 80’s, so I could share the wonderful memories with friends.
I remember watching hipp-o and mei-i on tv in the past (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO-j5oKyJs0). and in channel 8, we have many Chinese dubbed Japanese anime airing on Saturday and Sunday morning, including b-daman bakugaiden, cyborg kuro-chan, YAT, ranma, slam dunk, dragon ball etc and there is this 水果冰淇淋 show too
Teletext, introduced in August 1983 as a public service to broadcast news reports, stock information and some ministry announcements (later extended to sports, finances, classifieds and of cos the popular 4D and Toto results).
The 30-year-old service will cease by the end of this month.
MediaCorp will discontinue the analogue service Teletext, with effect from 30 September 2013
Teletext, an analogue information service provided by MediaCorp will be discontinued from 30 September.
“Given the antiquated technology, the availability of alternative sites for information and the declining usage of Teletext, we have decided to discontinue the service and channel resources to newer services to better serve our customers and reach a wider audience” said Mr Philip Koh, Managing Director for Convergent Media, MediaCorp.
Teletext provides general information on news, stock prices, airport,weather and other text-based information.
Over the years, technological advancements have enabled information to be readily accessible online, via mobile devices and tablets as well as connected TV and outdoor screens, said a MediaCorp statement.
MediaCorp and other organisations which provide such information on the newer digital platforms have seen growth in usage.
Conversely, the number of users of the non-interactive Teletext service has declined over the years.
#11 is wrong. Ultraman is only shown on Malaysia channel, RTM 1. It was dubbed in Malay.
I read this article with much nostalgia. All these items were so very much part of my childhood. I remember buying panini stickers at 50cents per pack. Zero point was my favorite activity with my girl friends in primary school. And many more… I wish I could bring Kyan and Koen back to the 80s!
#80 The Polaroid Instant Camera, still with me in save box 🙂
This is such a brought-tear-to-my-eye moment. What a fantastic article – kuddos to you for this great job! I grew up in the 80s/90s and the list certainly brings back tons of fantabulous memories. I now live away – for the last 5 years, Oslo, Norway has been my home. Although I go back quite often, its not been a day, I’ve not missed Singapore, especially the wonderful ol’ Singapore we all remember dearly.
74. Konami’s Contra (1987) and Super Contra (1988)
One of my favourite TV game when I was 12 years old. I can the remember the cheat code where you will be invincible. On the controller you press: up, up, down, down, B, A, SELECT, START.
I hope it still works if you can find one.
Sorry, it’s Up,Up, Down, Down, Left, Left, Right, Right, B,A,SELECT, START.
Me too from Chong Li then transfer to Chong boon……..Are you my classmate? >,<
not the 80s but rather the 90s… still funny though 😀
These brought wonderful memories to me! Hope you don’t mind…I would like to add a few more:
1) Game: Crocodile, played using the “table tennis” table, where the crocodile will be on the groud and the other players will stand on top of the table. And the crocodile runs around the table trying to catch a player, who will become the next crocodile!
2) Game: Mother hen. A line of players(little chicks) will hide behind the mother hen and she she has to move side to side protecting her chicks while the catcher tries to steal a stray chick.
3) TV Ad: for milk powder(I think it was Fernleaf) where each time, the song will be played in all the 4 languages…English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
I remember singing along to ALL the languages when it aired!
4) Chinese vampire movie. The vampires will jump after their victims with the hand outstretched.
Lol…After watching the movie, my older brother and I used to jump after my younger brother trying to scare him.
5) There was this local Chinese drama with Chen Liping and others, with Volleyball as the storyline!
6) A kids’ show called “Lamb Chops Play Along” around the mid 90s. It had an irritating but catchy song which goes like this:
This is the song that doesn’t end
Yes it goes on and on my friend
Some people started singing it not knowing what what it was
And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
This is the song that doesn’t end
Yes it goes on and on my friend….
(Continued over and over again)!!
Wow…I can still remember the lyrics!!
7) Whistle sweet that can be blown while u suck on it.
8) our school canteen used to sell this fizzy drink “schweppes cream soda”. It was the best drink ever! Dunno why they stopped that particular flavour when other flavours like Ginger Beer and Soda water still can be found!!
9) Not sure how many did this as a school kid, but on the way back from school, there used to be many short bushes with red flowers growing in bunches. These flowers had long thin stems with 4 little petals. My friends and I used to pluck few of these flowers and at the end of the hollow stem, there will be a little strand which could be gently pulled out. And at the tip of that stand, there with a drop of sugary water/honey, which we would drop onto our tongues.
