The Toy Scavengers : Top 10 Cartoon Theme Songs of the 80s & 90s

Here at The Toy Scavenger I grew up with Action Figures from the 80s/90s, and you couldn't have a Toy line without having an accompanying Cartoon with a kick ass theme song, it just didn't make sense back then! So I decided to compile a list of my favourite Theme songs from the cartoons that have a Toy line from when we were all kids.
Now there are plenty of people that wont agree with this list, as we all have our own memories, and opinions of which cartoon were the best. For example, Master of The Universe was such a big hit its hard to argue that it shouldn't be in our top ten? but when you think about it, is the theme song any good? really? In fact there's not much of a song. You have Prince Adam Aka He-Man describing how he got his powers, his allies, and he's enemy's, but there's no singing, there is a tune, but can this be classed as a theme song? I don't think so, so unfortunately it doesn't make my list (Really Sorry MOTU Fans!).

That's why I have made this list of the best THEME Songs. there is a few I have missed that a lot of people like but this is what I grew up with here at The Toy Scavenger and remember watching when I was a kid. I hope you like it and remember to add your suggestions in the comment section, be kind.

Number 10 - Action Force Theme Song

Now G.I Joe fans, we are a UK site and or though im sure G.I Joe is what you remember seeing on a television screens you have got to remember that here at the Toy Scavenger i was only ever shown Action Force, the UK equivalent to G.I Joe. When I was growing up I had no idea that there was a original version of the Toy line, Television show, and Movie and I was happy.
But on a trip to Orlando in the early 90s I got really confused as when I turned on the TV in the hotel room (one of the first things a child must do when entering a hotel room) to my horror my favourite Action Force heroes had been re-drafted to something called G.I Joe and instead of yelling their famous catch phrase of "Go Force", they were saying "Yo Joe" without a suspicious dubbed voice over like I was used too! this was way too much for me, feeling deceived and traumatised we took a trip to a Local Toy store and I bought my first official G.I Joe Action figure. While I am still scared from this experience as you can tell, I still like the original theme song from Action Force and intact I prefer it more than the G.I Joe theme and so it makes my list. Sorry G.I Joe fans, I have since realised the error of my ways with the toy line if that's any comfort to you.

Number 9 -The Real Ghostbusters / Slimer and The Real Ghostbuster Theme Song

We all know that famous line "Who You Gonna Call, Ghostbusters", and it is really a great song, which is why this theme is on our list, but the reason its only in position  9 is because the song had already been made for the films and even though I love it and it has been slightly adapted for the cartoon, I feel like its a kind of cheating not being an original theme like a lot of the others. So The Real Ghostbusters makes position 9 in my list of Theme songs.

Number 8 -The Uncanny X-men Theme Song / Spiderman the animated Series

In Joint 8th place is X-Men and Spiderman, this is because in the 90s you couldn't go into a toy store without seeing a Toybiz figure line of either The X-Men or Spiderman, and you couldn't turn on a TV on a Saturday morning without seeing the X-Men or Spiderman. Between the two I prefer the X-Men theme personally, but to be fair they are both equal of quality and these themes still give me goose bumps before the shows start. With the X-Men theme there is no lyrics but the Action pack intro and sound effects add that little extra to a great tune. Spiderman has lyrics if you can call them that with Spiderman repeated over and over again. But as these are one of my favourite cartoons of the 90s I have added them to the list.

Number 7 - Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors Theme song

When I was younger a lot of my friends including myself didn't even realise the Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors had a Toy line. Today that toy line is extremely hard to find and very collectable to those that love the show. My first experience of this show was on early morning TV in the 90s when it was shown as a re-run at 6am on Channel 4 just before Galaxy Rangers, Super Mario Bros and Sister Sister (all great shows) you needed to get up pretty early in order to catch it in the UK. Luckily enough my father would go to car boot sales meaning I was up and ready to see it or press the record on our VHS. This Theme song has all the quality of a late 80s theme should have, a description, great lyrics and an awesome 80s electro tune, and has an amazing sound. This would be higher on anyone else's list, but as I only had limited views of the show its at a solid number 7.

Number 6 - Bucky O' Hare Theme Song

I am going to make a statement that may shock some people, and some people may not agree but...Bucky O' Hare has got one for the greatest theme songs or all time! There I said it. With a short lived cartoon series and not so successful toy line by Hasbro, Bucky O'Hare didn't hit the heights of Transformers or G.I Joe like Hasbro wanted, but with a great Theme song the cartoon series will go down in history. With an untold amount of action in the intro, the fast paced rap style tune and the lyrics to boot this theme has made a permanent imprint on my mind. I can still hear it now even without watching the video above! I still love it!

What do you think of our selections so far? has your favourite theme Song been featured yet? 

