You're about to get an overload of all things 90s. It's possible that you might scroll through this slideshow and not recognize a single thing here. Don't feel bad if not all of these things apply to you. It just might mean that you're too young, or too old. It's hard to say.
Then again, if you are an elderly person, why are you reading an article like this? I don't want to tell you how to live your life, but this is not how you should be spending your waning years. However, if you're a 90s kid, or you're doing a class research paper on 90s kids, this will be perfect for you.
I'm just kidding, of course. Anyone can enjoy all of these 90s things because kid-centric 90s stuff is the best stuff ever created. The 90s were peak America. Not the 50s. Not the '00s. It's the 90s. Go through this list of 50 amazing things and see if you can prove me wrong.
1. An OG Lineup
Kenan and Kel. Doug. Rocket Power. Rocko's Modern Life. These four shows were absolute giants of the 90s. 'Kenan and Kel' was a funny, smart multi-cam show for kids. For Kenan Thompson fans, you can see his early comedic chops growing sharp in this series. You don't really know it unless you know who loves orange soda. Kel loves orange soda. 'Rocket Power' took every 90's kid's love for extreme sports and put it in to an awesome cartoon. As a skateboarder, I appreciated it.
'Doug' was an emo show before emo was even a thing. Doug is the original emo boy. I think any young hipster would love that show now. Speaking of now, 'Rocko's Modern Life' is coming back with a new movie. If you didn't watch it before, you'll be familiar with it now.
2. The Only Way to Message
Back in the day there were only a few ways to communicate on the internet, and if you weren't on the same ones, then you just didn't talk. AOL's messenger, known as AIM, was the biggest one. I remember countless hours talking with friends and adult men I had no business talking to. It was the wild west of the internet, and we were all just figuring it out. It wasn't always pretty, it wasn't always safe, but it was what we had.
The AIM profile was your way to talk about yourself and give people a taste of your personality. If you knew HTML you could make an elaborate profile. It was also a great way to be passive aggressive. If a friend pissed you off you could reference it in your profile, or if you liked a girl you could say something like, "I have a crush. I wish she would just message me."
3. How I Learned to Read
Before there was 'Stranger Things' or 'Black Mirror,' there was the GooseBumps series. This series had it all. There was every single type of horror stories you could imagine, but all with a very specific twist that made them feel different than the typical campfire stories we'd all heard before. Owning all of these books wasn't an aspiration, it was an inevitability. Kids went crazy for these books. Myself included.
They made the books into a television series, and even though I enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, none of the episodes match up to the books. You can't really expect an entire book to go into thirty minutes of television (twenty two with commercials) and do it well. Plus, it wasn't a very high budget show, so I don't think it ever had a chance.
4. Always Rock
I've won many things from Rock, Paper, Scissor, and I've lost many things from Rock, Paper, Scissor. Some people would rather decide things using the flip of a coin. Not me. Rock, Paper, Scissor allows you the chance at getting inside your opponent's head. It's not all about luck. It's about reading your opponent to increase your chances at winning. I say all that as if I'm good at reading my opponents. I'm not. That's why I lost my first wife on a game of Rock, Paper, Scissor.
Think about how lame things used to be when Rock, Paper, Scissor was just a game people played for fun. There was nothing else to do so they would just play that. What a lame way to live. Now I can browse Facebook on my computer while I browse Facebook on my phone.
5. Not On Demand
Now we have everything on demand, but it wasn't always that way. You used to actually have to work to watch the things you wanted to watch. It was crazy! I remember waiting next to the radio for six hours for a song to come on. I wasn't even trying to record it. I just wanted to listen to it. When it finally came on I didn't even know how to feel. The journey took so long I wasn't even sure it was worth it. It doesn't matter if it was worth it. The point is, it was all that we had.
I can definitely say that getting music is way easier and better than it used to be, and while that isn't necessarily fair to the artists, it does make it a whole lot better. I would hate to go back to the days of having to go to the store and buy a whole CD. If you just wanted to listen to one song you'd have to change the CD to a different one. Yuck.
