Trapper Keepers from the 80’s: A Blast From the Past

trapper keepers

If you were a child of the 80s, you remember the vintage trapper keepers. These colorful three ring binders were all the rage among students in every class. Trapper keepers came in various colors and designs and were often decorated with popular cartoon characters. Many kids took great pride in their trapper keeper collection and would often trade with friends to try and get the most unique binders. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the trapper keeper 80s phenomenon.

What made trapper keepers so popular?

There are a few reasons why trapper keepers became so popular in the 80s.

First, the three-ring binder and two-pocket folders holder helped students stay organized. The thing was great for kids that had more classes, and on top of it all, it could easily fit in their lockers.

Second, they came in various colors and designs, which allowed children to express their styles.

And lastly, trapper keepers’ mead were often decorated with popular cartoon characters, making them even more appealing to children.

Trapper keeper designs

There were a variety of trapper keeper mead designs that became popular in the 80s. Some of the most popular trapper keeper designs were the 

“Care Bears” design

Rainbow Brite character

“My Little Pony”

Strawberry Shortcake

“He-Man” and “She-Ra”

The trapper keeper mead design that was most popular often depended on what was currently trending among kids.

For example, the “Care Bears” design was purchased more after the release of the movie in 1985. The Rainbow Brite character gained popularity after being featured in a cartoon series that aired in the mid-1980s. And the “My Little Pony” design became popular after the release of the toy line in 1983.

Trapper keeper 80s commercial.

Who created the Vintage Trapper Keepers?

The creator of the Trapper Keeper, E. Bryant Crutchfield, actually got the idea for the binder from his wife. She was a teacher and often complained about how her students would lose their papers. Crutchfield saw an opportunity to create a product that would help keep students organized and came up with the idea for the trapper keeper. The first trapper keeper was introduced in 1979 and quickly became a hit with students.

Crutch business plan for Trapper Keepers

Crutchfield’s original business plan for trapper keepers was quite simple. He wanted to create a product to help students stay organized and make learning fun. To market the binders, Crutchfield enlisted the help of some of his friends who were elementary school teachers. The teachers loved the trapper keepers and helped spread the word to their students.

The trapper keeper quickly became a must-have item for elementary and middle school students in the 80s. If you were lucky enough to have one of these binders, then you had the coolest backpack in school.

Here are a few popular styles

Why did they ban Trapper Keepers?

While trappers were extremely popular in the 80s, they eventually fell out of favor with educators. The main reason for this was that students often used trapper keepers as weapons. That’s right, and children would fill their folders with sharp accessories and use them to attack other students. As a result, many schools banned trapper keepers from their classrooms. Despite the ban, trapper keepers remained popular among students in the 90s. And in recent years, there has been a resurgence in popularity with Vintage trapper keepers becoming collector’s items.

Do trapper keepers still exist?

There has been great interest in trapper keepers among adults who grew up in the 80s. This nostalgia has led to creating some new trapper keeper and updated versions of the classic binder. These notebooks are still for sale in many stores, such as Walmart and Amazon; however, they’re not nearly as popular as they once were. If you’re looking for a blast from the past, check out some of the trapper keeper designs currently available. You might be surprised at how much fun it is to relive your childhood with one of these iconic binders.


Trapper keepers were a big part of many people’s childhoods in the 80s. These binders were functional and came in a variety of colors and designs. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, be sure to check out some of the trapper keeper designs currently available. You might find yourself reliving your childhood all over again.


I am a blogger that was born in the 1980's. So I decided to write about the 1980's because I feel that was one of the best decades ever.

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