I’ve already reminded you what your holiday season was like 20 years ago, so now it’s time to reminisce about what we were all BEGGING for in the ’90s. (Obviously besides Legos, Barbies and troll dolls because, duh. Staples.)
I legitimately believed in the existence of Santa Claus BECAUSE I received a Sega Genesis for Christmas in 1992. In my mind, this was a gift my parents would NEVER allow me to have let alone purchase for me so I declared Santa to be real and promptly played hours and hours of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Until. . .
2. Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 came out and everyone became OBSESSED with that. My little brother got one of these, but I was a pretty die-hard Sonic fan—so I mostly still played with my Sega or Game Gear even as more video game systems came out.
POGs are a testament to how easy kids are to shop for. These things are milk bottle caps and everyone’s like, “YES GIVE THEM TO ME!” It makes no sense whatsoever but I am very attached to my POG collection to this day and only vaguely remember how the actual “game” is played. (I guess you hit the stack with a slammer but like, what is the actual object of the game??)
4. These Dumb Roller Skates
Before we got rollerblades, we had These Dumb Roller Skates that you stick your whole sneaker’d foot into. They make the most noise out of anything I’ve ever heard and are such a nuisance. I remember thinking they were so babyish when I had them but looking at them now I kind of like the color scheme. Hmmm.
5. Mall Madness
The board game to end all board games. Why go to the mall and spend real money on real items when you can sit at home and pretend to be at a mall and buy nothing with fake money??? The worst part about this game was probably that I thought credit cards were just pieces of cardboard you stuck into a little slot and hit a button to use. Whoops.
6. Ouija Boards
After The Craft and Now and Then taught us about Ouija boards/seances and the like, I couldn’t attend a sleepover without trying to summon a spirit. Only one of my friends had a Ouija board and it was a HOT COMMODITY for us in middle school.
In other, Kids Are Easy news, Gak is the dumbest toy ever but I couldn’t get enough of it. I had it in several colors and it was a Christmas stocking STAPLE once upon a time. Bonus points if you only used it to make fart sounds at your younger siblings.8. Sky Dancers
I never got one of these and I’m a little mad about it, tbh. Even as a kid I was a little worried these were gonna poke someone’s eye out so it’s probably for the best but they still look kind of cool!
Anyone else just hear Dwight Shrute singing, “My horn will pierce the sky”?
9. Koosh Balls
Koosh balls, as made popular by Rosie O’Donnell were another kinda dumb little toy that I loved. Okay, Rosie used those ones you could launch, but I loved the regular ones too. So satisfying to play with and as I’m sitting at my desk right now, I’m pretty sad I don’t have one to play with.
10. Super Soaker
Water guns in Upstate NY (where I’m from) in the winter were not fun. But getting a super soaker and knowing you have it waiting for you for that first warm day was SO FUN.
Furbys are annoying. AND terrifying. Sorry. They just are. I never understood the appeal, but I was able to watch others get excited about the dolls while silently judging them.
12. Cabbage Patch Kids
So the story behind Cabbage Patch Kids is that they’re kids that grew to life in a cabbage patch. Makes sense. I had one who had crimpable hair that I LOVED and my brother even got in on the action as a 3-year-old with a little baby boy one.
13. Tickle Me Elmo
This was the original Everyone-Has-to-Have-It toy of Christmas. This was a legit phenomenon. You just plain couldn’t get these. I didn’t understand the concept of this exactly but then again, I’ve never been a huge Elmo fan . . .
14. Pretty Pretty Princess
Something I could get behind was the game Pretty Pretty Princess, which basically involved you collecting jewels and stuff to become a princess. Okay, not the best game concept looking back on it but I spent many afternoons desperately trying to avoid the black ring and gunning for that tiara.
15. Beanie Babies
Not only did my parents buy me the “Erin” Beanie Baby (emerald green with a shamrock on its heart) but they even bought me that little tag protector case because every kid in the ’90s fancied themselves a toy collector. I don’t know how it happened but we were all so obsessed with how much things would be worth someday and I really think that has negatively impacted my whole life, since right now I’m like, “shoot, where’s my Beanie Baby and IS IT WORTH ANYTHING?!?!”
16. Those Velcro Catch Games
You know? Where it’s like a paddle you attach to your hand that is covered in Velcro and then you throw a ball at it? I dunno what you would call that but we were obsessed with these things as kids. Endless summer fun.
17. Brain Quest
I think my brother owned all of the Brain Quest sets. We loved attempting to play Trivial Pursuit, or, like Tracy Jordan, just playing the kids’ version always. So Brain Quest was a fun way to again test our knowledge and learn stuff via a game.
The toy everyone wanted and got for Christmas and then forgot about by January. I remember going back to school after Christmas break when we all got these and we were obsessed with checking them all the time. . . for about a week. Then your animal was just covered in poop and dying. 🙁
First you get a Walkman then you upgrade to a Discman — but don’t forget skip protection otherwise that Spice Girls CD is gonna sound AWFUL.
20. Polly Pocket
I LOVED the design of Polly Pocket and would stare at the little world inside this compact. But that was about it. I don’t recall ever playing with this so much as just looking at it and thinking, “cool.”