There was a time when toys came with great commercials, were fun, and batteries were included. Toys were a symbol of youthful exuberance, and had the power to turn a rainy day into an awesome day. I figured what better way to get through a boring day than to recant some of the best toys the world had to offer (but sadly are now hard to find). Also, since I know you are going to want to run out and buy all these toys, I’m providing you with links to find them on Ebay. A big thanks goes out to Eric for springing this list. Thanks Eric. Theric. Can’t get enough? Check out the Top 10 Forgtten Snacks!
10. Action Figures Action Figures met their hay day in the 90s. There was literally an action figure for everything, and guess what? They rocked. Girl had Barbies and My Little Pony, and boys had X-Men, Ninja Turtles, Stretch Armstrong, Ghost Busters, GI Joe, Spider Man…the list goes on. Every Cartoon had an action figure line, as did every movie. I still have action figures from Demolition Man and Jurassic Park in my closet, as well as the Double Dragon movie and Independence Day. But the Coupe de gras of action figures was easily the McDonald’s toys. Mmmmmm, Hamburglar. Looking to buy some sweet action figures?
9. Tiger Handheld Games In the same vein as action figures, Tiger had a market cornered for portable gaming, and included handhelds for just about every movie and cartoon on the market. The graphics were more than crude, and the plot structure of the games involved the same thing: go to the right, and jump over the rock looking thing that flys at you. More time was spent on the graphic plate lining the game itself than on the game, but who cares! Check out Tiger’s full lineup! You can still find some on Amazon! Handheld Games
8. Creepy Crawlers
Even though this toy is an offspring of the model from the 60s, ToyMax and 1992 brought a revival of epic proportions. Not only were the Creepy Crawlers creepy and crawly, but they also came in the form of Power Rangers, Batman, and the Mask. They spawned their own cartoon, and made nightmares come true for girls around the world. Thank goodness you can still buy this machine:
7. Yak Bak/Talkboy/Talkgirl/Talkboy Pen
The market for recording your voice and playing it back was HUGE in the 90s. Talkboy obviously capitalized on the success of Home Alone, with Talkgirl capitalizing on the success of girls wanting to play with sound recording toys as well. I seriously wish I still had my Talkboy or Talkboy Pen so I could freak out my older sister when she is smooching with her boyfriend on the couch.
6. Mighty Max/Polly Pocket Action Figures weren’t enough for us kids in the 90s. We needed something mobile to provide us with fun. Enter Mighty Max (and the less fun girl version Polly Pocket). Mighty Max was just a young kid stumbling around a maze of horror and suspense. The mini play sets were fun, complicated, intricate, and original. It spawned a TV series and a few video games. The only down side was if you lost the pieces, you were screwed.
5. Pogs I was mildly apprehensive about including Pogs on here, but they were in fact a landmark of 90s toys. The game was simple, and direct. Stack up your Pogs, and nail them with your Slammer. Mine was see through blue. My back up was green metal with a skull. I would work the playground during recess, winning matches, and expanding my collection. This was all until my school banned Pogs in 1994. They also banned Slap Braclets, Chicago Bulls jackets, and backwards overalls.
4. NERF/Super Soakers Guns and shooting stuff used to be cool. Nerf has recently had a modest revival, but nothing compares to the
glory days of NERF and Super Soaker. For Super Soaker, no kid was without the 50, 100, or 200. For NERF, it was game over when your friend brought his Master Blaster. You can still find either of these products in any store today, but they aren’t the same. I don’t see kids having squirt gun fights anymore, unless it is late October and you are drunk outside in your friends backyard not wearing any shoes. Then it is game on! Get off your ass and go get you a NERF gun already.
3. Gak Teachers tried to fool us kids by showing us science experiments to create our own Gak. Those teachers are dumb. Nothing can compete with the glory of pizza flavored Gak. I bet if you go to your parents house, and check under your old bed, you will still find some remnants of Gak caked into the carpet.
2. Wonder World This was personally one of my favorite toys from the 90s. It was usually an underwater scene suspended in animation in some sort of jelly. The scenes ranged from a shark attack to mermaids to Star Wars. The container was like a fish tank, and sat on your shelf. You got a pair of tweezers that you could use to move the scene around whenever you wanted. A must have for any kids shelf!
1. Tamagotchi/GigaPets Why own a pet when you can own a digital pet. Tamagotchi and GigaPets were all the rage back in the day. Whether you were raising a dinosaur, a dog, or a bunny, they required your utmost loving and tender care. Most schools banned bringing these toys on campus, which wasn’t fair. The pet could die if left alone for an extended period of time. Naturally, there was a rise in Tamagotchi baby sitting services. Duh. Well, there obviously isn’t enough time in the world to discuss all the really cool toys that used to exist. I will note that I did not include Beanie Babies because that would be too easy. Video games are a whole nother conversation, as is Lazer Tag and board games like Crocodile Mile and Mr. Bucket. Also, RC Cars and My Pal 2.