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While every generation thinks the toys they grew up with were the best, for ‘90s kids, it may actually be true. It was a crossover period when video games were making their presence felt, but still hadn’t conquered the world.
A sort of sweet spot, if you will, when our favorite playthings spanned decades and genres. A time when kids wanted their Nintendo but still went crazy for simple stuffed toys like Beanie Babies.
So what was your favorite ‘90s toy? Let’s take a look back at a time when life was all fun and games for Millennials. Here are the 20 best toys from the 90s.
He laughed. He danced. And he shook if you tickled him in the right spot. Not so tickled? Our parents who had to brave lines and toy store riots to score a Tickle Me Elmo for us when the craze peaked.
But it was all worth it to hear that little laugh. For us at least.
These digital pets were a way of teaching us responsibility. And an excuse for your parents not to buy you an actual pet.
We were obsessed with feeding them, cleaning them and playing with them. And when we didn’t, the circle of digital life came to an end. Oh so very tragic.
Yes, Barbie had been around for a long time. But not one that came with ankle-length hair, a scrunchie and hair gel. And of course, Ken and GI Joe were totally into her.
Now there is a Barbie Totally Hair 25th Anniversary Doll to make you feel even older!
4. Nintendo 64
At least Super Mario and Pokeman have withstood the test of time.
It wasn’t even a real toy. But when we saw Kevin using it in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, we HAD to have one.
That’s when Tiger Electronics jumped on the bandwagon and made our dreams come true with an electronic toy that distorted our voices to sound like an adult.
Just another case of life imitating art. In a super rad way.
6. Sky Dancers
Sky Dancers. They looked so innocent. But they were just an accident waiting to happen. Pull a string, and they would fly up into the air. Or sometimes they would fly straight at you, causing an eye injury, broken teeth or a mild concussion.
Kristen Surowitz, Parenting and Lifestyle Blogger at Gen Y Mama also adds, “There were no lights or sounds just a spinning Barbie-like doll with big hair and wings! Not only were there full sized versions but there were also a collection of miniature Sky Dancers that were given out along with McDonalds Kids Meals.”
Other than occassionally hitting you in the head, they were super cool!
A stuffed owl that slowly went from speaking Furbish to learning English. They were so cuuute. When they weren’t totally creeping you out. They were a hit for two years, but then suddenly disappeared.
I suspect they may be planning a hostile takeover of the planet.
These mini bean bag animals were all the rage in the ‘90s. You could play with them like a normal kid. Or, you could keep the tag on and turn them into a sort of Beanie Baby Bubble animal in hopes that it would be a rare collectible someday.
Brownie, one of the original bears (with a not so original name), can sell for up to $20,000. Talk about counting your beans!
9. Game Boy
A video game that you could take with you everywhere. It was an excuse not to look up at anyone long before everyone had a cell phone. Good training, I guess.
Andrew Forrester from My Audio Planet also adds, “Despite the greyscale graphics, the gameplay was excellent and they had a really long battery life which meant you could play for hours without interruption.”
He continues, “If you had a Gameboy in the 90s, you were definitely one of the cool kids (or at least that’s what I kept telling myself as I hid under myduvet at 3am trying to beat my latest high score.)”
Come on, who didn’t want to have a robot dog? Way cooler than the Tamagotchi, it could do tricks and recognize your voice. It could even talk to other Poo-Chi’s.
The best part? There were no Poo-Chi poo-poos to pick up.
Sadly, they were discontinued in 2002 when the soft and huggable FurReal Friends hit the market. Guess every dog has its day until the next dog comes along.
11. Power Rangers
If you loved the TV show, you HAD to have one of these toys. The five original Power Rangers and seven villains were some of the hottest figurines on the market. And let’s not forget the must-have zords, swords and costume accessories.
Go, go Power Rangers! Go, go marketing!
You could stretch it, mold it and even make farting sounds with it. It also got stuck on a lot of stuff and annoyed the crap out of your parents. Yes, Gak had it all.
But what was with the weird smell? Kind of made you want to gak.
13. Easy Bake Oven
It came out in 1963, but in the ‘90s, kids were still salivating over the Easy Bake Oven. You could host a tea party AND make your own little cakes.
I asked for it every year and never got one. When I think about all the cookies that went unbaked, I still bear the emotional scars today.
14. Shrinky Dinks
And then there were the times you just wanted to get crafty with it. That’s when you colored some shrinky-dinks and popped them into the oven. Oh, the anticipation of watching them go from curly to flat! Oh, the amazing works of art you created! Sort of.
Is it me, or does all that polystyrene plastic seem un-PC now?
15. Polly Pocket
The one-inch tall Polly came enclosed in her own little magical world.
Liz Jeneault from Faveable shares, “As a '90s baby myself, I loved playing with Polly and her friends. I particularly was obsessed with the compacts that had water features like miniature hot tubs or pools. I also loved how you could wear some of the Polly Pocket toys.”
Jeneault continues, “There were necklaces and rings you could wear and stuff with your miniature friends. I held onto my Polly Pocket toys overs the years and I'm glad I did because my toddler now plays with them!”
Polly Pocket’s were the best studio apartment ever. And way better than all the crappy pads you lived in during your 20s. But a kid can dream, right?
16. Bop It
It was simple. All you had to do was follow the electronic voice and either bop it, twist it or pull it. Miss a command and you were out.
And it made us oh so happy. Until Bop It extreme came out. That’s when you had to take your game up a notch!
Bop It might have been simple. But nothing was as simple as Pogs—stacks of cardboard disks. You knocked over your friend’s pile and whatever landed face-up was yours. Your goal? Amass the coolest collection.
But oh the heartbreak when you lost your favorite disks.
18. Skip It
You put the plastic loop around one ankle and had to skip over the ball on the other end every time it swung around. If not, you could go face down on the blacktop. A major playground faux pa.
Sure they were a smash in the ‘90s, but Trolls were actually invented way back in 1959 by a Danish woodworker who carved the first one for his daughter. What was it about these little guys that had us so obsessed? Not sure. But those little dolls had charisma!
20. Buzz Lightyear
He may just be the ultimate ‘90s toy. Toy Story came out in 1995, and it seems like we’ve never fallen out of love with it maybe because we all liked to think that our toys had a life of their own when we were out of the room.
And, of course, Buzz was one of our all-time favorite characters. Wonder where your Buzz went when you weren’t looking? To Infinity and Beyond! Duh.
You might also be interested in: 20 TV Shows From the '90s You Probably Forgot (With Names to Help You Remember Them Better)