Collecting 1980s Erasers

One of the things I absolutely loved to collect as a child in the 80s was ‘smelly erasers’. This meant traditional pencil rubbers moulded into various new colourful forms and scented with some sort of perfume, making them attractive for children to collect. Most were not really meant for school use, but to be kept as a treasure trove in tins, boxes and pencil cases instead!

80s Erasers were relatively cheap to buy with your own pocket money, but the growth of your collection definitely came from swapping them with friends in the playground. The ones that were the must haves of children in the 80s have become very collectable today. These are usually the innovative designs from Japanese makers such as Lemon Co., Kutsuwa, Prince and Sanrio, many of which still continue to produce erasers and cute stationery. Some erasers featured Kawaii licensed characters such as Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars, whilst others were decorated with their own cute characters and designs. For example Beautiful Sunday is Kutsuwa design featuring a little girl who looked a bit like Holly Hobbie and Pops Club is another popular design, with its Art Deco font and accompanying pastel stripes or heart decoration. Both are still sought after, commanding high prices on eBay.

My Personal 80s Eraser Collection

As well as the more innovative erasers from Japan, there were standard ‘flat’ white erasers. These were more practical for school use and could feature a number of licensed characters of the 80s such as Snoopy, Garfield, Rainbow Brite, He-Man, Danger Mouse, Roland Rat etc. Sometimes they came in stationery sets for going ‘back to school’ which would have included a ruler, pencils and pencil sharpener. This base shape was also used for souvenir erasers of the sort that you would come home with after a visit to the gift shop at a tourist destination. These became collectable too in their own right as a record of places the child had visited for example museums, theme parks and holiday destinations.

1980s Character Erasers

Other types included those moulded into familiar shapes like body parts, cars, fruit, technology of the day (e.g. phones, calculators, games consoles). Some 80s erasers were for topping a pencil with, and some were made up of letters spelling out ‘Hello’ or ‘Love’. Whatever erasers you preferred to collect, there was certainly enough for everyone!


I have recently found some of the erasers I had as a child to re-create my collection. I also love adding to it with any new (old) ones I find! Below are some photos of my collection, plus some more information about my favourites.

Collecting 80s Erasers - Heart Shaped
1980s Heart Shaped Erasers

Above are my favourite heart shaped erasers in my collection. Some are in plastic containers such as the Kutsuwa pastel ‘Love Call’ pair and Snoopy. The others are quite unusual with the Pops Club one being made from clear, transparent, toughened rubber, and the ‘Perky’ one with a mirror inside the eraser frame.

Collecting 80s Erasers - Boxed Erasers
1980s Boxed Erasers

No part of an 80s eraser collection is complete without these little square boxed ones! Here is a selection of the ones I own and my favourite was always the rainbow heart in its glittery box. I had this one as a child and would regularly get it out to admire it!

1980s Lipstick Erasers

I just loved lipstick erasers too! Here are a few that are now in my collection and I remember vividly the heart shaped ones at the back. Sadly some of the oils have come out of them now which makes the eraser stick to the casing. These erasers were often scented and all of mine do still have that familiar smell. The Coca Cola, Refreshers and Trebor Mints one bring back instant memories especially! 

1980s Clear Erasers
1980s Push-Up Erasers

Some other unusual 80s eraser examples in my collection are shown above. Firstly the clear erasers were made by Citation, Japan and even though they looked cool, were rubbish at their actual job of erasing pencil, making a large grey smidge on the page instead! I think they are little works of art however and take pride of place in my collection. The second picture shows some ‘push-up’ erasers which came in a long tube and could be pushed along as the eraser got smaller from use. I just love the cute Kawaii designs on each. 

Below you can see an example of the innovative types of designs the Japanese came up with. These two feature a brush at the end of the plastic casing so that it can be used to brush away eraser ‘shavings’ after use!

1980s Brush Erasers
1980s Brush Erasers

So there we have it 🙂 I hope you have enjoyed my post about collecting 80s erasers, plus the photos from my own collection. Feel free to share your own memories of collecting 1980s erasers in the comments below! I also have some 80s Erasers for sale in my 80s Shop.

This blog post is written by Rachel Toy, owner of Rachel’s Vintage & Retro and creator of 80s Kids UK. I have a passion for all things 80s and regularly write blogs about this wonderful decade. I also have an 80s online shop. Why not follow 80s Kids UK on Instagram and Facebook for more updates!

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