6. Back When Sliming Meant Something
Who knew there would be a time we would look back on and say, "that was the time when you always dreamed of being slimed." I guess we're currently in a weird time like that where we can say, "this is the time where people eat Tide Pods." Every era has different quirks, I guess. Being slimed was definitely a quirk, but it wasn't as stupid as eating Tide Pods. Getting slimed was honorable. It meant you were connected to the all mighty Nickelodeon.
The cool thing about Nickelodeon is that all the shows had the unifying factor of slime. If you didn't have an idea for your episode, just slime someone. Nickelodeon would always clear something getting slimed. It's like they were producing the slime and selling it to themselves in some weird scheme.
7. Thank Goodness It's Funny
A lot of people may think the abbreviation is Thank God It's Friday, which is kind of adopted meaning for it, but the commercials themselves have the stars saying, "Thank Goodness It's Funny." Thank goodness it was too, because I loved all the TGIF shows. This was a time when staying home on a Friday night was the thing to do. Me and my sister would camp out in the living room every Friday and watch two hours of the highest quality programming.
I'd be interested to see what someone with no nostalgia for these shows thinks of them. Would they enjoy them or are they awful relics of their time? I think some of them hold up, but just about as much as any mainstream show holds up. It's not like every TV show we create now is art.
8. I Remember Mine
Owning a boombox was a big deal. This was before MP3 players. This was even before bad MP3 players. The iPod was the first good MP3 player. Everything else was pretty much trash. Trust me. I had the non-iPod MP3 players. Back to boom boxes though. A boom box was like a TV. You'd sit around it listening to your music. Having your own meant musical freedom.
I remember my JVC boom box. I'd listen to Outkast's greatest hits on repeat while I played video games. Before that one I had a Karaoke machine boombox. I could record the songs onto tape with that one. What's funny is that now I don't have better speakers than that. My music library is bigger, but it's not like my speakers sound better than that old JVC.
Pogs were pre-Pokemon Card Pokemon Cards in the 90s. I remember having stacks of pogs. Every night I'd go through them all, looking at the designs. That's how lame things were. Instead of playing a video game or watching a Netflix show, we'd look at pretty designs on pogs. It was a blast. Slammers were where you really had to show off though. They could genuinely affect your game. The game being just to slam the pog to make it flip. A weak slammer meant a weak hit.
I had many championship slammers, but I remember my favorite slammer having a skull in the middle with jagged teeth all around it. It was kind of like the one in the picture, except all silver metal. When I'm lying on my deathbed, I'll be thinking about that slammer.
10. Where is Lisa Frank
Although I am a boy, I understand the Lisa Frank craze. I was constantly surrounded by it, especially since I had a sister. To be honest, I secretly wanted it. The designs were fun, even though "boys shouldn't like pink." It was a different time. People didn't even know about more than two genders. If a boy came to school with Lisa Frank folders, he wouldn't have friends for years.
I sense a Lisa Frank resurgence. Everything from the 90s is getting a little nostalgia boost right now, so I wouldn't be surprised if I see some Lisa Frank shirts or sweaters. As for the younger generation, I think Lisa Frank might still be in business, so go try to find some of her stuff. Be the person I couldn't be.
11. Beanie Babies!
Beanie Babies took the world by storm in the 90s. You couldn't go to any store without finding a Beanie Baby display. Even gas stations and corner stores were selling Beanie Babies. You know it's a big fad when stores like that sell your merchandise. Hell, look at fidget spinners. You could go to a health food store and they'd be selling fidget spinners. It made no sense. Sure, the gas stations and corner stores usually sold the bootleg versions of Beanie Babies, like Sack Friends or Soft Animal Buddies, but it still goes to show how popular they were.
Now I think there are some Beanie Babies that are worth a lot of money, but most of them are worthless, unless you value cuddles and hugs. Don't expect to make it rich when you inherit grandma's collection, but do make sure you do your research on them. You just might get lucky.
12. I Can Walk! Men!
Remember how I talked about the boombox being a very important tool for a young kid in the 90s? The next step up was the Walkman. It meant you could listen to music privately on the go. That's something that we take for granted now, but it was truly something magnificent. I remember the day that road trips changed for the better. It was the day I got my Walkman. No longer would I have to suffer through static radio. I'd have my own music (Metallica) to listen to.
