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. 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

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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