Extra Mention- Batman The Animated Series Theme Song

I have selected Batman The Animated Series as an extra mention. When this was being first aired, The TV channels were battling for my attention with Spider-man and the X-Men, at the time I would watch these shows and give batman a miss as i was a big Marvel fan, But as I got older I would revisit this series and realise how good it was. There is not much of a theme song so that's why it didn't make the list but its dark undertone and seriousness created a generation of Batman fans that would move away from the camp live action show we were used too in the past making this theme deserve an honourable mention. This theme may not have a catchy tune, or edgy lyrics but it is instantly recognisable and along with the video it has made a stamp on history so it deserves a place.

Lets continue with the list, at number five is....

Number 5 -Transformers Theme Song

Transformers was the massive hit for Hasbro in the 80s, and has under gone many 'transformations' (see what I did there) over the years. Its still one of the most popular toy lines ever created and the original Vintage Generation one figures can go for astronomical amounts to collectors. Now I know every time I get hold of one of these toys the theme song echoes through my head, over the years the tune hasn't really changed but for 'generations' (see what i did there too?!) this theme song will remain a favourite. 

Number 4 -The Thundercats Theme

"Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats Ho!", the start of a great Theme song. "Thundercats are on the move, Thundercats are loose" With this theme there is no description or voice over, but the story is described by the animation. the music and sound effects goes perfectly with great art work making this last in our memoires forever.

Number 3 -The Visionaries Theme Song

Visionaries is not the most watched of the cartoons by any means, and is definitely not the most popular of the toy lines by Hasbro, but what it lacks in toys sales it makes it up in its theme song. a good cartoon theme song needs great lyrics, a catchy tune, and back story's Visionaries has all of these. The composers of the intro took a leaf out of the Master of the Universe book and used a voice over for a quick description of the show, They used a Medieval style voice which was perhaps Merklynn the wizard who was behind the Spectral Knights & Darkling lords magical powers to tell us a quick story, then the theme quickly moves into a catchy tune and lyrics that still are stuck in my head even today. Quick intro -Check, Catchy Tune -Check, Unforgettable lyrics -Check.

Number 2 -Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme Song

We are now down to my last two, and there is no doubt that these two songs have left a massive imprint on myself. As theme songs go, there isn't many better than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Hero Turtles depending where you are from in the world. When Turtles burst onto our screens in the late 80s the catchy theme song was a major part of the success of the show. It was hip and down with the kids, it described sword slinging and pizza eating teenagers that just happened to be turtles. You cant go wrong really. The tune has been used many more times throughout the years but none are really as good as the original. The fact that the latest version style uses the original theme proves that it will forever go down in history as one of the greatest theme songs. The toy lines not bad too!

Now we are finally down to my favourite Theme Song of the 80s and 90s, and its defiantly one of the best in my opinion.

Number 1 - M.A.S.K Theme Song

Every time I here this I just cant help but sing along! Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand or M.A.S.K as it was known is an underground task force that protected the world from the evil crime organisation V.E.N.O.M which stands for Viscous Evil Network Of Mayhem. After a launch in 1985 it spawned several Toy line series and Cartoons. All the cartoons had the same theme and unlike other cartoons of that age it wasn't changed when the series started again. You know the old saying, "if it anit broke, don't fix it". Well this is the case with the M.A.S.K theme song. Its starts off with a computerise sound effect and at the time the best digital image an 80s cartoon could show, this is boulder hill the M.A.S.K headquarters. The lyrics quickly describe the mission of fighting crime and protecting the world, when it jumps into the chorus it tells us that M.A.S.K will save the day, and I know they did ever time I watched them or played with the toy line. This theme song is the main reason I watched the cartoon, which in turn is a reason why I now collect the toy line. the marketing guys at Kenner have really done a number on me and my bank account.
Its got a catchy tune, memorable lyrics and a great 80s sound that wouldn't seem out of place in a film like Top gun. If they ever re-brand or resell another version of M.A.S.K I can only hope that the stick to the roots with the music and not ruin it as it holds such found memories for myself and many others around the world.

So that's it, my favourite Cartoon theme Songs of the 80s and 90s, i hope you enjoyed reading and remember to comment and follow our blog for more great posts, News, and Competitions.

Honourable Mention - He-Man and The Masters of The Universe

Now I know at the beginning of this post we said we would include this theme in the list but we couldn't not include one of the biggest toy line cartoons in the post. so enjoy please enjoy.

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  1. As an American laden with nostalgia for G.I. Joe, I can admit that the Action Force theme is pretty awesome. The music might even be better than Joe's (although the dubbing is off).

    Here's my question: who was the composer on that? I can't find any video of the closing credits or even a listing somewhere online. Anyone have an old VHS they can check out?

    I ca also reccomend the Italian version "L'Inno dei G.I.Joe". The French versions (both Sunbow and DiC) are okay. The Spanish version I have heard was Instrumental with just the "G.I. Joe is the codename..." voice over bit. I also think I've heard the Japanese version, but don't remember it well enough to reccomend it. I'm sure other versions exist, but I haven't been able to find them.