There were other evolutionary steps after the Walkman, but the Walkman was how portable music really took off. Now you can have twenty eBooks, four thousand songs, and a video all playing at once on your phone. Not as impressive when you think about it that way.
13. HEY! MACARENA!
I have a love/hate relationship with the "Macarena" song and dance. I hate listening and dancing to it, but I love when it's over. Maybe it's just me, but I hate any type of choreographed dance that you do at weddings. I'm just not into that sort of thing. Especially when you know there are racist whites playing this song at their wedding and having a good old time. You don't get to hate Latinos and enjoy their choreographed dances. That's just not fair.
I don't think a single event happened in the 90s without this song coming on. You could even be at a baseball game and you might have to partake in the Macarena. Hell, you could be in a restaurant and if the song came on and one person stood up and started dancing, it was only a matter of time before everybody got up. Yuck.
14. Candy Diamonds are Forever
Ring Pops seems like a good idea. Who wants to hold a lollipop when they could free up their hand by making the lollipop into a ring? Here's the thing. Your hand freely dangles around, which makes your ring pop touch everything around you on accident. Soon you have hairs and dust all over it. Plus the saliva starts to drip and coat your hand, making it sticky. Who likes to be sticky? You don't see any of those problems with a regular lollipop. Don't broke what isn't fixed.
That being said, as a 90s kid, you still couldn't resist buying one. For all its problems, the Ring Pop is the most fun way to eat a sucker, if only for the brief moment when you first put it on and it looks like you have a huge, tacky diamond.
15. My Dear Fido
These were all the rage and now they're actually making a comeback. I don't know how successful the comeback is, but you can totally find these at Gamestop. I think they probably could have just released an app, since everyone already has their phones all the time anyway, but you can't beat a classic.
I actually own a Star Wars Yoda Giga Pet complete in package. It's unopened and pristine, like a time capsule straight to the 90s. You wouldn't imagine how quickly women drop their panties when they see this thing. They say, "a grown man with a mint in box Giga Pet? Please, have my babies now!" A wise man told me, if you want ladies, all you have to do is learn to play the guitar or have mint in box memorabilia.
16. That WAS What I Called Music
NOW That's What I Call Music was an album they'd release every few months that had all the hits of those past few months. Every single one hit wonder could be found on these CDs, and they were all fire. This was kind of like what a Spotify Playlist was back in the day. Instead of being able to search for millions of different playlists, you had to wait to see what was on Now. It may sound inconvenient, but Now never let you down. Those albums were always bangers.
The best part about the NOW That's What I Call Music series was the commercials. They would play all five or ten seconds of the songs back to back, and it always sounded like some kind of crazy mashup. There are some songs that I still remember only by connecting them together.
17. I Am Afraid of the Dark... Because of this Show
We talked about Goosebumps and the Goosebumps show, and I'm sure you don't have high expectations for that horror show based off of what I had to say about it. 'Are You Afraid of the Dark' is the exact opposite. This show was very scary and super creepy. Maybe not as much as 'Black Mirror,' but it still ranks high up there. I believe this would come on late on Saturday nights. It was the perfect way to ramp up a Saturday night. You'd watch fun cartoons all leading up to horror.
The show definitely has that 90s feel to it, which makes it feel a little less creepy than it would otherwise, but the stories were always dark, and they were as well acted as a kid's show can be. Try to look for it online. Just wait to watch until Saturday night.
18. The Best Ever
Dunkaroos were like a magical, forbidden fruit. Not a literal fruit. They are obviously delicious cookies, not fruit, but you know what I mean. I don't remember many people having these. I know I didn't. We explicitly couldn't have them because they were too expensive. Especially when a box of graham crackers was one eighth the cost. A child is never going to beat a mother in an argument about economics, even if said kid needs to have Dunkaroos of they'll just die.