10) Yeo’s had a certain pudding that came in tetra packets. They had corn and mango flavours. I can still remember the illustration on how to serve, at the back of the packet. The corn was absolutely delicious. Sadly these are no more!!
11) Yeo’s also had this flavored drinks with jelly. They came in peach, lychee and another flavour which I can’t remember. These too cannot be found anymore
12) a long hollow biscuit covered in chocolate.
Who loved to pop a few Chiclets peppermint gum, before the nationwide ban of chewing gums in 1992?
(Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com/irememberSG)
Hi, I’m from Brunei. Reading about the 80’s also brought oh so sweet memories of growing up during those times. I certainly can relate to the items mentioned, especially the Bookworm Club. Some people came to my school to promote it, and I remember pestering my dad to buy me some of the books. Well, he said no because they were expensive but I had my share of learning through the use of Singapore textbooks for 90% of the subjects at school. My school used 99% Singapore books for its curriculum. New Way Readers, Adventures in Reading, Mathematics ( the one with the picture of a kite) and my first ever English dictionary used in Primary 4, was it Pan Pacific sthg? I still keep this dictionary to this day.😄
You’ve done an excellent job!! The 80’s was the best part of my life😍
Ventriloquist and entertainer Victor Khoo dies of cancer
Jun 6, 2014
Ventriloquist and entertainer Victor Khoo died on Friday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 63. Khoo and his wooden puppet sidekick Charlee were household names in Singapore throughout the 1970s and 80s, when the pair hosted the children’s radio show Happy Talk every Saturday morning for seven years.
While famed for his ventriloquist act, Khoo also wore many other hats, including magician, deejay, compere and film director. His craft took him across the globe, from New Zealand and South Africa to the glitz and glamour of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Thanks for the wonderful list. Certainly brought lots of wonderful memories back. I was from Chong Li Primary School from 1989 to 1994. Amazing to be able to still see the school badge and exercise book today when the school has sadly closed down. I remember I loved to drink iced milo in a small glass from the canteen stall that also sold ice cream. I used to draw the hopscotch boxes on the sand patch and played with my friends during recess time using stones. My girl friends and I also liked to collect the red angsana seeds from the drain and ground near the trees beside the carpark. All the children play games like zeropoint and five stones too during recess. I also like to touch the mimosa plants at the field and watch them close up. After school, I would go to the playground with some friends to play with the see-saw, attempting to make each other bounce up high by landing hard. Those were the days when life was so carefree and simple yet happy.
Stumbled on this website while looking for some 80’s/90’s memorabilia, just wanted to point out that the Pentium was never used to describe the 80386 or 80486. Being fascinated by computers since my first encounter with Zaxxon on the the Apple II, I finally got my own PC (386DX-40 in 1993 when the 486DX2-66 was the fastest) and subsequently spend the next 5 years optimising it as much as possible while sticking to MS-DOS. So I’m pretty sure Intel never coined the brand until they launched the 586, which back in the day took a few months for technophiles over here to switch to using the official term “Pentium”. Of course, it helped that the next big thing was branded “Pentium II”…
Photos from the recent Good Morning ‘Cher Exhibition at Changi City Point, brings back memories of the good old school days:
Great post! But is there any information as to the passports in the past, like the blue passport for travel between SG and west Malaysia?
Hi, I grew up in Johor during the 70’s/80’s and often visit my sister live who in Ang Mo Kio “new town” in early 80’s. Now I resides in USA. Thank you for this great post. It certainly brought back some very sweet memories of my teenage years. As I was reading this article, I remember a Levi’s 2nd generation commercial with on sbc. The commercial have 3 or 4 girls walking and dancing along SF street. It also has a nice song/tune on it. Tried but could not find the video anywhere or I would post it.
Does anyone remember going to this Strawberry Shortcake boutique located at United Square back in the 80s? I loved going there as a child as I was fascinated by all things sweet there. There are even scents of strawberry all over the boutique. It would be nice if pics of the shop can be featured on this site.
Where is part 3? You still have batu picking game, gasing, mind your language, Doraemon, Fanta/Magnolia/7up, Donkey Kong, Taipan, Chow Yun Fatt, Winners, Dragon Tiger Gate, paper football, paper scissor rock, Those classic hifi set, radio contests, funny old bicycles, foldable stools, fighting fish, the fun after the flood/rain (Yep, drenching wet), mechanical pencil, marie pia, the kite…..
