The Trapper Keeper, 1978



Here’s how the 1980s got its colorful look

Amazing. That takes me back to a time when I would start each new school year with a new Trapper Keeper and determined that this would be the year I would be a better student, get straight A's, turn in all my homework, and on time. Work for each of my classes would be carefully organized and filed in its proper folder.

Fast forward one week. See the dork in the ad who has a binder full of loose papers? That was me, except I was carrying around a Trapper Keeper that I was afraid to open because it was full of loose papers, one of the folders is torn in half, and one of my idiot friends has written "I [heart] urine soaked bread" on another.


I remember when these started showing up at school, though I don't believe I ever adopted one myself. I was a diehard PeeChee folder user.

And I usually drew the same stupid shit on my PeeChees every year. Little fart clouds coming out of both football players' butts. Small guy with binoculars looking up the tennis player's shorts. Daggers being stabbed through the basketball player's chest. Maybe a Van Halen logo.

Yeah, just like your big brother's dipshit friends used to draw. Not a single original idea.


These guys should get on the ball and make it into a handy e-reader or tablet computer holder that Barnes and Noble can't sell for twice the price of a regular book (fart clouds optional).


Why didn't the "future of the Trapper Keeper" section include the Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper Ultra Keeper Futura S 2000?


At the end of the article when I read, "Mead and ACCO have big things in store for the Trapper Keeper, although Harris and Bartlett won’t say what," I keep imagining them adding, "although if you have any ideas we'd love to hear them. Seriously. Anything. Anything at all. Spitball some things at us. Go crazy. We'll take any idea. Really."


I still have mine in my old school backpack! smiley


I had a blue one with three kittens on it. It ended up covered in scratch n' sniff stickers after about two years. Trapper Keepers weren't cool after a couple years, so it housed my sticker collection at home by the time 6th grade rolled around.


For me, the peechee was the folder of choice if you were looking for the polar opposite to the trapper keeper. It was stupid (as most things kids do are stupid) but it was a way to break from the crowd.

It helped that they were so damn easy to draw on, by the end of the school year they were usually black from doodling. I still have a couple of mine and the crap I wrote on them is absolutely foul.


The big thing when I was in school was a notebook with the most pages, the most divisions, and college ruled.

Kids get really competitive about weird things.


Wow. I haven't thought about those in forever. I, like others, tried to use these to be a better student, but instead of being better at math, I drew Micronauts, monsters from Space 1999, or starwars/black hole mashup spaceships on the paper and kept those instead of the notes I should have been taking.

The Trapper was pretty keen, though. I remember it fondly.


i loved trappers, but yeah, i'm definitely part of the PeeChee generational window. HAD to be PeeChee folders, because you could kill time in class drawing on them.


It's insane that they still don't sell 80s-style Trapper Keepers with the plasticky feel and illustrations of unicorns and fast cars on grids of laser beams that extend to the horizon, and such.

Better yet, come out with a line of iPad cases in Trapper Keeper 80s style. YES.


Hm. I might get on that. For laptops and such?


this idea will make a million dollars. [edit: make sure you hire Lisa Frank to design them]

god, what a nostalgia bomb. I had one just for the 6th grade. It was ugly. even as an eleven-year-old, i thought it was ugly, but it was in the sale bin with all the other design abominations nobody else wanted, so my mom would buy it at that price. it also didn't describe me very well since I hadn't made the jump from Nickelodeon to MTV at that point. despite mine's looks, the utility of them appealed to me, and it was something popular at my school during the short period in my life when popular stuff seemed desperately important to me. i managed to destroy it pretty quickly due to my MO of being harsh on all my gear and switched to normal pocket folders

i couldn't actually remember what mine looked like other than it was ugly and purple, so I googled "purple trapper keeper" and sure enough, second image result. the internet is insane.

Here’s how the 1980s got its colorful look

Reminds me of this scene from Perks of Being a Wallflower. youtube


Just imagine showing up to a meeting with your iPad in this sucker:


I think it's byoo-ti-fulllll!


Good God. 1985 wasn't actually that hideous... was it?

Hmm. Yeah, I guess it was.

Don't get me wrong. 1985 Donald would have paid good cash money for your Video Rock Trapper Keeper, and thought it looked perfectly badass.


The Squeeeee! I squeeeeed! That is MY green kitten Trapper Keeper from 3rd or 4th grade. My teenage son is rightly horrified.