Snacks were a huge way for kids to tell the difference between economic classes back in the day. If you had Dunkaroos and Gushers in your lunch bag, then you were rich. Those were the kids whose birthday parties you wanted to go to so you could get a really good goodie bag.
19. Slam Books
Slam Books are an evil thing, but so are many things that children partake in. Slam Books could come in many different forms, but the basics of it is that it acts like a forum board that you pass around. Typically you'd write one person's name at the top, and then you'd pass it around and say nasty things about them. You could also do different variations of it, but most people enjoyed the mean variation. What can I say? Kids are cruel.
I never got into Slam Books personally. I was genuinely afraid that anything I wrote would end up coming back to me. I didn't have the confidence to withstand a slam book in my name. Maybe there was one in my name, but I blocked it out of my memory because it was too painful. That's not unlikely.
Intentionally getting up at 7am on a Saturday seems insane, but we used to do it. The best cartoons were on between 7am and 10am. Slowly over time, the quality of cartoons diminished, or maybe we just got older. I'm not sure. I'd rather not investigate that further or else I might get crushed by finding out my childhood wasn't as good as I thought it was.
I recently tried to get up early to watch something and I couldn't do it. I woke up at 7am, but then I couldn't just sit there and focus. I felt guilty for doing something so relaxing and lavish so early in the morning. I'm the type who can't be comfortable between the hours of 7am and 5pm. Once 5pm hits, I start drinking. Cartoons at night? I can get behind that. Maybe that's why Adult Swim rules.
21. Be Kind, Rewind
Many youngins don't understand what it means to Be Kind, Rewind. Back in the day when we'd rent VHS tapes we'd sometimes rent one to discover that the person hadn't rewinded it before returning it, putting the responsibility of rewinding the movie on us. That's just not fair. Those are valuable minutes taken from our lives. These were the horrors we had to deal with when renting VHS tapes. In fact, it was such a big deal that they sold speed rewinders. Since the rewinding speed of a normal VCR wasn't strong enough, you could get a speed rewinder that would rewind the VHS in thirty seconds. Mine was shaped like a Ferrari.
The bad thing about tapes was that having a box set of a television show was difficult. You could only fit about three episodes of anything on a tape. Maybe even less.
As terrifying as the idea of Jumanji the board game is, there's something so attractive about it when you're a kid. The new Jumanji movie that came out recently in 2018 is about a video game, where the humans gets sucked into the digital game world. I liked it a lot, but it has nothing on the original Jumanji movie and book. In the original, you play this awesomely detailed board game that brings the jungle to you. Unlike the new Jumanji, your real body could get torn apart by an alligator. I especially remember fearing the bugs because they had huge stingers that could bust through glass.
I think why 90s kids wanted Jumanji to be real so badly was because the board looked so cool. Most board games are pretty boring. The boxes make them look good, but at the end of the day it's all just a flat piece of cardboard. Jumanji had character.
23. Best Binder EVER
For a kid in the 90s, a trapper keeper wasn't just a thing, it was a necessity. Unlike normal binders, the trapper keeper would trap and keep. Those two actions are key when you're a kid. I don't know if you've ever seen how a kid handles important files, but it's not well. I wouldn't trust them with your tax documents or anything. Kids (and some adults) haven't yet learned how to put their stuff away without it falling everywhere. That was the genius of the trapper keeper.
All you had to do was shove all your crap into the trapper keeper and then zip it right up. Kids don't care if their paperwork is wrinkled and messed up. Not like me, an adult who stresses out if there's one crease on my paper.
24. Orange Tapes
Orange tapes were extremely special. Why? Just because they were orange. Having things in different colors was a novelty. Ninety nine percent of cassettes were black. When you got one that was a different color, it felt like you had something special, and I guess it was special if it was that rare. The orange tapes meant something very specific though. Orange tapes were for Nickelodeon movies and shows. The holy grail of 90s entertainment.
