The Nintendo Entertainment System, Barbie dolls, Micro Machines, G.I. Joe action figures, Real Ghostbuster action figures and Dolly Surprise were among some of the most popular toys in 1988. Other popular toys that year were Starting Lineup sports figures, Hot Wheels and Ghostbusters Proton Packs.
Toys R Us released a list that included all of the stores top-selling toys for each year, starting with 1985. The company's best-selling toy in 1988 was the Ghostbusters Proton Pack. This toy was made popular thanks to the Ghostbusters movies and "The Real Ghostbusters" animated show. Children who received the proton pack could strap it on to their backs and then use it to pretend to hunt and capture ghosts.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures also were extremely popular toys — especially among adolescent boys — in 1988. Like many top-selling toys in the 1980s, the visibility of the Ninja Turtles characters on a Saturday morning cartoon show increased the popularity of the toys.
Some of the other toys that were popular in the late 1980s were the Batman Batmobile, which was the top-selling toy at Toys R Us store in 1989 and Sylvanian Families figures, which were the best-selling toys in 1987.