Sesame Street, which debuted in 1969, was a children’s show known for its educational content presented to the audience using puppets, animation, humor, and real life situations. Sesame Street changed significantly over the years, and comparing a modern episode to episodes from the 1970’s and 1980’s demonstrates stark differences. The show’s producers evolved the tone and format of the show to keep pace with contemporary American culture and viewing habits. For example, in 1980, a typical Sesame Street episode would feature a large number of small vignettes, but by 2002, vignettes were often longer and story lines starting crossing episodes. It was initially thought that the attention span of young children was too short to handle long vignettes, but as the years progressed, this philosophy shifted (around 1989).
When it came to the Sesame Street toys of the 80's, just about anything you can think of was created. There were stuffed dolls, Hasbro die-cast cars with the characters driving, action figures, jack-in-the-boxes Poppin Pals, books, puzzles, Weebles, toy boxes shaped like a school bus, and so much more.