Just how big was Nickelodeon back in the day? Nickelodeon was synonymous with being a kid back in the 90s. That's where many kids were taught the lessons of life. We learned through 'Salute Your Shorts' and 'Ren & Stimpy.' Maybe those aren't great places to learn life lessons, but we learned them nonetheless. If you don't know what either of those shows are, maybe they'll come up later ;)
25. Real Gaming
This might look like an empty aquarium to the untrained eye, but in reality this is the best game ever made. It's endlessly fun and frustrating. When was the last time I played it? Maybe twenty five years ago, but I'm pretty sure I'm right about it being fun. The object would be to press the little button which would cause an airflow that launched the rings through the water. You'd want to try and get the rings on the little spikes, which was incredibly difficult. There wasn't even a way to cheat either. Trying to flip it upside down made it just as hard.
I remember seeing these all over the place. Every household had one. There were even special edition versions that had different characters on them. A very popular one was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles version.
26. The Ultimate Fortune Teller
Being a kid is both tough and easy. It's easy because you don't have anything to worry about. You're just a kid so no real responsibility falls on your lap. It's tough because you worry about everything. Kids are too young and inexperienced to know enough about the world, which means everything is worrying. Where could a kid go to get some certainty? They could grab one of these fortune teller thingies.
This was a great way to figure your life out. You'd pick a color, and then a number, until finally finding your answer. Hundreds of these must have been made a day, getting passed around until they were dirty with kids fingerprints. Most of the time its power was used for stupid stuff like telling you that you'll marry your best friend Billy.
27. All the Colors of the Rainbow
This is the Cadillac of pens. If you want the best pen technology that ever existed, this is it. Why carry a big, fat sack of pens when you could just hold one? One mighty pen, strong enough for any situation. For kids, this works well because kids can write in any color. As you grow older your options for writing diminish down to blue or black. Most legal forms won't accept your beautiful orange and purple writing. It's not fair, but it is the way it is.
The worst thing about these pens is when they would jam. It has a million springs in it. It's going to jam at some point. It's just a matter of one. Probably when you try to do the pen's final form: every single color out at once.
28. A Symbol of Wealth and Class: Milky Pens
Milky Pens were the symbol of wealth and class when it came to pens. Bic pens only cost a couple of cents, or you could just steal them from the bank. Milky Pens were like four bucks a pen. That's an insane amount for a pen, especially back in the 90s. It was only the rich kids who usually had these. It was too difficult to convince poor parents that four dollars a pen was a good deal. Especially when one day those kids will grow up and have to use blue or black pink.
Milky Pens definitely wrote very well. You don't pay that much for a pen without getting one hell of a pen. True to the name, they were very milky and great for love letters. You couldn't really write a love letter without one. Even the crappiest love letter could be made better by using milky pens.
29. Squeeze It!
You can sell anything as long as the package is a character. Kids love sucking the brains out of a character's head. There's something extra fun about that. Squeeze Its gave you exactly that opportunity. Each bottle had a character's goofy face that you would squeeze to get to their delicious juices. Their faces even looked as if they were getting squeezed. Genius. They were fun to collect too, even though you were basically just collecting trash.
The bottles were the highlight of the drink. Not the type of drink you want to read the nutritional contents of. The juice itself was nothing more than food coloring and sugar. It's the kind of juice that only a kid's throat can withstand. If an adult drank one they'd probably get a sore throat or instant diabetes. Adult bodies are too broken down to fight off all that sugar.
30. Pokemon Cards
Pokemon cards marked many years of my life. I remember spending countless hours going through my huge binder of Pokemon cards. I'd have fat stacks of hundreds of energy cards that were so thick they'd be busting out of the binder. I'd spend hours going up and down the neighborhood streets battling and trading cards. Looking back, it wasn't much different than what the characters did in the show. We were living the dream.
I remember my first Pokemon card game tournament. I went with my friend, who ended up being my first opponent, unfortunately. He ended up beating me only because I couldn't draw any Pokemon cards (a stupid rule). I was so upset. To be defeated by my friend in such a dishonorable way. It killed me. I still carry that loss until this very day.
31. Dial Up Internet
The problems with dial up internet are hard to convey to young people, because it wasn't just about the internet. It was also about the phones, but phones operated much differently than they do now. Dial up isn't such a big deal when you have cell phones, but back when there was often only one phone line in the house, dial up would block that phone line. It was either internet or phone calls. "Who makes phone calls?" you might be wondering. Everyone used to!