Ghee, can really go on and on and on….
Thanks for the memories. Appreciate your blog.
I really miss my old school bus…
Cartoon character. ..
The concorde ceased operation because Malaysia complained about sonic boom. Other concorde flights with BA and AF still continued till 2006
garung guni, buay bor zua gu sa kor, ley lio dian si kee – Should it be “Pai Ley LIo” as in spoiled radio???
At least that’s what I think I heard… 🙂
Looking for the car and the aeroplane card game that we used to call out the specs to win the opponent.
It’s called ‘Trump Card’ – nothing to do with that moron in the White House. I used to play with those too. These are still available in the UK, albeit with different packaging, and popular with pre-teen kids.
After 30 years, I finally know the story behind my childhood Transformer toy named Jetfire….
Finally, we come to the Transformer with the strangest history of all. A robot capable of transforming into a fighter jet, he was much larger and more intricately designed than his Decepticon rival, Starscream. Fans of Japanese anime would have immediately spotted why Jetfire looked so different from the other Transformers: he originally appeared as a Super Valkyrie Fighter in the series Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, which first aired in 1982.
Designed by Shoji Kawamori, the Super Valkyrie was one of the most iconic mecha creations of the 1980s, and it’s little surprise that the company Takatoku rushed a transforming toy based on it as the series took off. Hasbro clearly recognised how popular the Valkyrie design would be in the west, so they purchased the design from Takatoku, renamed the robot Jetfire, and added it to the Transformers family, alongside a number of other designs from the company, such as the Deluxe Insecticons.
(Interestingly, there’s another link between Transformers and Super Dimensional Fortress Macross. Designers Shoji Kawamori and Kazutaka Miyatake, who would later design Macross, had been contracted by Takara to help create the Diaclone toys back in 1980.)
Problems arose when Takatoku went out of business in 1984. Japanese giant Bandai bought up Takatoku, and with a Macross movie renewing interest in the series, Bandai decided it wanted to re-release the Valkyrie toys in Japan. The following year, Macross appeared in America (albeit in modified form) as part of the Harmony Gold series Robotech, which meant that kids across the country would see the Jetfire design in an entirely different context.
The complex issue of who owned the rights to the Valkyrie design in what country led Hasbro to change Jetfire’s appearance and name in the comics and television show; according to the Transformers story bible, intended to help the writers on the comics and TV show, “JETFIRE has been “transformed” into SKYFIRE – with a different model – due to legal reasons. Do not use this character unless necessary”.
Like the rest of the Transformers, Jetfire (or Skyfire, as he was later known) would change greatly as toy lines came and went and the accompanying story behind them meandered in different directions.
I was surfing the internet and looking for old pictures of Singapore when I came across this page and saw something very familiar. I realized someone posted a picture of a page on the autograph book (Item 29) which I wrote to my friend last time. I would really appreciate it if the owner of that autograph book could contact me because I definitely recognize my handwriting. Really brings back good old memories.
How about Wonder Women & Superman? I think You’ve Totally Forgot them.
Regarding the Bookworm Club:
I still have a bookshelf of Bookworm Club books. Couldn’t bear to throw away. Each book was $5, and that was the price in the late 1980s. The book sellers/promoters came to my school every month, placed the books on a table near the canteen. Business was good for them.
I also have the bigger, hardcover ‘Bookworm Classics’. I kept it on the bookshelf, and never opened it in decades. One day, for some reason (being invited?), I and my mother went to the Bookworm Club HQ at Selegie. There were a lot of books on display, and there was even a video game room (Atari or PC DOS, it was on a CGA monitor). I wasn’t sure if the book was a gift I won or bought at a discounted rate, but I remember I was given a choice between two books, and I picked ‘Bookworm Classics’.
‘Bookworm Classics’ has some memorable stories: some made me feel scared/sad. I remember one story was about Mount Sophia… it’s the local context which made those stories endearing.
Last bit about the Bookworm Club. A quick search shows you the cast of characters, Sam Seng, Simone, Smarty, Mimi, Porky etc. However, one character was conspicuously missing: that’s Hairy the Dog. I know because there’s a Hairy the Dog’s sticker (faded a bit tattered) on that bookshelf. The stickers were free gifts that came with the purchased books.