Top 10 '90s Toys We Loved
VOICE OVER: JP
WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Script written by Michael Wynands
When you're a 90s kid, you know these were the best toys. Glitter wands, polly pocket, sky dancers, electronic dream phone, little tikes country cottage playhouse, bop it, furby, beanie babies and tamagotchis were the best toys!
Top 10 '90s Toys We Loved
You may outgrow some things from your childhood, but you’ll never outgrow the memories. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 '90s Toys We Loved.
For this list, we’re looking at cherished childhood toys that defined the ‘90s. If something debuted much earlier and simply experienced a resurgence in popularity during the ‘90s like the Etch a Sketch or Skip It, it will not be considered. However, if it was first mass produced in the decade or hit its peak then, despite having been created a little bit earlier, it is still eligible.
#10: Glitter Wands
Sometimes, the simplest of items can give children the greatest thrills. Kids have seemingly been playing with sticks forever. And why not? They’re a versatile free plaything that can be found in any backyard or park. In the ‘90s however, some wise toymaker saw the potential to elevate the classic stick with some visual flair, and in doing so, created a must-have item - the glitter wand. A hollow tube of plastic filled with liquid and various types of glitter, this inexpensive toy wand gave our imagination a creative leg up when casting magic spells. If you needed a sword, a wooden stick was perfectly fine. For wands however… it HAD to be one of these.
#9: Polly Pocket
An entire dollhouse, complete with miniature figures that looks like a makeup compact and conveniently fits into your pocket? YES PLEASE. Polly Pocket hit stores just before the ‘90s kicked off, and continued to deliver the goods for the entire decade (and beyond). With a full-sized dollhouse, due to spatial limitations, you could really only reasonably have one or, at most, two in your home - unless you lived in some sort of mansion or had a massive dedicated toy room. With Polly Pocket though, space was never an issue - continuously expanding your collection was half the fun!
#8: Sky Dancers
The way these toy fairies took to the sky... was pure magic. The concept was simple but brilliant: a pull-string helicopter toy, packaged to look like a beautiful dancing fairy pirouetting through the air. Suffice it to say… with their own spin-off tv series, their impact on ‘90s pop culture was substantial. Sky Dancers first appeared on store shelves in 1994, quickly becoming a must-have toy for any young girl. As for parents, these toys were a reason to keep the ladder out, as they were constantly getting stuck in trees. To lose one… was absolutely devastating.
#7: Doodle Bears
As kids, most of us got in trouble at least once, if not MANY times, for drawing or coloring on surfaces we shouldn’t have. Clothing, the walls, your little sibling’s face - it seemed like every potential canvas was grounds for a scolding. And then one day your parents gave you this stuffed animal and everything changed. You were finally allowed to scribble on something that wasn’t paper, and it was totally okay! Even better… you didn’t burst into tears when you overdid it and suddenly realised that you’d ruined one of your favorite possessions. With its machine washable material, Doodle Bear was designed to get messy! Just don’t accidentally use a permanent marker.
#6: Electronic Dream Phone
Mom and Dad might not have been willing to let you have a real phone in your room like you wanted, but this was the next best thing. On the plus side, your parents couldn’t eavesdrop on the conversations you were having with boys on this phone. The drawback? Well... the boys weren’t real. But hey, with a couple of girlfriends over, Dream Phone was not only tons of fun, but also an opportunity to practice crushing and talking to boys without all the heartbreak and embarrassment. Part detective game in the style of “Clue”, part fantasy wish fulfillment, no slumber party was complete without it!
#5: Baby All Gone
Why is it that so many of us, as kids, felt compelled to play the role of caretaker to dolls when we ourselves were still incapable of most basic life skills? Whether it’s human nature to care for others, a result of our desire to mimic our parents or simply the default thing to do when given a doll - Baby All Gone made for a satisfying play experience the likes of which few other dolls could compete with. It actually ate food! Well, not really... but to our undiscerning young eyes, it sure looked like it! Clearly, this ’90s toy found a winning formula, as new models continue to sell well - even decades later.
#4. Bop It
Ever wonder why shows aimed at children are so darn colorful and hectic? Because kids are highly receptive to sensory stimulation. Long before fidget spinners and fidget cubes came along to occupy the idle hands of children, Bop It was delivering a similarly satisfying textural experience. A computerized game of “Simon Says” with a seriously fun bit of packaging, Bop It was one of those rare toys that your parents actually wanted to have a turn with too. Bop it! Twist it! Pull it! The first generation of this game might’ve only had three inputs, but that was more than enough to keep us occupied for hours of fun in the ‘90s.
When you were little, you wanted a puppy more than anything. At least, that’s what you thought you wanted - until you finally got a puppy the same year that Furby came out. In 1998, the year of its release… Furby felt like the most futuristic toy on the market. It was a robotic stuffed animal that was as impressive as it was adorable. Furthermore, unlike your puppy, Furby never needed walks and didn’t have accidents. Oh, it also appeared to develop English language skills long before your puppy learned to sit on command. If you thought Furby was the greatest toy ever, you weren’t alone, it sold 40 million units in the first three years.
#2: Beanie Babies
Commercially produced and sold stuffed animals have been on the market since the late 19th century. So you’d think that by the 1990s, roughly a century later, anyone just getting into the industry would have been a little too late to the party to make a serious impact. And sure enough, in the early ‘90s, TY struggled to generate interest. And then, sometime around 1995 to 1996, their Beanie Babies suddenly became a MASSIVE phenomena. These little stuffed animals were THE most desirable collectible item of their time, and if you were alive during that golden era, we bet you had at least one, if not a bedfull of them.
Before we unveil our top pick, here is an honorable mention:
To this day, parents sacrifice the life of one goldfish after another to satisfy their kid’s desire to own a pet, telling themselves that it’s about “teaching responsibility”. In the ‘90s however, the goldfish population was given a brief reprieve when a brilliant Japanese inventor by the name of Aki Maita invented this little virtual pet. Okay… we don’t actually know how tamagotchi affected goldfish sales, but we can say that this portable egg-shaped computer program was the most important thing to hit school yards in the ‘90s. It was simple, satisfying, totally addictive, and it actually taught us about cycles of life because our parents couldn’t just secretly replace it when it died.