One could argue that they just don’t make toys like they used to. The 1990s brought with it a whole new attitude toward playing. Some awesome fads and crazes came about, some pretty pointless gadgets made its way into the decade, but overall it was a great decade for kids to be kids. Disagree? Take a look at these 25 toys from the 1990s that will induce a serious sense of nostalgia.
You wanted a pet, right? Well you got a Tamagatchi instead. Close enough. The needy digital pet gave kids a sense of responsibility. And who doesn’t like cleaning up pixelated poop?
2: Beanie Babies
Ah, beloved Beanie Babies. “Be careful with those tags! Those Beanie Babies are going to be worth money someday.” Just wondering, has anyone gotten rich off of their Princess Diana TY yet?
3: Tickle Me Elmo
This is one of those toys parents wished they had never purchased. Elmo giggled when you tickled him and when you tickled him more, he laughed more. What wasn’t so “tickling” was the frantic search to purchase one of these hard-to-find toys when it seemed like they were sold out everywhere.
Furby was a step up from a Tamagatchi in a way. I’d say kids got about an hour of play in before adults wanted to yank its batteries out because of repetitive noises. Luckily, most kids got to teach it some bad words first.
Even Kevin McCallister had one. You know you wanted one, too. The portable variable-speed cassette player and recorder was originally conceived as a non-working prop for the 1992 movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. One week prior to Black Friday, a fully working retail version, based on specifications provided by the movie studio, was available at Toys “R” Us, the same day the movie hit theaters.
6: Fashion Plates
Fashion Plates may have gotten started in the 80s, but girls of the 90s that dreamed of being fashion designers were still dying to play with them. Place a piece of paper over one of the cut out stencil plates and rub it with a crayon to become an instant designer.
7: Lisa Frank Everything
Lisa Frank was definitely a craze in the 90s. Lisa Frank’s colors were captivating and girls everywhere wanted stickers, folders, erasers, pencils and more that were covered in majestic unicorns and bears.
8: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Ninja Turtles are somewhat timeless. The kids are still playing with them today. The 1990s brought with it so many TMNT action figures it’s hard to keep accurate count.
9: Polly Pocket
Do you remember the days you used to step on tiny people that dotted your living room floor? If you had kids in the 90s you sure remember finding those teeny Polly shoes all over your house. And then the question. Can I just throw this away?
10: American Girl Dolls
Here’s another classic still relevant today, but back in the 90s American Girl dolls were fresh. It all started with the original three girls and their historical books: Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, and Molly McIntre. American Girl was born and still thrives.
11: Pretty Pretty Princess
Young girls were captivated by this fun dress-up game which allowed you to collect princess jewelry with every spin of the wheel.
12: Super Soakers
Water guns are water guns, but Super Soakers took it to a whole other level. I’m sure everyone (except maybe innocent bystanders of water warfare) appreciated a giant barrel of water that would allow for longer periods of shooting.
13: Troll Dolls
Troll Dolls originated in Denmark in the 1950s, but made a huge comeback in the 90s when “Norfin Trolls” and a variety of boy-targeted trolls hit the market. With cartoon tie-ins, these plastic dolls with combed-up furry hair in various colors were super popular in the early 1990s.
14: Baby Sinclair
Surely you remember “Not the Mama”, “I’m the Baby”, “Gotta love me”, “I’m gonna bite you now” and a few other phrases that came from this baby dinosaur when you pulled the string!
15: Super Nintendo
Sure, you can get a Super Nintendo Classic Mini version these days, but back in the 1990s, the original was the thing to have. Spending hours playing Super Mario World was the best. Good times.
16: Puppy Surprise
A pregnant plush dog birthed out a bunch of tiny plush puppies and kids went crazy over it. The fun was in not knowing how many puppies might be born!
17: Pokemon Cards
Yes, the kids are still going crazy over Pokemon cards, but the 90s is where it all began. Maybe you purchased countless booster packs to build the best deck for battle or filled an entire binder with the original 151 cards. Do you still have them?
Did anyone actually know what to do with these? Actually, POGs got their start as a popular schoolyard game in Hawaii. Cardboard bottle caps from the popular POG brand were put into stacks and then hit with metal bottle caps. It’s amazing how a simple game like this spread like wildfire in the 90s.
19: Creepy Crawlers
In 1996 this game was reintroduced to children everywhere. That decade Toymax sold over five million big-baking ovens and more than 60 million bottles of the Plasti-Goop used to create them. Don’t ask what was in it. You don’t want to know.
20: Water Snakes
Here’s a useless classic. A tube full of water that kids were thrilled to get their hands on.
21: Don’t Wake Daddy
This was a fun one. Players had to move around the board and risk waking Dad up. Daddy was sleeping in his spring-loaded bed, so if you did something that might cause him to stir, you would have to press the snooze button on his alarm clock. Chances are he would wake up abruptly and you’d get sent back to bed.
22: Baby All Gone
The lifelike baby doll ate all of her cherries from a jar and drank formula from her bottle. The food just “disappeared” right before kids’ eyes.
23: Skip It
Who doesn’t enjoy locking their ankle into a plastic hoop and skipping. Don’t forget the counter that kept track of each skip you took!
24: Doodle Bear
A stuffed animal you could draw on, and then throw in the washing machine to draw on again. Fun times.
25: Hit Clips
Maybe you disagree, but why would anyone want to listen to just a few seconds of a song? Apparently the kids did, and they loved it.
Feeling old yet? How many of these toys did you have as a kid? Which were your favorites? Let’s reminisce together.