I remember the stress of wanting to go online to talk to a girl in a chatroom, but my parents would be waiting for a phone call, so I couldn't get on. In all likelihood it was probably never a girl who I was talking to. It was probably a dude. That's the one thing you can say about phone calls. At least you know who you're talking to.
32. No Place for Lyrics
Nowadays you can get the lyrics to a song before it even comes out. If you want to know the meaning behind the lyrics, sites like Genius.com might have audience interpretations as quickly as thirty minutes after the song's release. All that stuff comes easily nowadays, but back in the day there was only one way to find out the lyrics to a song: the leaflet accompanying the CD. I would read CD leaflets like a book, even if there was barely anything in it. When there was nothing but the cover art, that was a huge disappointment.
My favorite CD leaflet was the soundtrack to Dark Angel season two. I know that's super obscure, but the leaflet had pictures of Jessica Alba in it. What can I say? I love Jessica Alba.
33. Hit Clips
Hit Clips was a ridiculous idea that also makes a lot of sense. I could go to the store right now and buy a terabyte of storage the size of my pinky nail. That wasn't always the case. Everything used to take up a lot of space. Hit Clips were a way for someone to carry around music with them on the go. The problem was that the Hit Clip music format was only big enough to carry parts of the song. You'd just get the chorus or a verse. It was hilariously stupid, but popular at the time.
Kids would walk around with a Hit Clips player and a dozen Hit Clip chips clacking around on their backpack. "Hold on one second. I need to listen to fifteen seconds of music."
34. RIP Blockbuster
There are still video rental places around, but their days are numbered. You can tell because the king of them all has fallen. Blockbuster. Blockbuster was the king of video stores. Not even Hollywood Video could compete, and that place had Hollywood in the name. If you went to a Blockbuster on a Friday, it meant you were about to have a great weekend. Movies and video games all day and night.
I went to Blockbuster until the bitter end. In my early twenties I would get high and then walk around the air conditioned aisles of Blockbuster. I loved looking at all the covers and making fun of them. I dreamed of one day having one of my movies on their shelves. That dream is dead now. Not because Blockbuster is gone, but because I'm a giant failure.
I'll be honest with you. I own about four or five different GameBoys and have them on display along with dozens of other gaming memorabilia. I'm a huge game nerd, and I'm especially fond of the 90s. That's a big shocker, right? Of course I would love the games from the era from when I grew up. I say all this so you know that I'm biased, but the 90s had some amazing games.
The fact that people still choose to mod systems to play these old games on new systems is proof that the games endure. Maybe controllers and graphics are better nowadays, but the classics are classic for a reason. The gameplay is timeless. Sure, the GameBoy only had two buttons and a horrible screen, but it's still the absolute best as long as you get past those two things.
36. Laser Tag
I remember seeing these thrown around the toy chest of all my friend's homes: At home laser tag. No longer did you have to play by the rules of the laser tag facility, or have to ask your mom to drive you to it. At home laser tag was supposed to be the next big thing. It took the classic game of Cowboys Versus Indians to the next level. You could actually shoot each other and tell who got shot. Too bad it didn't work too well. In fact, it worked so poorly that me and my friends rarely ever played it. It was too easy to just cover the sensors and cheat your way to victory.
There's got to be a better version of this out now, but back in the day, this was the iconic version that every 90s kid remembers.
37. Michael Jordan
With all due respect, I don't want to hear about Lebron or Curry. To me, the GOAT will always be Michael Jordan. He's who all us 90s kids grew up with as the dominant player. He was beyond dominant. His playing was transcendent. It was a different game back then though. Comparing the players of today to the players of the 90s is a bit unfair in that regard. Guys were playing differently back then.
If you're not sold on Michael Jordan, just load up Youtube and search for Jordan highlights. That'll teach you why we love him. I'll spend entire weekends watching them. Then you end it all with Space Jam. Space Jam is not a great movie, but it does have both Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in it, so it's worth watching because of that.
