The ’90s left us with many new creations: AOL that took 20 minutes to log in, teenagers who dragged ladders up to the windows of the girls they loved and a black Power Ranger who was actually African-American and a yellow Power Ranger who was actually Asian. Though most inventions in the ’90s weren’t subtly racist, the decade was certainly the best time for toys. Re-live your childhood with these ’90s toys and games.
The first entry in the “toys ending in ‘-it’” category is Skip-It, a ball on a string that has provided years of enjoyment for all of us. Skip-It is a plastic ball that attaches to your ankle and counts how many rotations you jump. You could compete against your friends, by seeing who could get the most jumps. The toy even provided exercise, like an old-school, non-sexual Shake Weight.
2. Bop It
This addicting handheld game served as a test in mental skills and ability to follow directions. Who can forget the empty feeling inside upon losing?
“Well of course I had a Bop It,” said Gina Taravella, a junior majoring in environmental science. “I carried Bop It around everywhere with me.”
Bop It really served as a twisted device because there really was no way of winning. If the fast-paced, self-esteem-damaging toy was something you were into, upgraded models were also offered, like Bop It Extreme.
Tamagotchis were the virtual pets for every child who couldn’t have a real one. The handheld toy featured a pixelated creature that you could interact with. The simple game design not only provided hours of fun, but taught children some responsibility as they raised their alien pet from an egg to adulthood. If you didn’t take care of your Tamagotchi every day, chances are it died. Today, millions of girls have real life Tamagotchis. Haven’t you seen “16 and Pregnant?”
Pogs were one of those “why didn’t I think of that” toys. They were the equivalent of Silly Bandz today. Pogs are cardboard disks with different colors, shapes and designs.
“I loved collecting all the different types of Pogs and trading them with friends,” said Anthony Christiansen, a senior majoring in accounting. “Plus, I dropped that slammer like MC Hammer.”
You can play a game of Pogs with friends. You simply stack the disks and throw the slammer.
5. Game Boy
When Nintendo released the Game Boy back in 1989, no one could have predicted its success. But it was the Game Boy Color, released in 1998, that really took things to the next level. Over 100 million of these Game Boy models have been sold since its creation, making it one of the most successful gaming consoles ever released. What makes the toy special? The games were by far the most advanced of their time, especially best-sellers Pokemon Red and Blue. The RPG game brought widespread success to the Pokemon franchise. Today, not only are there a multitude of less important Pokemon games, but there are also hundreds and hundreds of Pokemon. It’s just sad.
6. Slip ‘N Slide
Before State Street, the best parties that left the biggest bruises took place on the Slip ‘N Slide. This thin piece of tarp shoots water down a roll-out slide — with the help of a hose — and provided endless outdoor fun, especially when soap was added.
The sort-of creepy furry doll that you just had to have — Furby. They were great until you realized that they never shut up and said the same phrases, like “I love you,” over and over again. Every time you tried to get rid of them, they’d end up right next to your bed when you woke up in the morning. If I wanted something like that, I’d be in a relationship.
8. Pretty Pretty Princess
Almost every girl dreams of being a princess, and Pretty Pretty Princess made that dream a reality. The goal of the game was to deck yourself out in jewels and the crown before all your friends. My brother always loved playing this game for some reason. Now he doesn’t have to; he wears girls clothes anyway.
9. Sock’em Boppers
These inflatable boxing gloves allowed children to fight each other in a safe way. Sock’em Boppers served as a more manly alternative to pillow fighting, and are still sold in the form of “Hulk Hands.”
10. Beanie Babies
Before there were Webkinz, Beanie Babies were all the rage. The animals became so popular that counterfeits ran rampant in the 1990s. The FBI even took time out of crime fighting to crack down on the counterfeits.
Hopefully you kept a part of your collection because some of those babies are worth a lot today. A mint condition Princess Diana and Buddy Bear package recently sold for $1,000 on eBay. Beanie Babies are not only childhood fun, but apparently were a wise investment as well.