My 8 Favourite Magazines from My Childhood


Back in the ancient times of the 1980s, we didn't have the TikToks and Fortnights to entertain us. We couldn't just hop on our iPhones to read the latest juicy news. Our entertainment came in the form of magazines where you could actually hold them in your hand, get a nice little paper cut, spill Coke all over them, and have your dad throw them out because it took up too much room.

Boy oh boy, did I love me some magazines. I had a few subscriptions which meant I got a magazine delivered to my mailbox once a month. This is less impressive in a generation where you can get shiny articles with pictures in seconds by turning on your handheld device.

But they were the coolest when I was a kid. Here are 8 magazines that occupied my time with reading them over something more educational and that I eagerly awaited to be released each month.

8. Owl: This magazine is still kicking around. Actually, my son, Everett, was gifted a subscription from his aunt last year. He has excitedly awaited a new issue every month to arrive in the mailbox just like I did as a kid. I love this periodical with its comics, cool nature and science facts, collection of games, and fun contests. The modern edition devotes some space to pop culture like video games and movies, which I don't remember being a thing as a kid, as almost all the articles I remember being nature, science, and animal-focused. But I don't need an Owl to teach me that times have changed.

7. He-man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine: Yes, this was a thing. Yes, I had a subscription. Yes, it was awesome. I am sure it was filled with promotional material for new toys and the TV series, but it also had some original stories and comic strips. It also spent a whole year getting me really hyped for what was bound to be the best movie ever in the live-action Masters of the Universe.

6. Tribute: This was a monthly magazine you could get at the movie theatre, and I gobbled it up. Since there was no internet, this was the best way to learn about upcoming movies and how the movies I was anticipating were shaping up. This is how I learned they were making movies like Gremlins, Back to the Future, and Batman.

5. Mad Magazine: I was a kid in the 1980s. Obviously, I had to love this magazine. I really wish that my dad didn't throw all these out, because I'd happily go through all the parodies again.

4. WWF Magazine: There were many wrestling magazines in the 1980s, but only one was the official monthly for the WWF. Plus, it was full-coloured with big glossy photos inside, which made it look way better than most of the others that seemed to be done in newsprint. I was aware that I was only getting stories about the WWF, and it was kayfabe, but I was obsessed with the WWF around 1987, and this helped feed the beast.

3. GamePro: I probably wasn't reading this until the very late 1980s but I loved my Sega and Nintendo, and this was a great way to see what new games I wanted and a peak at the games that I knew I'd never own. As I approached adolescence, this was one of the most important magazines around.

2. PC Gamer: In the 1990s, there was a distinct difference between games that played on a computer and games that played on a video game console. If you were into both, then during the magazine era, that meant two different magazines. In modern times, I don't think there really is any distinction between what is played on a PC and what is played on a console, but I grew up in a different time, as I keep trying to explain to my kids.

1. Sports Illustrated: I did like watching sports. I subscribed to this because I was convinced that is what a teenage boy did. Plus, I was hoping I'd get to the swimsuit issue before my dad threw it out.

Bonus: I somehow forgot to mention Wizard, which was a magazine about comic books that covered all the big news, but also had a price guide. I was really into this when I collected comics in the early 1990s.

What were your favourite magazines as a kid?