38. The Brave Little Toaster
The Brave Little Toaster is a cinematic masterpiece. This is one of the classics if you're a 90s kid. I must have watched this twenty times with my sister. It's the story of a brave little toaster. I bet you already got that from the title though, didn't you? If you liked the parts in Beauty and the Beast where the household objects come to life, you'll love this movie. The only drawback is that you might not be able to look at your toaster the same way ever again.
I've heard rumblings that this movie might get remade, but you never know. At this point Hollywood might end up remaking everything out of pure desperation. They're addicted to remaking Spider-man, but one day they'll get sick of that and they'll come for everything else.
39. The Land Before Time
If you think Pixar movies are sad, you know nothing about movies for kids from the 90s. Kids movies have always had an addiction with killing parents. Bambi is one notable Disney movie that killed the parent, but another horrifying example is The Land Before Time. I'm not saying it's horrifying as in the movie is bad. It was a scene that taught children a valuable lesson: one day your parents will be killed by a t-rex. OK, so maybe the lesson isn't that specific, but it's close to that one.
This is another VHS that me and my sister wore out, along with The Brave Little Toaster. We couldn't stop watching it, so when the lesser straight-to-VHS sequels came out, we ate those up too, even though they sucked. It's not like we had Netflix with a billion movies on it back then.
40. The Push Pencil
This pencil design was so bizarre, yet it was very effective. You'd have about ten little nodes with pencil lead on them. When you ran out of one, you'd pull it out and put it back in the top, pushing the other ones down, giving you a brand new point to write with. It was a much stronger pencil than the usual mechanical pencil, but if you lost a node then you'd be screwed. The pencil would be useless. It was also a tremendous waste of plastic. Still, we all wanted one of these.
Looking back to when I was a kid, a lot of my time was spent with stationary supplies. Nowadays I barely ever pick up a pencil. No wonder my grip strength is like a baby. I have to step on my tube on toothpaste to get any out.
41. Blowing in the Game
This is a somewhat complicated topic and I'll tell you why. Back in the days of cartridge gaming, we'd blow in the cartridge if it wasn't working. They often got dusty and we assumed that this was the best way to get dust out. Literally everyone did this. The funny thing is that the cartridges explicitly state that you shouldn't blow in them. It's the worst thing you can do. Oh, well. You live and learn.
My friends and I used to use Q-tips and rubbing alcohol to clean our cartridges. You dip the Q-tip in a little bit of the rubbing alcohol and then rub it on the inside of the cartridge. This is allegedly a better way to do it. Keep that in your back pocket in case you ever want to bust out your old console.
42. Street Sharks!
Street Sharks was an incredible show. It came in the wake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fever. Every cartoon had a toy line, and vice versa. Since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were even bigger and badder than Star Wars figures, toy companies needed to go even bigger and badder than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to be competitive. That's how the giant monstrosities that are the Street Sharks came to be. More plastic meant that they were better and tougher.. Right?
At the end of the day, the Street Sharks were a solid toy. They each had an action that could be performed by either twisting them, or touching their fins. Playability was the name of the game. The show wasn't too bad either, for a toy cartoon show. It's not like it's going to be award winning material.
43. Book Fair Flyers
Book fair flyers were the best thing in the world. Hundreds of books for you to go through and put a little check box next to that meant, "Buy me that one, mom." Parents couldn't say no to a book fair request because it was for books after all. It's not like you were asking them for a toy or a violent video game. A book was worth the investment. The cool thing was that the book fair flyers would also have VHS and toys. You could try to sneak one in if you were lucky.
Now there's no reason not to do this type of flyer online, though sometimes paper is better. The paper might hold less information, but that's what was nice about it. It was mysterious yet informational all at the same time.
Kush balls were just little rubber balls with rubbery spines all around them. Why were they fun? Why is anything fun? Why do people love fidget spinners? Who knows. I'd argue that any form of a ball is inherently fun. You can always find something to do with a ball, especially one that can be shot like a slingshot. For real. You could grab one of the spines, pull back, and then the ball would go flying. That's way better than a normal ball.
