Prized Possessions Vol. 2 – Plastic Charm Necklaces

Who remembers those plastic chain-link necklaces from the 1980s? The ones you would get charms for from a vending machine to add to the necklace. If you’re my age and a girl you probably had one. You’d go back to the grocery or drug store, again and again, scratching yourself like a crackhead (probably from the plastic against your skin), holding a quarter, looking for your next fix – a charm in the shape of a frying pan, for example.  Then you’d add the charm to your necklace, more and more until you looked like Mr. T but instead of gold chains it was little plastic tennis rackets and lipstick and baby bottles and records.

The ones I had were sent to outgrown toy heaven by my mom at some point, but that has never deterred me. I just went to eBay and bought me some new ones several years ago.

Every single charm had a little bell on it, which means there would be no sneaking up on anyone when you were wearing them. And they came in every random item little girls loved!

Numbers 1

1. Tennis racket and little shoes 2. lipstick  3. rape whistle  4. PINK baby bottle for future teen moms of girls  5. something called a “record”  6. something called a “typewriter”  7. sunglasses  8. ping pong paddle  9. choo choo train  10. ballerina slipper  11. corn on the cob (of course)  12. a red football  13. a wrench for all the handygirls out there  14. a ball-peen hammer (forget that claw hammer bullshit – those are for boys!)  15. sausage (aww yeah)  16. uh, a half-eaten fish carcass  17.   an adorable turquoise ax for all the little Lizzie Bordens out there.

Numbers 2

1. toothpaste (as Crest tells me now with their commercials, a lady needs her some non-yellow teeth if she wants to attract a husband!)  2. little yellow lion  3. a heart – girls love hearts!  4. a PINK baseball and 5. PINK baseball bat  6. white elephant  7. a translucent aqua bulldog (probably created after unrelenting demand from 1980s kids)  8. football  9. the word “happy,” it’s just important to be reminded how to feel  10. a bathtub (no dirty girls!)  11. a BLUE baby bottle for future teen moms of boys 12. a comb for lice, I’m assuming 13. a horseshoe and….14. the things that little girls love the most in all the world.


A blue googly-eyed lady thing wearing a bra over a shirt with a misshapen left foot. SO RAD!

I think my favorite charm, which I don’t own, is the mutli-colored abacus. One day I’ll get my hands on one, and then I can finally do some math!

Who remembers these or had one?

16 thoughts on “Prized Possessions Vol. 2 – Plastic Charm Necklaces”

  1. I remember those!! But holy hell, you had a million of those charms. I think I had like five.

    And who needs to know about maths? Not GIRLS, that’s for sure. Being smart is only for boys.

  2. Never had one, but your post inspired me to go on ebay for the keychain version of coleco’s handheld football game.
    Run, red blip! Run!

  3. I still have my necklace and charms somewhere in my apartment. My prized one was the Coke bottle. It had brown liquid in it! I used to get my charms at the local JC Penney. I was fancy like that.

    1. I remember having this too with all the awesome charms but can somebody please tell me what the real name of the necklaces is thank u

  4. Wow. I loved this necklace so much that I recently bought one on eBay too. I could not for the life of me remember how I (we) collected those charms. I don’t remember buying them in a little vending machine but I suppose you’re right. If these were to exist today how would little girls buy the charms to add and collect? Any idea?

  5. I am so happy to come across your post. I have been searching everywhere for one of these necklaces for my daughter, who is 7, for Christmas this year. I am trying to buy one off of ebay. I have gone into countless antique stores and explain what I am looking for and the owners have no idea what I am referring to. Seeing your post was a treat, as I too have fond memories of getting all my charms. I know my daughter will love hers as well! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have a friend who is willing tongi broke finding that typewriter one again- any way you can email me with the contact of the person who bought it from you on eBay so I can put them in touch? Thank you so much!

    1. Nobody bought it from me, I bought it from them, so I still own it. 🙂 She (or he) can e-mail me if she’s interested, I’m also particularly fond of the typewriter but if it’s super important to them I may be willing to part with it.

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