It’s hard to believe that some of those iconic toys of your youth are nearing 20 years old. Things like Micro Machines, Stretch Armstrong, Nickelodeon’s Gak, and Skip-Its were some of the hottest toys in the 90’s. Here’s a look back at favorite toys of Christmases past.
1. Koosh Ball
Named for the odd sound it made, the Koosh Ball was a rubbery, stringy ball that came in an array of colors. From glow-in-the-dark to animals with Koosh bodies, this bouncy ball of rubber strings was a favorite stocking stuffer.
Those clever Japanese toy makers know how to strike gold. These little digital key chain pets were great toys that quickly became addictive. Tamagotchis taught values like responsibility and taking care of a pet. The digital pets required food, water, and play time to “stay alive.” Tamagotchi players usually went through at least 5 “pets” or more, much to their frustration.
3. Roller Blades
Children of the 90s saw a great transformation take place at roller rinks. The classic 4-wheel roller skates were pushed aside for in-line skates called roller blades. They looked like space-aged ice skates with wheels. It wasn’t long before their popularity exploded. Nowadays, you can still find roller blades at roller rinks as well as talented skaters doing tricks in them at local skate parks.
4. Beanie Babies
Perhaps these were meant more for kids, but the collectability of Beanie Babies caused them to become huge hits with middle-aged cat ladies worldwide in the 90s. Everyone knew someone with a shelf, cubicle, of car dashboard full of Beanie Babies. Inevitably, the collectors’ demand drove the price of Beanie Babies up.
5. Tickle Me Elmo
It was the HOTTEST Christmas toy in 1996. You think pepper-spraying Walmart shoppers is crazy? It was nothing compared to the may-lay of parents fighting other parents for the little red giggling doll. Perhaps it’s fitting that same year Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a Christmas movie about one parent’s struggle to get the hottest toy of the season in “Jingle All The Way.”
6. Moon Shoes
Nickelodeon had the market cornered for cool kids toys. Moon shoes were like trampolines for your feet, and moving around in them made you feel like an astronaut on the moon. They strapped on over your shoes for endless hours of “moon walking.” That is, until one of the rubber straps broke.
The original pogs were like cardboard milkcaps, but it wasn’t long before you could find a pog for everything. There were even ways to have your picture put on a pog. They were collected, traded, and played for like modern-day marbles. Opponents stacked their pogs and the other player would use a “slammer” to knock pogs off the stack and win whatever fell. Like most fun things, pogs were soon banned from schools as administrators likened the game to gambling.
8. Super Soaker
Nerf knows how to make a child’s play-war awesome with the water gun to end all water guns. A bottle filled with water and jammed with air pressure would decimate your puny squirt-gun carrying opponent with a stream of water that traveled farther than the average water gun. From the original Super Soaker 50, the line of Super Soakers got bigger and badder with larger tanks and multiple nozzles.
It was the recording device Macaulay Culkin’s character used to lower his voice enough to fool a hotel reservations operator in the movie Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. It soon became a hot toy, and kids everywhere were recording friends, family, and their own voices and making funny tweaks. Dad’s voice became a mousy squeak and a sister’s shower sing-along became a slow bass jam.
10. Super Nintendo
While nothing can top the epic original Nintendo, Super NES was a step forward from the old NES, 16-bit versus 8-bit. It was the best selling 16-bit game console in its day. Some, namely this humble web girl, will fondly remember it for joining the favorite Super Mario games into one cartridge called Super Mario All-Stars. While the men of your family huddle around their game consoles playing endless-hours of Call Of Duty, think back fondly on the forefathers of gaming and the epicness of Super Nintendo.
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