Comedian Rosie O'donnell made the Kush balls famous by throwing them during her show. I don't know how that started, and it feels like a waste of energy for me to research it, so I won't. All you need to know is that she did it and all of a sudden stores were selling out of them. Now that's power.
45. Hacky Sack
Hacky sack is a pastime that both 90s kids and hippies share. Maybe it'll lead to world peace one day. We're divided on everything else. Let's find something we can all agree with. Anyway, hacky sack is an oddly addicting game, especially if you frequently find yourself standing in circles with your friends. Might as well activate the mind and body by playing hacky sack while you chat. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll run out of breath. Just me? I should see a doctor? Ok.
This is notably known as a very white people activity. I think that's a little unfair to any non-white people to play. Get on in here and play hacky sack with a bunch of stoned, hippy white people. I promise you'll have a decent time. Just a decent time. Not a great time.
46. The Pencil Sharpener
This was the standard issue classroom pencil sharpener before kids got iPads in the classroom. You'd have to walk across the classroom to use it, which could be cool if you needed to stretch your legs, get noticed by someone you like, or pass a note. The only bad thing was that it worked terribly. It was so hard to keep the pencil straight inside while you sharpened that you'd end up breaking the tip over and over again. Sometimes they would have adjustable holes to fit different sized pencils, but somehow out of eight different holes, none of them would fit well.
Not to mention that the sharpener was always too close to the wall, so your knuckles would smack against it as you turned the crank. Since it took a decent amount of force to turn, you'd always end up banging your knuckles.
47. Glow Stars
Glow Stars were little white pieces of plastic in the shape of stars that came with sticky putty to make them stick on your wall or ceiling. I think these are still around and pretty popular too. Glow Stars were an important part of growing into an individual. When a kid put up their first glow stars on the ceiling, it felt like they'd claimed who they were as a person. The funny thing about that is that everyone had them, so it wasn't that individualistic, but it sure felt that way.
Glow in the dark is a pretty popular feature when it comes to anything, but is it really that cool? Have you ever seen anything that glowed impressively in the dark? It's always a weak, faint glow. The science aspect of it is cool, but that's about it. Don't ask me to explain the science aspect of it though. I have no idea how it works. I just think it's cool that it does work.
48. Baby Born
Baby Born was as realistic as a doll could get back in the day. It could eat, drink, burp, poop, and pee. I think they could have skipped on the pooping and peeing part. I think that might have been the least fun part about the doll. The feeding as cool though. The bottle used a disappearing liquid trick which I remember staring at for hours. I'd flip it upside down and watch the liquid disappear over and over. Sounds like a good time, right? The spoon had disappearing pees, which were equally amazing.
I could see this toy coming back, especially as our society shifts into something closer to Handmaid's Tale. Let's get the young women of this country ready for a life of servitude. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but that just seems to be the way we're headed.
49. Robo Dog
Artificial intelligence has come a long way since this robotic dog. It was advertised to act like a real dog, but last time I checked, real dogs have a way better range of motion. Plus, there's the other big problem of the robotic dog being nowhere near as cuddly as a real dog. Isn't the best part about dogs the fact that they're cuddly? Believe it or not, this was a hot toy at the time. This was the type of toy that got sold out around Christmas time. Parents were scrambling to find it. Especially the parents who didn't want to get a real dog for their kids.
I wonder if there is someone who still has this and has taken care of it like a real dog for all these years. They even tell their landlord that they own a dog and pay the extra deposit.
50. Socker Boppers
Socker Boppers were sold as a fun way to safely box with your friends. Allegedly you could punch each other, also known as socker bopping, and it wouldn't be bad because the gloves were cushiony air. Here's the thing. Socker Boppers were just inflatable boxing gloves. They hurt just as bad as normal boxing gloves, if not worse. Pressurized air has no cushion! Do you think I'm being dramatic? Then let me hit you with a Socker Bopper, you coward.
These never seemed fun to me. I prefer games where you don't get the crap kicked out of you. That's why I'd choose the bad at home laser tag over this. Sure, you can't tell when you got hit, but that's way better than having to visit the emergency room every time you get hit.
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