Category Archives: Toys

Tonka Sportstars – 80s footballers immortalised in plastic

After posting a picture I took on my phone of an old Peter Beardsley figurine (that shows little to no likeness to the former Everton and Newcastle United forward), I was sent this rather wonderful advert (below). Peter Beardsley was one of many footballers from the late 80s who were immortalised in plastic by Tonka. The range Sportstars was a set of plastic collectible figurines that had little purpose. You could twist the arms and hips of the players to slightly change their pose, but you can’t really play with them. It’s difficult to know what they’re actually for.

Can you name the players?

It’s quite difficult to work out who these players are. After a little research online it appears that many of the players were made from the same casts so look remarkably similar. After consultation via the medium of twitter we’ve come up with the following list of players that are shown in the ad above.

  • Viv Anderson
  • Derek Mountfield
  • Brian McClair
  • Paul McStay
  • Ian Rush
  • Diego Maradona
  • Giuseppe Bergomi
  • Lothar Matthaus
  • Ruud Gullit
  • Jim Leighton
  • Mark Hughes
  • John Barnes
  • David Rocastle
  • Kevin Ratcliffe
  • Paul Walsh

I think we can all agree that it’s wonderful to know that the image of Derek Mountfield at his peak is forever glorified in plastic technicolour.

Thanks to everyone on twitter who has contributed to my knowledge on this subject. Shout-outs go to @ursus_arctos59, @andrewastewart, @benjhardinge, @narrowtheangle, @AlexNoonan_, @seiriol and everyone else who took an interest. A longer list of all Tonka Sportstars that were available can be found here:


Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Toys