So, you've had your eye on the latest Barbie doll, or perhaps the newest, shiniest Transformer, so where do you keep all those carefully counted pennies safe? Kids never had there own bank accounts, so in order to keep the thiefs (ie, brothers and sisters) at bay, they used to have to resort to rather more underhand tactics. So, thank you Tonka Toys for Finders Keypers!
Modelled on various animals, Finders Keypers were marketed in the 80s as part toy, part treasure chest - and something every little princess needed in her life! There were snails, kangaroos, swans and more, and each came with its own plastic key so you could store your valuables (read: fuzzy stickers, Gold Rush Bubble Gum, and as many friendship bracelets you could stuff inside). This secret compartment was hidden in their bellies, cleverly concealed by cutesy, coloured decoration and combable hair that made Finders Keypers far too innocent-looking to have any secrets of their own.
The original series of Keypers comprised six different characters, and was followed up by a more advanced second series, sporting glittery eyes and long, colourful hair. Some even glowed in the dark, like Glo Friends toys! New characters came with accessories and included bears, cats, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and ponies. Given the success of the Keypers toys, it's hardly surprising that the 80s also brought a cartoon with it.
Even younger children were catered for, when Tonka Toys released Baby Keypers (shown in the photo), which came with a snappable inner compartment rather than a lockable one. Small keys and small mouths don't go well together, after all. But everyone has something to hide...